Supported play with purpose

At Wellesley Prep School we believe that the best foundation for a child’s development is through expert supported play with a purposeful theme. Nursery staff encourage children to learn through a mixture of child-initiated and adult-led or adult-directed activities. Teachers and practitioners provide individual support to help each child achieve their next steps.


Learning activities include:

  • Messy play both indoors and outside
  • Gardening
  • Visits to the wider woodlands
  • Sand and water
  • Creative opportunities
  • Themes and projects to promote awareness of the diversity of the wider world
  • Singing and music
  • Early phonics games and activities
  • Fostering a love of books and storytelling
  • Engaging with digital technologies
  • Construction toys on a small and large scale
  • Long periods of uninterrupted play


Physical development

We place a strong emphasis on the importance of physical development. All Nursery children have access to specialist teachers in Physical Education, gymnastics and, when age appropriate, swimming.

With so many outdoor spaces at Wellesley, Nursery children learn to garden in the Early Years outdoor space and explore the wider woodland areas  during Forest Friday sessions. Muddy welly boots and rosy cheeks are common characteristics of Wellesley Nursery children (and their teachers!).

Staff allow the children to lead as much as possible and centre topics and themes around their personal interests as well as important calendar events. We actively encourage children to explore their own problems and fascinations, learn through trial and error, and give them time and space for creativity to flow.


Acorns and Oaks

Nursery children are split into two groups: Acorns and Oaks. The children who will be moving to Pre-Prep  in September become Oaks and those who will remain in the Nursery for another year are known as Acorns.

Children are split into these groups for a small amount of adult-led learning each week. For most of the Nursery day the children are free to move around the vibrant, welcoming indoor and outdoor spaces to access fun activities and play together.

In addition to free flow and circle time activities, specialist sessions such as music and swimming (Oaks only) take place each week.


Practical Nursery information

Our Nursery takes children from approximately 3 years old until the summer before they join reception at the age of 4. We invite every child to attend a taster day before starting. Parents are welcome to stay and observe Nursery life and talk to staff.

A weekly newsletter keeps parents up to date on events and activities.

Nursery sessions are as follows:


All day: 8.30am – 3.30pm (including a cooked lunch eaten with the main school)

Morning: 8.30am – 11.30am (or until 12.30, to include lunch)

Afternoon: 12.30pm – 3.30pm

8am to 5pm: Wraparound care for children aged 3+


For further information on our Nursery provision, please contact