Life in Little Griffins

Little Griffins class provides a nurturing and stimulating environment for children from the age of three – the perfect place to begin laying strong foundations for everything that is to come. Little Griffins offers girls and boys an exciting step on from their previous nursery or a supportive first experience of time away from home.

Much more than childcare

A full Early Years curriculum encourages independence and curiosity and starts children off on the right road to lifelong learning. Kelly Turner, the experienced Nursery Lead Practitioner, works closely with parents, meeting them at least once a term and building a successful, individualised learning journey for each and every child.

Play is a key part of these early explorations into learning, and we offer plenty of opportunities for boys and girls to have fun while growing understanding and building skills. The classroom is full of interactive equipment, including a water area, floor-level sand (which the children often turn into a mini beach) and a climbing frame where they can gain confidence in climbing and swinging. There are quieter areas for role play, getting lost in a book, playing with jigsaws and board games, enjoying creativity with painting and collage, as well as a secret writing den. Children choose freely from the workshop style set up and regularly transport equipment from one area to another.

Meet the Woodland Explorers

Your child’s early years are such an exciting and fulfilling time as the world opens up before them, building foundations for future learning.

This is not just about making sure that they can hold a pencil or read a book; your child needs other fundamental skills to progress at school and develop as happy, confident individuals who show resilience and a determination to succeed. We aim to inspire even our youngest learners to become self-motivated and independent learners.

Our Woodland Explorers programme will introduce your child to 16 fun-filled animals who open up a world of learning through exploration and purposeful play. Each character has an important part to play in the Early Years curriculum; Curious Cat will help us to make sense of the world while Wordy Weasel will help link sounds and letters as we learn to read together. Sporty Squirrel understands the benefits of exercise and practising gross motor skills and Mathematical Mouse makes getting to grips with numbers and counting accessible and fun!

As our boys and girls travel on a learning journey through the woods, they will embark on lots of new and exciting adventures; encountering and learning more about each animal through poems, stories and games.

Beyond the classroom

With an extensive Early Years Outdoor Classroom, the children love to be outside getting stuck into a wide range of learning opportunities: They might explore living things with gardening, create meals and other strange concoctions in the mud kitchen; or let their imaginations run free building dens, structures and even their very own assault course.

Taking the next step

When children show an interest in trying to read and write, and start to show confidence in numbers, discrete Phonics and Maths sessions begin daily in small groups. Here the focus is on exploring, understanding and developing practical skills. Because of the small group and individualised learning, most children who have spent a year or more in Little Griffins generally exceed the Early Learning Goals by the end of Reception.

Our Little Griffins are fortunate to have specialist teaching for PE with the Director of Sport, Music and Drama with Head of Music and Drama and have a French lesson from the second half of the autumn term.

Part of the St Edward’s Community

The Pre-Reception is very much a part of the wider St Edward’s Prep community. Little Griffins have three outdoor play or break sessions a day, when they can enjoy the playground and the wooden fort and slide with the rest of Pre-Prep (Reception to Year 2). This gives them the opportunity to develop relationships with staff they will meet in Reception, as well as gain confidence in moving around the school. They join Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children for lunch every day where a wealth of freshly cooked warm and appetising food is on offer for them to try. In addition to this they have a morning and afternoon snack during playtime.

The children very quickly feel part of the school wearing a St Edward’s Prep tracksuit with the school logo, attending assembly on Fridays and taking part in the annual pre-prep trip to the pantomime. Being part of a small, nurturing pre-school class with the school gives children a great head start when they move on to Reception.