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The importance of your child’s first three years at school

Posted: 31st January 2023

The quality of a child’s education undoubtedly has a lasting impact on the rest of their life. But how important are their first three years at school?

A child’s early years are the foundation for their future development, providing a strong base for lifelong learning abilities, including cognitive and social development. The quality of a child’s education in the first few years of life, has a lasting effect on their school life and beyond.

90% of a child’s brain develops by age 5. Research shows that the brain connections required for many important higher-level abilities are formed during this time. This scientific consensus is supported by a recent report from the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, led by the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, who consider it to be the most pivotal age for development, future health and happiness.

Many educators, including our early years specialists, agree with this philosophy and that nursery and reception are the ideal time to start a challenging, accelerated curriculum. The reason being that younger minds learn much faster.

However, in the recent study by the Royal Foundation, it was noted that there is a significant proportion of UK parents of a 0-5-year-old (69%) who underestimate the critical importance of the early years.

Positive experiences in your child’s first three years of school can benefit them in developing social skills and their ability to learn which will set them up for life. Research by Durham University and the Department for Education suggests pupils in the ‘most effective’ Reception classes can expect to earn between £2,000 and £7,500 more on average than their peers in less effective settings. This is why the school selection process is so important. 

Development is not an automatic process, it depends on each unique child being given opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments. Therefore it is paramount that all learning activities are carefully planned, well-structured and supported, within enabling environments to ensure that all children have appropriate experiences, which will allow every child to move from nursery, to reception and beyond with confidence, social awareness and a readiness for learning. 

At Elmhurst, we have a carefully planned curriculum which starts as soon as your son begins with us in Little Elms and continues through to formal schooling in Reception. 

We strongly believe that having continuous provision and providing rich, planned play opportunities help the boys to become independent learners whilst encouraging their communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.

As well as the standard areas of the Early Years curriculum, the boys will have the benefit of specialist teaching in French, PE, Drama, Music, ICT and trips ‘Into the Woods’. Reception also have swimming lessons each week from the Summer term. Daily phonics sessions support our boys in developing skills they need for reading and writing.

Children learn by playing and exploring. Through ‘Chilli Challenges’ the boys take ownership of their learning and complete activities independently to achieve medals.

Our early years specialist Mrs King says ” Children are our future and Early Years children determined the adults they will become. Being able to instil confidence, a can do attitude, pride and respect is certainly a strong footing to start on, and something I myself take pride in”.

To find out more, book a tour to meet with our headteacher and early years team.

Categories: Blog
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Friday 21st June

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