At Holme Grange, we place great emphasis on these early days, seeking to provide a learning environment which offers the individual child a very positive beginning. It is a school where children learn in a safe, caring and nurtured environment where healthy competition is introduced at the appropriate time through a fun, structured and dynamic curriculum.
In the Early Years, like every other area of the school, each child is an individual, following their own developmental path under the careful guidance of our experienced, highly qualified staff.
Our Early Years provision has an outstanding reputation in the local area and places are much in demand. We welcome both boys and girls from three years old. The move from Nursery into Reception class is carefully managed to ensure a seamless transition. Our Early Years staff is experienced and well qualified and all of them love working with children.
Pupils in the Early Years Department also benefit from specialist teaching provided by staff from the prep school, in subjects such as Games, (Musical movement in Little Grange; Judo, Dance and Art in Reception) ICT and Music.
“We were really happy with it and he had a really good grounding.”
We are justifiably proud of our Early Years areas. Each classroom has an all-weather adjacent outdoor area which provides an enabling environment for children to explore. Early Years classes regularly explore the 21 acres of School Grounds on investigative walks, visiting the chickens, ducks, goats, the polytunnel where vegetables and fruit is grown throughout the year, the Willow Village and nature areas and the weekly visits to one of our Forest School sites.
We also enable plentiful opportunities for developing self-confidence and self-esteem as well as independence. We facilitate close links with home, encouraging parents to tell us about children’s interests and achievements outside School, so that we can share in their success. We value our partnership with parents, who are actively encouraged to participate in their child’s learning. We believe in an holistic approach to learning, based on each child’s individual needs. We aim to foster creativity, innovation and the ability to solve problems.
The Early Years department was declared ‘Excellent’ in all areas by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in January 2015. The inspectors stated that “The high expectations of this enthusiastic and caring staff are responded to eagerly by the children showing they are happy at school and enjoy their learning. Children learn effectively in excellent environments which support the high quality teaching.” The inspectors also noted that “The provision for Children’s well-being is excellent… The overall quality and standards of the Early Years provision are excellent.” And “All children make substantial progress in learning and development from a wide range of starting points”
We believe that at Holme Grange, the Early Years are the most important year at the school. It is here that the foundations of positive and future learning take place. We want to ensure that children are happy, confident and have fun during their learning experiences and it is so important to engage parents in this process; they are a key part of the learning process. If the school and the parents work together, we can ensure that all of the children work to the best of their ability and achieve the very best possible results. We do hope that you will come to look at the school and see us in action.
The Holme Grange curriculum in the Little Grange and Reception phases is based on the revised Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (September 2012). This focuses on the seven areas of learning covered by the early learning goals:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Our curriculum plans meet the Quality Curriculum Assurance (QCA) requirements.
Children in Little Grange and Reception compile a folder which is run alongside the EYFS requirements. Folders contain: samples of work, observations and school reports. We welcome contributions and observations from parents/carers.
Parents are given free access to developmental records about their child. Written requests must be made for personal files on the children and we have a duty to take into account data protection rules when disclosing records that refer to third parties.
During the final term of the Foundation Stage, (the Summer Term of Reception) all children are assessed to monitor their progress and the EYFS Profile is completed. This information is available to parents.
The following subjects are introduced in Little Grange and are taught by specialist teachers:
- Movement and Mime
In Reception children also do Judo or Ballet and Little Grange and Reception pupils do Cookery.