The Referendum and the Journey Since

Four months ago my back garden was stark and characterless. One greenhouse, two new vegetable beds, three water butts and a compost bin later, the produce is coming thick and fast. It has been an interesting journey with a lot of learning along the way.

Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher and writer once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” This was certainly the case with my new-found love of gardening and growing vegetables but I am by no means close to the end of my thousand mile trip. An education is a journey and at Yateley Manor we are mindful of every single step.

For a number of children starting their Yateley Manor journey with us this September, they have just taken the first few steps. Even for those who have been part of the school family for many years, they are stepping forward into a new environment with new teachers and different expectations. As with any journey, getting off to a good start is essential.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that children have a right to provision which enables them to develop their personalities, talents and abilities irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities or gender. As a school we are committed to providing opportunities for the children to enable them to find their passions and talents. All this must happen in an environment where they feel safe to learn from their mistakes and be inquisitive about their learning, to take it as far as they like.

At 309.6m tall, The Shard in London was the tallest building in Europe for almost a year until one in Moscow overtook it.  The foundations for the skyscraper include bored piles, 1.5m and 1.8m in diameter, sunk up to 53m deep into the ground ( They provide support for the 95 storeys in total, with 72 habitable rooms.

In the same way that getting the foundations in place at the start of a building project are essential, it is also true of education. For children, over 105,000 of their waking hours (13.36% of waking hours) are spent in school by the age of 18 – a skyscraper in education terms. The foundation therefore needs to be strong and provide stability for the coming years. It also needs to provide resilience, creativity, the ability to work independently or collaboratively and be fun. Children should enjoy their school days.

Two years ago the nation was deciding whether to remain or exit the EU. It was about the same time that we were commencing plans for changes to our Nursery, arguably with greater success. The new provision for two-year-olds has opened in our Nursery. It is a tremendous opportunity for parents and staff to set some foundations as we look ahead to their future. We pride ourselves on our family atmosphere across the school, an environment which is safe and caring, where every child is our focus. When I walked in to Matron’s room this week and saw a child asleep on a bean bag with a blanket on him I was reminded just how special the Yateley Manor family is. Children receive what they need in order to flourish. A terrific foundation.

Your Child, Their Journey, Our Focus


Robert Upton