Most children begin journey through The Children’s House at the Nursery. They can join from the age of two and a half years and in the first term, spend mornings-only at school. From the second term onwards, parents can opt to send their child to Nursery for a full school day.
At the beginning of the year in which they turn four, children join a full-day pre-reception class. All Nursery children are placed in small classes led by a qualified teacher and a teaching assistant. Because we staff the school with such high adult/child ratios, we can observe and interact with children constantly. We know the children well and can offer individualised learning all the way through the school.
Children begin each morning and afternoon session with their teacher and enjoy a whole-class learning focus together. Related activities are set up on tables. Children access a full range of practical activities, from role-play to writing. Whatever the learning focus, we ensure learning is enjoyable, creative and hands-on.
Specialist teachers visit the Nursery to deliver lessons in both Spanish and dance. We also bring a range of visitors into the school to deliver storytelling, puppet shows, drumming, animal workshops etc. Children are given regular outdoor experiences through timetabled visits to the Almorah Gardens, King Henry’s Walk Community Garden and the Upper School playground.
The Upper School
The majority of Nursery children join our Reception class at the Upper School, although we do have occasional vacancies and children can join us at this point.
If we have a small Reception class, children are taught by one Reception teacher, one part-time teacher and two teaching assistants. If we have a particularly large reception class, children are divided into two groups and are taught by two full-time teachers. Although Reception is still part of the early years foundation stage, children wear school uniform.
When children move into Year 1, they enter Key Stage 1 and follow the National Curriculum. This continues into Year 2, alongside preparation for 7+ assessments. Classes of approximately twenty children, are taught by one class teacher and two teaching assistants.
The shape of the day is similar throughout the Upper School, with the morning divided into two main teaching sessions for maths and literacy. Afternoons are devoted to topic work, which encompasses all curriculum areas. We use topic/theme-based teaching to enable children to make cross-curricular links. All teaching and learning begins with practical work and creative thinking is encouraged.
We value play, so every week the staff plan a full range of playground activities, covering all areas of the curriculum, from role-play to art. We offer long playtimes: 45 minutes mid-morning and an hour after lunch.
The curriculum is enriched with dance, violin, music and Spanish lessons, as well as weekly visits to King Henry’s Walk Garden. All classes go on at least two major educational trips per term.
Children leave us at the end of Key stage 1, to join a variety of schools for Year 3.