You may be aware of the current debate in the national press about school starting age.

An open letter has been sent to the Ministry of Education from a large group of almost 130 leading educators and Early Years experts who are strongly urging the government to review their school starting age policy. See more here

Children at Alder Bridge School begin school after their 6th birthday, having enjoyed their early years in a kindergarten where the formative skills - social, emotional and physical, as well as cognitive - are developed. Active, creative, imaginative, child initiated play is a priority in the early years, where children can experience the richness of childhood rather than academic hot-housing. And it pays enormous dividends later on, as the letter states: "Very few countries have a school starting age as young as four, as we do in England. Children who enter school at six or seven after several years of high-quality nursery education consistently achieve better educational results as well as higher levels of well-being." Children who leave Alder Bridge School at 13 or 14 years old fit into non-Steiner schools with ease. They have balance, flexibility and initiative. 

Polls in the national press clearly demonstrate that parents do not want to send their children to school at 4 or 5, but would prefer to wait until they are truly ready. However, for parents in the Thames Valley it can be difficult to juggle work and childcare, and school at an early age can seem to provide the solution. This year, in recognition of this challenge, Alder Bridge School has extended its provision, to enable children aged 3 – 6 to attend kindergarten full time and enjoy a natural childhood. Afternoons in Class 1 (6 years old) are optional to begin with, but a full programme of sessions are available for those who want or need to stay at school until 3.30pm; including activities such as gardening, adventures in the woodland, arts and crafts activities, stories and play.

Come to our Open Day on Saturday 5th October, and share our vision of childhood.