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Barfield School

An Independent Preparatory School for Girls and Boys



Owls is the second stage of Barfield Nursery, commonly known as the Pre-School, for 3-4 year old children.

Children attend school for a minimum of five sessions a week and learn through purposeful play-based activities in small groups.  They are treated as individuals, in a warm and caring atmosphere. Additional sessions are available and encouraged for those who are more resilient, especially during the Summer Term, to ease the transition to full-time school when they enter our Reception classes.

Half termly topics are planned, based on the children's own interests to ensure that the children have a wide range of experiences linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.  To complement the fully resourced activity rooms, the children have free access to an enclosed outdoor learning area.  The children are encouraged to use this as often as possible. 

In addition to their class-based learning, the children have weekly Swimming lessons, Music lessons, fortnightly Forest Schools sessions with specialist teachers and make regular visits to the Cookhouse and library.  

The children have many opportunities to explore outside in the extensive grounds at Barfield and every day they visit the large Sandpit for play-time with the older Reception children. During the Summer term,  the children enjoy an arranged trip to Squires Garden Centre to extend their knowledge and understanding of the world.

Children begin to develop their reading skills through our Letters and Sounds programme, which begins with hearing the sounds, making sounds, and rhyme and alliteration prior to commencing sound and letter correspondence activities.  We use 'Read Write Inc' resources to support learning in this area.  Early writing skills are developed through mark-making activities such as drawing in the sand, using large paint brushes with water outside, and play writing in the role play corner.  As the children develop, we teach them the correct cursive letter formation, through a multi-sensory approach, in preparation for pencil writing in Reception.