Pre-Prep (2-7 years)

The Wider Curriculum

Outdoor Learning and Forest School:

We are exceptionally fortunate to be situated in more than 10 acres of our own woodland, much of which is accessible from the Pre-Prep building. We believe that access to the outdoors is vital for children’s development. Outdoor learning is recognised as an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self esteem through hands on learning experiences in a woodland. The natural environment is a rich and wonderful place where young children can develop their self-confidence, self- esteem and learn to assess and take risks. Through games, creative activities, the development of tool skills and playing in our beautiful woodland, children explore our natural world, developing a curiosity and respect for wildlife and each other.

The children go outside for activities at all times of the year, regardless of the weather.  At Pennthorpe our children not only benefit from playground play, but also have use of our own woodland. Staff throughout the school can take the children into the woodland at any time and may do so for particular activities or lessons as well as some playtimes. We have even had assembly there!

Pennthorpe also has its own pond dipping centre, kindly donated by parents, where the children can hunt for minibeasts and tickle the tadpoles, under careful guidance, of course!

Trips and Outings:

Our pupils have the opportunity to undertake a wide range of educational visits. These are an important part of Pre-Prep life and are not only exciting for our children but enrich their learning, encourage independence and help children access the wider world around them. These include a variety of day visits to local places of educational interest linked to topics being studied in the curriculum at the time.

Previous visits have included Goodwood Farm, British Wildlife Centre, Paradise Park, Pulborough Brooks and Brinsbury College. These outings are often remembered for the entirety of the Pennthorpe journey and provide a tangible stimulus for classroom discussion, writing and creativity.Our new, exciting topic structure has allowed us to consider the trips we offer the children and this year we aim to offer equally education experiences which will support and aid our learning.

Pennthorpe encourages outside visitors to visit us and the children receive enrichment through these events. These include acting companies who involve the children in their performances, authors, artists and family members. We also have welcomed visitors who help the children learn about the world they live in. These have included firemen, vets, the High Sherriff of Surrey and other people who talk to the children about what they do.

Visiting Open Air Museums to experience stepping back in time

Learning to play the trumpet

Understanding more about the world we live in

Gathering natural materials to make Dream Catchers

Engrossed in a Puppet Show at Brighton Toy Museum

Walking ferrets at Brinsbury Farm

Using foraged wild garlic to make garlic bread