Happy Children, Learning Through Play
There is no rush in kindergarten.
There is no base line-testing, no five-year-old literacy or maths assessments, no measuring and comparing with others (apart from the usual ‘I’m taller’, ‘No, look, I am’, “Well, you had more snack than me.’).
There is no formal teaching or learning. We leave that for school, later.
(EYFS Exemptions for Early Years Learning goals have been granted by Secretary of State for Education).
The children grow, develop and learn all the same, all the better; through playing, through doing, through being themselves and being together. Through being allowed to just ‘be’. They become sociable, co-operative, imaginative, creative, confident and caring. Their natural interest in words, reading, writing and numbers develops naturally. And they learn to enjoy learning.
We give children time and space to develop and learn naturally, each at their own pace, in an environment that is both restful and inspiring. Our morning is structured around familiar routines, within which the children feel safe and are free to flourish:
After settling in and catching up with friends we have circle time, sharing seasonal songs and stories, immersing ourselves in words, in the rhythm of language, and of life.
Practical and artistic activities provide opportunities to develop fine motor skills, or ‘nimble fingers’ and foster a creative approach to learning.
Indoor play (with natural materials) encourages sociability and negotiation as the children transform the space, constructing new environments and trying on different roles. Building dens, houses, house-boats, trains, planes, shops, making rivers, oceans, forests, becoming cats, dogs, horses, kings, mothers, fathers, pilots… and hungry.
At snack time we eat a healthy meal, and catch up on the latest news, jokes and (often tall) stories.
Outside the children range-free, running, jumping, stretching outwards and upwards, rolling down the hill, burrowing in the sandpit, playing house in the playhouse, strolling in the labyrinth… then winding down with a story before going home- for a rest.
Children begin to join us from the age of 3 years and 3 months, and stay in our mixed-age group until they have turned 6, and are ready for school. Sessions run from 9.00am-1.00pm, Mondays to Fridays, with afternoon sessions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
We hope this has given you a taste of kindergarten life. To find out more about our education, please see our Framework of Education in Kindergarten. We have regular open afternoons for parents and children to meet the teachers, ask questions, and play. Places may be booked through the school office.