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Headteacher's blog: Why it all starts here in Year 3

 

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We are unique in the Bristol independent school sector, not only are we a school focused on girls’ education, our first point of entry is Year 3, at age 7.  

Pupils join us from a range of schools across the city, coming together at the start of Key Stage 2, as a Junior. It is an exciting opportunity to start a new school, alongside a group of peers, where new friendships are forged and social skills extended as they all learn about each other. Although moving schools can be daunting for some, the fact that everyone is new and the provision of a Big Girl buddy to support them during the first days of term, quickly settles the new members of our community. A highlight of our Junior School calendar is the Big Girl Little Girl trip, where girls get to know each other during an informal fun day out. 

Starting at the Junior School in Year 3, the bar is immediately set high. Entering the Juniors is a step up where expectations are set at Key Stage 2 and we never underestimate a 7-year-old here. It is the ideal age to take on new challenges and to begin enjoying the many opportunities we offer, whatever your daughter is interested in. Sport fixtures are played within the first few weeks, caving sessions are offered in the first term and all are encouraged to join a range of extra-curricular activities that include choir, fencing, judo, drama, art or maths. Every girl takes part in annual outdoor education trips, as well as creative arts workshops from Year 3. 

We are proud to be a school known for being small and nurturing, meaning that our dedicated staff really get to know the children on an individual level, and support them pastorally in and outside of the classroom. Academically, we have the resources to be able to stretch and challenge where needed, in these pivotal years.  

We also know from research that this age group has been most affected by lockdowns and closures during the Covid pandemic in their emotional and social development.  Our staff are committed to ensuring that the girls’ well-being is a priority. We have included an additional weekly PSHE lesson to explore themes pertinent to each class across Years 3 – 6. Last year, we introduced drama lessons into the curriculum, taught by a specialist, with a focus on improving social skills and self-esteem.  

Our 7-year-olds join the older Junior girls on many occasions each week. They inspire and are role models. In the dinner hall they share tables, clubs are often mixed ages and on a Friday, the whole school is mixed up for activity hour, where the children are able to choose the group they want to join.  

We create a solid foundation for life ahead at the Senior School, where we were recently named the highest ranked Bristol school in The Times Parent Power league table 2023 for academic performance for a second year in a row. This was an incredible achievement for our Redmaids’ High community, and this all-round excellence in our educational offering all starts from Year 3.  

To understand how well our Year 3s settle in and achieve, why not visit us at our next visiting morning on Friday 2 February or arrange an independent tour.

Visit here for more information. 

Date Posted: 4 January, 2024

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