Please choose a subject below to learn more about learning at Repton Prep
Our principal aim in teaching Mathematics is that all will be encouraged to enjoy the subject and study it with confidence and a sense of achievement. Our pupils achieve high standards in numeracy and a range of other mathematical skills and learn to apply these skills with confidence and understanding when solving problems.
We feel it is important to develop an appreciation of the relevance of Mathematics in other areas of the curriculum and everyday life and to be able to think precisely, logically and creatively. Furthermore, it is our aim to encourage the ability to work both independently and within a group and to work in an environment where it is acceptable to make mistakes and to be encouraged to use their mistakes to rethink and re-explore their ideas.
The Mathematics syllabus delivered in Years 1-6 follows the National Curriculum for Mathematics. We extend this further in Years 5 and 6 with many pupils starting to work on more advanced concepts leading onto Common Entrance work. In Years 7 and 8, pupils follow the outlined syllabus of Common Entrance through the Galore Park text books, So You Want to Learn Maths, books 1-3. In all year groups we aim to provide activities to allow pupils to gain mastery of key numeracy concepts.
Pupils in Years 5 to 8 receive their lessons from specialist staff. Setting currently exists in Years 3-8 for Mathematics, although pupils in Year 3 are not placed into sets immediately in the Michaelmas Term. Mathematics in Pre-Prep is taught to mixed-ability groups.
Pupils in Years 7 and 8 are prepared for entry to their chosen senior school via Common Entrance. Our most able students may undertake the Scholarship Mathematics programme in Years 7 and 8, at the end of which, they will sit the designated Scholarship Exam for their chosen school.
More able pupils participate in a number of National Mathematics challenges. Top sets in Years 5 and 6 take part in the UK Primary Mathematics Challenge in November and any qualifiers sit the finals paper of the PMC in February. The more able pupils in Years 6, 7 & 8 participate in the UK Junior Mathematics Challenge in April and any qualifiers sit the UK Junior Mathematics Olympiad paper at the end of the academic year. A couple of Year 8 pupils join two pupils from Repton’s Year 9 to participate in the UK Mathematics Team Challenge.
Literacy is the heart of any curriculum and we want our pupils to have a sense of enjoyment and purpose about their learning. Reading is fundamental to any development and we are blessed with a wealth of resources and an impressive library in the main hall building, with several age specific libraries in the different sections of the school. We are a large department across the three phases of the school but we work closely together to ensure progression and continuity in the classroom.
We wish to inspire and encourage a child’s creativity, whilst underpinning the 'basics' of grammar, spelling and punctuation. We celebrate National Poetry Day and World Book Day annually and encourage pupils to enter competitions. We enjoy visits from authors and theatre companies, who give performances and run workshops with our pupils. We also take pupils on visits to the theatre.
We work in partnership with parents and encourage them to take an active role in their child’s learning. Every pupil has a reading and spelling log in their prep diary and we strongly encourage parents to record and comment on the reading they do with their child. We work closely with the Drama, Learning Enhancement and English as an Additional Language departments and have strong links with the English department at Repton School.
The English department is housed in our modern Quad Development, where you will often hear the sound of laughter coming from the classrooms.
Provision for those Whom English is their Second Language
It is the aim of the English as an Additional Language (EAL) Department that pupils whose first language is not English will be given extra tuition so that they will become increasingly fluent in speaking, reading and writing English. They will be given the necessary support to help them to develop the academic skills required by their other subjects and to integrate fully into school life.
At the beginning of the academic year, all overseas pupils will be assessed in order to ascertain how much, if any, extra English tuition is needed. Dependent on their level of English, students may join EAL lessons during timetabled English and/or French lessons. Students can also access support from the EAL department for help in all their curriculum subjects.
We believe that pupils should explore science through hands-on practical activities. From Year 5, pupils are encouraged to undertake their own experimental work in fully equipped laboratories with experienced specialist teachers supported by a qualified laboratory technician. We are keen to encourage their curiosity, independent thought and to take risks with their learning.
We prepare our pupils for the Common Entrance Examination in Year 8 and have a Scholarship Science Programme for the more able pupils.
Pupils at Repton Prep benefit from regular extra-curricular trips to support their Science education. Year 5 visit ‘ThinkTank’ in Birmingham, we run a weekend trip to the Cranedale Centre in North Yorkshire for Year 6 pupils and Year 7 visit the National Space Centre.
Younger pupils in the school have the opportunity to attend our Science Club, where we endeavour to inspire a love of Science in a fun and safe environment allowing them to try out exciting experiments.
Older pupils can get involved in our Chemistry Club. They have plenty of opportunities to experience Chemistry at its best. We take a team of four budding chemists to a local university every year to compete in the Salter’s and Royal Society of Chemistry Festival of Chemistry.
We produce competent young scientists equipped with the skills and enthusiasm to tackle Science at their senior school.
French is taught by a dedicated team of enthusiastic and highly qualified specialists who create a very positive learning environment from Year 1 to Year 8. We work hard to achieve continuity throughout the school. The introduction of a foreign language to children of a young age enables them to experience something of the joy of another culture and language at a time when they are most receptive and responsive.
In the earlier years (Years 1 and 2) there is specific emphasis upon speaking French using games and songs, whilst still encouraging the children to read and write single words and phrases. Their learning is closely linked to learning about France and the French via interactive software. This serves to boost enjoyment and encourage the pupils to correctly imitate the sounds of the language. All pupils in pre-prep are taught by a native speaker.
As the pupils move into Years 3 and 4 the emphasis remains on the oral and aural skills but these are supplemented by reading and writing. Simple grammatical concepts are introduced using exciting interactive software which makes these concepts accessible to all.
In Years 5 – 8 equal weight is given to the four Attainment Targets (speaking, reading, listening, writing) as the pupils prepare for external exams at 13+.
It is expected that teaching methodology will vary in order to be effective for each of the children. This will mean catering for visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles as well as creating a positive, challenging and rewarding environment. All pupils benefit, at least once a week, from the use of the new language lab facility featuring Sanako software accessible individually through the 20 laptop computers.
This enables differentiated speaking and listening, allows the pupils to communicate in groups, pairs or directly with a teacher and also gives access to the very wide variety of opportunity for learning languages available on the internet.
Pupils in Years 5 and 6 are encouraged to participate in a school visit to France in August where 5 days of activities are undertaken completely in French – a very enjoyable and rewarding experience for all.
In Geography lessons we hope the pupils will gain an interest and appreciation of the world around us from a local to a global scale. We encourage them to use a range of geographical enquiry skills, including fieldwork, to develop their knowledge and understanding of places, patterns, processes, environmental change and sustainable development.
We prepare the children for Common Entrance or Scholarship to their senior schools. At the same time we aim to stimulate a curiosity about the world; introduce children to people, places and environments; develop an environmental awareness and understanding of sustainable development; develop an understanding of physical and human landscapes, and introduce the children to different societies and cultures, enhancing awareness of global interdependence.
Specialist teachers deliver the Geography program from Year 6 onwards covering a wide range of topics including; Antarctica, Brazil, Ordnance Survey map skills, volcanoes and earthquakes, rivers, coasts, weather, Snowdonia National Park and global economic activities.
Fieldwork is an important area of Geography at Repton Prep. We make use of the beautiful grounds to carry out fieldwork investigations such as microclimate surveys, weathering investigations and studying the local stream. The grounds also serve as a perfect place to perfect map skills and practise orienteering.
We run two residential trips. Year 6 have a trip to the Cranedale Centre in North Yorkshire which includes activities such as orienteering, a day at Flamborough Head studying coastal erosion and rock-pooling and a day on the North York Moors looking at rivers. In Year 8 all children go to Anglesey and Snowdonia to conduct a river survey in the Pass of Llanberis and to take part in high adrenaline sports, if they wish, such as coasteering – a good way to learn about the power of the sea first hand.
History at Repton Prep is taught to all the children as a distinct subject throughout the school. Years 3 – 5 pupils are taught by Mr Gavin Williamson, while, Years 6 – 8, the subject is taught by specialist teachers. The department makes regular use of ICT in its teaching and learning of the subject. In the process of exploring History we aim to develop the following skills and attributes:
- A love for the subject that will last long after they leave Repton Prep.
- An understanding of how events and characters in the past have helped to shape society today.
- An understanding of how British History links with that of other European and world countries.
- An appreciation of how and why some aspects of the past are subject to different interpretations.
- A knowledge of what past societies were like, how these societies organised themselves and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions.
- The ability to reflect on personal choices, attitudes and values.
- The ability to use evidence, weigh it up and reach conclusions.
- The ability to develop a chronological framework.
- The ability to develop a range of enquiry-based skills in order to understand how people in the past lived their lives, and compare and contrast this with contemporary lifestyles.
- The ability to develop the ability to organise and communicate historical knowledge and understanding orally, visually and in writing using appropriate techniques and vocabulary.
Throughout the academic year the department hosts a number of ‘fun’ events in which History comes alive.
At Repton Prep, we place great importance on the study of Classics. In Years 7 and 8, pupils follow a course in either Latin or Classical Studies, depending on their setting. Classical Greek may also be offered as an activity to pupils who express a keen desire to learn it.
The Latin course we follow at Repton Prep is So You Really Want To Learn Latin, by Nicholas Oulton. This course book provides a thoroughly systematic approach to Latin grammar, and includes much practice in translation from English into Latin.
For those who ask ‘Why learn a ‘dead’ language?’, much can be said in reply. Latin did not ‘die’, it ‘developed’ - and it certainly has not been buried! Latin is the mother of modern languages such as Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian. Even in our own language, English, around 75% of our vocabulary is derived from Latin and Greek. It has been said that the study of Latin reaches the parts of the brain that other subjects on their own do not reach: it combines the logic of Mathematics, English, and the Romance Languages. Nicholas Oulton, in his introduction to our course book So You Really Want To Learn Latin, says of the study of Latin:
“It provides an excellent basis for learning language, both our own language and other modern languages which are formed from Latin. It provides an excellent form of mental gymnastics, exercising our brains and training them to memorise, analyse, and deduce.”
Our aim in this course is to introduce pupils to the world of Ancient Greece and Rome. We hope to nurture in them an interest in the vast influence the classical world has on us today, in language, history, philosophy, art, architecture, technology, religion and democracy.
We follow the classical background topics section of the Common Entrance Latin course which includes Greek myths such as Jason and the Argonauts, Theseus and the Minotaur, as well as the Trojan War and the Wanderings of Odysseus; also, Roman legends and various aspects of life in Ancient Rome and Roman Britain.
Our course book is “Greeks and Romans” by A M Wright; in addition to this we use Roger L Green’s “Tales of the Greek Heroes”, Rosemary Sutcliff’s “Black Ships Before Troy” and “The Wanderings of Odysseus” for Greek mythology, and Peter Connolly’s “Ancient City” for the Roman background material. We have in the department a vast range of our own illustrated resources, photographs, maps and audio-visual presentations. A favourite activity of our pupils is when they create their own work on PowerPoint and present it to their peers.
We hope that our pupils will be inspired to take their classical studies further, at GCSE or A-level with the Classical Civilisation courses offered by many senior schools, or perhaps even at university level. This course is certainly one which our pupils enjoy enormously, and one which will enrich them for a long time to come.
It is the aim of the ICT department to encourage confident and competent users of ICT who learn when and how to use technology. Repton Prep benefits form a campus-wide ICT network maintained by a full-time computer technician.
Through a variety of experiences we aim for each child to develop skills in communicating ideas through words, pictures, and sounds; entering, storing and classifying information; accessing and obtaining information and discovering skills useful to their own studies.
Two main computer suites lie at the heart of the network and it is here that ICT skills are taught as a part of the timetables for all Year 3 – Year 8 Pupils. Each classroom in the school is equipped with at least one computer and there are more available in the Library for work and research purposes. Many subject areas make use of ICT to enhance teaching and learning and the majority of classrooms are equipped with data projectors and/ or interactive whiteboards.
The use of ICT and computing is fully integrated across the school. By year 8 the children are comfortable applying skills to all areas of the curriculum. It may be video analysis of their own sports performance, creating films for Geography topics or using programming skills to design, code and evaluate systems. At Repton Prep we have a long established structure enabling children to work with computer systems with confidence and competence.
ICT experiences should reflect the whole–school policy on promoting Common Sense, Aiming High, Respect, and Enjoying What You Have.
Design and Technology is taught to all year groups from Year 3 to Year 8 and everyone enjoys at least a double period per week. Pupils in their final two years benefit from a triple period each week for half a term working back – to – back with Art. The subject is also taught to groups of children in Year 2 as part of their activities carousel.
The Design and Technology department is a comprehensively equipped multi-task work environment with traditional wood – working equipment, plastics processing, electronics, computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) using both a LaserCam and router/cutting machine, dye-sublimation processes and a small ICT suite adjoining the main work area.
When pupils reach Year 8, those with a significant creative and technical ability may be selected to work towards a D&T Scholarship entrance to their senior school. They will then concentrate on D&T for the whole term, instead of alternating with Art, in order to achieve the extended level of work required. By the same token, Art Scholars may drop D&T to concentrate on their subject full – time.
Pupils selected to do a D&T Scholarship to their senior school are also offered additional teaching and learning in their activity time that is equivalent to a minimum of four periods per week. They also have free access to the D&T facilities during their lunch breaks should they so wish. This has greatly contributed to the high success rate of our pupils in winning Scholarship and Exhibition awards to their chosen senior schools.
As an extra-curricular extension to D&T, there is a Greenpower Electric Car Racing activity for selected pupils in Years 7 and 8. Cars are designed and constructed to take part in the national Greenpower F24 Electric Car Races for Schools programme.
The Art Department at Repton Prep believes that everyone has a talent in some artistic discipline and that through our education their talent will be discovered. Our department is colourful and welcoming and a high standard of work is achieved by all age groups. Drawing and painting are our main activities although every child has the opportunity to work in our busy ceramics department which involves them in at least one project in each school year. Mixed media projects are also a regular part of the curriculum.
At the end of Year 7, those pupils with a particularly strong interest and ability in this subject are invited to enter the scholarship program. We have a strong record of achieving Scholarships and Exhibitions to Senior Schools and the work produced by our scholars is regularly on display around our school.
Each pupil has a double period of Art every week in Years 3,4 and 5 and a triple lesson for half of each term in Years 6, 7 and 8. Boarding children are also able to work in the art room during some evenings in the week and on some Sundays.
Our new, ‘state of the art’, art and ceramics department opened in September 2013. It is colourful and full of light and a high standard of work is produced by all age groups. We feel very lucky and are confident that our creative facilities are likely to be the envy of many prep and senior schools.
Although we feel that it is important for the children to learn through formal and structured art lessons they also have plenty of time to work on their own ideas. Above all, our aim is for the children to enjoy their artistic pursuits.
The Drama department at Repton Prep offers all pupils the opportunity to express their creative and imaginative ideas both physically and verbally. Our fantastic theatre provides an exciting environment in which pupils can develop their creativity, communication, and confidence.
Drama is taught to all pupils from Nursery to Year 8 by specialist teachers. Younger pupils develop their speaking and listening skills through both whole-class and smaller group collaborations, using a range of visual and text-based stimuli. Pupils learn how to develop their physical skills to portray character and emotion, whilst also developing confidence in showcasing their performance work to their peers. Technical elements such as sound, lighting and costume are also explored as pupils begin to understand how engaging theatre is created.
As pupils move through to Upper Prep their basic acting skills and knowledge of drama techniques are widened, exploring performance styles such as Commedia Dell’Arte, Melodrama and Physical Theatre. Pupils will have the opportunity to both imaginatively devise their own drama and work from a range of scripts, choosing either a performative or directorial role. Pupils are also encouraged to consider appropriate lighting, sound, costume and set design, utilising the vast resources the theatre has to offer. We are privileged to be able to provide our pupils who are interested in the technical aspects of theatre with the opportunity to enter our lighting and sound gallery and, once trained, operate the equipment themselves.
When pupils reach Year 8, those who show significant ability in Drama may be offered the opportunity to work towards a Scholarship entrance to their chosen senior school. These pupils are offered additional teaching to help prepare for these assessments.
Many productions take place throughout the School year including Christmas shows and summer concerts from Lower School pupils, year group presentation evenings from the Upper School pupils as well as one major production for which pupils audition for acting and technical roles. The Drama department works closely with the Music department to bring both arts together, culminating in fantastic productions all year round.
All children follow a PE syllabus that offers a breadth of activity whilst focusing on the main sport of the term. The focus in the younger years is on technical development and skill acquisition. Children are taught the simple skills in the relevant activity and shown how to apply these skills in a match situation. They are also given an introduction to various tactics which are fundamental to the playing of games in later years.
As the children progress through the school they are taught more complex skills and introduced to more detailed strategies and tactics. Swimming, trampolining and gymnastics are taught alongside the main sports and allow creativity and confidence to be developed. All children work towards swimming confidently and safely as well as taking courses in life saving. In gymnastics teaching focuses on essential skills and composition.
Pupils across all age ranges are taught the importance of health and fitness issues including the need to warm up and cool down. Central to all their PE activity is developing an understanding across the years of the importance of exercising safely, displaying respect and understanding of rules.
All children experience sporting competition through the house system and are given the opportunity to compete in year group house events in football, hockey, swimming, netball, rounders, cricket and athletics.
On Wednesday afternoons we provide an extensive fixture programme. In addition to matches against other schools, there is the opportunity for pupils to take part in fencing, golf, life saving skills, cross country, sailing, the Repton Prep football league and tennis.
Sport also forms a huge part of the school’s extra-curricular programme.
For more information on competitive sport or to view our Sports section please click here.
The PSHCE curriculum at Repton Prep aims to prepare the children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of modern life, so that they can progress to their next schools at 13 with the knowledge and ideals to allow them to take advantage of every opportunity presented to them.
PSHCE is a highly valued subject at Repton Prep and is included as a timetabled subject for Years 3 – 8. Pupils in Years 5 – 8 receive a double period each week which is taught in an extremely comfortable, convivial room on the second floor of the main Hall. This has been specifically designed with the subject in mind, with soft-padded chairs arranged in a circle and carpeted floor. The room suits the more relaxed, informal style of learning that takes place in PSHCE, which is mainly discussion – based. The teaching of PSHCE is seen as a collective responsibility of all staff but timetabled lessons are taught by staff with a specialist interest in the delivery of PSHCE.
Children are encouraged to talk freely, with the knowledge that their views and opinions will be listened to and valued. Children express how they enjoy this special time to share their thoughts in a safe and secure environment.
Through the PSHCE curriculum we aim to develop children’s integrity and autonomy and give them the skill, knowledge and understanding to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens.
We aim to promote the children’s understanding of different cultures and beliefs, including an appreciation of their diversity and of their influences on individuals and on societies.We also devote time in PSHCE lessons to current affairs so that pupils may gain a global awareness.
We aim to develop children’s awareness, understanding and respect for the environments they live in and secure their commitment to sustainable development at a personal, local, national and global level.
Aims of the PSHCE curriculum at Repton Prep;
- To teach pupils to live healthily and safely and to reflect on their experiences.
- To develop the well-being and confidence of our pupils.
- To encourage self-belief.
- To enable children to take responsibility for their learning and future choices.
- To encourage the pupils to be responsible and caring members of the school and their local communities
- To prepare children for the moral, social and cultural dilemmas they face as they approach adulthood.
- To develop each child’s understanding of relationships and help them to manage responsibly a wider range of relationships as they grow up.
- To promote in each individual a respect for others and for the differences between people and cultures.
Learning Enhancement is a thriving, integral part of Repton Prep available to all children, staff and parents. We run an ‘open door’ policy where everyone is welcome.
Within the resources and expertise available to us we aim to identify and subsequently support any child who may have specific learning differences or difficulties, to enable them to work towards becoming independent successful learners.
We aim to provide a resource centre for all children, staff and parents. This may be to seek initial advice about progress or to source information or resources available about specific difficulties such as Dyslexia or curriculum support.
The Department is well-designed to provide adaptable space for specialist teaching, small-group work and independent computer work. The Department is extremely well-resourced with children having access to the latest computer software and learning resources.
The Learning Enhancement Department is based in the Quad building on the ground floor. The specialist teaching areas also provide a group teaching area which is mainly used for teaching English as an Additional Language.
Repton Prep is fortunate to have four specialist qualified teachers working across the school.
The Department is led by Mr Alexander Wilde who has many years experience working as a Specialist Teacher. As well as individual and small group teaching, his role is to co-ordinate and develop the learning enhancement provision across the whole school.
Repton Prep also has an excellent system of support in the classroom.
Lower Prep and Upper Prep have a number of Teaching Assistants and Learning Enhancement Assistants that are deployed across classes to provide additional support.
In Upper Prep, Learning Enhancement Assistants work across the curriculum supporting in lessons. We adopt a flexible approach to this support and LEAs are deployed depending on timetable and need.
Good communication between the Specialist Teachers and the Teaching Assistants and Learning Enhancement Assistants ensures a ‘joined-up’ approach when designing intervention programmes for individual children.
Assessment: school screening for progress and identification of a specific difficulty will take place throughout a child’s education at Repton Prep, either in group sessions or individually if the need arises. Parents will be advised if further assessment by an outside agency would be beneficial.
Support: the Learning Enhancement for pupils is divided into categories to indicate the level of need. Some children will require support for a short time, others for longer.
- LE1 – classroom support by Teaching Assistants or Learning Enhancement Assistants as directed by the class or subject teacher.
- LE2 – group interventions, often based on recognised computer learning programmes or regular group sessions, such as Read First, Handwriting or Learning Enhancement Prep.
- LE3 – 1:1 or 1:2/3 lessons specifically designed for each pupil’s individual needs. These lessons will incur a charge.
- LE4 – 1:1 or 1:2/3 specialist lessons designed to address an identified specific learning difference/difficulty. These lessons will incur a charge*
*Please see Headmasters annual fees letter for current charges, available from the School Office.
If you would like any further information please contact:
Mr Alexander Wilde
The teaching of Religious Studies at Repton Prep is in accordance with the Christian principles upon which the school was founded. Pupils are however encouraged also to understand and respect the beliefs, values and traditions of other religions in preparation for life as citizens in a pluralistic society.
The children in Year 5 cover a broad range of topics ranging from, major Old Testament characters to, aspects of the life and teaching of Jesus as outlined in the Gospels. In Year 6 there is a focus on Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism.
In Years 7 and 8 children begin to identify and explore issues within and between faiths and human experience. They look beyond the stories to the beginnings of religious ethics, enabling them to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues. Whilst learning about how the Jewish religion is followed today, the children in Year 7 also study some of the ancient texts which have a direct bearing on how Judaism is practiced. Year 7 consider the Creation narratives, the founders of the Jewish faith, the Ten Commandments and some of the prophets.
During the course of Year 8 there is a continued emphasis in developing skills such analysis, expression, reflection, evaluation and application through the use of distinctive language, listening and empathy. Pupils study a range of topics relating to the Christian faith and develop an understanding of the importance they have both in the life of the Church and in the lives of individuals.
The Music Department at Repton Prep aims to encourage all pupils to actively participate in musical activities and to listen to music with interest and enthusiasm. We aim to promote confidence and enjoyment in performance.
We believe in offering a broad and balanced curriculum, catering for all abilities and needs. Music is a unique form of communication and is able to influence the way in which we feel, think and behave. Music combines feeling and expression thus enabling reflection and personal development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, music assists pupils in understanding themselves and the way in which they relate to others. The teaching of Music develops pupils’ listening and appraising skills and their appreciation of music worldwide. Active involvement in music making broadens social skills and helps to build confidence. Research has repeatedly shown that musical activity stimulates the cooperation of both parts of the brain which in turn can lead to improved performance in other subject areas.
Lower Prep Garden
All Lower Prep early years music lessons take place in the Hall (Garden campus) and are taken by a specialist music teacher. Nursery have two 25 minute music lessons per week; Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have one 35 minute lesson per week. All Year 2 children also have choir once a week for 35 minutes.There is plenty of space in the hall for the music and movement sessions and towards one end of the hall there is a small stage, which is used for music assemblies and concerts. The Lower Prep music trolley is well equipped with a variety of percussion instruments. . There is also an upright piano in the hall.
Each term there is a Music Assembly for different year groups, where those who learn an individual musical instrument have the opportunity to perform to their parents. The whole year also perform at least two songs, usually with percussion instruments.
In addition to the Music Assemblies there are also the Lower Prep Garden Morning Concerts, which take place each term. Soloists from all year groups are encouraged to participate. The Year 2 Choir and Pre-Prep String group also take part, as well as various ensembles including the Recorder Group.
Each term there is a Music Assembly for different year groups, where those who learn an individual musical instrument have the opportunity to perform to their parents. The whole year also perform at least two songs, usually with percussion instruments. The Music Assemblies takes place as follows: Year 2 during the Michaelmas term, Year 1 during the Lent term and the Reception Music Assembly takes place during the Summer term.
Many children learn to play a musical instrument at school and they are able to choose from a wide variety of instruments. The children are encouraged to learn an instrument that is best suited to them and are given a trial lesson by a peripatetic music teacher beforehand. The lessons are 25 minutes duration. In Year 2 every child learns the recorder during their class music lesson.
Once a week there is a ‘Singing Assembly’, which is taken by the Assistant Director of Music, during which the children practise songs for their morning assemblies.
Towards the end of the Michaelmas term, there is a Christmas Production, which involves all the children from Reception upwards. This takes place in the School Theatre, and there are usually three performances. The Nursery perform their own special Christmas Nativity to their parents, which takes place in the Hall (Garden campus).
At the end of the Lent term, all the Lower Prep children take part in the ‘Spring Celebration’ where each year group performs either a song or a poem. There is also the ‘Speech Day Concert’, which takes place at the very end of the Summer term. This includes the Book Presentation for Year 2 as they prepare to move up to Lower School.
Lower Prep Woodland
Years 3 and 4 receive 1 music lesson per week. Class music lessons take place in the main music room. All children receive theory tuition during their class music lessons we use the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music theory syllabus and Theory is Fun by Ying Ying Ng.
Singing is an important part of music at Repton Prep. In class, vocal music includes hymns and songs to be performed in assemblies, class music assemblies, musical productions, concerts and other occasions for example the Carol Service.
Instrumental performances are a feature of class music. Children are encouraged to perform as soloists, either in preparation for a performance in a music assembly, exam or because they would like to perform a piece to their class. Children are also encouraged to play in instrumental ensembles.
Specific topics / projects to be covered by Years 3 and 4 are as follows.
Music for the Lower School Concert, Christmas Production and Carol Service.
Michaelmas term : Carnival of the Animals – Saint Saens. Listening activities to introduce the instruments of the orchestra, their musical and physical characteristics and their place in the orchestra.
Lent term: Pictures at an Exhibition – Mussorgsky. Listening activities to introduce the distinct timbres of different families of instruments and how these can be used in conjunction with musical elements to represent certain moods or emotions.
Summer term: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas. Listening activities explore the use of a symphony orchestra as an ensemble to portray a narrative with particular focus upon how they use music elements such as pitch, tone, instrumental techniques, dynamics etc. to achieve this.
Music for the Lower School Concert, Christmas Production and Carol Service.
PERIODS OF MUSIC AND TIMELINE OF COMPOSERS
Michaelmas term: Baroque – demonstrated through listening activities with Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G major. To include listening activities that will enable students to explore Baroque instrumentation, ensemble, and timbres.
Lent term: Classical – Symphony 40 in G minor by Mozart. Listening activities that will enable children to explore classical instrumentation, the use of the orchestra and structure of classical composition.
Summer term 19th Century – the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky. Listening activities that will enable students to explore the use of the orchestra and the setting of music to ballet.
Upper Prep Curriculum
Children receive theory tuition during their class music lessons. We use the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music theory syllabus and children are entered for external theory exams. Additional theory classes are organised by the Director of Music. Class music lessons take place in the main music or ICT rooms.
Singing is an important part of music at Repton Prep. In class vocal music includes hymns and songs to be performed in assemblies and on other occasions for example Service of Remembrance, Carol Service, House Music Competition and Speech Day. Songs for any forthcoming music/drama production are also taught in class.
Instrumental performances are a feature of class music. Children are encouraged to play or sing as soloists (particularly if they have a forthcoming examination or concert) and class instrumental ensembles prove extremely popular. Playing in an ensemble helps to develop confidence and the all-important ability to listen.
Composition projects in class are linked to the music which the children listen to and appraise. Pupils compose for an instrument which they play or for the keyboard. Time is allocated to theory work as appropriate during composition lessons.
Specific topics to be covered by Years 5-8 are as follows.
Weeks 1-8: Theory and Music History
Weeks 9-15: Form and Structure. To include:
• Binary form
• Ternary form
• Popular songs – verse/chorus/bridge/middle 8 etc.
Weeks 1-2: theory and singing
Weeks 3-7: Periods and Composers. To include:
• Early and Renaissance
• 20th century
Week 8: composition activity
Weeks 9 and 10: theory and singing
Weeks 1-10: Instruments and Timbre
• Strings: Vaughan Williams, Mozart
• Brass: Liberty Bell, Fanfare for the Common Man
• Woodwind: L’Apres Midi d’un Faune
• Percussion: Bolero, 1812
• Vocal: The Lamb, Montiverdi, Bruckner, Mozart
Weeks 1-8: Theory and Music History
Weeks 9-15: Melody
• Arpeggios/broken chords
• Passing and auxiliary notes
• Adding rhythmic interest
Weeks 1-2: Theory and Singing
Weeks 3-6: Timbre and Texture.
• Allegri - Miserere, Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata, Wagner - Ride of the Valkyries, Oasis – Don’t Look Back in Anger.
Weeks 7-8: Composition and Assessment
Weeks 9 – 10: Theory and Singing.
Weeks 1- 6: Harmony
• Building chords
• Major and minor
• Tonic, dominant, sub-dominant – primary triads and their use in popular music and cadences
• Pedal notes
• Composing to harmony
Weeks 7-10: Theory and Singing
Weeks 1-8: Theory and Music History
Weeks 9-15: Rhythm
• African drumming and polyrhythms
• Rock and pop
Weeks 1-2: Theory and Singing
Weeks 3-8: Programme Music.
To include: Berlioz, Saint-Saens, Mendelssohn etc.
Weeks 9-10: Theory and Singing
Weeks 1-6: Styles from the 1900s onwards
To include an exploration of:
• Compositions based upon the above styles
Weeks 7-10: Theory, singing and music history
Weeks 1-6: Minimalism and Composition
• Imputing into Sibelius
• Introduction to minimalistic techniques.
• Minimalist techniques programed into Sibelius.
• Building on minimalist techniques to produce a minimalist composition.
Weeks 7-14 Film Music
• Analysis of famous scenes and their accompanying music/sound effects.
• Short scenes are taken from different genres of film e.g. horror, comedy, action to which students create original sound tracks.
• To include experimentation with pitch, instrumentation, harmony.
• Experiment with building a sound track using loops and sound effects in real time to accompanying film in MixCraft.
Weeks 1-5: Dance Music
• Investigate the history of Dance music from the 1940s to the present, identifying key musical characteristics of each genre.
• Introduction to Mixcraft and basic music technology techniques.
• Short original composition to implement key skills such as fading, drops, layering, fills etc.
Weeks 6-10: Dance Music
• Move through key musical genres building short compositions to showcase main characteristic and music technology skills.
• Approximately 2 weeks per composition. Students will assess the work of others.
Weeks 1-5: Original composition
• Students are encouraged to use the range of musical and technological skills they have acquired in the past term to create a wholly original composition using Mixcraft.
• Students must structure and layer their composition to aim for a duration of one to two minutes, ensuring that instrumentation, texture and structure has been utilised to maintain interest.
• Stronger students will use mainly their own loops to do so.
• Students will assess each other’s compositions.