As a Lower School we cater for children from the age of five to nine following which they transfer to Middle School.
In addition to the ‘main school’ we also have a nursery that caters for children from the term after their third birthday. Children in the nursery are offered a part time place for up to 15 hours per week.
The Lower School phase covers three stages of the children’s educational journey. The Foundation Stage is for children in the nursery to the end of the reception year i.e from three to five years old. At Maple Tree this stage has three teaching groups; Lime (nursery aged children), Chestnut and Beech (reception aged children). The three teachers in the Foundation Stage lead the teaching and learning with the support of a number of teaching assistants.
The next stage of education is called Key Stage One and this is for children aged five to seven. In this stage, there are two years; year one and year two. The standard number for each year group at Maple Tree is forty five and the Government requires that all Key Stage One classes must not be above thirty. Consequently this means that we have to have a mixed age class. The classes in Key Stage One are Ash (year one), Willow (year one / two) and Sycamore (year two).
The last two years at the Lower School comprise the first half of Key Stage Two which is completed at the end of year six in the Middle School. As in Key Stage One, the requirement for at least one mixed age class continues in Key Stage Two. For this current academic year (2016/17) there will again be one mixed age class: Oak (year three), Cedar (year three/four) and Elm (year four).
Due to the need for mixed age classes, the school operates a rolling programme of topics so that children do not meet the same work twice. Staff in each team work together so that all children receive the same learning opportunities but ensuring that this is differentiated appropriately to meet the needs and abilities of all children.