Early Years


Early Years

Our aim is to provide a nursery class in which children can enjoy learning in a happy, caring and positive environment. The Nursery Class is housed in a friendly welcoming purpose-built accommodation and is equipped to a high standard; it accommodates a maximum of 30 girls and boys between the ages of 3+ (from the term after they turn 3) and 4+. The children are given opportunities for structured and free flow play and they learn through a range of first-hand experiences. In addition, they also have opportunities to develop learning skills, including numeracy and literacy, which help to ease their transition into the Reception Class.

The Nursery Class is set up to provide a ‘continuous provision’ at all times, giving the children opportunities for hands-on experience including arts and sensory exploration. The children learn through well-planned and unstructured play with opportunities to explore in our secure outdoor area, developing independent skills whilst accessing free flow provision. The Nursery Class have subject specialist sessions for PE, Music, Dance, Drama and Library time. The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is followed and this is organised into seven areas of learning:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

The Nursery teacher and staff are well-qualified and experienced. The teacher:pupil ratio is very generous, enabling us to offer teaching, supervision and care of the highest quality. The Nursery staff work closely with Reception and Years 1 and 2.  From time to time Nursery children join in activities, assemblies and concerts with the older children to help prepare them for their move into ‘big school’. 

Staff welcome contact with parents and actively encourage close co-operation between home and the Nursery Class. Children’s progress is observed carefully and parents receive written reports at the end of the Michaelmas and Summer Terms, as well as regular feedback on our electronic Learning Journey software. Parent Consultation Evenings are also held, but the most important contact is on a day to day basis.

There is a simple uniform in the Nursery Class for those completing hours above the free entitlement from Suffolk County Council. Children wear clothes which are comfortable and practical for an active school day.

Entry Requirements and Nursery Sessions

Children can join the Nursery from the term after they turn 3. It is expected that all children entering Nursery are fully toilet trained and out of nappies, unless there is a medical reason why this is not possible. Facilities are available for those who have not yet reached this goal, please talk to us if this is the case. Your child will be required to attend a taster session to ensure that our nursery can provide for your child’s needs. A place is only offered after this taster session unless your child is moving into the Nursery Class from the Lodge Day Nursery.

We expect all children registered for the Nursery to attend a minimum of three terms in the year preceding the start of the Reception year.

For a child who is expecting to attend the maximum five terms in the Nursery, there is a minimum requirement of three sessions a week in the first two terms. All children attending the Nursery in the three terms prior to Reception are expected to attend a minimum of five sessions per week. The maximum number of sessions a child may attend per week is ten.

  • Full morning session 8.30am – 12.30pm (including staying for lunch)
  • Full afternoon session 11.45am – 3.30pm (including arriving in time for lunch)
  • Full day 8.30 am – 3.30pm

The Nursery sessions, both morning and afternoon, include lunch in school for your child. If you do not wish your child to stay for a school lunch then please note the collection and arrival times are different to those stated above. Morning session children should be collected at 11.45am; those attending the afternoon session will need to arrive at 12.30pm. Unfortunately, should you choose for your child not to have a school lunch we will not be able to refund the cost of the lunch. Childcare vouchers can be used as part payment for Nursery fees.

Ipswich Prep School currently takes part in the funded places scheme which allows parents 15 hours free early education entitlement each week for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years of age and for certain entitled families age 2. Sessions may be taken from 8.30 – 11.00 am or from 1.00 – 3.30 pm each day, up to a maximum of 15 hours. Nursery provision outside these funded hours is payable at the full session rate. We do not offer the additional funded hours for those entitled to 30 funded hours.

We are not able to provide the full entitlement due to less weeks in school than funded hours available from Suffolk County Council. Please ask for details in school of how you can access full funding from other providers.

Late Stay for Nursery

Children in Nursery may stay after 3.30pm until 5.30pm at an additional cost of £7.86 (3.30pm – 5.00pm) or £10.54 (3.30pm – 5.30pm). Childcare vouchers can be used as part payment for Late Stay fees. Any Nursery child attending at least three full days per week may use Late Stay at no extra charge on the days they attend full time.

Breakfast Club: Nursery

A supervised Breakfast Club for children in the Nursery Class and Reception  is available from 7.30am to 8.30am, held at The Lodge Day Nursery on Ivry Street. Children are able to choose from a range of cereals, toast, juice and milk. Children should be booked in a minimum of 24 hours in advance to ensure a place is available.  For Nursery Class and Reception bookings please call The Lodge on 01473 282811. Childcare vouchers can be used as part payment for Breakfast Club fees.