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Lower School (age 6 - 14)

An adventurous education with Goodness, Beauty and Truth.

Class teachers dedicated to your child for their journey

Many adventures await children at Alder Bridge Lower School. The child's journey from Alder Bridge Class 1 to Class 8 is filled with beauty, wonder and understanding, experienced together with the Class Teacher who accompanies them throughout these years.

The Alder Bridge Journey Class 1-8 

Children begin Class 1 during the year that they turn 7 and, because they are developmentally ready, they learn naturally and rapidly. Young children learn best when the teaching appeals to their feelings and artistic sense, therefore each subject is presented in a way that engages their imagination, and in a context that emphasises rhythm and repetition. It is in the fertile soil of the imagination that the seeds of intellectual thought will take root. We learn our times tables through skipping and clapping, we learn the letters and numbers through story and picture and we make sure everything is experienced thoroughly - walking the shapes of the letters, learning alliterative rhymes by heart, drawing a picture and stamping a rhythm.

Daily routines

Every morning begins with Main Lesson, taking place during the first two hours of the day when a child's mind is most receptive. During this period the Class Teacher introduces the children to the core subjects of English, Maths, Geography, History and Science, selecting a topic to be thoroughly explored for three or four weeks at a time from many perspectives – imaginative, experiential and intellectual. This extended focus allows the children to engage deeply with the subject, and as a child progresses through the school they will revisit these topics in greater depth and with an increasingly mature approach. Through this means, each child experiences a sense of continuity and purpose on their journey.

Learning through adventure

The children learn through such a variety of methods and activities that every day is an adventure! Recitation, singing, rhythmical movement, writing, drama and class trips all help to reinforce a child's learning experience. The structure of the day allows the children to reflect on and process information in a meaningful way. After Main Lesson and break time come the subject lessons which are brought by the Class Teacher or by specialist teachers – French, German, Music, Religion, Games, Eurythmy and Handwork, all of which are brought with the same imaginative, experiential and intellectual rhythm of the Main Lesson. The older classes have additional Maths and English lessons to maintain and deepen their understanding of these subjects. Homework is gradually introduced around the age of 9 or 10.

Children immersed in a beautiful environment

Our extensive gardens are much enjoyed at break time and lunch time, and during the many opportunities for outdoor learning that the curriculum offers: Class 5 enjoy a daily run in preparation for the Ancient Olympics in Sussex; Class 3 are busy on their Building Project; Class 6 draw the numerous trees and flowering plants that are found in our gardens and woodland as part of their Botany Main Lesson.

Festivals continue to be an integral part of the school year. From the peace of the lantern walk at Winter's threshold, to the personal threshold of St John's Fire at Midsummer, children are involved in a process of reflection that builds a healthy spiritual and moral inner life. Our End of Term Festivals are a glorious celebration of all the work the children do, and a chance to share their experience with the whole school community.

Nothing is rushed here. Children are given the environment in which to blossom and grow, and the time to enjoy childhood in every respect.

The Alder Bridge School Day

The school day runs from 8.50am – 3.30pm, Monday to Friday. Class 1 children begin with mornings, but they are invited to take part in optional afternoon sessions including a range of activities which will enrich their school experience. Mandatory afternoons are added gradually over the next two years, with children from Class 3 onwards attending school full time. There is no extra cost for afternoon sessions.