Early Years

Curriculum and approach

  • Redbridge School follows the guidance offered by the French national curriculum for the first three years of ‘maternelle’ whilst maintaining a strong focus on self-directed play, creativity, autonomy and the natural learning of social skills in the Early Years.
  • Children engage in active-learning experiences where their curiosity is encouraged and rewarded through projects inspired by their own interests.
  • The Movimento da Escola Moderna (MEM) instruments and democratic classroom principles help structure the school day and week.
  • We also use some Montessori resources to supplement the dedicated classroom areas.

Learning environment and organization

  • Our 3-year-old children enjoy the comfort of a completely adapted and personalized nursery classroom (EY1) and benefit from the caring teaching approach of three dedicated and full-time teachers: one English, one French, and one Portuguese. This learning set-up has been specifically designed for our youngest children, at an age where their brains, imagination, and language are developing astoundingly. It is essential that they have the time and space to discover the routines of learning and find their feet in their first year. In this way, they have plenty of time to develop their curiosity, relationships, and motor skills and explore and experiment in a calm, secure, nurturing, and stimulating multilingual environment through a play-based learning approach.
  • The other 4 classrooms are for our 4 and 5-year-old children in a mixed-age set-up called Early Years 2. The multilingual approach established in EY1 continues with children accessing activities and instruction in all three languages throughout the day. We have facilitated this by connecting pairs of classes so that each pair has two dedicated homeroom teachers (one French and one Portuguese) and two English-speaking teaching assistants between them.
  • Each class of children has two full days in the French-led classroom and two days in the Portuguese-led classroom. One class starts the week with the French teacher and the other starts the week with the Portuguese teacher. This continues for the last 2 days of the week and then the students switch to their other homeroom teacher. Wednesdays are dedicated to Forest School, field trips, and other collective moments and activities. During the day, there are specific moments where children can move around both classrooms.
  • Children have the freedom to move between the internal and external learning areas so as to allow them access to the range of learning activities planned by both teachers. This also promotes their choice of activities, develops their autonomy, and ensures their exposure to the extremely rich linguistic environment, which provides many opportunities for learning both languages and a range of skills.

Early Years Facilities

  • The Early Years pavilion is a uniquely shaped wooden building comprising 500 m2. This building houses 5 classrooms, all with incorporated bathrooms, storage space, learning areas, a dedicated reading space, with each room having direct access to the garden. The building also offers a communal space for our educational team, a small kitchen and a meeting room.
  • The top floor of our Early Years pavilion is comprised of a mezzanine for group activities, such as music classes and dance.
  • Early Years children have weekly access to the school’s library and to the Sports Hall, in the school’s main building, for their P.E. classes.
  • Our outside area includes a garden, a sandpit as well as three mud kitchens embedded within our garden. Children also have access to our deck when accompanied by a member of our team.


  • School hours for our children in the Early Years are from 8:30 to 15:40, Monday to Friday.
  • Children in the Early Years have a 30 min morning and afternoon playtime and a 1h30 lunch break at midday. Nap time for those who need one is from 12:00 until 14:00.

Early Years Photo Gallery