Year 3 & 4
More responsibility, independence & adventure
Your child's surefooted steps into Prep
The transition to Prep is designed to be exciting and enjoyable for your child, with a marked change in the structure and dynamic of their school day and week. One of the main day-to-day changes they will experience on moving up to Year 3 is an increase in the number of specialist teachers they visit weekly, which brings with it more responsibility, independence and adventure.
Added responsibility arises from needing to be organised with not only their diary – making sure they are in the right place at the right time – but also looking after their books, sports kit and other possessions. Equally, increased independence comes from the need to progress through the day on their own initiative. Adventure comes as the curriculum broadens with specialist academic subjects as well as our curriculum related trips, instrumental music programme, and wider choice of after-school clubs.
The Year 3 Form Tutors are still very much the main point of contact for children, taking morning and afternoon form time, teaching English, Maths and humanity subjects, monitoring general academic progress and coordinating pastoral care.
Also for the first time, children join one the school’s four houses, enjoying a further sense of pride and belonging and competing in inter-house competitions across different areas of the curriculum including sport, music and public speaking. Siblings become members of the same house when moving up to Year 3. Children remain house members until the end of their time at Hoe Bridge.
In Year 3, Hoe Bridge also welcomes children from other schools, bringing new friends and shared experiences.
Specialist curriculum, small classes, extensive facilities
Each year group in Years 3 and 4 comprises three separate classes with a maximum size of 21. From Year 3, we introduce setting for Maths and English across four sets, and from Year 4 for French across three sets. This helps us to provide personalised teaching in terms of both content and the most suitable pace of learning for your child.
We teach English, Maths, Science, French, History, Geography, TPR (Theology, Philosophy & Religion), Art, ICT, Design & Technology, Music, Drama, outdoor learning and PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education) well beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum. In starting the 11+ preparation, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning are introduced in the curriculum in Year 4. Informal assessments are done throughout the year, with formal exams held at year end, both allowing effective monitoring of each child’s progression and a review of the best way to support them as they progress towards Year 5, where we begin to look at entry to senior school.
Physical activity and sport enjoy equal importance to academic subjects in the school week. Girls and boys have separate PE and games lessons with seasonal sports taken by specialist teachers. To further ensure an all-round education and experience, your child will be exposed to many additional exciting opportunities. These include an instrumental programme with a range of instruments to try out during timetabled music lessons, and year-round curriculum related trips. On Wednesday afternoons, a wide choice of termly hobbies is enjoyed, giving time to relax and engage in different activities. These can be extended through our after-school activities programme.
We are very fortunate in being able to offer such extensive facilities to support our curriculum, as well as extra-curricular activities. Art, Design & Technology, ICT, Science, Music, Drama and indoor exercise all enjoy specialist areas, whilst outdoors, the 22-acre estate features our unique Hideout outdoor classroom in our woodlands alongside our river and pond surrounded by our extensive sports fields for all to enjoy and derive inspiration.
Rewards and competitions
Year 3 also sees the introduction of gains, awarded for behaviour and work in school. These are collated through the year as children work towards bronze, silver and gold certificates as well as counting towards their house total. Regular house competitions are as diverse as cross country, poetry and public speaking.
Our system of gains is closely related to our values and Code of Conduct, both of which our children are better equipped to understand and appreciate as they enter and move through Prep.
Termly Star and Form prizes are awarded, Distinctions for outstanding work, and Headmaster Commendations for exceptional performance and good deeds. Accolades are presented in assembly in front of our whole Prep.
If course, more formal contact is also a part of Prep life, with regular parents evenings, mid and end-of-term grade cards and full school reports.
Toward the end of Year 4, we host an information evening for parents, outlining key dates on the journey to 11+ (held in Year 6) and how the school will support your child and family on that journey.
At Hoe Bridge Prep, we regard child-parent-teacher communication as vital to a happy and effective learning journey for both child and family.
Most parents appreciate the opportunity for an informal morning or afternoon chat with their child’s Form Tutor or our Headmaster, who can always be found outside the school at drop off and pick up. Our open-door policy to share thoughts or concerns extends throughout, from Form Tutor to Headmaster, and also our Assistant Head of Pastoral, who is always on hand to connect with children and families to provide emotional support as well as driving wellbeing initiatives throughout the school.
New-found responsibilities in this age group include managing their diary for lessons, homework and activity reminders. Diaries are also valuable for parent-teacher communication, including the proud notification of rewards.
Extending school life
Our children and families alike benefit from the opportunity to extend school hours beyond normal classroom hours. The Prep day starts at 8:15am or children can join our popular Breakfast Club every day from 7:30am.
Year 3 finish their day at 4:15pm taking home a small amount of weekly homework and then can join an after school activity until 5:00pm. In Year 4 their day is extended to 5:00pm with children attending prep, completing supervised homework and relieving a little pressure at home. Prep is from 4:15pm until 5:00pm, following which after school activities are available until 5:45pm. We offer a wide range of optional after-school activities including sports, science, technology, chess, performing arts (including Stagecoach and LAMDA) and other interests, all providing a wonderful opportunity to adopt new interests and develop skills.