The Pre-Prep at Great Ballard is the perfect place for your child to begin their education. From 2½ years old your child will be cared for and educated by an experienced team of teachers, nursery practitioners and teaching assistants, all of whom have your child’s best interests at heart. Our nursery children enjoy coming to school each day and it is the consistent care and attention they receive from our small, friendly and professional team that help to create such a warm and nurturing environment.

Reception class is a key area of Pre-Prep. It is where children settle in, make new friends and develop their reading, writing and arithmatic skills, building on what they have learnt in Nursery or Pre-School.

Forms 1 and 2 build on these basic skills and lessons become more formalised in readiness for moving to the Prep school. All children in Pre-Prep take part in specialist activities such as sport, dance and music lessons with Prep school staff and visiting teachers.

We run a number of clubs both during and after school such as judo, mountain biking, gardening club, science club, Zumba, multi-sports and more.

We believe every child deserves the best possible start in life through support that enables them to fulfil their potential.

We run a breakfast club at 7.45am to give some of our early starters a cooked breakfast, there is always a member of the Pre-Prep team there, and the children are walked to their classes afterwards. After the school day we run an After School Club until 5.30pm, this is staffed by the Pre-Prep and children are offered a range of activities and a snack.

Each class will go on a trip each term to support their topics and themes in class. From Nursery to Form 2 we make the most of the beautiful school environment through playtimes, walks, sports, exploring and Forest School lessons. Outdoor learning is integral in our personalised learning approach here at Great Ballard. Even if it’s raining, we put on waterproofs and make sure that we get some fresh air. We enjoy keeping the children active and happy and almost every day you will see children from the Pre-Prep heading up the hill dressed appropriately for some fantastic muddy learning!

The children in Nursery and Reception are taught according to the principles of the EYFS curriculum and enjoy a child-led environment. The themes and planning are highly adaptable according to the interests of the children. From writing letters in the post office, prescriptions in the vets, counting aliens in space, weighing ingredients in the restaurant and using money in the travel agents, they will experience opportunities to learn at every level. During their Reception year the children will begin preparing for their life in Form 1 and the more formal curriculum of Key Stage 1.

Pre-Prep Clubs & Activities 

  • Musical Theatre with Sarah Callander
  • Tinies Ballet
  • Pre-Primary Ballet
  • Number Ninjas (Mrs Stenning)
  • Gardening Club (Mrs Wright)
  • Musical Theatre with Sarah Callander
  • Judo
  • Multi-Sports Club (Mrs Jerwood & Miss Pledger)
  • Mountain Biking (Mr Bryan)
  • Spanish (Mariposa Languages)
  • LAMDA (Katherine Mustafa)
  • Rugby Tots (Jon Ingarfield)
  • Cross Country Club (Mr James)
  • Tennis Coaching with Generation Tennis


In our class children are given time to play and learn independently. There are planned, purposeful activities and the children can choose where they work. This is alongside adult-directed tasks where the Teacher and TA work with a smaller group of children. Each child is an individual and we encourage them to develop at their own rate. We increase the adult-directed tasks over the year in preparation for Year 1. We are fortunate to have beautiful grounds and use our outside environment as often as possible.

The Early Years have their own curriculum. There are seven areas of learning which are split into Prime and Specific Areas:

Prime Areas

1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
2. Physical Development
3. Communication and Language


4. Literacy
5. Mathematics
6. Understanding the World
7. Expressive Arts and Design

We learn through a variety topics that last for a few weeks, for example ‘Once Upon a Time’ or ‘Minibeasts’. Our topics encompass all of our areas of learning and we provide fun and rich experiences throughout.

Communication with Parents

We work hard at building up a relationship with parents and carers at Great Ballard School. Children’s learning is enhanced when there is a good link between home and school. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions or comments on 01243 814236 or by email.

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