Our school is marking a new chapter in its history with the announcement that we will be opening our own pre-school for two to four-year-olds in April.
Based at the fully refurbished Mill House, within our Junior School campus, the pre-school will offer a stimulating learning environment with play at its heart for the school’s youngest children. It will be open from 7.30am-6pm, split across three sessions, five days a week.
Led by experienced qualified teacher and early years specialist, Carl Shuttleworth, the Mill House team has planned an educational, play-centred curriculum within a safe, secure and child-friendly environment.
Mr Shuttleworth said “I believe the sheer breadth of learning the pre-school can provide is unique in the local area.”
The pre-school will also allow parents the flexibility of using their government-provided free childcare entitlement over three sessions a day, rather than the traditional two.
Mr Shuttleworth added: “We will balance play and experiential learning which is key to the early years but with the challenge and academic ethos of Giggleswick School. We have access to the entire campus, including Giggleswick’s sports facilities, the Ghyll Field and the Chapel. PE, French, music and swimming will all be taught by specialist teachers from the school.”
At Giggleswick, we believe the more time the children can spend outside the better understanding their place in nature and how we affect our local environment, and the pre-school will be making the most of its wonderful location. There will be welly walks, forest school and swimming for three and four-year-olds.
Mr Shuttleworth, an early years specialist with more than a decade of experience, has moved to Giggleswick from Manchester with his wife Gemma, who is also a primary school teacher, and their two-year-old son. He will lead a team of experienced practitioners.
He said “I feel privileged to be a part of the team at Giggleswick and really look forward to developing this very special learning environment for our youngest pupils. Play must be at the core of what we do, but how we tailor it to the individual child’s learning and give them a strong foundation for life is one of the most exciting elements for all the staff here.”
Mill House Pre-school will work alongside the Junior School − applauded in its recent ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) inspection and recently rated one of the UK’s Top Ten Best Value Prep Schools by The Telegraph.
James Mundell, head of the Junior School, said “Over the next few months we will be creating a fresh and stimulating learning environment in Mill House. We’ll also be working closely with our parents to develop the pre-school’s flexible arrangements for families. Like the rest of the school, the focus remains on providing a broad educational experience within a supportive and nurturing environment, giving the children the very best start both academically and socially.”
Mill House Pre-school will complete our all-encompassing educational provision. It joins the junior school, which opened in 2006, and the historic senior school, established in 1512.
We are hosting an Open Afternoon on Friday 8 February, which will be an opportunity to find out more about the developments for Mill House and see the Junior School in action on a normal school day. More information is available here or by phone on 01729 893000.