Pre-School 1

The Pre-School 1 ‘Cygnets’ are our youngest children.

Children are accepted into Pre-School 1 from the age of 2 years and move seamlessly to Pre-School 2.

A warm welcome awaits them in both locations from our experienced staff.

Both sites provide a safe and secure environment, with perimeter fences and gated entrances and are fully equipped to look after the needs of the children. The complete educational resources and facilities of the school on both sites e.g. regular gym sessions, library visits, school productions and assemblies, are regularly available to all Pre-School children.

At any time during a child’s time in the Pre-School, parents may request to reserve a place in the Reception class for when their child starts full time compulsory education (the school year in which they become 5 years old), by completing a reservation form and supplying a non-refundable deposit.

Entry into Reception is not, however, guaranteed. Children will be assessed in Pre-School 2 to ensure they will cope with the demands of Reception Class.

Timings & Holidays

The Pre-School is open from 7.30 am to 6.00 pm each day. Term Time only contracts are available, but the Pre-School operates on a full year basis, with closure days only on Bank Holidays and between Christmas and New Year. Children in Pre-School classes at Highclare St Paul’s who choose to attend a full year i.e. during school holidays, will be expected to attend at Highclare Woodfield during holidays.

Parents are asked to note that children in Pre-School follow timings broadly associated with a school day during term time, as follows:

  • Welcome Time 8.30 – 8.50 am
  • Morning Time 8.50 – 11.35 am
  • Lunchtimes 11.35 – 1.10 pm (Highclare Woodfield)
  • 11.45 to 1.20 pm (Highclare St Paul’s)
  • (NB children attending mornings only, to be collected at 1.00 pm)
  • Afternoon Time 1.15 – 3.25 pm

Outside these times the Pre-School operates a full care scheme from 7.30 am up to 6.00 pm and during all school holidays.

Fees in Pre-School are fully inclusive from 7.30 am to 6.00 pm and parents may choose to drop off their child from 7.30 am to 9.00 am, and collect any time between 3.30 pm and 6.00 pm. We do ask parents to indicate a regular timing when possible.

Welcome Time & Daily Routine

On arrival each morning our ‘Welcome Time’ provides daily opportunities for parents and staff to share relevant information. Children are free to choose from the activities on offer. Staff operate an Open Door Policy so please do not hesitate to speak to any member of the Pre-School team if you have any concerns.

Most children who attend for a full day in Ladybirds have a rest after lunch. When the children are ready, the staff help with their potty training.

Key Person and Play

Each child is allocated a Key Person and we provide a regular timetable to enable the children to feel relaxed and secure.   We recognise that play underpins the delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage and all learning and development for children.   We aim to provide a balance of adult-led and freely chosen or child initiated activities delivered through both indoor and outdoor play.

Meals & Healthy Eating

A healthy eating food policy is delivered on both sites by our catering staff.
In Pre-School provision of all snacks and drinks is included in the fee. However, if for any reason parents choose to send a snack into school, please ensure that there are NO NUTS in their snack as we maintain a ‘Nut Free Zone’ for the benefit of all children. Access to water is available for all children throughout the day.

Freshly cooked lunches provide a balanced diet and weekly menus are displayed in school and available on line in the Parent section of our VLE. Vegetarian meals are readily available. Daily records are kept of what the children have eaten. Teas are provided for children attending afternoon sessions. Children are encouraged to eat healthy options and choose for themselves.


All children wear regulation tracksuits and polo shirts, available from our uniform suppliers.  It is important that all uniform is clearly labelled with the child’s name. In case of need, parents are asked to keep a spare set of school uniform in school, spare pants are particularly useful if the children are being potty trained. Parents are also asked to supply wellingtons during the winter months, which can be left on the child’s coat peg.   Our uniform suppliers are John Lewis Partnership and details, together with uniform lists, can be found elsewhere on this website.


Written reports are issued for all classes at the end of the Summer Term.

Parents’ Evenings

Parents have the opportunity to meet the staff concerned with their child in Autumn, Spring and Summer terms at regular parents’ evenings.

At the start of each academic year Parents’ Information Evenings are held for each year group.

Parents’ Information

There are general Parents’ Information Boards sited near the entrance on both sites.  In addition to this there are further information boards located near classrooms.   Specific year group information can be easily accessed by parents from these boards.   Typical information will include a weekly menu and a daily write up of activities and events for each day for younger children.

Merit Awards

These are presented weekly to pupils in the Pre-School and highlighted in the weekly electronic bulletin.

Reward Stickers

Stickers and badges are used throughout Pre-School on a daily basis to reward positive behaviour. Each age group will have its own selection.

Occasional Bookings

Parents can book their children in for additional sessions on an occasional basis if there are vacancies. Please ask for an occasional booking form and check with the school office.