The Early Years Department comprises of First Steps, Second Steps and Reception. Our Head of Early Years is Mrs Amelia Gibbons. She is also Reception teacher here at Park Hill School & Nursery.
Children begin their journey in First Steps from the age of 2 years. Our wonderful First Steps team members are: Mrs Guniz Akoglu, Miss Paula Finch, Ms Edina Vari & Mrs Nektaria Mousi. All of our staff members are highly qualified NVQ Level 3 Early Years Practitioners. Together they bring their extensive knowledge, skills and understanding of the Early Years, to provide children with a rich, nurturing, creative learning environment.
The First Steps learning environments are well planned and the excellent staff to pupil ratio allows for a wide variety of activities to be available throughout the day. Children are also given free access to resources and are encouraged to learn through their own experiences and individual interests. The teachers adapt the learning environment to follow the interests of the children.
Every Tuesday morning the children enjoy a Woodland School session in our large outdoor bark area. They enjoy a vast array of activities in the large open outdoor space. Children are more stimulated in the outdoors and it gives them the opportunity to grow in confidence, enthusiasm and creativity. It also hugely develops their communication skills, problem-solving skills and promotes emotional well-being.
Mrs Baillie uses a variety of musical instruments during her weekly music lessons. Music enables children to learn new words and expand their vocabulary, giving them more words to express themselves resulting in an increase in confidence and creativity. Certain instruments, such as percussion, help children develop coordination and motor skills; they require movement of the hands, arms, and feet. There are many benefits to learning songs and rhymes. Studies have shown that when comparing the literary abilities of school age children, those who had a good understanding of rhyme from an early age, outperformed those who had little exposure to it.
Every Wednesday Ms Georgina leads her Performing Arts sessions with our First Steppers. Performing Arts allows children to develop their creative and imaginative skills. It simultaneously teaches children language and communication skills, helping them to communicate effectively with others with confidence.
Ms Adamidou is our PE teacher here at Park Hill School & Nursery. She teaches the children twice a week and works on developing their balance and co-ordination, balls skills, gross motor movement in fun and engaging sessions. They practice moving their bodies in different ways, throwing, catching and kicking a ball.
Every Friday the children enjoy a wonderful cooking session in First Steps. They learn mathematical language when weighing, measuring and mixing all of the ingredients together. They particularly enjoy eating their creations later that day. Our cooking sessions here at Park Hill are extremely engaging, fun and are a hands-on learning experience.