Early Years

The Early Years at Harrow Shanghai embraces the immense natural curiosity of children, their limitless imagination and power for learning. This important phase includes Harrow Cubs, Pre-Nursery, Nursery and Reception classes.

The Early Years Curriculum

At Harrow Shanghai we follow the English Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Framework. This framework provides the scaffolding for the children’s learning and development. There are seven areas of learning and development that are all equally important and inter-connected. Three areas are essential aspects of children’s natural development and are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, for building their capacity to learn and helping them to form relationships and thrive. These three areas, called the Prime Areas, are:

  • communication and language;
  • physical development; and
  • personal, social and emotional development.

We also support children’s learning in four Specific Areas, through which the three Prime Areas are strengthened and applied. The Specific Areas are:

  • literacy;
  • mathematics;
  • understanding the world;
  • expressive arts and design.

Underpinning the seven areas are the Characteristics of Effective Learning:

  • playing and exploring;
  • active learning;
  • creating and thinking critically.

These Characteristics of Effective Learning are the key traits of successful learners and aspects that we empower children to develop and use throughout their earliest years. Such characteristics are essential for future learning and later success in life.

During their time in the Early Years, children’s learning is continually assessed across all seven areas of learning against the Early Years Learning Outcomes to inform ‘next steps’ in learning and to help teachers plan responsively for each child’s individual learning. The Outcomes are also used to track children’s learning throughout Harrow Cubs, Pre-Nursery, Nursery and Reception, and to support their transition into Year 1.

Structure of the School Day

The Early Years day is a full programme from Monday to Friday.

The day begins at 8:00am and finishes at 4:00pm from Monday to Thursday for Nursery and Reception children. On Fridays, it finishes at 3:00pm.

For Pre-Nursery children, the day begins at 8:00am and finishes at 2:00pm, except for Friday when the day finishes at 3:00pm.

The Harrow Cubs class begins at 8:00am and finishes at 2:00pm from Monday to Friday.

The children have a morning snack, family style lunch and an afternoon snack. The younger children are provided with opportunities for a nap.