Brand new co-educational nursery to open at St. Anthony’s School for Boys

Posted on 3rd Feb 2023 in School News, Nursery

St. Anthony’s School for Boys is proud to announce the opening of a brand new nursery housed in the Junior School. The nursery will be part of the St. Anthony’s Group of nurseries accommodating boys and girls from 2.5 to 4 years of age. Nursery children will be considered for priority admission into Reception at either St. Anthony’s Boys’ or Girls’ Schools.

The nursery will boast dedicated learning spaces, inside and out of the classroom, designed for little hands and feet to explore and learn. The focus will be on delivering a high standard of teaching designed to build knowledge and stimulate curiosity. The children will be taught by well-qualified early years teachers assisted by subject specialists in music, drama, art and PE. Senior academic staff from the prep school will oversee and quality-assure the curriculum. The nursery aims to produce effective communicators, hungry to learn and do more.

St. Anthony’s Headmaster, Richard Berlie, is ambitious for all children and he believes lessons should be pitched to the top because ‘a rising tide lifts all ships’. Stretch and challenge is key to maintaining the interest of pupils. If a concept is too hard to grasp at first the teacher will use a range of methods to bring about a pupil’s understanding. A culture of high expectation permeates through the school, which is demonstrated in excellent academic outcomes and sport as well as an enormous number of activities ranging from coding to chess to debating and critical thinking. The school has recently welcomed a number of high-profile speakers to address the children in assemblies including Professor Robert Winston, Professor Ramadorai (Chair in Economics at Imperial College) and Dame Emily Lawson who spearheaded the vaccine rollout during the pandemic.

‘Talking-up’ to children has underscored their capacity for curiosity and comprehension. The school is fast gaining ground as an academically driven, yet nurturing environment focused on the individual needs of the ‘whole person’. Kindness and the cultivation of the virtues is at the core of the school mission; relationships are relaxed and respectful as reflected through the tradition of calling everyone (including the Headmaster) by their first name. The children here are very involved in social action raising significant funds for charities each term. The idea of ‘service’ for a St. Anthony’s pupil extends well beyond the school gates.

Senior school outcomes over the last few years have seen a significant uplift from the most competitive boarding and day schools. The key to this has been an overhaul of academic and pastoral provision putting education ahead of cramming. Pupils are pushed to think hard and to ask lots of questions; they are neither risk averse in the classroom or on the rugby pitches. The opening of a nursery, in the form of a pre-school, will enable children to build firm foundations and to be exposed to all sorts of exciting things that will allow them to move seamlessly up to Reception and beyond. In many ways an education at St. Anthony’s is a schooling for life.