Transition to Reception
For children in their early years, depth of exposure to spoken and written language, the arts, outdoor activities and a breadth and depth of learning opportunities are essential. This is just one of the reasons why, unlike other nurseries, at St Francis we invest in specialist music education beginning with our baby room and specialist language and PE education in our preschool. Just like any other setting, we understand the importance of these crucial early stages but unlike many others we have the capacity and resources to offer each child a wealth of opportunities and support.
This is also why we invest heavily in the most important area for children - their teaching staff and teaching time. This is of particular importance when reflecting on a common phrase you may have heard which is ‘state until eight’. The implication of this statement being that a child should stay in a state school until eight years old as financial ‘investment’ in their education is better made when they are older, whereas the research proves the reverse is true.
From their earliest years, research shows that once any ‘gaps’ in a child's attainment and progress develop, these will typically continue to widen rather than narrow without individual intervention and support. Our teacher to pupil ratio in the Reception year is currently 1:7 as opposed to a typical state school which is on average 1:27. Even for an independent school our pupil to teacher ratio in Reception year is exceptional. State or independent schools may well have an additional adult such as a teaching assistant in class (and we do as well) while they may also share their high ‘adult’ to pupil ratio. We are different. We are fortunate to have two qualified teachers in our Reception class which allows us up to four times the focussed teacher input for each individual child at the most important stage of their growth and development. Facilities are important, and we are fortunate that we have excellent provision as well, but ultimately it is focussed adult input and support which makes the most impact upon, not only a child’s academic development but also the development of their self-confidence and self-esteem, which are the driving factors behind successful adults. As our children progress throughout the school we continue to invest heavily in our staffing ratios for these same reasons.