This is a collaborative post with Hilden Oaks School & Nursery.
Emily joined the Nursery at Hilden Oaks at the age of three. In the warm caring environment, supported by a wonderful team of nurturing staff, she quickly settled and started to make friends. She loved playing with her new friends without realising that, under the guidance of our expert Early Years practitioners, she was also developing skills: the fine motor skills that she would need when she started to learn to write, the ability to count objects which would help her when she was introduced to maths and an inquisitive mind that would form the foundation for her study of science.
Through her outdoor play she was also developing the physical capabilities and confidence that would help her to discover a love of sport, as well as basic rhythms and tempos – the foundations of music.
During this time, Emily became familiar not only with the Nursery environment but with many other aspects of Hilden Oaks; so, when she was ready to move into Reception, the transition was seamless and in no way a daunting experience. In fact, she positively skipped into school on her first day in Reception!
Emily flourished throughout her time at Hilden Oaks, with each teacher recognising her unique talents and challenges, and creating a differentiated learning journey that stimulated, stretched, encouraged and nurtured her through her primary education. Our team of subject specialist teachers opened Emily’s eyes to the wealth of knowledge that was available to her and helped to nurture a lifelong love of learning.
In Year 6, Emily took her eleven plus exam and achieved a place at her grammar school of choice. She left Hilden Oaks a happy, confident and capable girl with a rounded primary education, equipped with an enquiring mind and the drive and enthusiasm to make the most of everything her grammar school had to offer.
By contrast, Joshua had started in Reception at his local primary school. Whilst initially he had settled happily into school life, it became apparent to his parents that he wasn’t reaching his full potential.
He was clearly very bright, yet he was not engaged at school and seemed lost within a large class. By the time he reached Year 2, it was obvious that he was unhappy, so his parents took the difficult decision to move schools.
Joshua was given a very warm welcome by everyone at Hilden Oaks when he joined at the beginning of Year 3 and, happily, he started to make some lovely new friends.
Supported by a talented team of experienced teachers it was soon recognised that Joshua was not only academically very capable but had also developed a passion for sports, something he had been unable to pursue at his previous school. He also enjoyed taking part in drama productions, which really helped to boost his confidence.
Joshua positively thrived over the next few years. His parents said it was the best decision they had ever made and were glad they hadn’t left it too late! They had made their choice based not only on the excellent academic reputation of Hilden Oaks but also because of the small class sizes, Values-based Education, extra-curricular activities and sporting opportunities.
Although Joshua passed the eleven plus, enabling him to move onto grammar school, he was also awarded an academic scholarship at one of the local independent senior schools, which, in the end, was his preferred choice.
At Hilden Oaks, we are really proud of our reputation for both academic excellence and as a family-focused school that nurtures the emotional maturity and enthusiasm for learning, laying the foundations for a successful academic career in secondary school and beyond.
If you are considering a new school or pre-school for your child, please get in touch to arrange a personal virtual tour of Hilden Oaks with our Headmistress, Mrs Katy Joiner.
Hilden Oaks is a co-educational preparatory school and nursery in Tonbridge for children aged 3 months to 11 years.