Learning in the Junior Department

Learning in the Junior Department is a combination of formal learning and child-initiated exploration, and the curriculum is designed to develop individuality, confidence and independence.  In this way, our children develop active learning skills, creativity and critical thinking, empowering them to pursue their own interests and ideas.

Edge Grove has ambitious academic standards and every year many of our Senior Department children win academic scholarships and awards to prestigious 11+ and 13+ senior schools.  From the start of their educational journey in the Junior Department, children at Edge Grove are supported as individuals – developing at their own pace, encouraged and inspired by caring, professional staff

Each day consists of academic lessons, outdoor learning and creative play. We break in the morning and afternoon for a good run around in the extensive Paddock at the rear of the School (Junior Department children have this space to themselves!), and a hearty lunch is served either in the Junior Hall (Reception) or the main School Dining Room.

Edge Grove Junior Department pupils learn in small classes (maximum class size is 22, but more usually 20) and from Reception pupils benefit from subject specialist teaching in Music, Drama, Games (from Year 1), P.E., Spanish and French. All classes have a qualified Form Teacher teacher working alongside a Learning Assistant. Forest School has regular slots on the timetable throughout the Department.


There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the educational programme in Early Years. Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and a mixture of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Throughout the day there are focused interventions in phonics, maths and English to extend and deepen learning opportunities. In addition, specialist teachers in PE, Modern Languages, Forest School and the Performing Arts work with the Reception children each week.

Year 1 and 2

In Years 1 and 2 teaching staff further advance the children’s love of learning developed in Reception.We encourage increasing independence in these year groups; teachers expect the children to settle quickly and quietly to morning tasks, and to place their book bags, homework and water bottles in the correct location in their Form Room each morning, without assistance, to reflect their growing maturity. 

In English there is an ongoing programme of reading, writing, speaking and listening.  We use a systematic programme of synthetic phonics to support children in learning to read fluently.  Teachers hear the children read on an individual basis at least twice a week and involve them in many structured reading activities. Through a rich variety of high-quality texts: fiction, non-fiction and poetry, children’s skills grow and the texts act as a springboard for written work. Children learn the grammar conventions for a range of text types such as story writing, descriptions, recounts of experiences, letters and acrostic poems, whilst growing their vocabulary and learning spelling rules.  Children are encouraged to become confident speakers and active listeners.

Mathematics covers number (order, counting, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division), mental calculations, times tables, money, shape, measure and data handling.

Children will also immerse themselves in a wide range for inspirational topics, many of which have cross-curricular links and activities.

Please see our academic section for more details about the curriculum throughout the School.

Edge Grove Curriculum

“Younger children make excellent progress with their early reading because of a systematic and rigorous knowledge of the sound letter make when they decode words. As a result, pupils of all ages love reading”

ISI Report 2023


Performing Arts

Outdoor Learning


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