School Blogs

Bold beginnings

17th May 2018 | Head's Blog

Bold beginnings

From the moment a child tentatively lets go of their parent’s hand in the playground, to the moment they confidently stride out of the Year 6 classroom, we aim to make every minute of each child’s education here at Wandsworth Prep, one that will always be valued and remembered.

Starting gently, through fun and play, building to academic excellence and broad achievement as their confidence grows and curiosity deepens, we believe that it is never too early to start preparing children for what the future holds.

In our Reception class, getting messy in gloop, being covered in sequins, coloured water and paints is all part of a normal day. In the early years, teaching and learning has somewhat of an ‘otherness’ about it, yet is highly effective in developing curious, independent and creative learners, secure in their own ability to apply what they know.

To us at Wandsworth Prep, the purpose of the Reception year is not for children to ‘practise’ being in Year 1. We very much believe that it is a time for children to develop a rich bank of learning strategies and experiences which they will be able to hone and apply to all of the learning opportunities that they meet.

You will not find a classroom of old, with uniform tables and chairs arranged in rows or traditional blocks of six, but in their place, are inter-connected learning zones, allowing free flow, independent choice of activity, set in a bright and modern environment that is both engaging and innovative.

The Reception class itself spills seamlessly on to an outdoor learning space which is equipped with purposeful play opportunities. The children develop their curiosity and extend their thinking though role play, construction, building dens or tending to the vegetables in our dedicated garden. Recent additions, such as the mud kitchen and the outdoor theatre add to the experience.

Alongside care and attention given to the learning environment, visitors to Wandsworth Prep will find an early years’ curriculum which recognises the pivotal role that reading plays in children’s future success. Listening to stories, poems and rhymes feeds children’s imagination, enhances their vocabulary and develops their comprehension. Largely disillusioned with the plight of the three little pigs, the four and five- year-olds in our care are currently tasked with writing their own fairy tales, inspired by what they have read and, at the same time, putting their writing skills to the test.

In the maths area, you will find children challenging one another to measure and design the sturdiest house for protection from a hungry wolf, moving outside to make their creation a reality through guided use of real bricks and cement.

Have the beanstalks grown high enough for Jack to climb? That would depend on what our children decide!

Reception is a unique and important year, perhaps the most precious of all where children’s experiences will shape their future happiness. We do our utmost to ensure it is a magical time, full of discovery, awe and excitement.

Bridget Saul