At Eaton House Belgravia the Pre-Prep, reception class is known as Kindergarten (KG). Boys from Kindergarten to Form 3 are taught mainly by their form teacher, with subject specialists to teach PE, ICT, music and French.
The boys follow the early years foundation stage, building on previous learning. Three class teachers and their teaching assistants work with the boys as a whole class, as a group, or individually, with a focus on the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills. Expressive arts are important and they are explored through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play, and design and technology.
Within the curriculum there are seven areas of learning: three prime and four specific areas. The prime areas of communication and language, physical development, and personal, social and emotional development cover the knowledge and skills which are the foundations for children's school readiness and future progress.
In communication and language, we work on developing the boys' confidence and skills in self-expression and teaching them how to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Special projects give the boys a chance to develop some ideas about specific subjects and a recent topic was minibeasts. One KG child wrote a very expressive science commentary on a ladybird, complete with a beautiful drawing which appeared in our school magazine, The Column. It read (with, of course, the grammar of a KG): "There are different types of ladybird. A ladybird can lay 1000 eggs. Some ladybirds dots are black some are white spots. They smell with their feet and they smell horrible." This seems like a pretty accurate description!
Speaking of bugs, the youngest children love to play with yellow maths bugs which move about the floor to teach them their pluses and minuses.
The boys participate in at least three sessions of sport each week. These consist of games on the common, PE in the gym, and play in the KG playground.
Even the littlest boys enjoy educational trips. One day last year the KG children had an exciting day out at Brockett’s Farm. They rode on a tractor, fed animals, learned about different kinds of milk and even watched a goat being milked. They met Toffee the guinea pig and Peter the rabbit but the most exciting thing was watching the pig race!
A typical week
Here is an example of a typical week in the KG, written by Miss Tizzie, the early years coordinator, which appeared in our regular newsletter as a KG update:
Our trip to the Chelsea Fire Station is always a favourite for the boys and the fire fighter from the White Watch ensured we had a lot of fun while learning about the dangers of fire and how to keep safe. The boys used the powerful hosepipes, climbed into the fire engine, and tried on all sorts of uniforms and apparatus.
The boys recounted their experience in their English books and produced some enchanting drawings to illustrate their writing.
In mathematics we looked at estimating, its meaning and what makes a good guess. Importantly, we have also consolidated 1/1 accuracy when counting and numbers writing and recognition.