The Little Oaks Kindergarten at Oakwood is a hive of happiness and activity.
The Kindergarten team, led by Mrs Helyer and Mr Todd, are all Early Years qualified and have a wealth of experience with children. Children are welcome to join Kindergarten during the year they turn four. We believe this is a wonderful time to gently prepare children for the start of full time education in Reception.
Our Kindergarten operates a 'Key Person' system providing one particular member of staff who takes responsibility for your child. This helps both the child and the parent with continuity and a sense of belonging. It also helps both staff members and parents to build good rapport with each other. We have an excellent staff/pupil ratio of 1:8 throughout the children's time in Kindergarten. This allows us to really know our children and develop wonderful relationships with them.
We ask that our Kindergarten children attend a minimum of three morning sessions per week. Children may attend for full days, mornings only or an extended morning with lunch. We encourage parents to increase sessions throughout the school year to prepare the children for full time school in Reception. For those parents needing extended care, we offer breakfast and after school club. In addition, Camp Little Oaks operates throughout most weeks of the school holidays providing a similar structure as term time and run by Oakwood Early Years qualified staff.
Kindergarten children and staff join the rest of the Pre-Prep in the school Dining Room each day for a home cooked hot lunch, prepared by our in-house catering team. Children are encouraged to try the great variety of food on offer while enjoying a family atmosphere with their friends and teachers. Our catering team are able to support any individual dietary needs.
While our activities are play based and child oriented, we aim to foster a love of learning and creativity for all our children. Children work in small groups to start to develop basic phonic skills, including letter sounds and formation, pencil grip and sounding out basic words alongside sharing books to ignite their imaginations. It is important to us that children enjoy their learning and begin a lifelong love of books and reading.
Basic numeracy skills, including number recognition, number formation, simple addition and simple subtraction form the basis for our play based activities. Children may spend a morning in the woods on a number trail or be found in the classroom painting numbers. Our children love role play, often playing shops learning about money.
We believe a breadth of experiences is key to enable children to develop interests and hobbies as well as to improve their social skills and confidence. The children enjoy a great variety of activities, including dance, P.E., music lessons, cookery, art, French lessons, outdoor learning and swimming, taught by specialist teachers.
The Kindergarten is located in our Pre-Prep building which also houses our Reception and Year 1 classes. Leading directly from the Kindergarten classrooms is a secure courtyard where children can enjoy playing on scooter and trikes, with the outdoor sand kitchen or have a relaxing time in our outdoor book area. Kindergarten children make full use of the school facilities such as the gymnasium, theatre and wonderful playing fields.
Children in Kindergarten are often found outdoors. They use the fabulous Woodland Walk on a regular basis, so that they can explore the environment around them. Each term we focus on a particular topic (such as fairy tales, Signs of Spring or the Seaside). Additionally, we take the opportunity each term to take our children off site for a class trip. Past trips have included The Weald and Downland Museum, West Wittering Beach and regular trips to local care homes.
We believe our Kindergarten focus on creativity, independence and imagination offers a wonderful preparation for your child’s next step into full time education.