At St Mary’s Independent School we have an exceptional record of academic success.  The foundation for learning starts in our Pre-Prep Nursery where carefully designed play provides the best conditions for the introduction to reading, writing and number work. Our Pre-Prep Nursery welcomes children from the age of 3.

Pre-Prep Nursery

Our Nursery accommodates 16 children per session. It provides a safe, caring, happy and stimulating environment in which the children can play and learn. The Early Years are vitally important and formative and it is by exploring, questioning and doing that children build up their knowledge of the world around them. The Pre-Prep curriculum and activities are carefully planned to help children learn and succeed in an atmosphere of care and respect. Continuity and regular patterns of attendance are the key to success.   The nursery is open from 8:00am and closes at 4:00pm. Children may attend a morning session (8:00 am to 12 noon) or a full day (8:00am-4:00pm).

We are a registered provider to deliver the Early Years Education grant (free entitlement funding) and offer a maximum of 15 hours of funding per week to be taken over 3 days or 5 mornings.  Nursery grants are available from the term following the child’s 3rd birthday and until the term after the child’s 5th birthday.


Hours outside the funded entitlement are charged at £6 per hour.


8am-12am (funded) 3 hours funded and 1 hour outside the funded entitlement. The cost of the morning: £6
8am-4pm (funded) 5 hours and 3 hours outside the funded entitlement.

The cost of the day: £18 (lunch included)

8am-12am (no funding) £24
8am-4pm (no funding) £48 (lunch included)


Entry to Pre-Prep Nursery

A child may enter the Nursery following their 3rd birthday. During the term prior to entry, the child will attend a ‘fledgling’ session with their parent to familiarise themselves with the classroom. This is to enable the Nursery practitioners and Head of Early Years to ascertain their development level and readiness to start. In the second half of the term they attend one or two unaccompanied visits. Assessment for Nursery is based on observing informal play in small groups. A place in Nursery will only be confirmed after the unaccompanied visits, at which point a total of £150 deposit will be required to secure enrolment.  St Mary’s Nursery is the entry point to St Mary’s Independent School and our expectation is that our Nursery children will progress into the Reception class and through the school.


Pre-Prep Reception

The school day stars at 8.55am and finishes at 3.15pm.

In the Reception class, the children will continue to develop their social and interpersonal skills by listening, taking turns and becoming more independent. Our Pre-Prep Reception curriculum means that the children will learn reading, writing and numeracy skills, together with a knowledge and understanding of the world, through the 7 areas of the EYFS. Music and French are also part of the curriculum and a lovely outdoor area means that many activities can take place in the fresh air. Our gym opens out onto our delightful playing field, providing a secure campus within the magnificent grounds of St Mary’s Independent School.

Children Nursery in Southampton