Meet The School
We are a pre-prep school with four classrooms - Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.
In Nursery, we recognise that young children learn best when they feel happy, secure and are engaged in activities. We create an inviting and stimulating environment where children feel comfortable to share their thoughts, follow their own interests, develop their thinking, and explore new activities. Our small class size enable us to spend a lot of time working with children individually. Every child works at their own pace and are supported and challenged to progress within their own individual education plan.
The Nursery curriculum is an amalgamation of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework as well as the Montessori Method of Education. Children are actively taught and encouraged to be independent in putting on their coats, doing buttons and zips, pouring their milk, helping themselves with their snack and tidying up after themselves. Children begin playing with sounds, learning to recognise initial sounds and letters in words. Mark-making with various tools using both gross and fine motor movements is also developed. Activities such as baking, which introduce mathematical language, story time, playing with sand and water, balancing, painting, dancing, yoga and getting messy are only a few of the many that are explored in the Nursery. Throughout the year we also focus on learning to use good manners, sharing, and helping each other. Those that are ready, will also begin to read CVC words and sentences, write letters/numbers (forming them correctly) and explore numbers and shapes. The Nursery class also enjoy time with other specialised teachers to learn Music, Drama and Forest School.
By the time children finish Nursery, they are confident, curious, engaged, able to work harmoniously together and have a love of learning.
In Reception, our aim is to engage every child in the excitement, exploration, challenge, and joy of education as they begin the journey to become independent learners. Our high adult to child ratio allows us to guide each child’s learning to suit their own style and needs. Our termly topics change to explore the focused questions and curiosity of each unique cohort of children. We aim to expand the children’s vocabulary by storytelling, puppet shows and presentations of their work knowing that the more interesting words they use in their speech the more riveting their writing will become. We start a more formal teaching of phonics, reading and writing through the Read Write Inc system which helps children identify sounds and blend them together to read words and write sentences. In Maths, hands-on activities compliment the start of written number sentences, calculations and 2D and 3D shape work. The addition, Drama, Music, PE, Mandarin and Forest School teachers ensure that the class are undaunted with different styles of teaching and confident to share their thoughts and opinions with both adults and children. Throughout the year the children express delight in their discovery of the wonders of the world and their pride in their own abilities and potential. They learn the skills of resilience, learning, politeness, kindness and friendship which ensures a smooth transition to Year 1 ready for the next stage of their educational journey.
In Year 1, we adopt a theme-based approach to learning which enables us to make lots of cross-curricular links between various subjects. This also enables the children to see how different areas of the world relate to each other and helps the transition from Reception which is a more play-based curriculum to the more formal based curriculum we have in year 1. We use a lot of kinaesthetic, visual and oral aides to scaffold their learning in preparation for the learning they will have in year 2. And because of the great staff ratio that we have we are able to help those who need extra support and those who require a challenge and need to be extended.
In Year 2 the goal is to make them independent and confident to take the 7+ entrance exams. In the autumn term we focus on their academic skills, we encourage them to practice their test skills, so they can do well in the exams, as well as being confident enough to sit in a group or take an interview. The children do presentations to one another and to the class, and they might in community time in front of the whole school and parents. They are more confident to take on responsibilities, look after the little ones and some are made prefects. We hear from the parents of the children who have just left, or from the schools about how well our children have settled in. That they are confident, that their academic skills are at least as good as the children that are going to the skills often better. And that they are self-assured and independent which is exactly what we are hoping for.