Our approach to learning in Pre-Prep

Uncovering the magic

Since 1907, we’ve been learning from each child. As our experiences, educational expertise, and sensibilities have continued to build so has our ability to discover and shape the character, personality, dreams, potential - in fact, magic - of each child.

We know all our children in the Pre-Prep extremely well: what makes them tick, where their strengths lie, where they need support. We mould their educational experience to bring light into their eyes and to enable to them to aim high and be all that they can be.

Developing a love of learning

The Pre-Prep at Westbourne House is fizzing with energy and creativity. Learning here is wonder-filled and fabulously fun.”

Isabel, mum

We believe variety is key to making school fascinating. Give children lots of different ways to experience learning and to express themselves and they will thrive and be hungry to learn more.

Our smaller class sizes mean we have more time to teach, discuss and support. It also means we are light on our feet and able to plan and implement changes and ideas promptly.

We often take a whole term to explore a topic, and as a result the children’s understanding and learning is deep and crosses several areas of the curriculum including written work, movement, singing, science, outdoor learning, art and design, and trips outside school. We hope when you visit our classrooms that the children’s work on display underlines the extent to which they have grasped and explored various topics.

Our teachers are privileged: they have access to resources and facilities that enable them to be highly creative. We have specialist teachers in all areas of the curriculum including sport, music, IT and art.  This wide-ranging expertise is used to support our teachers and further enhance and enlarge the children’s learning experience of school.


Learning to trust your ideas and communicate them

Our children are very different to one another in character and interests, yet Westbourne House has drawn out strengths in all of them.

Bea, mum

We do not ask children to put up their hands in class as we want every child to participate. Instead, we allow every child to have a voice, to make suggestions and – vitally – ask questions. We also find different ways for the children to express themselves. Our children give verbal presentations to their class – so they take on an element of the teaching process themselves – but we also encourage self-expression through art and music.

Magical mistakes

We would like our children to leave the Pre-Prep equipped with resilience and determination.

Our teachers use the concept of growth mindset to encourage the children to be fearless in their learning. We talk in terms of ‘magical mistakes’ and if a magical mistake has been discovered, the child and their classmates discuss what went wrong and decide what they would do differently next time.



There are smiles everywhere you look. What more could you ask for in a learning environment for your child?

Emma, mum

Making school a happy place requires several things, one of the most important of which are the adults present. We have an experienced, energised and talented team who welcome the children with broad smiles. Our children know that their teachers notice them and feel reassured and safe.

We aim to make the school feel magical and inspiring. The classrooms are full of colour and interest, and our school decorations are changed each term, which the children can’t wait to see on their first day back.

Children are unique and we understand that children enjoy different aspects of school life. There is plenty of time built into the school day to play independently, to get outdoors, and to do art, drama, sport and music. Outdoor learning also appeals to and suits many children. Children have sport three times a week as well as forest school.


Learning the traditional values of respect and kindness

We feel lucky to have found such a wonderful place to which we can send our
children, knowing that they are in good, caring and capable hands.

Bianca, mum

We are always aware that we need to model the behaviour we wish to see from our children. We have a strong moral code – the Westbourne Way – which we talk about and model every day: eye contact and shaking hands, resolving altercations in a calm, fair and sensible way, and learning to say sorry and to forgive. One of the biggest accolades at school is being recognised for following the Westbourne Way at our celebration assembly. It is an incredibly special moment, with the child’s friends surrounding him or her with love and saying why they think he or she is kind.

traditional values

Building strong foundations of English and Maths

There is a super high standard of teaching and learning in the core subjects of Maths and English, where the kids are flourishing and fulfilling their potential academically, without feeling any pressure whatsoever.

Jo, mum

Our teaching team are outstanding and all receive on-going training once they join the school. They are trained in Read Write Inc., a proven literacy approach that raises results and the standards of behaviour through its interactive methods. Barbara Langford, Director of Studies for the whole school, also spends a considerable amount of time at the Pre-Prep each week working with pupils directly and demonstrating best practice in Singapore Maths.

Our teachers are also adept at identifying children who need extra support or different strategies to increase progress.

We believe all pupils leave the Pre-Prep with considerable proficiency in literacy and numeracy. As these two subjects underpin most future learning, we are confident that we have provided the strongest possible academic foundations for our children.

Adventures beyond the classroom