As the saying goes, ‘you never have a second chance to make a first impression.’ And our children’s first impressions of school can have a lasting impact on their enjoyment of learning.
Learning is effortful, and it is particularly hard work for young children who are not only accumulating lots of new background knowledge but who must also get used to the routines and expectations of the classroom. As they assimilate to this new setting, children need plenty of time for rest and for unstructured play (which is also essential for the development of their executive function).
With this understanding in mind, the school week at Heritage includes an early finish on three days for Lower Prep and one for Upper Prep. This allows for plenty of high quality learning but also helps to mitigate the problems of too much, too soon.
Taking advantage of a recent early finish on a Wednesday, some of our Upper Prep pupils enjoyed a trip with their parents to the Fitzwilliam Museum to check out the Hockney’s Eye exhibition. The children enjoyed studying and carefully copying the landscapes, followed by hot chocolate in the cafe.
Our relaxed Stay and Play sessions with Miss Cage present an equally valuable opportunity for children to simply play with their friends, get outside, or join in on fun activities like junk modelling or planting bulbs in the Panton Hall garden.
Either way, children have a chance to recharge their batteries, ready for the next full day of learning ahead.
Photos, Top Row: Upper Prep pupils enjoy a trip to the Fitzwilliam on a Wednesday afternoon
Photos, Bottom Row: Stay & Play children do some paddling and tree climbing during a recent session.