Junior Prep

Junior Prep

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Sherfield School’s Junior Prep children enjoy one of the UK’s best all-round learning experiences.

Our Junior Prep phase runs from Reception to Year 4. Classes are small and attention to detail is high. Children have exciting and varied learning experiences. Sherfield School’s excellent teachers ensure that Junior Prep is vibrant and stimulating.

Pre-Reception to Year 4 pupils enjoy their own areas of the school. They have a separate garden area and playground.

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Why Choose our Reception Class over a local state school?

Often families will invest in their child's education later on in their life but did you know that this is a critical time for learning and child development?

Research shows that 90% of a child's brain develops by age 5 and that  Reception is the school year with the greatest impact on a child's education. This is the age where they learn foundational literacy and numeracy skills which are used across all subject areas. If you invest in their education early it will help build strong foundations, avoid gaps in their education and they will reap lifelong benefits. You can click here to read more about this research.

We operate a two-year Reception cycle from age 3 to 5 which maximises your child's continuous learning and development during what research shows are the most critical years of are child's education and brain development.

"At Sherfield we found that some parents opt to send their children here when they are older on the understanding that those later years are the most important as it directly relates to GCSE outcomes, but we have found in many cases the outcomes are higher for those who have had an enriching experience during the EYFS and nursery years. It is also true that many children may find it harder to catch up with those who have started in our Reception class. With all the research that has been carried out on the early years it's clear to see the impact that building strong foundational skills early on in life can have later on."

Mrs Bouwer, Head of Prep

Sherfield School’s recent assessment results show that pupils who go through our Pre-Reception and Reception perform extremely well, so we know this two-year cycle is effective. As well as the continuity we provide, what else sets up apart? 

  • Small Class Sizes: Our high staff:pupil ratio means that our staff gain an intimate knowledge of each child's personalities, learning styles and needs. At Sherfield we are able to offer two to three times more qualified teacher time which enables us to teach one-two adult led Maths and Literacy sessions per week compared to the bi-weekly adult led sessions in most state schools.
  • Parent Partnerships: Our strong partnerships with parents allow us to promote the highest standards for conduct and achievement in and out of school. To achieve a fully rounded education, learning must continue at home and with our regular and open communication with parents we are able to achieve this.
  • Trips and Visits: Our pupils go on regular trips and have regular visitors, for example, in Reception and Year 1 they would have visitors such as a mobile farm, local fire service and drama workshops and trips such as a pantomime and museums. They also get involved with lots of performances throughout the year.
  • Specialist Teaching and Equipment: We have specialist teachers and equipment in Art, Design and Technology, Modern Foreign Languages (weekly lessons from Reception), PE, Swimming (lessons start in Reception), Music, Dance, Drama and Outdoor Education (outdoor classroom, plenty of woodland and a lake). From Year 3, the pupils will go and use the specialist classrooms for some of these subjects also, making them used to seeing different teachers and environments, so transition to Senior Prep and beyond is seamless.
  • Clubs: We have a substantial amount of clubs on offer to those in Year 3 and above. Those in Reception to Year 2 can choose from fitness, chill-out or creative club and can pick and choose which club they want to go to.
  • Food and Nutrition: We have a fantastic catering team, on site, and a dedicated newly-refurbished dining hall (seperate to our other halls). The lunch options are extensive and varied and are included in the fees.
  • Time Saved: Most of our pupils who join us in Reception stay at Sherfield to complete their education, so you won't ever have to worry about looking and choosing another school for your child again.


How much more will it cost?

The school fees are not a huge leap from Nursery fees. For example the 2021 fees for term time, 5 days per week, 7:30am to 6:00pm, breakfast, lunch and tea included, for the nursery are £11,628 per year and for our Reception class they are £12,732 per year (£1,104 more than nursery fees). The school timings are more flexible, so if you don't require before or after school care and are able to drop off at 8:00am and collect at 3:15 or 4.15pm the cost per year is £10,560 for Reception.

At a local state school you would usually need to drop-off at around 8:50am and collect at 3:00pm. If you needed childcare outside of these hours it costs around £3705 per year for breakfast and after-school clubs.


You are welcome to see Sherfield School’s Junior Prep teaching and environment for yourself. Contact the Head of Admissions on admissions@sherfieldschool.co.uk or 01256 884803 to arrange a tour.

To view our Top Tips for a smooth transition into our Reception Class please click here. 

To find out what our Reception Class parents have to say about Sherfield School, to get a flavour of the first two weeks of Reception or a typical day for our Reception class please watch the videos below.


Junior Prep Admissions

If you would like to register your interest for admissions please click here.

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