An early start - helping your child rise to the challenge of school
PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 February 2014
'It is the quality of the early years setting that can have the most positive impact on your child'
Despite an emphasis on making learning fun, nursery education is much more than child’s play - it is a vital, gently welcoming stage on a child’s journey through school that can have a significant impact on future success. The importance of early years education and its impact on later school performance is widely acknowledged, however, it is the quality of the nursery setting that has the most significant bearing. Even though most providers follow the government’s Early Years Foundation Stage framework, a good nursery will go above and beyond these guidelines as well as possessing an overriding sense of warmth.
An independent school nursery often has the freedom to offer a more enriching curriculum and an abundance of confidence boosting experiences. Small class sizes are a major advantage, meaning teachers can play to your child’s strengths, address weaknesses and encourage a lasting enthusiasm for learning. This positive classroom experience is complemented by abundant activities led by specialist staff, including music, dance, drama and sport, and extended opening hours are a real bonus for working parents.
Pupils also have access to excellent resources – Clayesmore nursery pupils have regular swimming lessons as well as use of the school library, chapel, sports centre and a purpose built theatre that’s great for boosting little stars’ stage confidence. Extensive grounds, with a lake, pond and woodland, are right on our doorstep, and the school also has a fleet of minibuses to really open up the wider world and broaden little minds. This early introduction to education also makes it easy for children to step up to Pre-Prep with a spring in their step, then smoothly onto to Prep and Senior which, at Clayesmore, share the same idyllic site.
All nursery providers must conform to government guidelines but it is the quality of the early years setting that can have the most positive impact on your child. The effects of early exposure to a vibrant and friendly nursery setting will have your child skipping through the school gates and into a successful life beyond school.
Emma Stewart – Head of Nursery at Clayesmore Pre-Prep (Rising 3s to Age 7)
This article appeared in the Spring issue of the A+ Education Guide South West. Click here to see the whole magazine.