The Journey Begins
Welcome to our friendly Pre-School where the youngest children in the Somerhill family start their exciting adventures! Children can join us from 2.5 years old, or the term they turn 3.
Our qualified and experienced staff work in partnership with you to promote your child’s wellbeing and happiness. Happy children are naturally learning and developing while engaging in everything around them.
As children develop at different rates and at different times, they are all unique and we consider these individual needs in all our planning. We aim to make your child feel safe and secure, inspire them to be inquisitive about the world and also have the skills to communicate well with others.
In Pre-School you are able to choose from a hybrid model of indoor and outdoor sessions. There are currently three light and airy indoor Pre-School classrooms, each with a room leader and a team of Early Years practitioners where children have the opportunity to discover the creative curriculum with enriched specialist teaching.
“Saplings”, is our full-day outdoor programme based on the principles of Forest School. Sessions take place in a dedicated outdoor woodland area with the facilities needed to support self-care, clean running water, a Yurt for protection when needed, and plenty of nature to provide the education. Our Forest School trained and accredited staff and qualified EYFS teacher will provide fun, safe days in the outside classroom all year round.
Group sizes vary according to the sessions and activity but typically range from 8 to 16 children. Our youngest children have a ratio of 1:3 and as they get older the ratios change to 1:6 and 1:8.
We also have specialist teachers for PE, swimming, woodland, music and art.
Early Years Curriculum
Vocabulary use in speech and written work is particularly strong from EYFS through to senior pupils. – Independent Schools Inspectorate
We foster a love of learning in our pupils at the earliest possible stage. The early years foundation stage (EYFS) curriculum focuses on areas such as being engaged and curious, concentrating and staying motivated, trying hard and bouncing back. Pre-School follow the creative curriculum with activities that focus on communication and language, numeracy, literacy, physical activity and science.
We encourage children to express their ideas, plan how to achieve their goals, and find ways to solve problems. We do this through group activities, singing, adult-led carpet sessions, story time and lots of play both indoors and outside.
For more information about the Pre-School curriculum and example timetables, see our curriculum guide.
The Pre-School day is very active, and PE is part of the timetable right from the start. We help pupils develop their physical skills, balance and range of movement, and become aware of their bodies and the benefits of exercise. Our courtyard with rubberised play surface makes it easy for us to spend time outdoors safely.
We use all areas of our wonderful grounds for activities such as bug hunting, looking for animal homes, spotting signs of seasonal change, and other activities which may be based around maths, literacy, physical development or other things we are learning about.
We try to be as flexible as we can about the number of sessions that you feel your child is ready to attend. There is no requirement or expectation for Kindergarten children to be full time the term before they enter Reception.
However, we do believe that continuity of interaction is important, so we ask that you commit to a minimum of three sessions a week. This can be a combination of three mornings, a day and a half, or two mornings and an afternoon.
|Morning, Lunch & Play||8.30am-1.15pm|
|Saplings Full Day||8.30am-3.00pm|
Fees vary depending on the number of sessions your child has with us, their age and whether or not you are using the government’s free early education scheme (from the term after your child turns 3). As the number of weeks per term varies, we also adjust your fees accordingly.
Once you have registered with us, we are happy to give you fee information specific to your needs. We review fees annually for the next academic year, and they are subject to change. See fees and assisted places for more information.
Moving to Reception
From Pre-School the next step, at age 4, is to enter Pre-Prep, where children in Reception and Years 1 and 2 move away from the EYFS curriculum and begin taking national curriculum subjects. Children move up with their friends and meet new classmates who join directly into Reception. We make sure they are fully prepared for their transition and are given lots of opportunities to visit their new classroom and teacher.