These critical years in your child’s education lay the foundations for all the learning to come. In these vital years, it is not only what but how a child learns that will have a huge impact on their future education. In the right environment, they will form positive attitudes to learning, understanding the difference between ‘I can’t do it’ and ‘I can’t do it yet’, building routes to confidence. They will learn to try, fail, dust themselves off and try again, equipping themselves for a lifetime of challenges.
All children spend three years in the Infant Department where they are given a sound basic teaching in English, Maths and Science within a broader curriculum including Information Technology, Humanities, French, PE and the Arts. Certain subjects including Drama, Music, French, PE and swimming are specialist taught.
By providing this happy, stimulating environment the children are prepared both academically and socially for the Junior School.
At Key Stage One we teach the children via cross – curricular topics to create experiences that will encourage an investigative approach towards learning in general. We want to develop the children’s interest and enthusiasm for the world around them and encourage their natural curiosity and ability to question.
What we provide:
Small class sizes
Small class sizes give children an advantage at all ages, but make a huge difference in the early years, when a few months in age can mean a huge difference in development. Our small classes allow every child to get enough attention and support from their teacher, allowing them to build skills rapidly.
Highly experienced Early Years staff
The team of staff behind our Reception and Key Stage One is what makes early education at The Mead so productive. Experienced and committed, they support and encourage the pupils as they get to grips with school life, helping children negotiate the social as well as educational challenges that are part of starting school.
Learning how to learn
At Key Stage One we teach the children via cross-curricular topics to create experiences that will encourage an investigative approach towards learning in general. We want to develop the children’s interest and enthusiasm for the world around them and encourage their natural curiosity and ability to question.
We provide activities and situations in which listening and talking occur as naturally as possible. Children are encouraged to participate in reading activities from the start of their school life, and we pride ourselves on the standard of reading throughout the school.
Most curriculum areas directly encourage the children to think and discuss what they have done while other activities encourage the children’s imagination and creativity.
Specialist subject experts
Children from Reception up benefit from subject experts in Music, Drama, French, PE, Swimming, Ballet and Modern and Tap Dance. These teachers bring their enthusiasm for their subjects into the classroom, igniting interest and opening possibilities for the boys and girls they teach.
Our children have access to excellent facilities and resources at The Mead. We have a double, all-weather astro pitch; a well equipped play area with fort, climbing wall, slide and monkey-bars; a ‘loose-parts play’ sandpit; an outdoor classroom; a well-stocked library; a large sports hall and dedicated art, science, music and drama rooms. All of these are used regularly by the whole school community, enhancing and extending learning.
Our boys and girls are offered an enormous number of opportunities, both within and beyond the curriculum. They are encouraged to try new experiences, to discover things to inspire and motivate them. Within the Reception and Key Stage 1 years these opportunities range from trips such as Herstmonceux Science Centre, The British Wildlife Centre, London Zoo, Leeds Castle and our local theatres. They will perform on stage to an audience, play sport competitively, visit our local woods regularly for Forest School sessions, help with planning and planting at our school allotment, and get involved in community initiatives. They will take part in a wide range of special off-curriculum days and workshops, such as African drumming and mask-making, Diwali dance, a historical session on The Great Fire of London and a masterclass from an expert chocolatier.
A healthy work/play balance
Happy children make the best learners. The best way to engage children in their learning is to make it fun. There is plenty of time built into the school day for play and exercise, with outstanding pastoral support to ensure that children are happy and maintain a positive attitude to their education.