Head of Junior School’s Welcome
Set in Kenya’s Rift Valley, the children could not be in a more picturesque and exciting setting in which to inspire their learning. Greensteds Junior School has a palpable sense of community and a family feel that allows children to be children.
Every day I remain proud of the way children, staff and parents work together to ensure that we provide a dynamic, holistic and enriching environment. It is this that nurtures an inclusive community, where the emotional, physical, creative and
intellectual needs of all the children are met.
Greensteds Junior School is values based, with honesty, respect and kindness being high on our agenda. Our half termly assembly themes and our day to day work are also based around the ‘7 Pillars of Greensteds’. It is these that we wish all in our community to follow; dedication, respect, diversity, opportunity, care, community and challenge. All of these values provide the foundations for future success during and after the children leave school. Our Junior School is a special and busy place. The pupils experience a multitude of opportunities that allow them to develop their potential in a variety of areas of school life, both in and out of the classroom.
We have a group of talented staff who go above and beyond to provide the opportunities for each individual pupil to shine. Our aim is to find what the pupils are passionate about and inculcate a real love of learning. We are a non-selective school, where all pupils achieve and make progress with support provided for those who may learn differently. Our family environment provides the foundation for children to feel secure and from this they are happy to be challenged, to think for themselves, to take risks with their learning and most importantly to be inquisitive; they want to learn. Choosing the right school for your children is one of the most important decisions that a parent has to make. Our website provides an insight into life at the Junior School. However, to get a real feel and to fully understand what a special place this is, I would be delighted to show you around the School and more importantly, provide you with an opportunity to meet our inspiring staff and happy and confident children.
I look forward to welcoming you.
Head of Junior School
At Greensteds Junior School we regard ‘Assembly Time’ as a crucial part of our pastoral care and the holistic development of our students. We meet three times a week; on Monday as a whole school with the Senior School, on a Wednesday with Key Stage 1 and 2 separately and on a Friday with the whole Junior School together outdoors at the ‘Raising of the Flag’ assembly. All teachers in the Junior School are involved in running assemblies. In our assemblies we aim to:
- Boost self esteem through celebrating successes and achievements amongst our students;
- Focus attention on a particular theme such as a moral (hope, kindness, forgiveness) that is relevant to our students through telling a story or acting out a play which might include the students themselves;
- Provide opportunity for our students to reflect on the chosen theme in a quiet time which may then enable them to incorporate what they have learnt into their everyday lives;
- Foster a spirit of togetherness and community amongst all of our students and staff.
PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)
Personal, social and health education deals with many real life issues our students at Greensteds Junior School face as they grow up. Our lessons provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to lead healthy and responsible lives as confident individuals and members of society. A typical lesson will involve a ‘circle time’ where the children sit in a circle and take turns to discuss an issue such as caring for the environment or bullying. A conclusion will be draw by either the students or the teacher on what has been learnt in the session and how we can implement these lessons into our real lives.
Our PSHE sessions also involve a visit to the school cafeteria where the students are able to spend some of their own budgeted money; promoting their independence, and sit down to listen to a story or further discuss the subject of the lesson; encouraging their social and communicating skills.
There are three break times during the school day. The first a short ten minute break from 9.10am to 9.20am between Literacy and Numeracy, the second a longer twenty minute break from 10.50am to 11.10am for a morning drink and snack, and the third for an hour from 12.45pm to 1.35pm for lunch.
During each of these breaks there is a Junior School teacher on duty monitoring the student’s behaviour, welfare and interaction with each other. We recognise that break times play a very important part in the development of the Junior School community and our student’s ability to cooperate with each other in a range of play activities. Our students are free to play in the adventure playground, entertain themselves with a range of sports on the field or simply relax in the peaceful shade of trees whilst reading a book.
At the beginning of the school year each class agrees on a set of ‘Golden Rules’ which are designed to positively reinforce appropriate behaviour in the classroom. Such rules typically include statements such as ‘Always show respect to other people’s property’, ‘Always put your hand up if you want to talk in class’ and ‘Always show kindness to all other students’.
During the week students are reminded of the rules and complimented on keeping to them. However, on the rare occasions that one or more of our students do break the Golden Rules then they are made aware of the offence and a period of time is taken off their Golden Time at the end of the week.
Boarding life has numerous benefits, with the main one being that students’ remaining on site allows them to fully take advantage of everything that Greensteds has to offer. Each dormitory (boarding house) creates an atmosphere that lets students feel at home and fulfil their academic potential. Teaching staff live-in and support the students, overseeing all their needs. Matrons, who also live-in, facilitate the day-to-day domestic side of the dorms.
In the Junior School, the Class Teacher works closely with each child and their parents, with the support of the Head of Junior School, to ensure that their welfare is prioritised and that they develop as they should. Boarders are additionally supported by their Dorm Tutor who also liaises with parents to ensure continuity of care and outstanding support for children.
Some of the facilities include a Common Room with TV (DSTV), kitchen areas for preparing light snacks, hot showers and laundry service. Prep time is a component of boarding life and entails pupils being supervised by a member of the teaching staff as they carry on with their prep (homework) each evening.
Parents are welcome to visit their children at any time, by arrangement with their child’s Dorm Tutor. The School also welcomes parents during Parents’ Weekends of which there is one each half term.
Our community welcomes those of all faiths and none, whereas students of faith are encouraged to practice their faiths with the School, where we provide opportunities for worship and prayer on and off site.
Every day, at 3:20pm, it is a joy to see Greensteds pupils rushing off excitedly to their after-school clubs laid on for them by our staff, as well as by a range of excellent external providers.
We believe that membership of our many clubs and activities links to the happiness, and success, of our children both now, and in the future. So why do we place so much importance on co-curricular activities? Firstly, participating in these activities instils in children a sense of belonging and unity. Many of the clubs promote teamwork, sportsmanship and communication skills and this in turn leads to increased self-confidence and self-esteem. Secondly, many of the clubs promote a healthy lifestyle.
We offer a wide range of active clubs that include; rugby, hockey, netball, rounders, cricket, athletics, running, roller-skating, Tae Kwon Do, swimming, journalism, chess, bead club, horse riding, art, pottery, cookery and dance. If children adopt a healthy lifestyle at a young age, this will tend to follow them throughout their lives. Thirdly, being a part of a club encourages children to express themselves in a creative way.
At Greensteds children can express themselves through art, music, singing, dance and cookery clubs. Finally, our wide and varied clubs programme encourages our children to enrich their lives, both now and in the future, by exploring interests outside the normal school curriculum. Discovering early on a passion and talent for cookery or horse-riding, for example, may very well lead to a life-long interest or even career, in a field that may very easily have been missed.
In an increasingly competitive and demanding world, it is personal skills and an enterprising instinct as well as academic flair that set successful people apart. Greensteds pupils learn that trying new things and meeting new people are two of life’s great joys. We find that teachers’ high expectations are met with pupils’ enthusiasm.
Even from the earliest years, our pupils are learning the basic skills of social interaction: listening, cooperating, and becoming articulate about their thoughts and feelings. The children are in a community here at Greensteds, making mistakes and learning from them is normal and good ideas are noticed and celebrated. This approach provides a stimulating and challenging curriculum in which children thrive.
Children who come here very quickly find aptitudes, gifts and talents that may have been missed elsewhere. There is an atmosphere here that encourages everyone to try something new and improve abilities through sustained effort. We study all the English National Curriculum subjects plus Kenyan and world history and geography and French.
In the upper years of the Junior School, our pupils are given tasks that require more independent study and research. We also cultivate a sound work ethic in preparation for Senior School. Classroom learning is regularly enhanced with trips and visits. Formal and informal assessments are set by teachers regularly to find out the progress and level of attainment the children are reaching.
At Greensteds it is not just about high achievers but about ‘value added’ progress for all children.