The Nursery School day at Portsmouth High School

The Nursery School Day

A carefully structured day of activities is centred around the children’s interests and needs. Healthy snack sessions are provided in the morning and afternoon and hot, home-cooked lunches are provided each day around family tables

Circle time

During circle time children meet as a whole group each morning and afternoon to participate in activities supporting literacy, numeracy and ‘home news’. They share stories, news and special objects of interest. Children also enjoy coming together to move and dance to music or to learn rhymes and songs.

Small group time

Children work together in their key-person group to develop a range of knowledge and skills including phonics, mathematics and writing. These sessions are led by an adult who supports and observes the children. The small group time also gives children regular opportunities to co-operate, listen and play together.

Planning time

Children are supported during ‘planning time’ to carry out plans which they personally choose. They choose an area of the classroom or outside area in which to work. Adults support the children to explore, investigate and try out their ideas giving them confidence and extending language skills. Adults build upon children’s interests and motivation, encouraging them to be independent learners.

PHS Nursery School Day 8-30Nursery School day

The start of the day

Nursery School children arrive and are individually welcomed by the Nursery school staff. There is a short free play session to settle everyone in. At 9.00am the children sit down together for circle time when they share news and objects of interest and take part in activities supporting literacy and mathematics. At 9.15 small group time starts when children work together with their key-person. This session is followed by healthy snack time.

PHS Nursery School Day 10-00clock for nursery morning break

Morning break

Morning break starts at 10.00 with a free play session outside in fine weather. Girls come back inside at 10.30 for planning time when independent learning skills are developed. On some days they have music and French or ballet with specialist teachers.

PHS Nursery School Day 11-45


Nursery School children take a break for lunch and enjoy a home-cooked meal together with the Nursery staff around family tables. This is followed by an outside play session.

PHS Nursery School Day 1-20storytime photo for nursery school


Children come together for a quiet time and a story after lunch. This is often followed by scientific discovery time and Forest Schools sessions outdoors or by further group sessions supporting early learning goals.

PHS Nursery School Day 2-45

Afternoon break

Energy levels are boosted with a healthy snack time followed by outdoor play. Children gather together after this for a story at 15.15

PHS Nursery School Day 3-30Front of High School

End of the school day

The Nursery School day ends at 15.30 and children are collected by their parents and carers. Aftercare facilities are available for nursery children to assist the needs of working parents. At 18.00 the school gates close.


Early Years’ Education Newsletter

Sign-up for our half-termly newsletter focussing on early learning for children as they start Nursery School and Reception Class with tips on how to help your child at home.

prospectus prospectus
Portsmouth High School is part of the Girls Day School Trust

The Girls’ Day School Trust, 100 Rochester Row, London SW1P 1JP
Tel 020 7393 6666