Early Years

In 2018, our Early Years classes were judged as ‘OUTSTANDING’ by the ISI

At Whitehall, we believe that children learn best through play and when children are able to follow their own ideas. Children are supported by adults who enable their learning by respecting, understanding and allowing children to empower themselves within their environment.  We celebrate a child’s uniqueness and encourage respect and social interaction.

Our Early Years classes are Nursery aged 6 months to 3 years, Foundation aged 3 – 4 years and Reception aged 4 – 5 years.

The Foundation group is located in the ground floor of the Coach House with direct access to the Hall for indoor play and access to their own garden/outside classroom for Woodland Working, music, art, sand and water play.

The Reception classroom is located in the light and spacious Conservatory room in the main building with its own enclosed garden, allowing free-flow between the room and garden every day.

Committed and Highly Qualified Staff

Our committed and highly qualified staff include a Nursery Manager, Foundation & Reception Teachers & Head of Infants with additional Assistants throughout the day.

We welcome specialist teachers for French once a week throughout the school year and swimming instructors in the summer term. We work in complete partnership with parents and guardians keeping you fully involved in your child’s learning. We compile a beautiful learning journey collecting photos, notes and artwork from your child’s time in school and hold regular parent consultations to discuss their progress.

Unique Individuals

We see each child as a unique individual and provide challenging and stimulating experiences for them, taking into account their interests and choices. We encourage and value the involvement of parents in their children’s learning as we believe it is important to build on what is being learnt at school by continuing to develop knowledge and skills at home.

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Early Years planning is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum extended with the addition of French, Music, Singing, Swimming and Sports.

At this age, play based learning is a huge focus with activities ranging from messy play to gym and gardening, encouraging skills from all the areas of the curriculum in a fun environment.

These classes provide the early opportunities for reading with daily phonics and motor skills for writing, such as threading and play dough. Staff work closely to carefully plan activities individual to each child to develop their skills. Regular trips, special days and events are offered as another learning aid on a termly basis.

Transition in Early Years

Weekly collaboration between the classes allows extension and differentiation appropriate to individual children’s needs and bridges the gap when starting Reception for the first time.

With the support of our Head of Infants and in coalition with Nursery, staff work closely together to get to know the children and to support them as they grow. Regular visits are supported to help your child settle.