3-4 year olds start gently in our Kindergarten with a play-based curriculum that’s full of fun and that follows their interests. They take their first steps into the ‘can-do’ world of Berkhampstead education, experimenting and exploring, making decisions and learning by doing.
Child-led learning and lots of play is central, but even the youngest Kindergarten children are given a head-start through regular participation in such activities as Letters and Sounds, practical Maths and specialist-taught Music, French and PE.
In Reception, class teaching makes learning more structured, whilst our small numbers mean plenty of attention for all. That exciting time arrives when reading books begin to come home each day. Stimulating topics – based on the children’s interests – let them build their skills and a genuine love of learning develops. Supported by regular trips and visits, learning is relevant and fun.
We wanted small classes so that our summer born son would get the attention he needed starting school at such a young age. Berkhampstead has exceeded our expectations. He is thriving on its style of creative teaching we are amazed how far he has come.— Reception parent
Confidence develops in these early years and by the end of Reception, children are ready for new challenges and the transition to Year 1 is very easy to make. They participate in hands-on activities such as cookery, gardening and construction, but gradually, their learning becomes more formal, while still topic-based and largely cross-curricular.
During Year 2 the children gain academic skills in the core subjects – literacy and numeracy – and in a wide range of other subjects. They learn important life skills such as how to swim and how to work and play co-operatively - they come a long way.
Drama productions and musical performances involve every child. They become used to being on stage and take on more complex roles as they move up through the school.
Many children are reading fluently and can tackle written comprehension work, story writing and problem solving with confidence; others will have been identified as needing additional support and extra help will have been put gently into place. By the end of Year 2, the children are very ready to move on and enjoy the additional challenges of the Prep department.