Children’s first experience of school should be special; in The Orchard we create a caring, stimulating and friendly environment where children feel safe and secure to play, learn, explore and discover the world around them.
We support children in small classes to achieve their potential in all aspects of Orchard life and to become confident and independent learners. The Orchard Pre-prep welcomes boys and girls from nursery to Year 2; by the end of their final year with us, our children are fully prepared for the excitement and challenges of moving on to prep school.
Children learn best through hands-on investigating, exploring and play. In Nursery and Reception, we use topic ‘thinking tubs’ where the children are included in the planning of activities, sharing what they know and what they would like to learn about. Staff then plan exciting, structured activities based on their ideas and interests within the termly theme. Pupils are encouraged to ‘manage their own risks’, to learn about boundaries, but also how important it is to push these.
Play is essential in the learning process and boys and girls in The Orchard regularly take their learning outside into the school grounds, a rich environment where exploring, investigating and problem solving are all part of playtime. Activities include story-making, art, den building, orienteering, maths investigations; whatever the weather, whatever the game, there are opportunities for learning.
A strong sense of family is key throughout The Orchard and we strive to make our pupils feel part of the greater school community. We actively create opportunities for our children to make friends and play with the girls in the Prep school, encouraging the ‘big sister’ role in our older pupils. Family style lunches, where older children help the younger ones, both at table and at break times, helps foster responsibility, for the self but importantly, for each other.
Our pupils come to know the staff in the Prep school early on, with specialist lessons in French, ICT, Music, Gym and P.E. In addition, The Orchard attends a weekly whole school celebration assembly and maintaining that sense of family, the Senior Leadership Team give regular assemblies to The Orchard.
Nursery & Reception
Years 1 & 2
What People Say
It’s a place where my daughter can enjoy her childhood without sacrificing a 1st class education and where she can get a 1st class education without sacrificing her childhood.
Approach to the ‘whole child’. PEP encourages girls to dip into a wider world and to think about issues like current affairs and challenge their thinking.
Riding is huge. Knighton is one of Horse and Hound’s ‘six dream schools for horsey children’ and ponies have been at the centre of school life forever.