OUR STORY

We are sisters with a passion to ignite a lifelong love of learning! We are teachers with over 40 year’s experience both in Early Years and Key Stage 1. We also have considerable knowledge of working with children with Special Educational Needs and promoting Emotional Wellbeing.

Due to our passion, many years ago we decided to open our own Pre-Schools with a desire to provide children with a really strong foundation on which they could build, educationally and emotionally.

Bear Beginnings Logo

Above all, children learn best when they are happy and interested.

We have always remained steadfast in our belief that despite changing teaching fashions, children need a solid and consistent foundation of literacy and numeracy skills on which they can build.

We believe that the most successful way of teaching children to read is through the teaching of phonics.

By learning the correct sound for individual letters and blends, children can begin to build and decode words.  This, in conjunction with the introduction of high frequency words, is a very successful way of teaching children to read from an early age.  Please see Bear Beginnings phonics video. 

With the desire to create a teaching tool that would stand the test of time and provide continuity of learning, Bear Beginnings was born!

two young boys at class create stories with letters and shapes
children at school learn to line up letters in the correct order

HOW IT ALL BEGAN…

A you girl at class colour matches two pink objects
A young child counting one to 10

We were disillusioned by the many different methods being used to teach children in Early Years, which seemed to leave them ill-equipped to start school, and we wanted to play our part to try to improve national literacy and numeracy levels.

We wanted to create something that we could use within our own schools which would really ignite a child’s imagination and provide as many learning opportunities as possible.

So one day, using cereal boxes and colouring pencils, we designed the original ‘Bear Beginnings’ – The Alphabet Bears, Number Rascals and the magical Star Bear Island. We decided to use bears for the alphabet as we thought they would really appeal to children. We put a different letter of the alphabet on each one, added different coloured shapes to their tummies and separated them into family groups. For their houses, we used shapes which matched those on their tummies.

We then thought how could we introduce numbers? We drew the numbers, each with a different expression on their face and gave them each a tree house to live in so that the children could match them together. We called them the ‘Number Rascals’ as we knew how much children loved to hear stories of mischief.

We wanted the characters to be special from the beginning in order to draw children into the magical world of learning, so we designed a map of an island where they could all live and we called it ‘Star Bear island’. The star shines brightly protecting the Island and all who live there.

When we introduced Star Bear Island and its inhabitants to the children we found they became caught up in its magic. They loved singing the Star Bear Island song as we chose different ways to travel to the island together.  They were seamlessly learning the alphabet, numbers, colours and shapes with the help of the Alphabet Bears and Number Rascals and the wonderful world of make-believe and learning.

Children seemed to love their new friends and parents were intrigued with stories the children took home. The reading skills and numerical confidence and accomplishment the children gained, was a great endorsement to Bear Beginnings. Parents could see the positive impact of the Alphabet Bears and Number Rascals and were keen to know whether they could have some to use at home. This is when we decided to let everyone share the magic of Bear Beginnings.

Come to the magical Star Bear Island, where the Alphabet Bears and Number Rascals are waiting to play!

Come to the magical Star Bear Island, where the Alphabet Bears and Number Rascals are waiting to play!

Come to the magical Star Bear Island, where the Alphabet Bears and Number Rascals are waiting to play!

Bear Beginnings introduces a multitude of topics and skills included in the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. The EYFS sets standards for the learning development and care of children from birth to 5 years and all schools follow this.

Literacy
Mathematics
Communication and Language
Physical Development
Personal, social and emotional
Understanding the world
Expressive art and design

For more details visit:  https://www.gov.uk/early-years-foundation-stage

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