We talk to local schools to find out the best ways to start out a child’s educational journey

Junior King’s – Fun and excitement nurture a love of learning for life

Tell us about your early years provision.

Our Pre-prep department provides a safe, caring and nurturing environment where every child is an individual. We enjoy spending time getting to know each of them. We lay down the foundations for a love of learning during these formative years and provide a breadth of different experiences to give children the confidence to be what they want to be. Our provision is innovative, industrious and above all, fun! Our Early Years setting is exceptional, both Nursery and Reception classes are filled with excitement and laughter. 

What do you find most rewarding about teaching this age group? 

The bond that is formed between adults and children. It is one built on trust and mutual respect. Playing a critical role at the start of a child’s learning journey is a great joy and privilege. Teaching a child to read must come near to the top of the list of rewarding experiences too.

How can parents/carers help support their child?

Parents are of course their child’s first teachers, and we strongly believe that triangulating learning between home, school and child is key to successful outcomes. Parents can play a pivotal role in preparing their children for school and making that transition a smooth experience. It’s important to paint a positive image of school, even if as a child one didn’t enjoy it much. Schools have changed quite a bit since then! An ability to carry out some simple tasks independently will have obvious benefits. 

How is it best to prepare for the first day?

Careful labelling of clothing is always a good plan. Show your child where you have labelled their items and pick a nice bright pen or label font. Try not to fuss your child as they approach the school building, this just leads to anxiety. Relax and enjoy your day and it will be more likely that your child will do the same!

junior-kings.co.uk

The Granville School – An approach that focuses on an educational start through play and exploration

Tell us about your Pre-school.

At The Granville School we have a co-educational Pre-school for ages 3-4. We call it a Pre-school rather than a Nursery or Kindergarten as we really focus on giving the pupils a strong educational start before they transition to Reception. From 7.30am to 6pm we have wraparound care which is great as it allows our families to take advantage of a flexible day and to balance school life with their family life.

What do pupils learn at this stage?

Phonological awareness, phonics teaching, early maths and environmental science all play a part in the curriculum and are balanced with child-led, hands-on learning opportunities through play and exploration. Our pupils also have access to a large woodland area for weekly Forest School sessions, where they learn resilience, problem solving skills and collaboration. As part of a larger prep school, our pupils also benefit from specialist teaching in Music, French, Computing, Ballet and PE from this young age. 

What is most rewarding about teaching this age group?

Every day is a wonder when you are under 5! The children’s curiosity and enthusiasm is infectious. With milestones like recognising letters and numbers, reading them, counting, the confidence to do a ‘Show and Tell’, or perform in a Christmas play, it’s an exciting age of ‘firsts’. Each of those moments is so precious and it is a privilege to share them. 

How can parents and carers help to support children about to start in education?

Visit the setting for Newcomers’ or Taster Days to familiarise your child with the space and staff. Practise getting into their uniform, and be confident with toileting. Talk positively about school and the fun they will have. Seek out and share pictures on the school website of some of the activities they will be doing. Look upon the whole experience as a journey that you will share with your child and the families of the other class members – you will be friends for many years to come.

granvilleschool.org

Banstead Prep School – Little ones prepare for the future by aiming high and dreaming big

Tell us about your Early Years provision.

Banstead Prep School celebrates the uniqueness in every child. With tailored learning designed to ignite curiosity and encourage a willingness to try, we inspire children to aim high and dream big. We welcome girls and boys from aged 2 into the Nursery and aged 4 into Reception, to prepare for an exciting future, where they are free to be everything they can be. The Nursery operates in a cosy dedicated space and as an integral part of the school, with access to facilities across the site and benefiting from subject specialist teaching. In Reception, we wholeheartedly believe in independent learning through play and the curriculum is fun and engaging with lots of opportunities for practical, child-directed activities.

What do you find most rewarding about teaching Early Years?

It’s the first step on their journey to being confident independent learners. The way in which children of this age immerse themselves in the experiences on offer, with imagination and wonder, is truly inspiring and something we work hard to keep alive as they grow and move through the school.

How can parents and carers help support their children when starting school?

Happy children learn, so the most important thing is to be positive and build confidence. Ahead of starting school, take any opportunities to visit or even just drive past and talk about how exciting it will be. Children learn at their own pace so focus on their individual progress and enjoy reading books, playing games and talking together at home to encourage their personal interests.

bansteadprep.com

Parkside School – Starting out on a fun learning journey

Tell us about your Nursery provision.

Parkside Nursery is the start of the educational and pastoral journey for boys and girls from age two. It is situated in a beautiful barn conversion, a safe and secure building with its own playgrounds, outdoor learning facilities, large spacious classrooms, a library and music room. There’s also the opportunity to explore the 45 acres of stunning grounds. Our experienced staff provide stimulating activities alongside specialist teachers for swimming, music, forest school, sport and French. From September 2022, we are offering ‘all year-round provision’ giving the children the chance to continue their educational journey in alignment with the Early Years curriculum, for 50 weeks a year.  

What are the best aspects of teaching Early Years?

Parkside’s Early Years teachers are passionate about teaching this age group, as the first years of school life cement and establish the building blocks for each child to grow and develop independently. Being an Early Years teacher is incredibly rewarding as it allows us to see the children flourish into more confident and independent individuals, ready for their journey into Reception.  

What are your tips for supporting a child through nursery?

Your child’s Key Person is there to help and offer support to parents whose children are beginning their schooling experience, as feedback is key; and communication takes place on a regular basis in person and through an online journal. As a school, we recommend parents embrace and encourage their children’s passions, enjoy communicating and discussing points of interest, encourage play dates and social events which will also help to build their child’s independence and confidence. Parkside School gives your child roots to grow and wings to fly.

parkside-school.co.uk

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