What’s In Store On Our School Tour
At Aldenham we believe each of us is unique, and can find our own route to success if nurtured within a holistic environment. When children are safe and happy, they learn better because they can lose themselves in a task and reach a state of ‘flow.’ That’s why our all-round approach to learning encourages our pupils to be the best that they can be, whether it’s through coding or craft, through football or poetry, through kindness or resilience.Our staff have been carefully selected from a wide range of applicants, with British qualifications and experience. They’re all dedicated to helping your children reach their full potential, and are busy getting prepared for the start of our first academic year in September. In the run-up to our much-anticipated opening, we’re currently offering prospective parents and pupils tours of the school. You can register and book your visit now, or read on to find out more about what you can expect to see.
One of the first things you’ll notice about our outdoor play area is the plants - we’ve filled the space with beautiful trees and plants so our pupils will be surrounded by greenery. Even the shading is inspired by nature, with incredible tree-like sun shades. The play equipment has been sourced from Europe and built to the highest possible safety standards. The pupils are also sure to enjoy the outdoor water play area when they want to cool off, and of course there’s an adjacent changing room if they need to dry off. Outdoor play activities will vary, depending on both the season and the topics being studied in the classroom. It’s not the only space where they can get involved in physical activities - in the sports hall, they’ll be playing everything from football and netball to dodgeball and basketball, and can also learn dance and gymnastics.
Walking through Aldenham Prep Riyadh’s front doors and into the reception area, you’ll see that this building has been developed into a learning hub for our pupils. We partnered with the team at Kidzink Design to create it - they’ve worked on amazing learning spaces with leading schools from around the globe, and incredible attention has been paid to every inch of the school, down to quality furniture sourced and carefully constructed by our own production experts in Italy.
The central atrium is designed to support Aldenham’s ethos of nurturing pupils within a community, and will form the beating heart of our school right from day one. Here you’ll find mounds covered in artificial turf and climbing structures, designed to encourage our pupils to be active in a nature-inspired space. Role-play is vital to ensure children learn and understand the adult world, and the role-play area has a kitchen, a market, and washing stations - all with rounded edges and non-toxic paint, of course. We aim to nurture our pupil’s creativity and help them express themselves with the messy area, and groups of children can work together on projects in the group learning zone. There’s also a quiet and comfortable reading corner, and blue and yellow ‘trees’ to enhance the area’s natural feel.
Early Years Classrooms
Just a short stroll away from the central atrium are the early years classrooms, for the pupils aged 3 to 5. These have been built to support our fantastic teachers just as much as our pupils. As well as interactive screens, teachers will also have a mobile hub with a writable panel to work on when interacting with small groups or working one on one with a pupil. Developing a love of reading is vital, which is why we have a comfortable reading corner in every classroom so they can nurture their love of literature. The classrooms will be home for the children while they’re at school - it’s where they’ll learn and be registered twice a day. They’ll have ownership of the space, and learn how to keep it tidy. All of the early years classrooms have direct access to a spacious enclosed play area. An extension of the classrooms, it’s full of activities to keep pupils occupied, including water tables, musical instruments, a mud kitchen, and planter boxes.
Elsewhere in the school, there are plenty of other facilities, from the staff areas (accessible to parents) to the washrooms, which are all easily accessible and age appropriate. The teachers have access to a large common room for work and training, and for their breaks - our staff’s well-being is just as important as our pupils’. Although we’ve made the school as safe as possible, there will always be bumps and bruises, and children will be cared for by trained first aiders at our spacious clinic. It incorporates male and female spaces, and has a large reception area for the parents.
Brilliant learning can’t happen unless your child is thriving emotionally. Time for well-being shouldn’t be a luxury, and it certainly isn’t at Aldenham. There will always be times to step back and relax, and we all do this differently, which is why the Well-being Room was deemed essential. The room’s use will change year on year, as every child has different needs, but it will always be there for them to make use of. A softly-lit, comfortable room, it has space for quiet activities, one-on-one chats, as well as room to just relax.
Year 1 and Year 2 Classrooms
Upstairs on the first floor are the Year 1 and Year 2 classrooms, for our pupils aged between 5 and 7. These classrooms have been designed to help pupils experience a gentle shift away from the play-based learning that they’re used to, and towards a more formal education. These classrooms support the changing curriculum, but there’s still a focus on keeping lessons warm, child-friendly, and age-appropriate. It’s in these years that spelling and handwriting are developed, times tables are learned, stories are written, and mathematical problems are solved. We’ll also be encouraging more independence - from Year 1 onwards, pupils will be able to use their voice for good and vote for Eco Council and School Council representatives.
Art and DT
One of the most important elements of Aldenham education is preparing our pupils for adult life, and in the Art and DT classroom we place an emphasis on innovation and technology. Your child might be the next world-renowned artist or tech entrepreneur, and it’s in this room that their talents can take flight. With plenty of space and equipment for inventiveness, they can bring their ideas to life here, recreating the work of famous artists or working with their peers to create and design bridges.
Older Students’ Classrooms
Up on the second floor are the classrooms for the older students - the 7-11 year olds who will be in years 3 to 6. These rooms are slightly more formal, but the most noticeable change here is the larger furniture, designed to ensure those growing bodies are comfortable. Pupils in this age group can concentrate for longer and focus more on writing, while their mathematics work will be linked to their work in other lessons, such as examining population sizes in South America. The older students will also have extra responsibilities, such as being reading buddies for younger students, and in time they can become prefects or even House Captains.
The older pupils will also get to enjoy the school’s science lab, which was designed with the help of our Founding Head, Vicky Gocher, inspired by design principles that have been proven to work at Aldenham in the UK. The room is also flexible enough to be used for other purposes, from foreign languages to art. Here, the pupils will learn about everything from volcanic bicarbonate of soda eruptions to the human digestive system - demonstrated with a pair of tights and lots of goo.
Learning Resource Centre
The decor in this room has been designed to showcase Aldenham’s history and heritage alongside high-tech facilities. Here you’ll find comfortable armchairs, wooden flooring, and traditional rugs, as well as more modern reading nooks and rows of bookshelves. At Aldenham we consider reading to be the key to learning and life, and use the Oxford Reading Tree to help our pupils learn how to read. They’re monitored and guided through the scheme, with regular tests to establish their progress as they move to the next reading zone. At the far end of the room is a flexible learning space with well-equipped IT facilities and workstations - we’ve always looked to the future at Aldenham.
This open-plan space is where children can socialise and unwind while enjoying a healthy lunch. We’re currently working with a nutritionist to ensure all the food we serve is varied and nutritious - all while being tasty and appealing, too. The furnishings have been designed to allow for easy reconfiguration of all the tables and chairs, which are all wipe-clean.
Music is vital in raising creative children, and it also underpins many other areas of the curriculum - children who can read music will have a head start in mathematics, for example. Not only is learning rhythm, pitch and volume fun, singing is also a wonderful communal activity. We’ve dedicated a large space to music, with the main room big enough for a choir or an orchestra to take centre stage. As well as the main room, there are also three smaller rooms for pupils to hone their skills one-on-one with a mentor.
The best way to experience our school’s facilities is to come and see them for yourself, and you can book a tour right now. The tours are hosted by our managing partners or our teaching staff, and will also include a Q&A session with headmistress Vicky Gocher. We can’t wait to welcome our pupils to the school in September, and hope to welcome you and your child too.