Junior Prep Curriculum

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In Reception, children explore different materials, tools, techniques.

They experiment with colour, design, texture, form and function.


A good early understanding and enjoyment of computing is key to success in our global age.

In Sherfield Pre Prep computing, we introduce children to computer programming with Discovery Coding. Pupils use coding to create simple and exciting animations. Other units help pupils develop word processing, database, logo and computer graphics skills.

Children become confident with technology in an encouraging environment. They use their IT skills across the curriculum. Children with computing ability can extend their skills as peer tutors. This helps builds confidence and develops team working and leadership skills.

Design & Technology

Sherfield School’s exciting, hands-on, Pre-Prep Design Technology curriculum focuses on construction, textiles and food technology. Young children design and build a project in each of these areas.

They acquire exciting new construction skills and work as individuals and in groups. They learn the design concepts of making and following a plan, and producing a product.

Year One

The first topic in Year One is moving pictures.

Children make a moving picture using split pins, a slit and slide, and/or a lever mechanism. They learn to use tools such as glue sticks, PVA, scissors and tape.

In Spring term, the topic is bookmarks.

Children investigate bookmarks and learn about construction, size and materials. They make bookmarks inspired by examples they have looked at and from work by Matisse.

The topic in Summer term is Healthy Eating.

Pupils test dips and dippers. They make hummus, guacamole and salsa and learn important skills such as chopping, crushing and mixing.

They learn to work hygienically and how to plan a healthy, balanced meal.

Year Two

Year Two pupils design and make their own model vehicle using re-claimed materials.

Children are taught to choose appropriate materials. They practise painting, cutting and fastening skills. They also learn to use a small hacksaw with close adult supervision.


In Pre Prep English, pupils learn outstanding oral and written communication skills. Development of strong reading, writing, speaking and listening skills is essential. These skills are practised regularly and embedded into the curriculum across all subjects.

Pupils are actively encouraged to listen and question, to develop opinions, and to consider those of others. Each Pre Prep child has regular spelling practice. Grammar is integrated into daily teaching. Pupils learn to write with a cursive script when ready. The majority of children finish Pre Prep with fluent handwriting.

All Year 1 and 2 pupils have daily 40 minute English lessons.

Children work in ability-level and mixed ability groups. Lessons cover the whole curriculum. Pupils undertake reading, writing, spelling, handwriting and grammar tasks through written and oral work.

Each Pre Prep child reads to an adult daily. This accelerates reading progress by up to three years by the end of Pre Prep. Regular reading is also encouraged. Reading is actively promoted across the school through classroom initiatives. Pupils also enjoy the Scholastic Book Fair each year.

Pupils take home a practice book selected from a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. They have access to a well-stocked library where they experience different authors and genres. Pre Prep children have a dedicated library session each week.

Drama, discussions and oral presentations enhance and develop language skills. All Pre Prep pupils can participate in an annual school production. Children regularly lead assemblies.


Geography is an exciting subject at Sherfield. Pupils learn to care for the environment and to understand the physical landscape.

In Years 1 and 2, we introduce children to geography in their local environment. They learn to read simple plans and maps. They cover foundation topics such as naming UK cities, countries, continents, oceans and coastlines.

Year 2 children study a non-European country. They link with the Good Shepherd International School in Malawi. Pupils use exciting interactive technology such as Digimaps for School. Trips and experiences play a vital role in learning outside the classroom. Year 2 pupils visit the Isle of Wight to study coastlines. Year 1 children build igloos in the classroom.

At Sherfield, geography integrates with other subjects such as English, History, RE, Orienteering and Outdoor Education. We also hold a variety of competitions, such as the Interhouse Geography Quiz and the InterSchool Geography Bee.


At Sherfield School, we know that learning history encourages pupils’ curiosity and instils an important appreciation of the past and present.

Year 1 children develop skills in sequencing and chronology order. They also learn how to find facts about the past from a wide variety of sources. Topics covered in Year 1 History are Remembrance, Toys and Homes. Remembrance study includes a trip to Sherfield Village to explore the Memorial. This visit takes place after Remembrance Sunday so that children can view the poppies.

Year 2 history covers topics beyond living memory. Pupils develop skills in sequencing and chronology. Topics include Florence Nightingale, The Great Fire of London and Victorian Seaside Holidays. We link study of Victorian Seaside Holidays with the Geography topic ‘An Island Home.’ Children take a fabulous day trip  to the Isle of Wight where they visit Osborne House and see Queen Victoria’s own bathing machine.


At Sherfield School, we nurture pupils’ inherent curiosity in the world with our mathematics teaching. Mathematics is taught in an enthusiastic and supportive way.

Pre Prep children focus on acquiring new concepts and skills, problem solving and carrying out investigations. A practical application of mathematics is essential. Children extend their skills with hands-on investigations both in the classroom and our outdoor environment.

At Sherfield, we use the Abacus evolve scheme as a basis for teaching numbers, shape and space, and data handling. The scheme gives a structured approach for teaching key concepts and provides opportunities to practise the methods and skills children have learned. The children use the computer-based Maths Whizz tool to reinforce their learning.

Years 1 and 2 children:

  • gain a good understanding of place value up to three digit numbers

  • begin to order and compare numbers

  • start to use and understand addition and subtraction techniques

  • learn to recognise simple shapes

  • learn to understand the value of money

  • interpret bar graphs and pictograms.

Talented mathematicians have opportunities to extend their skills through investigations of complex real life problems.

Modern Foreign Languages

At Sherfield School, children begin Spanish and French lessons at a young age. This early start gives pupils a real advantage in language skills.

Children have focused language lessons each week, building secure linguistic skills right from Pre-Reception through to Senior School, in Spanish and French.

Reception and Year 1 students learn Spanish. 

They develop speaking and listening skills with games, songs and role play. 

French is introduced in Year 2. Children have one lesson of Spanish and one lesson of French a week.

Lessons are always interactive and enjoyable. Children try out their skills in a safe and nurturing environment. 

Talented pupils have opportunities to further their language skills.

Sherfield pupils celebrate the range of languages in our community at school events such as the European Day of Languages. 

Prep school pupils inspire Pre-Prep children by sharing language activities and games.


Pupils sing and play classroom instruments in the Junior School.  They learn about music by engaging in it in a relaxed and stimulating environment.  Music lessons are always fun; every lesson involves some singing, which in itself is an enhanced and animated form of expression, helping pupils to feel enervated and self-confident. 

Pupils in Pre-Prep join the Pre-Prep choir where they sing songs that they later perform to a high standard.  At Christmas time two Nativity plays are staged in which all children are involved. 

Throughout Pre-Prep, pupils develop their sense of rhythm and pulse: they perform actions with the songs and on percussion instruments, encouraged to listen both to the beat and perform sympathetically to the music.  They also learn simple rhythmic notation.

Physical Education

The curriculum at Sherfield School for Physical Education aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities.

  • Are physically active for sustained periods of time.

  • Engage in competitive sports and activities.

  • Lead healthy, active lives.

Pre-Prep Pupils should develop fundamental movement skills, become increasingly competent and confident and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They should be able to engage in competitive (both against self and against others in the class) and co-operative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities.

  • Participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending.

Sports Covered: Gymnastics, Football, Rugby (Tag), Netball, Multi Skills, Cricket, Rounders, Badminton, Golf, Hockey, Tennis and Athletics

Religious Education

At Sherfield School, we aim to provide a balanced study of principal faiths and beliefs.

Study begins with the theme of belonging. Children explore their families and communities. They learn to understand similarities and differences between themselves and others. Children learn about different celebrations such as Christmas, Easter and Divali, Jewish beliefs and practices, and Christianity.

Religious education is lively at Sherfield. Classes involve discussion, thinking skills, drama, the use of artefacts, pictures, stories and reflection. We make cross curricular links with other subjects and topics. Subjects that link well include ICT, music, drama, art and literacy. Our pupils learn further with visits to places of worship and visits from members of local faith communities.

We encourage children and their families to share their experiences of specific festivals and celebrations. At Sherfield, we value the contribution that families can bring to the the curriculum.

Curriculum for Year One

  • Belonging in Christianity

  • Celebrations

  • Beliefs and practice

  • Jewish beliefs and practices

  • A Church

Curriculum content Year Two

  • The Torah

  • The stories Jesus told

  • Celebrations

  • A place of worship

World Languages

Children have focused language lessons each week, building secure linguistic skills right from Pre-Reception through to Senior School, in Spanish and French.

In Reception and Year 1, children learn Spanish. They develop speaking and listening skills with games, songs and role play. French is introduced in Year 2. Prep School children have one lesson of Spanish and one lesson of French a week.

In Year 3, pupils build on these foundations, developing reading and writing skills to complement their growing confidence in speaking and listening.

Lessons are always interactive. Children learn to try out their skills in a safe and nurturing environment. Talented pupils have opportunities to develop their language skills.

Intensive learning involves an earlier focus on written language, broadening vocabulary skills using dictionaries and online resources, and support to use more developed sentences.

Children celebrate the wide range of languages spoken in our community at school events such as the European Day of Languages. Prep school pupils are encouraged to inspire younger children by planning and sharing language activities and games.

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