Imagine being taught in an environment purpose built as a school, by possibly the greatest British architect of all time Sir Edwin Lutyens. Or as the editor of The Good Schools Guide writes ‘The main building is for Years 1 and 2, lucky devils’. Housed in the main building the pre-preparatory children are very much a part of the whole school and benefit from our excellent facilities.
I find the way Amesbury is run with attention to each individual child very inspiring and I like the fact that the core values are steady and not impacted by individual parents who may try to shout louder than others!
Two parallel classes in Year 1, aged 5-6, and in Year 2, aged 6-7, with 17 pupils in each class, are taught by experienced classroom teachers supported by classroom assistants.
While the Pre-Prep Curriculum is primarily delivered by class teachers there is specialist teaching in Art, French, Music, Drama, PE and Games. In Key Stage 1, the curriculum progresses from the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and is no longer structured around the six areas of learning, although they will continue to form an integral part of your child’s development. The curriculum is taught through topics as in Reception. These topics will be communicated to you at the beginning of each term so that you can complement your child’s learning at home if you so choose. Literacy and Numeracy are still taught as separate subjects and they consolidate and develop the work taught in the Foundation Stage.
The combination of a relaxed, fun environment with a fantastic academic programme
The School Day
The school day starts at 8:30am and finishes at 3:45pm. Children have a hot lunch cooked on site, in the Dining Room served at the table by their own teachers.
A series of Extra Curricular Activities including Tennis, Ballet, Funk, Tap, Judo, individual music lessons, Chess and Drama club are available either during break times or after school. See The Extra Dimension for our full list of clubs.
Pupils and teachers flourish in an open, encouraging atmosphere.
HEAD OF year 1 and Key stage 1
Sam Hopwood has a BA Hons in English Language and Linguistics with Qualified Teacher Status from Roehampton University. She has worked at a wide range of different schools from Dorking to Hounslow. More recently she was at Grayshott Primary School where she was the SENCo and Reception Teacher. She has taught extensively across KS1 and has yet to find a year group she doesn’t love. She believes that happy children find learning fun, and aims to create a safe, secure, fun environment where children are encouraged to ‘have a go’, take risks and develop a love of learning. Sam has been at Amesbury for 4 years.
Head of year 2
Emma Wilkinson started her journey into teaching in Bristol with a First Class degree in Early Childhood Studies. She focused on how children learn from birth, nature vs nurture and how we can create the best, most inspiring learning environment for children. After working in a Nursery in Wimbledon, Brighton University beckoned to complete her General Teaching Practice before moving to Amesbury. Emma is the Head of Year 2 and has taught at Amesbury for 6 years. Her emphasis is on providing the children with an enriched and inspiring curriculum whilst ensuring each child is being catered for in a way that supports their individual learning and development.
It is wonderful that the children can really be children – developing their self-esteem and the way relationships are formed across the school.
A forward thinking yet in many ways traditional prep school that manages to combine a purposeful approach with a relaxed atmosphere.