Our School Day
The school day begins with our optional pre-school sessions at 08.35.
The main school day begins at 09.05 for our over 3’s and 09.30 for our under 3’s.
Our morning only sessions [and Friday school day] finish at 12.30.
Some children extend their mornings and stay until after lunch, they are picked up at 13.30. Our Afternoon only children will also arrive at 12.30.
Our school day ends at 15.30.
We hold optional after school clubs which run throughout the term time.
We encourage the children who are under 3 years of age to begin with 3 sessions per week, either morning only (09.30 – 12.30) or afternoon only (12.30 – 15.30). However, we understand that each family and child's needs are different and are happy to be flexible.
When the children first arrive they are greeted by Natalie, our Head, and/or the class teachers, at the gate. They will come in and are encouraged to find their named peg and to hang up their coat and bag. As a ‘uniform’, they wear a green and white checked apron/smock – this is to cover and protect their clothes from some of our ‘messier’ activities as much as it is a uniform and to help them behin to prepare for the uniforms they will be wearing when going on to their reception year. Each child also has a school bag that is kept on their peg and must contain a full set of clothes for them to change into if necessary.
The children begin their day/sessions in their classes – we have 4 class groups in total at present, all named after varying minibeasts – the register will be taken by a class teacher. Each of our class groups works on a ratio of a maximum of 1:4 for our under 3's and a maximum of 1:6 for our over 3's. Each child will have a designated ‘key-teacher’ but will get to know each of their 4 teachers equally well. After the register has been taken a ‘Circle Time’/assembly will take place, this is held in class groups, in the individual classrooms. During ‘Circle Time’ we talk about plans for the day and any topics that we are covering, we sing a selection of topical songs and perhaps a story will be told or performed. The children then remain in their class groups where they will have a teacher led activity or a free choice of a child led activity.
If it is your class day for Forest School then they will leave after ‘Circle Time’ and walk to our Forest School area to spend the morning/afternoon there.
The classrooms are set out so that there are always interesting corners for the children, including books, painting and drawing. We have an outside classroom/small playground to aid the children’s knowledge and understanding of the world, which each class tries to use everyday. Each day both the sensory and the outdoor classroom will be used – whatever the weather! The children plant flowers and vegetables in the garden/outdoor classroom and monitor their growth. When the vegetables are ready, we use them for cooking (and to supplement ‘break’ food) in our school kitchen, so that the children gain a greater knowledge of where our ‘healthy’ foods come from.
We were awarded our Bronze Award last (academic) year by Healthy Early Years London (HEYL) and are working toward our ‘Silver Award’ winning healthy school this year...so watch this healthy space!
The children have ‘break’ with their class teachers (times differ depending on the class/group) and they are encouraged to help tidy and put away equipment before break. They are then asked to wash their hands (overseen by a teacher) and will return to their classroom where they sit at a table and their break is handed out to them. Break consists of water, milk and fruit or raw vegetables and a form of carbohydrate such as a rice/corn cake or bread stick, which the children and the parents/guardians provide each day for their individual child. The children are encouraged and helped to cut the fruit and vegetables – taking it in turn throughout the week.
Our peripatetic lesson(s) of the day will take place at differing times dependent on the child’s/children’s class.
Many of our children stay for lunch with us, this is called our 'Munch Bunch Club' - which we cater for 'in house'. The children sit at properly laid tables in groups of 6, this social time forms a very important part of independent development. After lunch the children will choose an activity and then have a story. If the children are not staying for the afternoon, they will be picked up from the school gate at 13:30.
For those children who are doing afternoons only, they will arrive at 12.30, and join our Munch Bunch/lunch group. Their session will run as the morning has.
For those staying for full day, there will be further teacher led activities both in the classroom and outside.
The day will finish at 15.30, with a small ‘Circle Time’ and a story.
The children then wait for their parent/guardian/nanny to come and collect them.
Each day, either before or after (and often during) play, we include songs and stories. Each class spends the whole morning or afternoon at Forest School as often as possible – the children will spend the whole session here, returning to the garden where they will have their circle time and 'woodland' snack before going home.
We go on frequent trips with the children and have recently been to Battersea Zoo, the London Aquarium, the Ecology Centre in Holland Park, the Natural History Museum, the Chelsea Theatre, on a boat up to The Tower of London, The Physic Garden, The Lyric theatre and the London Wetland Centre. We also have many visitors throughout the year, these have included, a travelling farm, a Piper – for Burns Day, the Junk Orchestra, Theatre Tots, the African Drummers, Indian Dancers, a Chinese Theatre group, the Household Cavalry and we have even had Father Christmas and three of his reindeer!
"You can feel the love, care and attention that has gone into creating the school. Every corner has something exciting to entice and encourage.
A wonderful, inspiring environment for your children to learn and grow!"
We aim to provide a full early-years curriculum in a happy, relaxed atmosphere.
In our setting we have:
Three large classrooms on the ground floor - including a 'sensory' classroom
2 smaller classrooms on the 1st floor
1 smaller classroom
An enclosed and walled courtyard
A wonderful, open garden - with direct access
A mud kitchen
A mini-beast hotel
An off-site Forest School area
A fully equipped kitchen
Newly installed child-sized lavatories and hand washing area
A disabled lavatory,and baby changing facilities
disabled access and facilities throughout the ground floor
The equipment and activities in each classroom and our outdoor areas, changes daily and we ensure that we provide a range of stimulating and exciting environments where the children become eager to learn through varying different aspects of play and a variety of mediums.
We follow the curriculum for the Early Years foundation Stage [EYFS] Goals, as recommended to us by OFSTED. These are;
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language,
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design: Creative and Physical Development
We teach ‘literacy’ with the use of synthetic phonics and Mathematics: problem solving, reasoning and numeracy takes place every day, all around us.
Please note that every child is an individual and will learn at their own pace. We need to ensure that each child has a secure foundation and ‘scaffolding’ on which to base their learning.
We use topic-based projects to reinforce all areas of the curriculum.
In Communication, Language and Literacy we teach all children phonic sounds and early readers will have begun a reading scheme before leaving us. We have an extensive library of books for children to enjoy.
We have a bespoke, phonic, hand illustrated card and song pack, available through the school at £30.00.
In Mathematics they will understand numbers 1-10 (and in some cases 1-20) and will have begun simple addition and subtraction. Each child is taught individually and is allowed to develop at their own pace.