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The importance of your child’s first three years at school

Posted: 31st January 2023

The quality of a child’s education undoubtedly has a lasting impact on the rest of their life. But how important are their first three years at school?

A child’s early years are the foundation for their future development, providing a strong base for lifelong learning abilities, including cognitive and social development. The quality of a child’s education in the first few years of life, has a lasting effect on their school life and beyond.

90% of a child’s brain develops by age 5. Research shows that the brain connections required for many important higher-level abilities are formed during this time.This scientific consensus is supported by a recent report from the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, led by the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, who consider it to be the most pivotal age for development, future health and happiness.

Many educators, including our early years specialists, agree with this philosophy and that nursery and reception are the ideal time to start a challenging, accelerated curriculum. The reason being that younger minds learn much faster.

However, in the recent study by the Royal Foundation, it was noted that there is a significant proportion of UK parents of a 0-5-year-old (69%) who underestimate the critical importance of the early years.

Positive experiences in your child’s first three years of school can benefit them in developing social skills and their ability to learn which will set them up for life. Research by Durham University and the Department for Education suggests pupils in the ‘most effective’ Reception classes can expect to earn between £2,000 and £7,500 more on average than their peers in less effective settings. This is why the school selection process is so important.

Development is not an automatic process, it depends on each unique child being given opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments. Therefore it is paramount that all learning activities are carefully planned, well-structured and supported, within enabling environments to ensure that all children have appropriate experiences, which will allow every child to move from nursery, to reception and beyond with confidence, social awareness and a readiness for learning.


At Weston Green School, we have a carefully planned curriculum that our specialist and dedicated Early Years team have created, which focuses on each unique child, providing them with opportunities to interact in positive relationships, enabling environments that encourage engagement, recognise their strengths and provide challenge alongside opportunities to broaden their knowledge and provide a thirst to know more.

One of our Early Years specialists, Mrs Ruth Putman, says “Our children have agency and curiosity to learn so we carefully plan activities to ensure that the serious business of play encapsulates the vital learning opportunities to allow them to achieve way beyond expectations.”


To find out more about our Pre-Prep provision, join us at our upcoming open morning on Thursday 16th March – to book your place please call Mrs Ranger 020 8398 2778 or email info@westongreenschool.org.uk





Categories: General News