Alvete, omnes! (Greetings, everyone!)
In Year 7, the Latin curriculum follows Cambridge Latin Course Book 1, which focuses on developing basic grammar and core vocabulary. The translation stories used follow the adventures of Caecilius and his family in Pompeii. Alongside students’ study of the language, they will also look at what life was like for Romans as they went about their daily lives, hosted dinner parties and visited the amphitheatre to watch gladiator fights! All sets study the same course and sit an end-of-year exam in the Summer Term.
In Year 8, most students will continue with their study of the Latin language by building on what they learned in Year 7 and expanding their knowledge of more advanced grammar and vocabulary. They will use Cambridge Latin Course Books 1 and 2, which cover civilisation topics including the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and life in Roman Britain and Egypt.
Some students may, instead, study the Taunton School Year 8 Classical Civilisation course; this course focuses more on the historical, social, religious and political elements rather than language acquisition. Topics include the foundation of Rome, life for rich and poor in the city, the gods and worship, and Roman emperors.
Latin and Classical Civilisation are fascinating subjects that have something for everyone. We’re looking forward to welcoming you into the department.
Ave atque vale! (Hail and farewell!)
English as an Additional Language (EAL) lessons are taught to students, in Taunton Pre-Prep (TPPS) and Taunton Prep School (TPS) on a one-to-one or small group basis. The number of lessons vary according to the students’ English ability and are specific to their individual English language needs.
Lessons are taught by specialist teaching staff, who are CELTA qualified. The EAL classroom is a welcoming and well-resourced teaching classroom, equipped with computers, EAL resources and games.
For students New to English: the focus of lessons is the teaching of foundation vocabulary with an emphasis on everyday language to develop speaking skills, basic sentence structure (spoken and written) and an understanding of key topics. There are many opportunities to develop and improve their English using games, songs, stories and role plays to make learning memorable and to build confidence through the vocabulary learnt.
For students of a Beginner-Intermediate level: as EAL learners become more proficient, there is a greater emphasis not only on speaking but also writing, listening and reading skills. EAL teaching is very closely linked to the curriculum and what is being taught in the mainstream classroom. There is an emphasis on both vocabulary and key skills to provide students with the English language to enable them to access classwork across different subjects in the TPS curriculum.
Students are assessed on an ongoing basis and each piece of work is assessed and feedback is provided to students. In addition, students annually complete the Oxford Young Learners’ Placement Test and the Oxford Placement Test, which provides an accurate base-line assessment of students’ progress in English language learning.
Each term parents will receive a written update on their child’s progress. Meetings can also be arranged to discuss progress.
At Taunton Prep School, we aim to empower pupils as reflective readers, skilled writers, confident speakers and creative thinkers. The English curriculum at TPS is designed to develop curiosity, independence and an appreciation and love for reading and learning in general.
We have high expectations of success and our schemes of work aim to further raise standards by promoting the enjoyment and appreciation of literature, as well as equipping pupils with the skills needed to be imaginative, articulate and effective communicators in both spoken and written form.
Our schemes of work in English are designed to inspire and to enable pupils to engage in the richness of language through a range of literature from contemporary and classic writers. Children learn the conventions of different text types, which not only enables them to analyse texts using the correct technical vocabulary but also supports them in writing in a variety of styles and forms, showing awareness of audience and purpose.
As well as being immersed in works which reflect our literary heritage – from the old English of Beowulf to the study of a Shakespeare play – pupils also study the Romantic poets and are able to follow in the footsteps of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, exploring the local landscape that inspired his greatest poetry.
Pupils have enduring and positive experiences of English, which are enhanced outside of the classroom. As well as writing workshops from visiting authors, we relish opportunities to see performances at local theatres and each year we organise a trip to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon for Year 8. Poetry competitions, creative writing competitions and reading challenges are organised in school, and KS3 pupils have enjoyed the opportunity to represent the school at the National Children’s Lit Quiz.
Geography underpins a lifelong ‘conversation’ about the earth as the home of humankind. Geography therefore contributes to a balanced education for all young people in schools, colleges and other settings. Geography helps you to make sense of the world around you. It is hands on, it is relevant and it is fun. Our current Geographic pathway is a challenging mix of topics looking at population, migration and urban issues; earth’s story and its geological timeline; the work of rivers and natural hazards such as Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tropical storms – to name but a few. Our syllabus will give you the chance to get to grips with some of the big questions which affect our world, and understand the social, economic and environmental processes which shape and change our world.
In Taunton Preparatory School we develop student’s Geographic knowledge, skills and their thirst for enquiry preparing them for the rigours of the GCSE syllabus as they progress through the school. The Department achieves this with an exciting blend of study in lessons, by carrying out short burst fieldwork around the school grounds, with educational trips to Blue Anchor Beach, to Lyme Regis to hunt and study fossils, to Taunton Town centre and with visits from external guest speakers in cooperation with The Senior School.
As a subject linking the arts and the sciences it is highly flexible in terms of what you can combine it with. Here at Taunton Preparatory we jointly deliver an exciting weekly Eco Club with The Science department. Our aim to raise awareness about local environmental matters, connect pupils to Somerset traditions, whilst making connections on the importance of locally produced and sustainable foods to the environment. We have our own beehives, spin honey and annually press apple juice for sale at Christmas and Summer fayres.
There has never been a better time to study geography at Taunton Preparatory School so make the choice to go places with Geography, join us and take a look at what we do.
History at Taunton Prep School focusses on providing pupils with a curriculum which allows them ultimately to be able to evaluate local and world past events and allow them to empathise with people from other time periods and give them a sense of time and place. We utilise the events of the past to inform students about the world around them and also focus on developing literacy levels. A committed team of teachers believe that fun is the key component of learning and so we work hard to ensure that pupils are able to complete a variety of engaging and stimulating learning experiences. These include; 1066 Board Games, “Black Death Gingerbread Men” , Heraldry Shields, Titanic travel brochures and Elizabeth I Potatoes, to name but a few! This enables pupils not only to develop historical knowledge and understanding but also to develop a wide range of analytical skills that are applicable to History at exam level but also to other subjects and ultimately are skills for life.
We also recognise that children learn in different ways and therefore a varied approach to learning is often vital in ensuring that each child makes progress and enjoys what they are doing!
Our approach is to bring history to life, making the past something that is accessible to children whether by learning outside the classroom or through workshops in school. Studying history is about loving the stories from our past. It is about learning to listen to and respect others’ opinions. It is about empathy and understanding. Topics studied across the 4 year groups include The Romans, Ancient Egypt, The Tudors and Aztecs, the Victorians and WW2. Other curriculum project work allows individuals to explore their own interests and express themselves individually, though this is always carefully guided and supported.
Trips out of school are always enjoyable and well-planned and these have included: Buckfast Abbey, The Golden Hind, The Slavery Museum, Carymoor and the Tutankhamun Exhibition.
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.
A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The aims of Mathematics here at Taunton Prep School are to give students the ability to:
– Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, developing conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
– Reason mathematically through exploration, conjecturing, generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
– Solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
Further opportunities here at Taunton Prep School:
– Children get to participate in national competitions in KS2 and KS3. These include the Primary and Junior maths challenges as well as the Dauntseys Dodecahedron and the UKMT team challenge.
– There are enrichment opportunities for children to explore and play with mathematics through our Year 5 & 6 and 7 & 8 extension clubs.
The mathematics team here at Taunton Prep School is a special one with superb teachers who help develop the Children’s fluency in mathematics as well as their curiosity of this wonderful subject.
The MFL department at Taunton Prep School is a vibrant department with almost every child in the school enjoying language lessons from nursery through to the senior school.
We start in year 3 and 4 with French with an emphasis on speaking French and getting to grips with the sounds of the language. Year 3 enjoy making French stories about an animal and year 4 make weather reports and put on a fashion show – all in French, of course!
In year 5 and 6 we follow the Expo 1 course getting to grips with slightly more technical elements of the French language including the rules on adjectives and how to give a quality opinion. Year 5 enjoy making videos to present the school to French-speaking visitors and Year 6 have shown off their tour guide skills of their imaginary French town.
In year 7 our students start their second modern foreign language. Currently we offer either Spanish or German. A number of language lessons are taught over in the senior school for year 7 and 8 children, which helps bridge the gap when they move up into year 9. Children continue with French and we now tackle the trickier concepts of tenses and forming complex sentences using the Expo 2 course as a starting point. In Spanish we currently use the Mira course and in German Na Klar.
The main aim of the PRE Department is to provide all pupils with a basic understanding of the beliefs, values and practices of the world’s largest religious faiths as well as to introduce them to some new ideas such as “nones” and Humanism. Having an open mind, being willing to ask questions, share views and to listen sensitively to the views of other pupils are all essential requirements in each and every lesson, whether that is Year 4 or year 8. The focus is not on the promotion of religious belief; rather on the ability to understand and thus gain an appreciation for other faiths and beliefs. So, in our Year 7 lessons on the existence of a supreme being, the focus is not merely on the Christian idea of God, but on the concept of a higher being.
All year groups, from Year 3 to 8 will be introduced to new ways of thinking and to some “big” ideas, such as: “Should animals have the same rights as humans?”, “What is matter?” and “Who am I?”. Above all, the aim is to provide pupils with the thinking skills to address some really important life questions; often there is no definitive answer, but it is the academic and thinking journey that matters.
One of the highlights of the Year 8 course is the trip to Buckfast Abbey. This trip combines an investigation into the religious life of a working monastery, as well as time in a hands-on exhibit that focuses on different aspects of philosophical enquiry, such as personal identity and how we make choices.
This rich experience, confidence, experimentation and vocabulary forms the core of the children’s learning up to the age of 11.
Science in Years 7 and 8 revisits earlier topics but the emphasis is now on developing concepts which helps to explain why things happen. Pupils learn to read instruments with increasing accuracy; they improve graph skills and use these to draw conclusions. They begin to use their imaginations to explore possible explanations.