Early Years

At Walthamstow Hall the traditional Nursery and Reception classes are combined into one Early Years class. The core Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is delivered through an exciting Creative Curriculum approach, where teaching and learning is enquiry based, led by a key question each Half Term. Personal and social confidence, communication and language and physical development are key areas of learning for every girl in our care. These are nurtured and developed as topics and are explored through play and adult-led activities, both inside and outside.

As girls progress with us their Literacy and Numeracy skills are developed through an appropriate mix of formal teaching and child-initiated activities within each topic. Girls also enjoy specialist teaching in PE, Ballet, Music, French and Drama.

This carefully planned programme is tailored to the different ages and stages of development of Early Years pupils. It is delivered by qualified teachers and Classroom Assistants in an environment where learning is lively, fun and full of stimulating variety. Firm foundations and enthusiasm for learning are built into our Early Years class.

Our Early Years class includes Nursery and Reception age children. Within the class the different age groups are on occasion referred to as Early Years 1 and Early Years 2. Girls in Early Years 1 are rising three or four years old, girls in Early Years 2 are rising five years old. The different groups access key areas of the curriculum appropriate to their age and stage of development.

Starting School

Girls can join Early Years from the term immediately before their third birthday. We believe that at this first step into education parents know best how much time their daughter is ready to spend in a school setting. We offer ten half day ‘sessions’ for girls in Early Years 1 and ask parents to choose, increase and change the number of sessions that their daughter attends each term, depending on her needs. This flexible approach enables each girl to enter school life at a pace which suits her and her family’s needs.

Girls in Early Years 2 attend school full-time.

Years 1 and 2

Girls move into Year 1 the September after their fifth birthday and into Year 2 the September after they are six years old. In Years 1 and 2 girls continue to follow a carefully planned, broad programme ensuring progression tailored to individual needs. A wide range of workshops, visits and extra-curricular activities will be offered to enrich her education and provide many opportunities to explore her interests and discover her talents. Girls also participate in our Pre-Prep Wellbeing initiative, which includes Mindfulness, Yoga and Forest School sessions. New girls may join these year groups if there are spaces available.

The National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 provides the foundation on which our broad curriculum is built – but we don’t stop there; our curriculum goes beyond the national curriculum recommendations and the standards achieved are often in advance of national expectations. We believe in the curriculum being comprehensive, interesting and fun.

Core Literacy and Numeracy skills are developed through daily lessons with much 1:1 attention. There are weekly lessons in Religious Studies, Science, Computing, History, Geography, PHSEE and Art/Design Technology. Specialist teachers lead lessons in P.E., Swimming, Ballet, Music and French.

In Year 1 the girls have daily reading, with Mathematics or English homework and spellings at the weekend.

In Year 2 the girls are given daily reading homework as well as weekly English and Mathematics homework and weekly spellings to learn.