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Kindergarten (age 3-6)

Alder Bridge School Kindergarten: A natural bridge from home to school.

At 3 years old children become increasingly interested in exploring the world with other children. They start to play 'with' rather than 'alongside' their friends, and Kindergarten is a gentle first step out into the world beyond home.

Imaginative Play

Imaginative play is the 'work' of childhood and this activity begins every morning as the children arrive for Kindergarten. The children take inspiration from their surroundings and their experiences in order to initiate games using wooden blocks and planks, softly coloured cloths and pegs, pine cones, conkers and other simple toys to create the scene. As well as nurturing the imagination, play enables the child to develop in other ways – finding the physical skills needed to move a small tree stump or peg a cloth to a play frame, developing the social skills needed to work with others, and helping the child to make sense of the world around them.

Ring time

Ring time immerses the children in songs and rhymes that have been part of the culture of childhood for centuries. The rhythm of the seasons guides our journey through the year, and as the children get older they take great delight in remembering once more the rhymes of Spring or Summer and anticipating the festivals as familiar songs reappear to prepare the way. At the table, other activities are available for busy hands and quiet moments - painting, drawing, baking, seasonal craft or preparation of the morning snack - meaningful tasks carried out with love and care by the teachers alongside the children. Imitation is the young child's natural impulse, and our teachers strive to meet this with good modelling, from the way they greet the children in the morning to the way they fold the cloths at tidy-up time.

Wholesome snacks

A wholesome snack is shared mid-morning: vegetable soup with barley bread; millet scones with fruit; apple crumble with oat cakes; rice salad with vegetables from the garden. The children are involved with all aspects, from the growth and preparation of the food to laying the table and serving their friends. To eat soup made from the vegetables that they have grown, harvested, prepared and cooked, is a wonderfully organic experience.

Time and space to learn

A child's journey of discovery continues in our garden. Here there is time and space for more work and play - running and skipping, digging and climbing, planting and harvesting. A great part of the morning is spent in the garden or in our woodland, rain or shine.

The Alder Bridge Kindergarten morning ends with a story - a fairy tale or nature story that is told every day for a week, nourishing the young child with its themes more and more each day and responding to a deep need for repetition.

Kindergarten Children Climbing Trees

Kindergarten allows children the time to enjoy childhood, not to be rushed or over-stimulated. The support of our seasonal, weekly and daily rhythms brings a sense of self-confidence, security and trust in the world, preparing the way for more formalised learning when each child is ready for school.

The Kindergarten day runs from 9am to 3.30pm, Monday to Friday, and children attend for a minimum of three mornings per week. Mid-morning snack is included, and morning sessions end at 1pm. Afternoon sessions are optional yet incur no extra cost.

The Alder Bridge journey

Alder Bridge School offers exceptional care for your child and is an established and respected Early Years provider. We are an Independent Berkshire school, operating as a charity, catering for children from 0-14 years.