ELF Unit and Pre-Prep

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ELF Unit and Pre-Prep

The Pre-School and Pre-Prep years are vital in a pupil’s development and at Read School we foster a child’s natural curiosity and a love of learning through rich, fun and varied activities.

The ELF Unit and Pre-Prep are situated on the main school site, in the Shipley building. With one large, light and airy classroom, which can be converted into 3 classrooms, depending on activities during the working day, offering a safe outdoor play area and more modern facilities, this is a fantastic place for the Pre-School and Pre-Prep children to begin their school careers, providing a safe, happy and stimulating environment.

Improved outdoor play areas have been provided for the children to enjoy, thanks to the efforts of the Parents’ & Friends’ Association.

ELF Unit – Early Learning Foundation Unit (Ages 3-5)

All Pre-School children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.

Early Years Inspection, April 2015

An intermediate inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) in April 2015 found that ‘overall, the quality and standards here are good with some outstanding features.’

The inspection team was very complimentary about the provision made for our 3-5 year olds, finding that ‘personal development progress is outstanding‘ and that ‘provision for children’s well-being is outstanding, the children are happy and enjoy school.’  It is good to know that the hard work of our Early Years staff is recognised and that they ‘have high expectations, with stimulating activities that motivate and excite the pupils.’ Our children have always been a credit to the school and their parents and it was gratifying to have this also flagged up by the inspectors as ‘ the children’s excellent behaviour is a feature of their outstanding personal and social development.’

The full report can be read by clicking here or by visiting the Inspection Reports link on the right-hand side of the page.


  • Government frameworks for learning provide a guideline but teaching is not dictated by these or used in isolation
  • Basic skills in number, writing, spelling and reading form the core of morning work
  • In the Pre-Prep, afternoon topic work consists of history, geography, science and religious studies; these subjects reinforce the basic skills
  • Children are introduced to language learning from entry in to the school, with French being taught at a basic level
  • Small intimate learning groups promote self-esteem and enquiring minds within a vibrant, exciting learning environment based on the ideal of an extended family community

Why choose Read School ELF Unit and Pre-Prep?

We foster a strong sense of family community and spirit where the priority is to nurture the individual child to fulfil their full potential. Small learning groups and the independent school ethos help to promote self-esteem and expression and develop the enquiring mind. Individuals are encouraged to succeed and we share and celebrate these achievements but we also encourage a sense of teamwork.

We offer a wide-ranging and diverse activities programme in addition to those experienced and taught in the classroom so children become well-rounded individuals.

Read School Pre School Pre Prep Homework

The regular practice of reading books, spellings and learning tables is usually enough for children of this age group.

However, on occasions, if the teacher feels further reinforcement or revision is needed before an assessment your child may bring home a sheet or booklet. Please assist with these if necessary, but it is essential that you DO NOT do the work for them.

We encourage the children to read for pleasure. This should not be viewed as a chore or as a competition of marching through the different reading levels. All children progress at different times and speeds, this is an age where discovery and imagination is fuelled by enjoyment of reading materials. Please also encourage your child to look at and read a variety of books, comics and magazines at home alongside their school reading book, as this will help then to appreciate a variety of different texts.

Read School Pre School Pre Prep Pastoral Care

Each child is well known by all the staff within the Pre-Prep School, enabling us to provide the pastoral care necessary to ensure a safe, secure and stable environment where the children settle very quickly and thrive. We are interested in developing the whole child and their happiness and general welfare is of prime importance.

We operate the following codes of practice;

  • Zero tolerance on bullying
  • By developing a sense of self and being part of a wider school family and community, children learn the importance of looking after each other.  Honesty is the best policy, we expect all our children to be true to themselves and each other

Rewards and Sanctions

We like to focus on high standards in work and behaviour and an atmosphere of praise and encouragement.

We reward good work and behaviour with a star. These stars are collated within the individual classes. Each week two Gold Awards are presented to the children for overall performance during the week. Any poor behaviour will be noted in the Home-Link book and if the problem persists, parents will be contacted directly.

Houses Points

Upon entry to the school, each child is assigned to one of three Houses: Dragon (red), Phoenix (yellow) or Unicorn (green).  Every attempt will be made to assign siblings to the same House.

Read School Pre School and Pre Prep Learning Support

Many parents, grandparents and guardians choose The Read School because of our commitment to helping all the children in our care to fulfil their potential.

We believe that well targeted support can go a long way towards meeting this wide ranging objective.  Each child is respected and valued as important in the school, and for the contribution they can make now and in the future within the wider community.  Our pupils have a wide range of abilities and skills; we aim to develop the particular gifts they possess, whilst providing a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum to aid them in their future career and life.

The Inclusive Learning Department (ILD) exists to enable all children in the school to achieve the above objectives.  We understand that many children require a little extra input for a wide variety of reasons; often for a short period of time to deal with specific issues and sometimes for an extended period to help children access the wider curriculum successfully.  Pupils we support include those with:

• developmental delay
• specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia & Asperger’s syndrome)
• general learning difficulties
• communication problems
• emotional and social difficulties
• speech and language difficulties
• physical disabilities
• gifted and talented requirements
• sensory, physical or medical conditions
• LEA statement identifying special needs
• gaps in knowledge for various reasons
The school educates all pupils alongside their peers within the normal curriculum wherever possible, as we strongly believe in an inclusive approach.  We recognise, however, that some specialist provision outside the classroom will raise self-esteem, help our children succeed in the classroom, and improve results in their final examinations.  The following support is put in place after due process according to need and agreement:

• classroom support to increase curriculum access and pupil achievement
• differentiated work according to need
• small group tuition to raise attainment in any area required
• individual tuition to raise attainment in important areas
• counselling as part of our pastoral responsibilities
Mrs Kathryn Patrick, as Director of Inclusive Learning, is responsible for coordinating the above provision.  In order to provide timely support, Mrs Patrick screens all pupils in the school at appropriate intervals, and assesses pupils with identified needs as promptly and thoroughly as is possible.  Specific professionals and agencies are used where appropriate, so that we can provide the best possible support for our children.  We use provision mapping to provide all pupils on the ILD register with appropriate support, to help maximise access to the school curriculum, and we provide individual action plans to use with pupils in need of more intensive help.

We believe successful education and pastoral care is dependent on active and positive dialogue between parents, pupils and teachers.  Mrs Patrick is happy to discuss any educational or pastoral issue with parents or guardians of pupils at the school and welcomes the opportunity to talk to prospective parents about what our school can offer your child.

Read School Pre School Pre Prep Activities

The Read School is keen to promote the independent boarding school ethos across all areas of the school and with this in mind, we run an activity programme at the end of the normal school day, running in line with the timings for the rest of the school.

After-School Activities

A variety of activities are available from 3.30 – 4.50 pm, Monday to Thursday, and although these are offered on a very flexible basis, we would prefer the children to take on an activity and stick with it for the half term

  • Drinks and fruit are available
  • Some music instrumental lessons are offered to children in Years 1 and 2. The lessons are 15 minutes long and all care is taken to ensure the children don’t miss the same curriculum time each week

Educational Visits

Over the course of their time in the Pre-Prep and Pre-School, the children will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of excursions and visits, providing invaluable learning experiences supporting the curriculum.  With the exception of the summer and Easter picnics, Pre-Prep and Pre-School have their own separate educational visits, which are age-appropriate and linked to their topic work.

Letters providing all the relevant details of the visit will be sent out to parents beforehand and parents are required to give permission via a return slip.

Smart uniform appropriate to the time of year should be worn on most visits (you will be advised which ones do not require this) and this helps give the children a sense of identity and responsibility, fostering pride in being part of Read School.

Recent visits have included:

  • Magna Science Museum
  • Piglets Farm, York
  • Eureka!
  • Viking Centre
  • Wheel Gate Park
  • local supermarket
  • Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster