At Heathside School Hampstead, our Early Years program is a gateway to nurturing young minds, fostering curiosity, and igniting a lifelong love for learning. Guided by a child-centric approach and supported by a team of dedicated educators, our Cygnets and Swans classes embark on a transformative journey that lays the foundation for their academic and personal growth.
Children can join the Cygnets nursery class from age 2. We have a rolling intake which means children can join at any time after their second birthday during the school year. Children do not need to be potty trained to join Cygnets. We work with families to find the right time for each child to take that next step. Children can nap after lunch in our quiet room.
Children move up to Swans after they turn 3 and when we feel they are ready to make the transition to be more independent. Swans children do not nap during the day and are toilet trained.
Children join Reception in the school year in which they turn 5. Children from Swans class automatically move up to Reception at school starting age. Children applying to join Heathside for Reception are invited to attend a short, play-based assessment so that we can get to know them a little as we consider offering places.
We meet each child where they are individually at; supporting them to take them wherever they want to go. To do this, our early years staff adopt a ‘planning in the moment’ approach, letting the children lead their planning and ideas.
This style of planning supports children to learn the appropriate skills to develop a growth mindset where they are able to challenge themselves in any situation. It creates confident, independent, school-ready children.