Life in Lower School

    Most children stay at The King Alfred School throughout their school life, spending seven years in Lower School.

    Early Years

    Set in the former garden of Anna Pavlova’s house, Ivy Wood is a magical setting for young children - it is in this safe oasis of active learning and play children spend their first two years at the school.  Here they enjoy places to run and trees to climb, slides, climbing turrets and rope walkways, a Romany caravan, sand pit, a trike and scooter area, a sensory garden, growing beds, an apiary and an outdoor classroom.

    Each year, forty four-year-olds join Lower School on our Ivy Wood site, in one of two Reception classes (ages 4 and 5), each with 10 girls and 10 boys, a teacher and full-time teaching assistant.  The children continue together into Year 1 (ages 5 and 6) in the same environment.  Other teachers and older children join them from time to time and are regularly seen going to the Phoenix Theatre, the Forge or the DT building.

    Every day, Reception and Year 1 classes visit the main Manor Wood site for home-cooked lunches prepared freshly each day in our school kitchen.  A wide variety of delicious food is offered daily, including vegetarian dishes, organic meat, fish and a salad bar with a wide range of popular and tasty options.

    The Lower School guide outlines the Early Years Foundation Stage learning programme at Ivy Wood, including the specialist subject teacher lessons in Music, French, Computing and Design Technology.   Each week, early year’s classes spend a morning on the Manor Wood site, including a much-loved lesson in our well-stocked Library with the Lower School English Co-ordinator (photo), a gym session in the Lower School Hall and a music session in the Music Suite.

    Moving to Manor Wood

    The children move to the main school site for Year 2 (ages 6 and 7).  They are already familiar with their new classrooms and teachers, and the playground with sand and water play and climbing bars, as they will have visited these every week for the past two years. 

    From here, children move from year to year around the perimeter of the field until, at the end of Year 6 they move across into the Upper School for Years 7 to 13.  Classes are mixed at the end of Year 2 for Year 3 and again at the end of Year 6 for Year 7, enabling children to feel comfortable with every child in the year group.

    At breaks, children are free to play in the grounds, with a wooded area for building camps, an amphitheatre, climbing frames and rope walkways, swings, a Flying Fox, tarmacked pitches and tennis courts, the field at the heart of the school, the reading garden and the pond area.

    Parental Involvement

    Home and school is an invaluable partnership in the children’s lives.  Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in the life of the school, through Parent Staff socials and fund-raising, and by contributing to topics, accompanying trips and helping in the classroom (photos).  The school was originally founded by a group of parents and this spirit continues in our governing body, Council, which comprises members of the parent body, elected by other parents.

    Outline of the School Day
    Reception and Year 1
    9.00 Children arrive at school
    9.05 Electronic registration & first morning teaching session
    10.15 - 10.45

    First Break

    10.45 - 11.45 Second morning teaching session

    11.45 - 1.20

    Lunch & Break
    1.20 - 2.45   Afternoon teaching
    2.45 - 3.00 Third Break
    3.00 - 3.30 Storytime
    3.30 End of day
    Years 2 - 6
    8.50 Children arrive at school
    8.55 Electronic registration & morning teaching
    10.15 - 10.45 First break for Years 2, 3 and 4
    10.50 - 11.20 First break for Years 5 and 6
    12.00 - 1.30 Lunch & Break
    1.30  Afternoon teaching  
    3.00 - 3.15 Third break
    3.15 - 3.45 Storytime
    3.45 End of day/ Clubs/Friday Cafe