Early Years

Early Years at Chinthurst consists of three year groups (Little Chicks, Kindergarten and Reception).  This is where robust foundations are built with a focus on independent learning, a strong moral compass and good citizenship.

Antonia Burton is Head of Lower School (which covers Early Years and Years 1&2). As a Mum to three boys, she is as comfortable on the muddy side lines of a sports pitch as she is in the classroom! She firmly believes that learning should be fun and that close relationships and a supportive caring environment are the essential ingredients which will ensure your child reaches their potential.

Your child will benefit from a curriculum which encompasses the seven areas of learning outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) but is further developed to suit their needs and to reflect our unique Chinthurst ethos.

Little Chicks (2+), Kindergarten (3+)

There is a warm and fuzzy feel to our Little Chicks and Kindergarten! Caring teachers ensure a gentle and positive start to school life making sure that every child is happy, secure, valued and confident. Our philosophy is to celebrate the individual and our role is to stimulate and encourage each child’s development and enjoyment of learning through plenty of creative, fun activities and adventures.

Outside exploration and regular weekly Forest School sessions harness the benefits of outdoor education. This, along with a host of other activities such as cookery, STEM, Drama, French & PE ensure that the children are fully engaged. Fun and laughter are essential parts of learning at this stage.

You can download the Department for Education guide, 4Children, which has details of what to expect and when, with your little one, here.


Little Chicks - Minimum 3 mornings a week.

Kindergarten – Minimum 5 mornings a week

But we love to have them for full days too!


‘Close relationships will ensure your child feels happy, safe and willing to make mistakes – key ingredients for learning’

Children make the transition from Kindergarten to Reception in a confident, seamless manner, full of enthusiasm and excitement and ready for the next stage.

Reception has an energy all of its own and our teachers know that amazing learning happens when children are engaged and having fun. The concept of consistency might be explored by making jelly (and holding it upside down!) or a subtraction lesson might include smashing dough balls. Most importantly, mistakes are celebrated and confidence is cultivated so your child can achieve great things.

We never forget that small steps are very important in your child’s learning journey. By paying attention to their little successes, our teachers are building genuine relationships with your child, helping them to sparkle and shine.