Limetree is part of Manor House Pre-Prep and caters for children aged 3+. It is the final year in the two-year cycle prior to making the transition to school. Children must attend five sessions, either five school days or five full days. It is a particularly important year, as we support many of the children through the process of sitting for the independent schools. Throughout the year we focus on supporting children to develop the right mindset. We build the children’s confidence and equip them to be resilient learners who reach their full potential.
We use topics as a vehicle for teaching all areas of learning. We always begin the year with the topic “All About Me”, encouraging the children to develop a positive sense of who they are. Throughout the Autumn term we endeavour to ensure the children have a secure understanding of who they are and their place in the world around them. In Autumn we also place a large emphasis on teaching children how to be successful learners, by giving them the tools and strategies they can use when facing tricky challenges. In the Spring and Summer Term, we use the children’s interests, as well as seasonal change and cultural or religious festivals (celebrated by the children in the class) to inform our topic choices. Previous topics have included Festivals of Light, Recycling, Arctic Animals and Space, to name but a few!
Stories are at the heart of our curriculum at Clowns and in the Limetree classes we use powerful texts as a stimulus for learning. For each topic taught, we use a fictional story to bring the topic to life and give the children context for learning. Each half term we also incorporate a story from our Storytelling Scheme. This a story that the whole class learns by heart, with actions, following a story map created by the class teacher. Stories from our scheme include ‘Owl Babies’ by Martin Wadell, ‘Whatever Next!’ By Jill Murphy and ‘Mr Gumpy’s Outing’ by John Burningham.
In Limetree we make excellent use of our immediate neighbourhood. We build the children’s stamina by taking them offsite twice a week to engage in outdoor learning. We use Golders Hill park as an extension of the classroom. The park provides abundant opportunities to learn about nature, as well as giving us a peaceful space to observe seasonal change. We also use Hampstead Heath Extension which provides us with a large grassy expanse, which is perfect for engaging in Physical Development sessions which need lots of space for running. In addition, we take the children into the woods (also within the Heath Extension) to engage in Forest School style activities. Here they are given opportunities to explore nature and engage in activities such as making owl nests or creating bark rubbings.
Limetree’s Daily Routine
Register and morning circle time
Morning work cycle starts / rolling snack
Morning Work Cycle Continues
Literacy/Understanding the World carpet session
Maths Carpet Session
Afternoon work cycle
Garden time / Snack
Snack / Garden time
Recap on school day, prepare to go home
School day ends
The Work Cycle is the main session in which the children engage in learning experiences. There are two forms of learning accessible to the children during this time.
- Child-led learning, through engaging with the resources provided with the classroom (continuous provision). The classroom is set up to provide children with opportunities to independently explore all 7 areas of learning set out in the EYFS.
- Adult-led learning, delivered through focus activities. Children take part in small group activities delivered by a practitioner.
Learning always begins with the individual child and planning incorporates children’s individual ‘next steps’.
In addition to the 7 areas of the curriculum the children also take part in P.E, Music and Drama sessions with specialist teachers.
We write fortnightly newsletters and upload detailed fortnightly planners onto Seesaw (our virtual communication platform). Both documents offer a detailed insight into what the children will be learning. We also use Seesaw as method of communicating between home and the child’s class teachers.