How we learn in Pre-Prep

Learning in Pre-Prep is all about encouraging enthusiasm and curiosity in our children, tapping into their energy, helping them to be self-motivated and whetting their appetite for more. Within our beautiful castle, and extensive grounds, there are endless opportunities for making lessons exciting and dynamic, and here living and learning is an adventure.

A happy child learns faster and more effectively, so it is key to our success that Pre-Prep, housed in the old Castle stable block, is a cheerful and nurturing environment where there is lots of fun to be had. Subjects are shot through with imagination and plenty of practical, hands-on experiences. Without realising it, while they play, explore, discover and learn, our children are building the focus and work ethic that will serve them throughout their education.


English is a rich and expressive language, and from the moment children join us at Hatherop Castle, we want them to explore it, use it, enjoy it, be inventive with it and gradually build strong skills that will aid them right across their education and for the rest of their lives.

In Reception, children start learning to read following the renowned Jolly Phonics scheme, a fun and engaging programme which allow children to build reading skills. A confidence in reading puts the wonderful world of books within their grasp, and allows them to create exciting and imaginative written material of their own.

Set texts are introduced in the last term of Prep 2, giving the children the opportunity to develop and explore different literary techniques and genres which they can use in their own work.


Maths is a core subject and building familiarity and confidence in the early years is vital. Key to this is making maths fun and stimulating.

In Pre-Prep there is a dedicated Maths Room where children go for practical activities. The Reception children think of it as a playroom, not realising the important mathematical theories being learnt through their play and activities. Bit by bit, the children undertake concepts of increasing complexity, so that by the time they move up to Prep, they are ready for a more challenging programme of mathematics

Each year we have a visit from The World of Maths, who bring some challenging problems and puzzles for children throughout the school to solve. In the Lent term the whole school takes part in Number day which is an event to help raise money for the NSPCC and have an enjoyable time participating in an assortment of practical maths activities.


Science is a key subject enabling students to understand the world around them and how it works. At Hatherop we pride ourselves on the range and depth of practical activities in which the students engage right from the start of their education. Early use of specialist teaching and excellent laboratory facilities enable students to develop their skills and acquire knowledge in a fun but challenging manner.