Thank you to everyone who joined us and supported our junior swimmers during their house gala this afternoon. Congr…

Good luck to all of our junior pupils who will be competing in our annual swimming gala this afternoon.…

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☰ Every Child Counts

Head's Blog

Every Child Counts

Posted on January 27 2016

For many parents choosing a school for their child, class size is one of the fundamental features that they look at when making their decision. However, many people are not aware of the benefits of small class sizes and the positive effects they can have on learning.

Small class sizes are essential for good learning and can hugely influence the level of academic excellence achieved by pupils. A report by Professor Peter Blatchford of the Institute of Education, University of London, found that "in both reading and maths, pupils in small classes performed significantly better than pupils in regular class sizes."

The academic success at Forest Park comes from teachers being able to spend more one-to-one time with pupils as well as having more time to spend planning and marking work - two key opportunities which are not easily accessible for teachers of regular sized classes (average of 30 children in England). We find that at our school, as a consequence of small class sizes, pupils are also better behaved and are more engaged in the learning process. Pupils in small classes ask more questions, discuss subjects with teachers and are more inquisitive than their regular class size peers.

The evidence in favour of small class sizes combined with exceptional teaching is overwhelming and as a result, there is no better place for your child to flourish than at Forest Park. Small class sizes are at the core of our philosophy and always have been, for a child being a member of a small class can be fundamental in early learning and development and forms a solid foundation for their future.

Our small class sizes (typically 20 children) allow teachers to spend more time with children individually and with small average class sizes throughout the school - you can be sure that your children will receive the attention and high standard of education that they deserve.

We want our pupils' questions to be listened to and answered, and in a small class, no hand goes unseen and no voice unheard. No child goes without the opportunity to take the lead in a sports activity or in a school performance and this allows their confidence to flourish in preparation for their move into secondary education. They leave our school fully prepared for the challenges a larger class environment brings with the confidence to be heard and seen amongst their peers.

Every child knows every other child at Forest Park and as a result learns to interact and communicate with different age groups giving them another essential life skill. Younger children are inspired by the older children, whereas the older children learn how to care and be responsible for younger children.

We believe in maintaining small class sizes from Pre Prep all the way through to Year 6, meaning that your child will receive a consistently excellent standard of education throughout their entire time at our school. Every child is known and is loved at Forest Park and therefore your children will never disappear into the crowd.

A recent parent comment captures this perfectly:

'My son was always painfully shy and would not integrate well with others. He would constantly hold my hand or that of the teacher. Due to the small class sizes, my son has been given the attention he deserves, he is listened to and has been encouraged in every way which has helped build his self-esteem and confidence.

He now never stops chatting with adults and children alike, loves learning (even out of school!), is very outgoing and we have the Forest Park team to thank for this transformation.'

Nick Tucker

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