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The Early Years

At Badminton Junior School we accept girls into Little Acorns as soon as they turn three. They then move into our Reception class in the September after their fourth birthday.

When in Little Acorns and Acorns Reception the children are referred to as being in the Foundation Stage. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of the Reception year.  It is based on the recognition that children learn best through play and active learning.

Every pupil within the Junior School is valued, encouraged and appropriately challenged.  Staff have high expectations but the children are not put under any pressure so they embark on their learning journey with excitement and genuine enthusiasm. Our supportive team of highly qualified and experienced staff ensure that every child receives individual attention and experiences a happy introduction to school life.

Enjoying the benefits of small classes, high academic standards, excellent facilities and spacious outdoor play areas, the children are encouraged from their earliest years to explore all the learning opportunities open to them here.

Our Early Years classrooms are on the ground floor of the Junior School building and every classroom has direct access to a secure outdoor learning and play space through which they can move freely.

There are many benefits from sharing a site with our Senior School as we are able to make full use of excellent facilities which include an indoor swimming pool, all weather pitches and gymnasium. All of our children sit down with their teachers to enjoy a healthy lunch which is prepared on site, as well as mid-morning and afternoon snacks.

We aim to foster a love of language by introducing French to the girls in Little Acorns which is then followed by formal language lessons as they move up into the Juniors. We also help them to develop the computer skills necessary to successfully engage with the ever-developing world of technology.  Music, dance and drama are popular activities in which the girls are given the chance to explore and develop their creative skills. Our Little Acorns and Reception classes benefit from lessons taught by specialist drama and music teachers and they are provided with numerous opportunities to perform their new found skills. All of this is achieved within a calm and supportive learning environment.

Our curriculum includes specific activities, which prepare the children for reading. Within Little Acorns we will follow the child’s interests.  The activities provide a strong foundation of concepts and skills which are essential before any reading can take place.  The activities that take place include putting jigsaws together, threading beads, matching games such as lotto, recognising some familiar letters including  those in their own name, listening to and enjoying books and stories and learning rhymes and songs. The ‘Letters and Sounds’ Phase 1 phonics programme is used in Little Acorns.

The Jolly Phonics scheme, a programme of phonic acquisition skills which is fun and successful, is used from Reception and throughout the whole of the Acorns to aid reading. This ensures continuity and progression throughout Key Stage One.

One of our over overarching aims for all children in the school, including the EYFS, is that they achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes:

  • Staying safe
  • Being healthy
  • Enjoying and achieving
  • Making a positive contribution
  • Achieving economic well-being.

As an integral part of Badminton School, our EYFS programme also considers the aims of the whole school. The Early Years Foundation Stage education offered in Little Acorns and Acorns Reception builds on what the children already know and the skills that they have acquired so far, thus providing experiential learning.

  • It offers a structure for learning that has a range of starting points.
  • It provides opportunities for learning both indoors and outdoors.
  • It ensures that the learning content matches the needs of young children.
  • It provides a safe, secure and stimulating environment for learning.

With plenty of opportunity for imaginative play, creative and physical activities as well as investigation and experimentation, children thrive. We know that happy children learn well and as you walk around the Junior School you will notice that our girls are focused, stimulated and above all, happy.