Welcome to our Virtual Admission pages! As we are unable to host large scale Open Mornings at present, we have put together some useful little gems of information that will help you to gain a good sensation of the ‘flavour’ of our wonderful school; through the videos of the staff and children, the interactive map that guides you around our beautiful site, and within our FAQ section, where (hopefully!) all your questions will be answered.
If you like what you see, and feel that you would like to know more, or perhaps would like to arrange a meeting with myself, or with Julie, the leader of Little Oaks Nursery, please do not hesitate to contact Kate or Leah who deal with admissions queries on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning on 01279 657706 – or simply click here to register your interest and they will get back to you swiftly!
Pre Prep Virtual Open Day
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Meet & Greet and Bayford Hall
The Bayford Hall is at the heart of Howe Green House School. All manner of events take place here from school assemblies, via PE lessons, nativity presentations, school lunches and even local community coffee mornings!
A dedicated drama and dance studio on the first floor provides an area for children to hone their drama skills, in lessons and clubs, delivered by our in-house Drama specialist. It is also used as a rehearsal space for the Parents’ Choir and individual music lessons.
Visitors to school are welcomed in the Meet and Greet area – a warm and inviting space which houses both the main school office and the Headmistress’s study.
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Little Oak Lodge
‘Little Oak Lodge’ houses the beautiful and liberating ‘Little Oaks Nursery School’. Here, each child is treated as an individual and we deliver integrated learning for our two and four-year-olds, where the older children scaffold the younger children’s learning and act as role models. All our ‘Little Oaklets’ are encouraged to take their learning and development forward by building on what they already know and what they can do. We provide a developmentally appropriate curriculum full of exciting activities that stimulate and fuel a desire to learn.
We focus on each child and work at a pace that suits their ability, recognising their strengths in a warm, attentive, approachable and exciting way. It is important to us that our children learn through a combination of teaching, playing, sharing and caring. Simply put, our children learn through having fun!
PE, Music, Science and Yoga are taught by specialist teachers, and each week we learn to say hello, goodbye, please and thank you in different languages.
Our stunning and well-equipped Nursery has easy free-flow access to our secure and very spacious outdoor environment, with enclosed areas and safety surfaces, enabling learning through play in the gardens, which have areas for digging, sand play and water play. The children access the woodland area from our garden becoming adventurous, wet and delightfully muddy!!
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Mulberry Lodge is the unique, bespoke home of our Reception children. Its stunning exterior and natural oak beamed interior complement the green and tree filled surroundings. Bi-fold doors open out from the spacious classroom onto a dedicated outside play area, allowing free flow whatever the weather.
Reception is the year that foundations are laid to create independence, curiosity and fascination, all of which are imperative to the immersive classroom environment. Singing and dancing our way through each day, we are a hive of activity and continually learn though new experiences; from travelling around the world (metaphorically at present!), rearing chicks and frogs, and even escaping into Space! The year is jam-packed with not a second wasted! The children tackle each new challenge they encounter with gusto, enthusiasm, curiosity and burgeoning confidence – developing their unique personalities and gaining increasing understanding on their exciting learning journey.
In Reception we work collaboratively as a team, our motto is “Teamwork makes the dream work!” and whether we are inside or out, the sun is always shining in Reception!
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The progression from Reception to Year One is an exciting time, especially with the change of location from Mulberry Lodge, to the newly renovated ‘Hornbeams’ which is home to Years One and Two.
The classrooms are bright and extremely spacious, with a large ‘whole class’ teaching area alongside designated spaces for small group and individual work. Doors from both rooms lead directly to outdoor spaces, so we can utilise the school’s fantastic grounds to enhance the children’s learning experience.
In Year One we continue to build on the Foundation Stage skills but are moving on from the EYFS curriculum, with teaching and learning becoming slightly more formal and adult led, whilst continually reinforcing this with engaging practical activities and action-packed trips in addition to a plethora of in-house workshops and exciting visiting guests. This is the ideal time for children to begin exploring their individual strengths and interests, and we tailor our teaching accordingly.
As the children’s journey through Pre-Prep progresses it is so satisfying to see them begin to develop a confident, yet relaxed, approach to the challenges set before them. There is a close liaison between the Year One and Year Two staff (facilitated by the interlinking classrooms) which is so beneficial, and enables the children to reach their full potential, ready to undertake the challenges ahead in the Prep department.
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The Cedar Wall building is home to the Prep School at Howe Green House. We focus on children becoming caring, contributory, determined and self-motivated individuals from the moment they join us in Year 3, to their very last day in Year 6. We provide children with a space to grow, not only as learners, but as individuals who will thrive when faced with new challenges. The Prep school is a place where interests are nurtured and children are given the confidence to be themselves no matter what.
Each of our Prep classes belong to a form tutor, who oversees their academic and pastoral needs, as well as teaching them several curriculum subjects. From Year 3, our children participate in even more specialist teaching; adding Drama and French taught by subject specialists to the PE & Games, Music, Art Design and Technology and Science specialist teaching they have enjoyed since Reception. In Year 6, the final year the children are with us, Maths is also taught by a specialist teacher, providing the final element of ensuring the transition to senior school is smooth, but appropriately challenging!
At Howe Green House we know that no two children learn in the same way, and we work hard to ensure that each child’s learning needs are met in a way that promotes an eagerness to achieve, and a desire to make excellent progress.
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If the Bayford Hall is the Heart of the school, then the Art room is its soul! Here we introduce students to all aspects of arts education. This safe and inspiring environment helps students to delve into their imaginations and create to their hearts desire. Art is an integral part of education; through self-expression, creative problem solving and hand-eye coordination, art expresses what words cannot.
With a mixture of paint, pastels and a multitude of mediums, the Art Room encourages students to embrace their creativity, cultural identity and uniqueness. Here we recognise that art is an essential part of a child’s lifelong learning journey and how it has paved our history.
Children will learn a myriad of artistic techniques, from painting and drawing to textile design and 3D sculpture. We aim to lead children to an awareness of the beauty of the world around them alongside an understanding of the importance of engineering and technology and its role in an ever-changing world.
Our children are encouraged to question, reflect and become courageous in their work; we help them to understand that there is no “correct model” and that it is ok to draw outside the lines, after all…. the world is better in glorious, vibrant technicolour!
“Creativity takes courage” – Henri Matisse
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Chestnut House is the oldest building on the school site and provided a home for the whole school when it was first established in 1987. Now the location for the refurbished Music room, relocated library and brand new science laboratory, Chestnut House is a hub of activity!
The wellbeing of children and staff is a priority for Howe Green House School and the Wellbeing Hub, located on the ground floor of Chestnut House, provides a calm and welcoming environment where children can talk about any problems or issues that are troubling them with an adult they trust.
At Howe Green, we value the uniqueness of each child and make sure that everyone achieves their potential. Careful monitoring of the children means that any additional needs are identified early and support plans put in place where necessary. The ‘SENtre’ based in Chestnut House is where teachers and support staff can access resources and the SEN and any visiting specialists can have a quiet space to work with individual children.
Music is an integral part of Howe Green House life; from the children’s choir to the orchestra, from the Howe Green House Singers parents’ choir to individual music lessons. The Music Room is located on the ground floor of Chestnut House where children develop their performance and composition skills as well as general musicianship by exploring and responding to a wide range of musical styles and genres.
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Moreton’s Field is used on a daily basis for an array of PE and Games lessons. Throughout the winter months you will find it marked out for Hockey and Football lessons, come Spring and Summer it is transformed into, amongst other things, an Athletics Track, Long Jump Pit, rounders pitches and a Cricket Field.
Moreton’s Field is also used to host local league matches and Finals for Cricket and Football. It has also played host to our vibrant and competitive Sports Days for many years, and is large enough to allow pupils from the whole of the Pre-Prep and Prep to participate simultaneously, along with their army of supporters in attendance!
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The picturesque, and vast, Ladywell Field is utilised to host large sporting events such as Tag Rugby tournaments, local and regional Rounders Finals and Cross-Country events. Set over seven acres, Ladywell really is an asset to Howe Green House for both PE lessons, as well as allowing us the space to compete in our School Sports Days and various competitions. The sheer scale of Ladywell Field means we are able to comfortably host a large number of schools onsite for tournaments, with capacity of up to eight pitches playing at a time.
On occasion, the whole school can be found together in Ladywell field, enjoying fundraising charity events organised by the Year 6 pupils, such as fancy dress Fun Runs and even a vibrant Colour Run!
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Play Area and Pirate Ship
During break and lunch times the Pre-prep and Prep children are able to spend time playing in the play areas. Here, there is plenty of space to run freely, sit and chat or explore amongst the trees, in the grassy areas or simply digging to the antipodes in the vast, and very much loved, sandpit. A wooden climbing frame and slide, especially for the younger children, is a home for our mini-climbers, along with an Adventure Playground where the children can swing, climb and balance to their hearts content. Children in Year 1 and above, can also use our magnificent wooden pirate ship, fully equipped with ropes, poles, nets and numerous hidey holes – perfect for imaginative games and fun with friends!
What food do you provide?
Howe Green House children can choose between having school lunches, at an additional cost, or they can elect to have packed lunches brought from home. The Parents’ Handbook details what can be safely brought onto the school site to avoid allergy issues amongst the pupils. Currently, due to Covid restrictions, we have paused the school lunch service, but will be resuming this option very soon!
Do you take the children on school trips?
All year groups go on various school trips during the academic year from the British Museum, the Royal Gunpowder Mills, Colchester Castle and a local fruit farm.
What pastoral care do you offer?
Chestnut House houses the Wellbeing Centre where the Head of Pastoral Care meets with children who need additional emotional support. As a small school we pride ourselves in knowing the children very well, therefore if a teacher is aware of a child that needs additional support, it can be arranged swiftly in-house. Children who need additional or more specialist support can access our Art Therapist, a Psychotherapist who specialises in children’s mental health needs. One to One sessions are agreed between the therapist and the parent, with the costs being met by the family in question. Art and Feelings groups, where children who have been identified as needing a little extra support, are run by the Head of Pastoral Care and the art therapist, are provided at the school’s expense.
Do you offer wraparound care?
Under normal circumstances we are able to offer Breakfast Club, which opens at 7.45am with the children being escorted to the classrooms at 8.40am. After School Club runs in two sessions from 3.45pm to 4.30pm and 4.30pm to 5.30pm. Both Clubs must be booked in advance and the charges are added to the school fees.
Currently we are unable to offer our normal wraparound care services, but we aim to resume these clubs are soon as we are able.
What is your extra-curricular programme like?
Under normal circumstances we offer a wide variety of extra-curricular clubs, including basketball, nature club, drama and karate, amongst others.
Currently we are a little restricted as to what we can offer, but we aim to resume these clubs as soon as we are able.
What is your sports programme like?
We cover an enormous variety of sports including Netball, Football, Tag Rugby, Hockey, Athletics, Rounders, Triathlon, Basketball and Swimming in addition to many other, often unusual, sports! As well as traditional team and individual school sports, we compete in archery, golf, skiing, karate, triathlon, cross country and even on occasion equestrian events – depending on the skills and interests of our children. Learning is fun and always considers the differing abilities of each child in the many sports. We work hard to make sure that every child has the opportunity to represent the school in fixtures, whilst also ensuring that excellence and ability is fostered and accommodated.
We successfully compete in both local fixtures within the Uttlesford School Sports Partnership as well as the I.S.A London North Region where we frequently have children who qualify for the I.S.A National Championships.
Do you have a learning support programme?
Yes, we accommodate children with a wide range of abilities, talents, passions and challenges. As such we can make provisions for children with up to moderate additional academic needs. We have children who leave the school with academic scholarships, those who need some support to access the curriculum, and everything in between. Essentially, we work with your child on an individual basis and help them make the very most of their abilities. Our SENDCo, Natasha Pook, is always on hand to support children, parents and staff with resources and advice.
What schools do your pupils go on to join?
Our pupils go move on to a VERY wide range of schools from both the independent and state sectors, including; Bishop’s Stortford College, Felsted, Haileybury, The Leys, The Perse, Stephen Perse, St Mary’s Cambridge, Beneden, Gordonstoun, and Hockerill Ango-European College, Herts and Essex Girls’ School and Boys’ High. Many of our pupils are awarded scholarships to the independent schools that we feed, and aptitude places to our local state schools. Most of our children move on as day pupils, but each year we have a small number of children who become boarders in their senior schools.
What facilities do you have onsite?
Please click here for our interactive map which will show you the range of spaces and facilities we have here at Howe Green House. In addition to our own substantial facilities – which include a science laboratory, music room and practice spaces, dedicated Art, Design and Technology building, spacious beamed Hall, Drama and Dance studio and acres of playing fields – we also have use of a large, floodlit, Astroturf facility less than 5 minutes from the school, and we utilise local swimming facilities for our swimming lessons and galas.
Do you offer bursaries?
As a small school we are unable to offer many bursaries. However, we do offer one fully funded bursary for children new to the school, from Year 3 onwards, subject to financial conditions. This bursary place becomes available periodically, so should this be of interest to you, please do read our bursary policy and contact the school for more information.
What is the admissions process?
Parents wishing to register their child should complete the registration form and return it to school along with a copy of their child’s birth certificate. A non-refundable registration fee of £50 should be paid via bank transfer to complete the process. Should a place be available in the relevant year, we will arrange for the child to meet the class and teacher virtually via a Zoom story time or circle time. References from a child’s existing setting, if appropriate, will be sought, and we may also require some low-key assessments to be carried out, depending on age. This enables us to see at what level a child is currently operating, and enables us to be sure that we are well placed to meet their needs. A place will be offered in writing if the Headmistress feels that the school can offer the child what they need. The parents will be asked to sign and return the Parent Contract, with payment of £500 Acceptance Fee to secure the place.
Can we talk to the Headmistress?
Absolutely! The Headmistress loves any opportunity to meet people new to the school community and you can arrange either a telephone call or Zoom meeting with her in the first instance. Socially distanced tours of the school site can be arranged after school hours, but only currently for classes where we have vacancies.
Are you currently accepting registrations?
Yes, although there are limited spaces available throughout the school. Please click here for the registration form and more information.
What are your entry points?
The majority of our children join the school in Reception, with most of those having spent at least some time at our nursery, Little Oaks, in the years preceding this entry point. Indeed, children who attend Little Oaks have priority when making offers for Reception places, so we encourage families who are keen to join the school to register at an early stage, and to spend some time as a ‘Little Oaklet’ to be most certain of achieving a space.
Children are also welcome to join at any point throughout the academic year where there is availability in the relevant class. We accept registration at any time, should a class be full the child’s name will be added to the waiting list.
What is the typical Howe Green House child like?
Now that’s an interesting question to start with! Essentially the answer is ‘all incredibly different to one another’ as this is a school where individuality is embraced and encouraged. However, we do have a phrase here where we describe what happens to those who spend this vital stage of their education with us – we call it being ‘Howe Greened’! Ultimately, the things our children do have in common by the time they leave us is that they are kind, mindful, courteous, eager to achieve and to ‘have a go’ at everything they experience and are confident without being arrogant, and very comfortable in their own skins. They are genuinely fabulous young people who are a delight to encounter and converse with. Always surprising, always interesting and always a pleasure to meet!