Learning Through Discovery - Gateways School

NEXT STEPS Prep School Ages 5-11

Why Littlegates?

In recent years the Government has called for more formal, structured learning in England's nurseries and playgroups and advocated schools as the best place for this. This is because it offers a head-start to a child's formal education and, with seamless transition, it provides an excellent platform into Reception and Year 1.

How To Apply

Learning Through Discovery

Settling into Littlegates

Children make a seamless transition from the Gatehouse Nursery to Littlegates at the most appropriate time around their third birthday. Regular visits are made to Littlegates prior to the move, enabling children to become familiar with their teachers, make new friends and familiarise themselves with the indoor and outdoor learning environments. The same goes for children joining Gateways at this stage, who are invited in for 2 to 3 settling in sessions prior to starting.

Learning & Curriculum

Classes in Littlegates have their own dedicated fully qualified Early Years practitioners who work closely with PE and Music specialists throughout the school. Learning is hands on and active to motivate children to become independent, have their own ideas and make links in their experiences. This promotes creative and critical thinking skills.

Pre-reception pupils are housed in a challenging learning space which broadens and invites children to develop the skills they need to thrive and achieve.  There is a strong emphasis on preparing children for school.  Social skills, literacy and numeracy are given a high priority via carefully planned and structured learning opportunities.

A seamless transition occurs when children enter Reception class.  They are ready for the next stage in their education and are fully aware of the expectations, having witnessed them on a daily basis throughout their time in Pre-reception.  They are eager to get going, having already absorbed much of what happens in Reception class due to their close proximity with the Reception Suite.  The Reception Suite offers a wealth of challenges and experiences to promote a love of learning and an attitude to achieve.

Children follow the EYFS curriculum, which supports and values the importance of early education. At this stage the EYFS curriculum focuses on seven areas of learning and development; three prime areas (physical development, communication & language and personal, emotional and social development) and four specific areas (Literacy, Mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts & design).


Progress Reviews and working with parents

Our team of personable EYFS professionals work closely with parents to ensure the development of your child from day one. At Gateways we are committed to promoting parent partnerships providing opportunities for practitioners to work together and promote learning and development. Parents are invited to attend assemblies, information sessions covering specific areas such as phonics, literacy, problem solving and mathematics and to observe lessons in the classroom.

Your child will be regularly observed and assessed, allowing the teacher to ensure they reach their full potential by delivering individual tailor made learning.

Listening to Children

Listening to children has always been given high priority in Early Years at Gateways School. This gives the youngest members of our school community a voice. Children and staff hold a meeting every half term. Children volunteer to attend the meeting and are usually bursting with ideas. The meetings enable staff to consider the interests and needs of the children and to actively seek to follow their lines of enquiry.

A Day in the life of ...

Poppy in Early Years


Mummy drops me off at Littlegates in the morning. I sit in the classroom and chat with my friends until Mrs Walker rings the bell which means it's time to take the register.


It's time to get busy with activities. This morning the weather is nice so I am playing outside with my friends. We are practising writing our names. We have been learning some French too. We can say "bonjour" and "au revoir" but I don't know how to spell those yet!


Today we have Show and Tell. The theme this week is "a photograph of your favourite person or place". I brought in a picture of Mummy and Daddy on their wedding day to show everyone in my class.


At 12 o'clock we go for lunch in the Dining Room. We all walk there together as a class. Afterwards we get free time to play outside. We play outside every day whatever the weather. Sometimes we have to wear our coats and wellies. Today it is sunny and we are playing with the sand pit.


This afternoon we have a music lesson with Mrs Walker. At the moment we are learning about rhythm. I got to choose a song to sing at the end. I chose "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" because it's my favourite.


This afternoon I have a ballet lesson with Miss Murphy. I have recently learnt how to do first and second position. Miss Murphy says I am very good.

What's happening in Littlegates?


7th April 2022

Cherryvine – Spring 22...

Below is a link to our latest issue of Cherryvine, our termly publication.  In this issue, we look at the trips and events from the Spring term, with a round up of...

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17th December 2021

Cherryvine – Autumn 21...

Below is a link to our latest issue of Cherryvine, our termly publication.  In this issue, we look at the trips and events from the Autumn term, with a round up of...

Read more

15th July 2021

Cherryvine – Summer 21...

Our termly round up Cherryvine is here;  in this issue we focus on the Art offering at Gateways, take a look at the trips and events during the summer term and introduce...

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