Our Sessions

All sessions operate in school term-time only. We have the capacity to accomodate 20 children at a time, of a variety of ages from two years to almost five years. For much of the day these age groups are mixed, as research shows it is better for children to be in “family style” groups rather than the artificial grouping of all one age group together. However, for a short time each day they do spend time in a small grouping called the 'key groups' for doing age-appropriate activities.

Free Play

Free play takes place inside the Pre-School and in the garden, where a variety of experiences and toys/interesting objects are set out, according to the children's interests and level of experience.

During this time, we observe the children, making written notes and taking photos for their records and to inform the planning of future activities. This helps us get to know them well, and we can plan how best to promote each child’s learning and development.

The children may move freely between inside and out - although in cold or wet weather we make sure they put on coats and boots!

They may choose other toys or activities themselves from our clearly photo labelled boxes and drawers and are encouraged to put things away when they have finished with them. They are encouraged to ask if there is something they would like to do but cannot initiate themselves.

We are very lucky to have such beautiful surroundings. We regularly use our conservation area, (which is attached to the school grounds) for all sorts of adventures! We sometimes go on walks through the village with a purpose, such as to the post box to post Christmas cards!

Snack Time

For the older children, we operate a “Cafeteria Style” rolling snack time at Wickham Pre-School. For about an hour during the session, children may come to the Snack area and help themselves to a cup and plate, find a seat and choose something to eat from the healthy choice available that day. The younger children are brought to the table as a group, given a drink and offered something to eat. We always make sure children wash their hands before they eat and check that every child is aware when snack is available. Drinking water is always available. Children are often involved in preparing snack themselves and we sometimes use snack time as a chance to try new foods; they are encouraged to clear away after themselves.


Enabling Environments -  'the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning'.

We observe our children so that experiences and routines flow with the children’s needs. We endeavour to provide a rich and varied environment, inside and out, safe and secure yet challenging and interesting. We work in partnership with other professionals such as Health Visitors and Speech Therapists to ensure the best outcomes for all our children and also with the local primary school to ensure a smooth transition.

Timetable and Costs

Our opening times coincide with school term dates. Further details on school holiday dates can be found here:


Session RatesMondayTuesdayWednedayThursdayFriday
Early (8am-9am)£5.85£5.85£5.85£5.85£5.85
Morning (9am-12pm)£17.55£17.55£17.55£17.55£17.55
Afternoon (12pm-3pm)£17.55£17.55£17.55£17.55£17.55
Late (3pm-5pm)£11.70£11.70£11.70£11.70£11.70

Fees and Grants

Children are eligible for a grant to pay for 15 hours per week beginning in the term after their third birthday. These 15 hours can be used in a number of ways. For example:

• Five 3-hour sessions (mornings or afternoons)
• Two full days (9am – 3pm) and one 3-hour session

Since September 2014, nationally around 40 per cent of 2-3 year olds are eligible for government-funded hours.

Please call 01329 833039

or email:  [email protected] for more information on registration. During the holidays and out of office hours, please leave a message or send an email and someone will contact you as soon as possible.


Staff are always nearby to interact and sustain shared thinking with the children, intervening when appropriate to move children/activities on to another phase and make certain that each and every child is included and having positive experiences.

Jess McKinney

Early Years and Pre-School Leader/Leading Foundation Stage Practitioner
Year R Class Teacher

Sarah Harbour

Pre-School Manager

Level 3 Childrens Care and Development


Alix Mason

Pre School Deputy Manager and SENCO

Level 3 Childrens Care and Development

Level 2 Autism Awareness

Sarah Nesbitt

Pre School Practitioner

Level 3 Childrens Care and Development

Megan Bryant

Pre School Practitioner

Level 3 Childrens Care and Development


Tara Campbell

Pre School Practitioner

Level 3 Childrens Care and Development



Keren Prince-Hall

Senior Admin Assistant.



Areas of Learning

areas of learning

Characteristics of effective Learning

 Characteristics of Effective Learning describe behaviours children use in order to learn. By providing an abundance of opportunities with curiosity, energy and enthusiasm, we ensure that our children develop the abilities and attitudes to support them in making good progress in all the Areas of Learning and Development. We understand that effective learning must be meaningful to a child, so that they are then able to use what they have learned and apply it in new situations.

Playing and Exploring
Active Learning
Creating and Thinking Critically new

Our 8 Curriculum Aspirations