Weston Green is a magical place to be. This magic is conjured from the uniquely special way in which we put the children at the heart of everything we do and from the moment they arrive, often having just turned 2, they are part of our school community. Each and every child is known, cared for and their individual gifts, talents and abilities are nurtured. This nurturing starts with our experienced and dedicated Early Years team but extends to staff across the school who share their specialisms and their time with our youngest children. It is further supported by the children themselves. Key Stage One whose recent memory allows them to share and guide the children in whose shoes they walked just a few years before. The Key Stage Two children, the ‘big ones’ for our Early Years children to look up to, learn from, play with, be helped by and who shower their ‘smaller friends’ with love and attention that is not only beautiful to watch but enhances the learning that is going on in every moment of these precious interactions. The communication and language skills our children at Weston Green have is above and beyond any expectations we may have had. The understanding of the world around them is exceptional, with younger children being enveloped into a culture of learning and curiosity that is led by what is going on around them. It is a privilege to be working with our young learners and to have the chance to start their educational journey with them in such an inspiring environment which is nurturing their potential at every opportunity.
As a team, the Early Year specialists at Weston Green have a multitude of skills, experiences, abilities and ideas. Sara Wilson, Head of Early Years explains “We have created a bespoke Early Years curriculum to focus on each unique child and to give them opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments that encourage their engagement and recognise their strengths”. A child’s early years are the foundation for his or her future development, providing a strong base for lifelong learning and the behaviours needed for positive learning experiences, including cognitive and social development. It is widely considered to be the most pivotal age for development, future health and happiness, compared to any other single period. Ensuring the best possible start to the school journey sets the scene for what will follow. Positive experiences in your child’s first three years of school can benefit them in developing skills and habits which will guide them through the years ahead. Our children have agency and curiosity to learn which means that Reception is the ideal time to start a challenging, accelerated curriculum, ensuring that the serious business of play encapsulates the vital learning opportunities to allow them to achieve way beyond expectations by the time they complete the Early Years Foundation Stage.
We know how daunting the move from a Nursery or Kindergarten setting into Reception can be – the children are starting ‘big school’ after all! However, we spend a lot of time preparing everyone for the move from our Kindergarten into our Reception but the children are already familiar with the staff and physical surroundings so, for them, this is a small, natural step that they feel ready for, rather than a leap into the unknown. We also consider the vast difference between children who are born in September to those born in August; when the September babies are almost walking, August babies are being born. It is paramount that all learning is carefully planned, supported, within enabling environments to ensure that all children have the right experience for their age and stage. We find that a continuation of some of the rhythms and routines of Kindergarten, alongside gentle introductions of the expectations of ‘big school’ is the best way to settle children into Reception. Our current Reception cohort are curious, enthusiastic, independent and reflective learners who were eager to enter Reception and now have added to their learning bank and have what they need to continue to thrive as they enter KS1. Future cohorts will be too – that’s a promise. We know that starting in Reception can be a daunting prospect for parents, especially if it is your first child. Take guidance and comfort from your children – we prepare them well – they are ready for this and we will look after them in their learning and beyond.
Sarah Evans, Headteacher advises “Weston Green prides itself on nurturing the individual talent and personalities of every child in order to help them achieve a successful future for themselves. This starts from the day they enter our school, ensuring that their experience is focussed around their personal development within a vibrant, creative and carefully planned environment. These first steps enable our children to progress confidently to reach their full potential and beyond in their time with us”
Early Years is a crucial time in a child’s development. Their bodies and brains develop rapidly as they build their physical strength, explore their world, develop language and gain social and emotional skills. This is a rate of change that will never be matched again. It is an honour to be part of such a wonderful team of educators who support, challenge and guide our children onto their next steps in KS1 as confident, kind, resilient and enthusiastic learners. Having the opportunity to start school life in an independent school with such a capacity to focus on the growing child in front of us, is a chance in a lifetime – one that should be cherished and will be rewarded.