Scientific research is clear that the benefits of excellent early years learning is transformative for later learning.

A St Anthony’s Early Years education does not just prepare children for primary years and beyond, it gives those children a significant advantage for accelerated future learning.

An OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) study published in January 2020 showed that quality Early Years education makes a significant difference to pupil attainment in the longer term; the key findings in this research emphasised the importance of the highest quality early years learning, as opposed to simpler childcare, to enable this positive effect.

The Inspired Education Group’s Early Years Approach to learning is informed by the latest developments in cognitive science to ensure the deepest early years learning, and therefore the greatest future accelerant of learning in later academic years for these children.

Ham & High: Richard Berlie says that research now proves the importance of Early Years educationRichard Berlie says that research now proves the importance of Early Years education (Image: St Anthony's Boys School)

Inspired’s approach epitomises the necessary quality referred to in a 2020 OECD report; this states that making connections and relationships, through enquiry-based learning, enables a child to start thinking for themselves, which then feeds directly into better literacy and numeracy; our creative and exploratory pedagogies in Early Years prepare children to maximise learning as they move up into the rigorous teacher-guided curriculum.

What is key for young children is that they experience and learn about the world relationally with other children. Peer-to-peer learning affects brain formation from zero to six years of age.

Once a child starts thinking for themselves, they keep thinking for themselves, with the evidence suggesting that school-based nurseries have significant long-term benefits in terms of personal and academic development.

The best Early Years settings integrate child learning with child care. Encouraging boys and girls to make connections about the world around them whilst forming strong relationships with other children and adults builds knowledge and confidence. Once this framework is established, then literacy and numeracy can take hold; at its very best one sees an interplay between transmitting didactic teaching with creative pedagogy. Maths and English take priority alongside enquiry-based approaches to learning.

Research is now beginning to underpin what Early Years practitioners have known for years: depth of learning at pre-school level is directly linked to the speed of a pupil’s progression through school. Investing in Early Years is the most potent means of proofing a child’s future success.

  • Richard Berlie is the headmaster at St Anthony's School for Boys in Hampstead.