School Life

At Cumnor House Sussex we understand and celebrate the unique qualities in every child and want to ensure school is an enjoyable and positive experience for all of the children in our care.

In the Pre-Prep, children take their first steps towards greater independence, extended lesson time and a balance between independent enquiry and direct teaching. There are lots of opportunities for the children to try something new and blossom in confidence, taking small or large steps with a supporting hand available at all times. We also ensure they have lots of fun – that is a Cumnor essential!

Phonics, maths and English are taught daily. Historical and geographical study is undertaken through termly topics linked across the curriculum; science, expressive art and design, ICT, French, P.E., swimming and weekly Woodpecker sessions provide a rich learning environment. In addition, in Reception, a balance of direct teaching and ‘Learning Ladybird Time’ allows all aspects of the Early Years curriculum to be expressed, including through independent play, learning and exploration.

Outdoor play and physical activity are vital to our children’s wellbeing and is fully built into our timetable including a regular ‘Wake & Shake’, weekly swimming, PE and dance lessons. Children also spend an afternoon a week at Woodpeckers where they are encouraged to expand their knowledge of the natural world.

Music is taught twice to three times a week by specialist teachers including learning the recorder in Year 2. Children also have the option to take up a musical instrument with a visiting music teacher, where appropriate, from piano, drums and the guitar (acoustic or electric) to the trumpet and violin. All children also have the opportunity to take to the stage, be that through the Pre-Prep Nativity or Pre-Prep Coffee Concert while regular drama lessons help develop movement, voice, confidence and the joy of performance.

Our unique wellbeing curriculum, iSpace Wellbeing underpins our ethos and everything we do in the Pre-Prep, providing a supportive environment where children learn to co-operate with others, work and play together and develop their self confidence and trust. It also helps to provide children with a vocabulary to express their feelings and an understanding of the steps to take and people to ask should they require a helping hand.  We also hold weekly pastoral ‘Apple Assemblies’, focused on celebrating kindness, consideration and respect, alongside celebrating success through weekly Praise Assemblies.

There is evident joy in learning.