Early Years at Upton covers Pre-Nursery, Nursery and Transition.  This is the time where boys and girls aged 2-5 years start the Upton journey.

The Little Upton building is where the Pre-Nursery and Nursery are situated.  The children benefit from being part of the whole school and feel part of a community.  The Transition classrooms are situated in the main school building. 

Pre-Nursey and Nursery remain open 48 weeks of the year so you have the option of your child attending in the school holidays if you wish.  The staff continue to deliver excellent education and care. The Transition children can join the school holiday club.

Experienced and highly qualified teachers and practitioners plan activities both inside and outside the class to support the children’s own initiatives, well-being and learning. The children are offered many opportunities to engage in new activities that enable them to develop their love of learning. Set in a fun, happy, busy and caring environment, they thrive and develop their confidence. Independence is encouraged and children learn through self-discovery, following their own interests and building on what they already know and enjoy.

Teachers and Practitioners

The teaching staff in the early years are highly qualified and experienced and they care passionately about the children’s education. They plan fun and interesting activities that are constantly challenging the children’s thinking and that support the children’s development and love of learning. Children who are secure and happy with their personal, social and emotional development will be well prepared to engage with the other areas of learning and development.

Specialist Teachers

In addition to daily show and tell debates, story sharing and maths challenges, the children enjoy specialist teaching of PE, French and Music. Sport is also taught by specialist coaches who help them develop balance, co-ordination and ball skills together with the beginnings of team games. They enjoy welcoming many visitors into school as well as taking part in trips to the local area to discover the wider world. In addition, each term is filled with joyous occasions such as harvest celebrations, conker walks, nativity plays, dressing up days, teddy bears picnics and sport day at the end of the school year.

Love of Learning

Being based in a school setting helps the younger children learn from the older ones.  A firm foundation in life is fundamental to developing a love of learning and we encourage all the children to socialise and form friendships, solve problems and challenges, have a go, persevere, co-operate with others and be creative.  We work closely with parents and we share photographic experiences and observations through our online learning journals on Tapestry.

The Early Years Department acts as a bridge between home and school – a truly happy introduction to school life, where firm foundations will be laid.

We believe our stimulating environment will develop in your child a love of learning that they will take with them through the rest of their lives



Children start in the Pre-Nursery when they are 2 years old and have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of activities from spreading shaving foam, measuring rice, painting and colour mixing paint to climbing, sliding, constructing and connecting. Small world play and role play are two firm favourites. The children have the experience of using the school hall for their PE lessons where they can use the climbing apparatus, vaulting horse, tunnels and balance pods. Specialist teachers work with the children for PE and for music. The children sing traditional nursery rhymes daily as the language is so good at supporting vocabulary and comprehension. There is a balance of play and adult directed sessions when stories and action games are shared. The children bring objects from home that are the colour of the week and they share their thoughts with the group during circle times.

Morning snack of milk, bread and fruit is served at 10am, lunch, which is freshly prepared on site by the chef, is served at 11.45am and afternoon snack at 2.30pm ensuring that the children have plenty of energy and are hydrated.

Hours are 8.30am to 12pm or 8.30am to 3.20pm with the option to extend the day from 7.45am to 4pm using the Early Bird and Extended Day provision.


Daily activities are balanced between child-led play and adult focused activities. These are planned for both inside and outside to support the children’s own initiatives, well-being and learning. There is so much to discover from cooking in the mud kitchen, to planting seeds or constructing castles. There are daily show and tell discussions, story sharing and quiet reading as well as creative, messy activities in which to indulge. Phonics are taught through the Jolly Phonic scheme and children bring items in from home beginning with the sound of the week. Maths is also experienced daily through practical challenges, counting activities and set comparison, as well as through songs and rhymes. Expressive arts and design are experienced through painting, drawing, clay, woodwork and 3D construction.

Educational trips are planned each term to expand the children’s experience and enhance topic work. Forest School outings allow the children opportunities to explore new areas beyond the school groups, to build dens in woods and experience new and exciting adventures hunting for minibeasts and toasting bread.

Nursery benefits from being a part of the whole school and the children are cherished members of the school community. This enables the children to benefit from the wider school facilities such as the dance studio, music room, school grounds and sports hall. Specialist teaching is given in French, PE, music, ballet and sport. The children take part in wider school activities such as Science Week, World Book Day and the end of year school production.

The children also watch and learn from older children who love to interact and support them. The children are educationally and socially challenged by the older children around them who are outstanding role models.

Morning snack of milk, bread and fruit is served at 10am, lunch which is freshly prepared on site by the chef is served at 11.45am and afternoon snack at 2.30pm ensuring that the children have plenty of energy and are hydrated.

Hours are 8.30am to 12pm or 8.30am to 3.20pm with the option to extend the day from 7.45am to 6pm using the Early Bird and Extended Day provision.

15 Hours Early Education Funding

More information can be found here.

Open 48 Weeks

Little Upton is open throughout the term times as well as through the holiday periods up to a maximum of 48 weeks of the year.

If your child is already on roll with us and you wish to book their attendance during holiday periods please complete the following:

Little Upton Extended Weeks booking form 2023-2024  
Further information for 2023-2024 can be found here.

Little Upton Extended Weeks booking form 2024-2025


Children move up from the Nursery into Transition in the September following their fourth birthday. The children stay for the full day and continue to enjoy a full timetable of daily reading, mathematics, artwork and topics understanding the world. Specialist teaching continues in French and Mandarin as well as in Drama, Music and PE. Ballet, football and sports clubs are also available. The children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum building on the learning from Nursery and work towards National Curriculum Key Stage 1.  The development of a love of learning offers a firm foundation and is fundamental to the children’s development. They socialise, form friendships, solve problems and challenges, as they co-operate, laugh and learn.

Tapestry and Progress

Communicating with parents is a vital part of school life and we work closely with parents, encouraging involvement from home so that together we build on all experiences the children have had. We share an online learning journal through Tapestry showing photographs and observations of what the children have been doing during the week.

Upton House was graded excellent in all areas in the latest ISI inspection and it states that:

Children make rapid progress relative to their starting point in this safe, secure, caring, learning environment. 

For a copy of the report please click ISI Inspection