​The seven benefits of choosing a private education for your four-year-old

Posted on 12th Dec 2018 in School News, Prep Schools Guide, Choosing a school, Single-sex education

At the age of four, your daughter will be poised to start school. From day one, her school should be a caring and nurturing learning environment that is inspiring, transformational and replete with happy memories she will treasure all her life.

Your daughter should have the best possible advantages at this crucial age in her development.

Manor House School’s Head of Prep, Ms Suzanna Lopez, outlines the benefits of choosing an independent education for your daughter at Reception age and why it's best not to wait until she's older.

1. Higher Academic Standards and Achievements

The ages of four to seven years are crucial in setting the pattern of progression for your daughter’s future learning in Literacy, Mathematics and other core areas. Girls who join independent schooling at the age of seven, instead of four, risk arriving with lower basic Literacy, Mathematics and Language/Communication skills. Subsequently, they have to strive harder to keep pace with their peers who have been at Manor House School from the age of four.

Last year, 100% of Manor House girls passed the Phonics Screening Test (at age 5/6) compared with the national average of 82%. This year, we are on track again for a 100% pass rate. Also, latest results show that 100% of our girls in Reception class met the “Expected” or “Exceeding” grades in 17 Early Learning Goals (ELGs) in the seven main fields of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) tests:

1. Communication and Language

2. Physical Development

3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development

4. Literacy

5. Mathematics

6. Understanding The World

7. Expressive Arts and Design.

In addition, state school Reception classes may not offer the same subject opportunities and extra-curricular activities as selective independents like Manor House.

2. A better teacher to pupil ratio guarantees discipline and a stronger work ethic

Our maximum Reception class size at Manor House is 12 pupils. A teacher and teaching assistant are present at all times, so the adult-to-child ratio is one-to-six. The smaller ratio encourages our girls to work harder. They have no chance to disengage as they would in larger state school classes.

We ensure that a strong work ethic is fostered from the very beginning of their school careers and is enhanced by our strong commitment to pastoral care.

The joy of working to achieve remains with our girls all their lives, spurring them to greater success in their future studies and careers.

3. Single-sex education is proven to be more effective

Research clearly shows that girls’ language development overtakes that of boys at a very early age. As a single sex school, Manor House has no gender stereotyping, so our girls achieve more in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and are more likely to go on to study Science, Mathematics and Languages at A-Level.

They are given the freedom and confidence to succeed in their chosen subjects – without dissuasion or distraction from boys.

4. Superior Classroom Technology

All the classrooms at Manor House are equipped with computers and interactive whiteboards. Next year, it is our aim that Early Years and Key Stage 1 pupils (up to Year 3) will also have access to a set of tablets, as part of the school’s iPad for Learning initiative.

Our Head Teacher, Tracey Fantham – who has presented at Apple’s London HQ – believes that Manor House must prepare its pupils for the opportunities offered by rapidly evolving technology.

5. Better feedback and parental participation opportunities

All the Early Years teachers and teaching assistants at Manor House have iPads with the Tapestry app installed. This enables us to record each girl’s achievements in real time. As a parent, you can log in online at any time to see your daughter’s progress – and also record your observations about her achievements outside the classroom. The Tapestry app is widely recognised in the education sector for the benefits it brings to families, but not all schools have access to it.

Every year, Manor House hosts two parents’ evenings and six drop-in sessions so you can share your daughter’s learning in the classroom.

Parents also receive two formal reports (mid-year and end of year).

6. Greater opportunities and better facilities, for sport and outdoor studies

Girls have the opportunity to take part in physical education – including gymnastics, athletics, ballet, dance, swimming, yoga and tennis – from the age of four.

As Manor House offers a complete educational experience from 2-16 years, our Reception girls benefit from access to all the sports facilities used by the Prep and Senior pupils.

Our dedicated Forest School teaches pupils to appreciate the wonders of nature in our stunning 17-acre grounds – named in the Daily Telegraph’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Schools list.

Our girls learn about field craft, teamwork and managing risk through hearty activities such as den building, tree climbing and campfire singsongs!

7. Inspiring and nurturing creativity from an early age

Manor House builds on its academic reputation by attaining similar success in the performing arts. Girls are able to learn the violin, piano, recorder, ballet, dance and drama from Reception age. This stands them in good stead for all the music and drama performance opportunities open to them during their future years at Manor House. 

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