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 ...

Ethan in Early Years


Mummy drops me off at Littlegates in the morning. I put my name card up and unpack my belongings for the day ahead. Miss Ellison rings the bell which means it’s time to take the register.


My favourite time of the day is when Miss Ellison chooses a ‘star helper’. You have to be really good and say good morning to the teacher each day. You get to wear a medal!


At 11.30am we wash our hands ready for lunch in the dining room. We all walk there together as a class. I love lunchtime as I get to choose the food I like and sit with my friends. My favourite lunch is fish and chips.


After our phonics lesson we go to the big field where I play games with my friends, I get to see the older children too. We play on the bars and play hide and seek.


On a Friday afternoon we all go outside for Forest Friday. I love this time and we go outside even when it is raining! We go and hunt for the Gruffalo. Today I'm making a gruffalo face out of sticks and stones.


At 3 o’clock we get ready for home time. Sometimes I go to Sundowners. I love playing with my friends.

What's happening in Littlegates?


8th April 2024

Cherryvine – Spring 24

Below is a link to our Spring term issue of Cherryvine.  In this issue, we focus on Early Years as well as a round up of this term’s trips and events which...

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15th December 2023

Cherryvine – Autumn 2023

Below is a link to our Autumn term issue of Cherryvine.  In this issue, we focus on ‘growth’ as well as a round up of this term’s trips and events which included...

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10th July 2023

Cherryvine – Summer 23

Below is a link to our Summer term issue of Cherryvine.  In this issue, we focus on wellbeing as well as a round up of this term’s trips and events which included...

Read more