Families from many different cultures have sought us out and their children have formed close friendships in our warm and supportive setting. We celebrate each child’s uniqueness and have found that the children greatly enjoy learning each other’s languages and building early friendships within our community. We have welcomed children from many different countries around the world: Norway, Hungary, Holland, Austria, Italy and Spain, India, Singapore, The Philippines, China and Japan, Africa, the Carribbean, Poland, Australia and America…to name a few!
We often encourage new parents from other cultures to share their child's favourite song in their own language, which we will try to learn and sing with them. Our staff also speak several different languages and we all try to learn some key words and phrases in each child's home language if we do not speak it ourselves.
Before and after the Hunsdon House experience.........
often, children arrive from very different cultures and are very shy at first, not speaking any English. It is always wonderful to see the difference after only a year or two, as they transform into outgoing and sociable little people, surrounded by friends and ready for school!
These twins wouldn't play with anyone but each other when they first arrived, but soon began to show us what amazing, imaginative little people they were. Before long, everyone wanted to be their friends! They are now mature, accomplished young girls who write books and play violin and cello in their school orchestra.
About Hunsdon House
Our innovative school was one of the first custom-built nurseries in the 1920's and, in keeping with the philosophy of Freiderich Froebel, the children are brought into contact with the natural world at every opportunity. Most of our playthings are made of wood and every room has large windows on to the garden.
The rooms are light and bright and the children are always surrounded by reminders of nature.
Today we are one of the most international Nursery Schools in Oxford, where children hear many different languages from the age of two and a half (a key age for rapid language development) and learn to speak fluent English in a year or two alongside their mother tongue.
We find that a combination of free choice and structured activities provides the best learning environment to stimulate each child’s potential. We provide a rich variety of carefully chosen educational materials to encourage children’s learning and creativity. Teachers gently nurture each child’s emotional, physical, intellectual, social and spiritual growth to allow each individual to unfold at their own pace. (see 'Our Staff' page to meet some of our teachers and learn more about our approach.)
We develop each child holistically. As well as emotional, spiritual and educational nurturing in our peaceful environment, children are exposed to music and dance as well as dynamic Pilates sessions. We follow a seasonal curriculum, inspired by the philosophies of Friedrich Froebel, Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner. Children are immersed in nature all year round and are grounded in a deep appreciation for the natural world all around them.
Creativity, independence and joy are our aims for a happy start to childhood at Hunsdon House.
We encourage and support each child to explore our beautiful educational materials at their own pace and in their own way, inspiring them to develop their own learning style. Many of our materials are open-ended, developing imagination and creative thinking, or self-correcting, allowing the child to teach him or herself how things fit together.
Our nursery provides a peaceful, unhurried learning environment which develops self-confidence, social skills and caring for others. We encourage children to grow in harmony with nature and become resourceful and responsible individuals.
Our greatest pleasure is to see each new little child grow and develop into confident, happy individuals over the course of their 2 or 3 years with us, becoming fluent in English if they arrive from overseas, and forming close and lasting relationships with other children. Many of our former pupils have fond and vivid memories of their time with us and love to revisit Hunsdon House...where they are always welcome!
These two shy, quiet little girls found each other and developed an inseparable friendship which is still going strong today, now they are 13!
Often our children continue to deepen the musical experience they started at Hunsdon House by learning an instrument of their choice later on.