Mrs Claudia van de Laar
Head of the Early Years School
Meet the Head
Parents often tell me that they are very happy with their choice of our school for their child. I think this is why: at this point in a little child’s life we know that what counts is kindness and engagement. Once a young child is immersed in their activities, they will come home to tell you that school is fun and that they enjoyed their day with their friends. And, with that, a successful path to learning has begun.
The cultural diversity of our school is valued and celebrated – it is wonderful to teach children of different nationalities and to see them mix so easily with each other. The joy of seeing this happen is probably the main reason that I have been with the School for over 25 years, and have been its Head since 2011.
Whether your child is transferring to a new class or experiencing school for the very first time, we aim to make the transition as smooth as possible. First experiences of school should always be positive. We want all children to develop a love for learning and to have fun and enjoy success in all aspects of their education. We value the partnership between home and school and encourage you to also play an active part in your child’s education.
Prior to your child starting school in September or in the first few weeks of the autumn term, we offer families the opportunity of a home visit from the staff who will be teaching their child. Experience and research into the provision for the Early Years highlight the importance of the link between school and home for the young child. When the link is valued, strong and supportive a child has the best chance of settling well into the school setting and having a happy, fulfilling school experience.
Our induction programme – the first few days
In order to make the transition into the Early Years School as calm and welcoming as possible, we have an induction programme for all children in the Early Years.
During their induction week Nursery children attend two one hour sessions and a third session of two and a half hours. We expect parents to stay with their child during the induction week to support their child and to become familiar with the Nursery staff. The children start their normal session schedule in their second week at school. Children who return to Nursery for a second year also take part in Induction week at the beginning of the autumn term.
Children joining Reception in September attend part time during the first week of term. We stagger the days the children start school, every child attends two full days over the course of the week. This ensures that the children receive more individual attention and staff can spend more time getting to know each child. From the start of the second week, all children are expected to attend full time.
The children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum which sets the standards that all Early Years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.