Preschool Nursery Education
Our baby programme should have laid the cognitive and linguistic foundations from which our preschool curriculum can spring. Here we really focus more on Understanding the World, as a core focus of our provision and educational ethos, and deliver an educational programme that focuses on four pillars which structure a child's development in line with the skills, knowledge, attitudes and capabilities required to deliver what children need for the future...
We believe in the power of the planet and the people, places and plant life that can be found within it. We bring new meaning to the concept of cultural capital by having an unashamed focus on teaching our children about a different culture of the world each month, focussing on specific countries, religions, cuisine, the arts, the history and mythologies, the places, plantlife, animals objects and activities that are inherent within it to help them frame their knowledge of self, their appreciation of others and an acceptance of and excitement for the diversity that life can provide. Read on to see each month's focus...
Our Regional Themes
Each month we investigate the people, places, plant life, animals, objects and activities of a particular region and culture. It is a central theme that allows the teachers to research the literature, myths, songs and stories; the arts, crafts and ceramics and textiles from a region; the dance forms and dramatic arts; it allows the chef to look into the cuisine for cookery classes and so much more. These regional themes are launch pads that allow our teachers to interpret and interrogate it in whatever way the children want to pursue it, starting with the stories, songs and myths of the region, we can develop it across the arts, dance, drama and more...
Arctic & Polar Peoples
In January, we investigate the colder climates and cultures of the world - the Sami and Inuit peoples and what life is like for the animals and peoples of the Arctic and Polar regions. It's a time for snow, ice, polar bears and penguins and how we can / should change our behaviour to safeguard the icecaps and ecosystems of the poles...
The Confucian Cultures
In February we look to the "Confucian" cultures of East Asia - China, Korea and Japan to look into their mythologies, languages and cultural traditions in the arts, cuisine and story telling. There is such magic to be found in those stories - dragons and immortals, monkey kings and kung fu...all inspiring stuff for young minds...
UK & Northern Europe
In March we look at the United Kingdom and Northern Europe - France, Germany, Holland and Belgium: the Flemish, Francophone and Germanic regions of the world, with their cuisine, culture and customs and cities front and centre to our thematic learning....
The Roman & Hellenic Cultures
In April, we turn to the Roman and Hellenic cultures of southern Europe: Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal - the wonderful food and produce that the sunnier parts of Europe produce and how the histories and mythologies of some of their greatest thinkers have given us much of what we think and do today...
South East Asia & India
As we move into the summer months, we start to investigate the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of South East Asia and the Subcontinent - the rich food, the vibrant colours and climate, and wonderful mythologies of Hindu and Buddhist legend...
Russia, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
We look to Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia in June to understand the lives of the people of the Steppes and Central plains, the slavic traditions and those of the nomadic cultures of the grasslands of central Asia.
Africa - North & South
For such a large place, one month seems too little to investigate such a richly diverse region in full. Our teachers can pick and choose a specific focus within the region to investigate with the children - the Massai of East Africa; the Yoruba of West Africa; the Berbers of the North; or the Zulu of the South, to name but a few...
Australasia & the Pacific Rim
In August, we investigate the cultures of the pacific islands of the south - the Maori, Hawaiians and Fijians; Tongans and the Aboriginal peoples of Australia, how maritime culture and history is deeply rooted in their traditions and myths
The Middle East & Muslim World
We look into the cultures of the middle east and the muslim world, from old Arabia and Persia through to the modern day, observing the landscapes and the desert traditions of the bedouin
In October we look into North America - the USA and Canada - and their cultural traditions, stories, histories and breathtaking landscapes. We look at the Native Americans and their rich oral, agrarian and artistic traditions
South & Central America
In November, we look at South and Central America, looking at the rich diversity of custom and culture across the region, the dance forms, vibrant colours in textiles and richness of the cuisine and oral traditions. We look at the Amazon and what we can do to protect it...
Northern Europe & Scandinavia
In December, we look into the cultural traditions of Northern Europe - the Scandinavians, Vikings and Saxons, their mythologies and fables, landscapes and languages
Exploring the world is a hugely exciting prospect for our teachers and children. But a big one. So we break our regional themes into primary areas of enquiry that follow quite simple thematic foci that create a central thread from which all of our activities in literacy, numeracy, understanding the world and arts can spring...
People & Culture
We look at the people of a region; their histories, values, myths, culture, cuisine, arts and crafts, literature and civilisation, which then peppers our cookery classes; our stories, songs and fables; our arts & crafts classes and our circle time to talk about the universal values that bring us all together
Places & Planet
We investigate the geography of the region - the key monuments and cities, mountains, lakes and regions, plant life, planet and climate to help the children understand the different regions of the world, what people do there that is different to us (and why it's exciting!) and what we can all do to learn, respect and protect our differences...
Animals & Activities
No regional investigation would work without digging into the wildlife of the region - what animals can be found, how they live (and what they live off) and how they can be protected, nurtured and respected in how we live our lives over here. We look at cultural festivals of the world as part of our activities programme...
Turning it into Activities
Some of the example activities for each of those 7 areas of learning that allow us to draw on our cultural theme and pepper the programme with related curricula content
International Observances. Cultural Festivals...
We've partnered with Global Dimension to help build out our international observances and event calendar for cultural festivals and parties throughout the year....
“The school throws Paediatric First Aid training every term for the parents for free. And a party once a month at least on the cultural programme is awesome for the kids"
The Importance of Routine
Our flexible routine allows our teachers to adapt the sessions to fit the needs of the children - we don't stop children from engaging in their activities if they're engaged, but rather use the circle times that introduce each activity block to introduce the theme for the week, and to discuss what we may have learnt in our previous activity block so we can plan how to take the learning further in different avenues....and then we watch the magic happen!
Teaching & Learning Outcomes
We believe in what we do and want to make you a promise as to what levels of development your child will achieve across all of the 7 areas and sub-aspects of learning that Ofsted require of us...
Listening, Attention & Understanding
At the end of their time with us, your child wil listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions; they will make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding; and they will hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.
At the end of their time with us, your child will participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary; offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabularies from both our primary and secondary language lists from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate; and express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.
At the end of their time with us, your child will: show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly; set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate; give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.
At the end of their time with us, your child will: be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge; explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly; manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.
At the end of their time with us, your child will: work and play cooperatively and take turns with others; form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers; show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs.
At the end of their time with us, your child will: negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others; demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing; move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing; hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases; use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery; begin to show accuracy and care when drawing
At the end of their time with us, your child will: demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary in both our primary and secondary languages; anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories; use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.
At the end of their time with us, your child will: say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs; read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending; read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.
At the end of their time with us, your child will write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed; spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters; write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.
At the end of their time with us, your child will: have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number; subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5; automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts
At the end of their time with us, your child will: verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system; compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity; explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.
Spatial and Temporal Awareness
At the end of their time with us, your children will: be aware of the past, present and future and how things can change, adapt and move on; they will be able to tell the difference between spatial volumes and understand the basics of time measurement and time keeping through effective implementation of our routines
People & Communities
At the end of their time with us, your child will: be able to talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society; describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps; know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class; explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.
At the end of their time with us your child will: explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants; know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class; understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.
At the end of their time with us your child will: Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function; share their creations, explaining the process they have used; make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories; invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher; sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs; perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.