We understand that when faced with the choice between a pre-school or a nursery, many parents will be balancing child-care needs, location, cost and what the setting might provide for their child. The practicalities and logistics of taking children regularly are also top considerations, making the choice somewhat bewildering.


Here at St. Margaret’s Prep, the benefits of children starting education early are clear. Our educational journey is inspired by research into early education which suggests that children starting pre-school from as young as 2-3 years old may be better equipped with language acquisition and social skills.


Beautiful and well-equipped settings motivate learners; learning about diversity and celebrating uniqueness builds self-esteem and giving children permission to make choices about their learning generates confidence. Plus, at St Margaret’s, our high adult to child ratio and encouraged parental involvement all lead to an optimum environment.


Every rich new experience enhances a child’s cognitive skills, therefore, their setting, the frequency of attendance, the quality of their interactions with other children and adults all influence cognitive, social, emotional and physical development.


These benefits are the firm foundations of learning and underpin improved long-term outcomes; and at St Margaret’s we see them continue to have a lasting positive influence on our pupils as they make their way through our Pre-Prep to the Prep.


In our independent setting we provide a range of well-planned activities where children learn through play, alongside daily sessions in numeracy and literacy. In addition, during ‘Early Years +’ stages we offer specialist teaching in subjects such as modern foreign languages, dance, drama, sport and information technology which gives children a wide range of rich and varied learning opportunities through active play and increased vocabulary.


At St Margaret’s the nursery children lie at the heart of our school and they love interacting with the older children and teachers, they eat lunch with pre-prep and join assemblies. This helps our children experience the broader collegiate ethos which ultimately helps them assimilate into the school and formal education more easily.


Nursery Co-ordinator, Mrs Raby has some top tips for preparing your child for starting nursery:


Introduce the uniform. Show your child what they will be wearing and let them try it on before their first day.


Visual Timetable. At the beginning of the day we show the children a visual timetable of activities. Introduce a visual calendar at home showing which days they are at nursery, home or grandparents and doing other activities.


Create a link with home. Involve them in choosing a family photo that they can keep at nursery and have them help to prepare their snack for the day, to reinforce their connection with home.


If you would like to find out how we can help give your child the very best start, contact us: admissions@stmargaretsprep.com