At Herne Hill School, we firmly believe that the years of early childhood education are the most important ones for leading to healthy, successful and happy lives. Our ultimate objective and approach are best articulated through our common purpose:
“We prepare young children for life…
…by providing the finest individual education…
…based on a bedrock of love and care.”
We therefore fully embrace the development of ‘the whole child’ and have devised an educational programme which readies our pupils to optimise their learning and development in more formal educational environments from Year 3 and beyond. It not only adheres to the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 of the National Curriculum but also incorporates valuable aspects from a number of long-standing and effective international programmes. Specifically, we aim to equip our pupils with the following:
- A complete set of skills in all major domains of development, i.e. self-regulatory (‘executive functions’), cognitive, social, emotional and physical
- Skills and interest in all core ‘academic’ subjects (maths, English, science, etc.) as well as a wide range of ‘vocational’ subjects such as music, sports, arts, drama, dance, woodwork, etc.
- Strategies for solving problems and finding solutions both individually and collaboratively
- A ‘moral identity’, i.e. ‘good citizens’ with sound moral values
In addition, we place great emphasis on helping to shape the following attitudes and dispositions:
- A sustained joy of learning, innate curiosity and creativity
- Self-esteem and self-confidence, balanced with humility
- A positive, ‘can do’ approach to life
- Perseverance and resilience to rebound from setbacks
- An appreciation of the importance of wellbeing, and strategies for achieving it
Achieving our aims requires the best possible play and learning environment, which we define as “secure, loving and responsive human relationships in an enriched, playful, stimulating space”. Three fundamental pillars enable us to create this environment:
- Our expertise and know-how, e.g. our curriculum, golden rules, processes, etc.
- Dedicated staff who uphold and champion our ethos
- State-of-the-art physical space and resources
These pillars are supported by our ethos of love ● care ● excellence, which provides the underlying foundation and tone for all behaviours at the school. In addition, our grounds and facilities contribute significantly to this atmosphere being highly conducive to young children’s learning and development.