THE importance of an excellent start to education should never be under estimated.

New research from academics at CEM and Durham University shows that attendance at an effective Reception class at age 4 is linked to stronger GCSE results at age 16.

This recent study led by Professor Peter Tymms at Durham University analysed around 40,000 children from the start of Reception through to GCSEs.

The pupils' results were analysed at the end of each Key Stage and the findings were clear: Professor Tymms reported that “good-quality educational provision in this phase of a child’s school career seems to have lasting benefits. Boosts in attainment from effective classes in Key Stages 1 and 2 also had long-term benefits but not as large as those seen in the first year of school”.

Longitudinal studies have documented links between background, early childhood development and later outcomes focusing on the importance of the first years of education. We know it is vital that educationalists deliver outstanding provision in the early years as this is a time of rapid cognitive development.

The respected academic Dame Reena Keeble led a report for the Teaching Schools Council, ‘Effective Primary Teaching Practice’ stating Reception was ‘the most important year’ and ‘good teaching doesn’t happen by chance’. This prompted ‘The Hundred Review: What Research Tells Us About Pedagogic Practice and Children’s Outcomes In The Reception Year’ commissioned by Early Excellence.

Collectively it is evident that research shows that choosing a school which understands and values the key importance of its Early Years Provision is investing in its pupils and enabling them to maximise GCSE and indeed even A-level results.

This is one of the core principles on which we base our educational provision at BGS.