With so many options out there, choosing the right nursery or school for your child can be a daunting experience. Braeside in Buckhurst Hill, Coopersale Hall in Epping, Normanhurst in North Chingford, and Oaklands in Loughton make up the privately-owned Oak-Tree Group of Schools. All four schools have well-established and popular Kindergartens, catering for children from 2½ years.
We talk to Matthew Hagger, Group Managing Principal, about the benefits of starting with the Oak-Tree Group in Kindergarten before continuing up through the school.
Q: What are the benefits of attending the Oak-Tree Kindergartens rather than a local nursery?
One of the biggest benefits of an independent Kindergarten is the smaller class sizes. Uniqueness can be celebrated, and the individual needs of each and every pupil are considered. Classes also benefit from having qualified teaching assistants to support each class, meaning each child receives a high level of attention from the very beginning. Additionally, specialist subject teachers enrich the children’s experiences with other activities such as sport and music, dance, and computing.
Pupils have access to a huge range of resources across the school site, such as the school libraries, computer suites, and banks of iPads. Most of the schools have extensive grounds, offering huge potential for outdoor learning. The Group also has a fleet of minibuses that open up the wider world exponentially, allowing regular visits to the farm, museums, trampoline parks, and the zoo, helping to broaden young minds.
Q: Will starting at Kindergarten provide automatic entrance to Reception and beyond?
Starting in Kindergarten will help parents secure a place for their child in Reception, saving them from having to go for further assessments and interview processes at age 4. This means that the child will be moving to a new class with the security of his or her friends, already used to the school environment.
Q: What is the transition like from Kindergarten to Reception?
Primary schools and all-through schools are well suited to offering pre-school provision as they provide the smoothest of transitions for the children as they move up to Reception. The teachers across the school have got to know the children and form relationships with them from an early age. It is not only with the children that firm relationships can be built, but also with parents from the very earliest opportunity, enabling trusting engagement as the children move through the year groups.
For more information visit www.oaktreeschools.co.uk