Getting the right kind of education in place for a child just starting school holds the key to success later on. “We know from research that what happens before a child is seven-years-old is crucial to the development of that child socially, emotionally, physically and academically,” says Anna Green, the new Head of Pre-Prep at Bede’s in Eastbourne.

Never has this been truer, she says, than for the children starting school this autumn. “These are our lockdown babies and children. Because of Covid, they have missed out on so much socialisation and many of the normal developmental stages.” Excellent pre-prep education can help children catch up and enable them to thrive in the classroom long term. Classes with no more than 14 pupils, and specialist teaching in Art, French, Music, IT, PE, Games, Dance and Swimming, mean that all pupils get the one-to-one attention they need to settle into their first years of schooling.

“Our school has such a strong family feel about it,” says Anna. “Teachers know the children’s individual strengths so that we can tailor the teaching to what they are good at and what they are excited about. This builds confidence and independence.”The school’s position at the foot of the beautiful South Downs Way makes for lots of exciting outdoor activities and learning on offer: Beach School and Forest School are both regular features of the timetable as are visits to the neighbouring Helen Garden. The school site itself has all-weather Astro pitches, a swimming pool, library, music centre and sports hall as well as stunning sea views. “Our setting is breathtaking,” says Anna. “Opportunities both inside and outside the classroom enable every child to flourish and grow here.”

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