Pre-Prep School

About the Pre-Prep

Children usually join Exeter Pre-Prep School in the term after their third birthday and leave us at the end of Year 2.

Our Nursery is sessional and children can join us for whole or part days. Many children increase their time with us throughout the year in Nursery, in preparation for full-time education when they move into Reception class.

Beyond Nursery, we have a one form intake in each year group with a maximum class size of around 18 children, supported full-time by a qualified teacher and teaching assistant.

Please select a class using the links below to find out more.


3-4 year olds

In this class, the week is divided into 10 sessions (2 per day, morning and afternoon) and we offer a flexible programme through the week. Some children join us for two sessions initially and then take on more sessions as they become more confident. Some are ready to stay for a full day right from the outset. By talking with staff on a daily basis, parents can see how their child is responding and we can then vary their time at school accordingly.

We offer a range of activities which aim to encourage learning through play. Our children are given plenty of opportunities to play both indoors and outdoors, exploring the world around them. Our shelves are packed with stimulating toys, books, and practical teaching aids that help our children grow in confidence and quickly settle into enjoying school life.

We are guided by the government’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework and all children have a personal learning record and activities planned to support their individual developmental needs.

Parents can claim for up to 15 hours of government funding towards the cost of a place in our Nursery, if eligible.


4-5 year olds

At this age, children attend school full-time. Our children consolidate their learning in Reception, building on the letter sounds taught in Nursery and developing reading strategies. By the time they leave Reception, the children will typically be confident at forming letters, be able to recognise and use numbers and be reading from a range of books and schemes.

Creative activities are used as a vehicle for learning and they are gradually introduced to our topic based approach. Emphasis is also placed on the development of kind and caring behaviour, and personal achievements are often celebrated by the whole school.

From Reception, children will start to have specialist teaching in music, sport and PE, wellbeing and French. In the summer term, they will also build their water confidence with weekly swimming lessons in the indoor pool at Exeter School.


5-6 year olds

During their time in this class, our children will begin to write more freely and read with greater fluency from a more challenging selection of reading scheme books. By the end of Year 1, the children will have developed some sound spelling and reading strategies, be writing in joined cursive script, and begin to learn a few simple times tables. Our topic based approach is used to stimulate our children’s learning at this age with topics that capture their interest and ignite their curiosity.


6-7 year olds

Children in this class are often preparing to take the entrance tests for local selective independent schools. We have a very high success rate in gaining places for children in the schools of their choice and many are awarded scholarships each year. We work hard to ensure that the children themselves are unaware of any pressure that their parents may be feeling and we focus on building on the foundations which have been put in place during their time here.

The children also look forward to the additional roles, responsibilities and privileges they enjoy from being ‘top of the school’ for the year, all of which nurtures their confidence before moving on. At the end of the summer term, we say a found farewell to our children and wish them every success at the school of their choice. Many of them transfer together which makes the transition as smooth and secure as it is possible to be.