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Excellent nurseries and preparatory schools in Essex

PUBLISHED: 10:59 15 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:58 20 May 2019

The best nurseries and prep schools in Essex

The best nurseries and prep schools in Essex


Early childhood education is very important, so give your child a great start with one of these exclusive pre schools in Essex

New Hall School

From the moment you join the Preparatory Divisions at New Hall School, you become part of a family. The school is dedicated to ensuring that children can develop as well-rounded individuals.

New Hall operates the highly successful 'diamond model' structure, that is, co-education in the Preparatory Divisions (ages 3-11), single-sex education in the Girls' & Boys' Divisions (11-16) and co-education in the Sixth Form (16-18).

In this way, New Hall provides the best of both worlds; the benefits of a co-educational environment, together with the advantages of girls and boys being taught separately during the formative years of adolescence. This enables students to grow in confidence, whilst enjoying an education that is specifically tailored and that recognises the different ways in which boys and girls learn.

An additional Year 5 class will be introduced in 2018, for day pupils and boarders joining at 9+. A new science centre is planned from 2019, for use by the Preparatory and Senior Divisions.

Please visit to see for yourself why New Hall is such a wonderful place to be educated. The next open morning is on Saturday 5th May. See for details.

New Hall School, The Avenue, Boreham, Chelmsford, CM3 3HS

New Hall SchoolNew Hall School

Thorpe Hall School

Award-Winning Excellence & Innovation in Early Years at Thorpe Hall

The enriched curriculum designed by the Early Years team at Thorpe Hall School provides its youngest pupils with a wealth of opportunities for them to explore the world around them, develop their awareness and independence, grow in confidence and become successful learners.

Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED) underpins all learning in the school's nursery and reception classes, with all team members fully appreciating the value of these skills and the role they play in every child's success.

In end of year EYFS data analysis, 98.2% of children at Thorpe Hall achieved the level expected or beyond in all areas of PSED, a level way above the national average. Thorpe Hall's pioneering initiatives also gained national recognition from the Independent Schools Association with an Award for Excellence & Innovation in Early Years in 2017.

Thorpe Hall School, Wakering Road, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 3RD

Thorpe Hall SchoolThorpe Hall School

Little Adventurers Nursery and Pre-school

Little Adventurers believe passionately that each child, with differing needs and interests, should be loved and supported as they grow. Their nursery aims to offer the greatest possibility for discovery, exploration and adventure within a home from home environment.

As a family-run nursery, they are enormously proud of their award-winning setting which offers care of the highest quality. Nursery parents build strong relationships with the staff team and their manager is an early years teacher with over 30 years experience.

Optimum nutrition and healthy lifestyles play key roles in their ethos; nursery menus are devised in consultation with an in-house nutritionist and children love learning about growing and nurturing plants and vegetables in their veggie patch. The nursery recently hosted a visit by the Deputy Mayor of London in recognition of our Healthy Early Years Bronze and Silver Awards (HEYL).

Above all, the nursery aim is to promote a "can do" mentality and encourage curiosity in children as they grow into confident, happy and competent little people who love learning.

24 Severn Drive, Upminster, Essex, RM14 1SW | 01708 227657 | Facebook

Little Adventurers Nursery and Pre-schoolLittle Adventurers Nursery and Pre-school

Goslings Nursery and Forest School - at Gosfield School

Goslings Nursery and Forest School is set in 110 acres of mature parkland and forest and offers purpose-built nursery rooms that are supported by the same robust learning structure as the rest of the Gosfield Prep School.

This allows children from the age of two years the opportunity to experience the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and to take advantage of teacher-led planning and expertise.

Nursery pupils enjoy the earliest opportunity to explore, discover and collaborate with each other in line with the Gosfield School ethos, and they begin to learn to take responsibility for themselves and others in the safest of hands. The transition of children from Goslings Nursery through to Reception and Key Stage 1 is a seamless process, ensuring that the pace and quality of learning is maintained and that every child makes continual progress in their learning journey.

The nursery is open term-time only, with holiday club provision during part of the Christmas, Easter and Summer breaks. Joining Goslings Nursery and Forest School also provides families with priority admission to the school's Reception class and reduced fees throughout the Prep School.

The school invites you to arrange a personal visit to tour the exceptional facilities and see for yourself why children learn best where they're happy. | Gosfield School, Cut Hedge Park, Halstead Road, Gosfield, CO9 1PF

Goslings NurseryGoslings Nursery

Brentwood Preparatory School

A multi-million pound investment at Brentwood Preparatory School will mean that from September 2019, it will be able to offer a full day's nursery provision from 7.30am to 6pm and, in response to the overwhelming demand for places, the school will also be able to offer 15 additional places in Year 3.

The development, which will place the school at the forefront of cutting edge educational facilities, will include a suite of state-of-the-art specialist teaching areas, new assembly and dining amenities, refurbishment and upgrading of existing buildings and improvements to external areas and landscaping.

The new buildings will be constructed to high quality, low energy designs, and the architecture will respond to the historical context of Brentwood School and the listed structure of Middleton Hall, while providing innovative educational facilities which reflect the forward-looking attitude of the school.

Prep Headmaster, Jason Whiskerd, said he was delighted the project had been given the go-ahead. "This is a very exciting time for Brentwood Preparatory School which has a long and illustrious history; only last year we celebrated our 125th anniversary."

See the website for contact details

Brentwood Preparatory SchoolBrentwood Preparatory School

Heathecote Nursery

Little learners begin their educational journey from the moment they step across the nursery threshold. Every step your child takes is important to them. The Early Years setting prepares your child for their learning journey ahead by offering a wide variety of educational and developmental activities in a fun and stimulating environment.

Fully integrated within the school, the nurturing and caring ethos ensures every child is treated as a member of the family. An open plan setting allows for flexibility and collaboration between age groups.

Heathcote Nursery benefits from all the facilities that the school has to offer including access to a dedicated computer suite, music and art rooms. Science, numeracy, phonics, physical development and communication are all examples of the regular events on our nursery timetable.

As an Early Years setting we follow the seven areas of learning but also provide experiences beyond a traditional curriculum such as French, music and PE with our specialist teachers. Outdoor learning once a week compliments the curriculum and allows children to explore the extensive areas of woodland and heath nearby. Such a beautiful setting provides a wonderful environment in which the children are able to explore, learn, blossom and grow.

Eves Corner, Danbury, CM3 4QB

Heathcote SchoolHeathcote School

Oxford House School

Oxford House, a beautiful Victorian mansion in Colchester is a nursery and preparatory school for boys and girls aged two and a half to 11 years.

Activities in the nursery are Montessori based and aim to develop sensory skills and dexterity as well as a firm knowledge of number and language. Small class sizes enable dedicated staff to channel and differentiate accordingly to each pupil. All children are given one to one help every day to become confident readers.

The breadth of the curriculum is enhanced by a wide variety of activities. Pupils are introduced to dance, music, science, computer technology and cooking at an early age and are encouraged to develop a keen interest in nature and the world around them.

The school encourages high standards in behaviour and manners as well as in academic achievement. They are proud of all their pupils, many of whom go on to our local grammar schools. They aim for every child to discover 'joy in achievement'.

Oxford House achieves a happy, safe and secure environment for your sons and daughters to learn and develop while providing a secure foundation for their growing success. They warmly welcome you to visit the school.

2-4 Lexden Road, Colchester, CO3 3NE

Oxford House SchoolOxford House School

Colchester High School Nursery and Lower School

Colchester High School Nursery and Lower School is able to offer an excellent family-friendly education that provides a safe and happy start to your child's education and produces consistently strong academic results and confident well-rounded children.

The foundations of this success are laid in the all-year-round Nursery, where experienced practitioners engage each child with an individually targeted blend of free-flowing play and formal learning in phonics and mathematics.

It is built on in the lower school, where the welcoming environment and combination of small classes, a broad curriculum and high-quality teaching allows them to give each child the individual attention they need to flourish and ensures each pupil progress at the right speed and achieve their full potential.

Colchester High School also firmly believes in the importance of developing the whole child and their ability to connect with the wider world. Nursery and Lower School Pupils are encouraged to participate in music and drama, sports and foreign languages, which are all taught by specialist teachers, and are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities which extends their learning outside the classroom. A strong emphasis is also placed on good manners, consideration for others, and a strong sense of community spirit and social responsibility.

Colchester High School, Wellesley Road, Colchester, CO3 3HD

Colchester High School, Nursery and Lower SchoolColchester High School, Nursery and Lower School

St Aubyn's School

In January 2017, St Aubyn's School opened a purpose-built nursery building to accommodate two classes of 30 enquiring three-year-olds, supported by two outstanding practitioners and five assistants. The building shows off an impressive design specification which takes the demands of the EYFS into consideration.

With wide, open-plan classes that include conservatories and bespoke furniture to complement the impressive building, the teachers have every resource at their disposal to ensure the children have the best start to their academic careers and are thus well prepared for their life at St Aubyn's beyond the nursery years.

During the summer of 2017, the three reception classes were refurbished to complement the standard of the new nursery building with design features to ensure optimum development of the children during their early years' development.

The facilities, together with outstanding teachers and early years leadership, ensure that the children are well prepared for their prep years and beyond.

The school invites you to contact the Admissions Registrar to arrange a visit to tour the facilities and see the school in action, or come to the next open morning.

St Aubyn's School, Bunces Lane, Woodford Green, IG8 9DU

St Aubyn's SchoolSt Aubyn's School

Oak-Tree Early Years

Braeside in Buckhurst Hill, Coopersale Hall in Epping, Normanhurst in North Chingford and Oaklands in Loughton make up the privately-owned Oak-Tree Group of Schools. All four schools have well-established and popular kindergartens, catering for children from 2½ years.

Matthew Hagger, Group Principal of The Oak-Tree Schools says, "As many children have been with us since 2½ or three years old, we can provide continuity in their education in familiar surroundings by staff who know them well. The progression from each stage to the next is well supported to ensure that the pupils' education is continually enhanced."

Despite their young ages, the emphasis in the Oak-Tree Kindergartens is on the children's learning. The curriculum is based around the Early Learning Goals, but is enriched with a wide range of additional activities including music, computing and PE lessons; French and drama workshops; assemblies, performances, trips and outings. Being attached to schools they have many subject specialists at the school's disposal.

"Our children have excellent relationships with their dedicated keyworkers, who are responsible for monitoring their progress and development. Observations are made electronically and evidence is emailed home regularly. The children often exceed their expected levels of progress."

Contact the schools directly to arrange a personalised tour. For more information visit

Oak Tree Group of SchoolsOak Tree Group of Schools

Dame Bradbury's School

Every child that joins Dame Bradbury's School takes an individual journey through which they flourish and succeed. Set in the beautiful town of Saffron Walden, we pride ourselves on getting to know every child and their family.

As part of the renowned Stephen Perse Foundation, Dame B's are not afraid to do things differently. Our approach encourages young people to become independent thinkers - preparing them for life way beyond school. Creativity and fun is everywhere - from the Forest School to the inspiring art facilities, as well as in our clubs. From ballet to photography, rugby to rock band, there's something to capture the imagination of every child at Dame B.

From ages 3 to 11, Dame B's students share a willingness to experiment, to question and to take on new challenges. They leave the school full of enthusiasm, equipped with a love of learning and ready to take their next steps in life.

But don't take our word for it - visit us in Saffron Walden to see us in action and understand for yourself what makes their learning environment so special.

Ashdon Rd, Saffron Walden CB10 2AL

Dame BradburyDame Bradbury


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