Pre-Prep Co-ordinator, Elain Southgate
There has been immense change in society over the last 20 years and the likelihood is that change will continue just as rapidly, if not more so, in the future.
It is our job as educationalists to respond to those changes and adapt our teaching to give the children of today the very best chance to succeed and to live happy and purposeful lives in the future.
Our approach at Godolphin Prep Nursery will be based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), mirroring the emphasis on STEM in the senior school which has led to brilliant results in these subjects for our senior girls.
Before they begin at Nursery young children are capable and competent learners who have their own theories and thinking about the world around them. It is our role to find out about their prior knowledge and build on it by fostering their natural curiosity and enthusiasm. Early experience with STEM helps to develop key skills: problem solving, investigation, research, creativity, design and construction. Other huge pluses are that it is great fun, involves lots of outdoor learning and children learn by doing.
There are so many areas of the curriculum where children in our nursery make exceptional progress. Many children on leaving nursery are already reading and making excellent progress in mathematics. Art is a strength throughout the whole school, as is Music and French. We also make excellent use of technology with all the children in Nursery and throughout the prep having easy access to iPads. Everyone has weekly computing lessons as well as using technology to support learning throughout the curriculum.
These current strengths will remain but there will be a new emphasis on STEM subjects in a revised, creative curriculum.
We are not only adapting what we teach but where we teach. We have plans in place to totally revamp and extend the Nursery Garden to include a vegetable patch, herb garden and sensory garden that our head gardener is very excited about designing. There will be busy areas for the children to play with natural resources and quiet areas for chatting and playing make believe.
In September the Nursery classroom will be going green! We plan to replace any plastic resources and storage with items made from sustainable and eco-friendly resources and to introduce plants in all shapes and sizes into the Nursery for the children to study and care for.
Finally, we are changing who we teach! For the first time ever we will be welcoming boys to join us in our Nursery.
So exciting times ahead with many changes but the core Godolphin values will continue to underpin all the that we do.