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Tarka London

Oliver Holcroft (formerly GG) and Rufus Gordon-Dean (formerly LG), have taken a rather different career-path to the well-trodden route to the City. They have set up Tarka London, a pre-school with a new approach to stimulating two to six-year-old children. Oliver and Rufus’s ‘magic formula’ aims to ‘unlock a child’s genius’, drawing on basic practical skills inspired, in part, by their experiences in the Army. As Oliver explains, ‘Here in the UK, 90 per cent of money spent on our children’s education is invested between the ages of six and 22, and yet 90 per cent of the human brain develops between birth and the age of six. It’s a completely skewed approach. Children’s brains are so malleable at that age, that’s why it’s so important to focus on the basics while they’re young’.

The approach is simple.  Exercises based on hand movements are designed to build dexterity and fine motor skills by, for example, building pathways by slotting jigsaw pieces together. Physical games that children enjoy help to develop running, balancing, throwing, and catching.  Active lessons of maths and spelling have proved to be more effective than sedentary classes; it’s good to get away from chairs and desks.

Free play helps to develop a child’s imagination, while team activities require children to work together. Whether it’s throwing and catching a ball, passing a beanbag over their head to a fellow child, or solving a puzzle, the classes at Tarka are designed to encourage communication and cooperation.

Oliver and Rufus may have endured a few amusing comments from their old Army chums, but there is no doubt that Tarka London is proving to be popular with young mothers and their children. It just goes to show how adaptive former Army officers can be, and how the experience of military training has many guises. www.tarkalondon.com

With thanks to The Sunday Telegraph




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