Welcome to Portsmouth High Pre-School in Southsea

Where girls learn without limits

“Our daughter has developed so well in the Pre-School. We have seen a huge improvement in her writing, colouring, numbers, letters, vocabulary and creativity. She loves French and often tries to speak it.”
Portsmouth High Pre-School Parent
“From the first moment she seemed fully settled and it is because of the professional, organised and caring approach of the staff. Welcome”
Portsmouth High Pre-School Parent
“In the short time our daughter has been at the Pre-School at Portsmouth High School she has thrived. Her independence and confidence have grown exponentially. ”
Portsmouth High Pre-School Parent
“Our daughter has had an amazing start to her school years. A nurturing environment encouraging learning and independence with fantastic facilities and outdoor space.”
Portsmouth High Pre-School Parent
“My daughters have both thrived at the Pre-School. It’s a fantastic space with happy and kind teachers with lovely grounds for play, learning and forest school.”
Portsmouth High Pre-School Parent
“Superb teachers in a lovely school. The Pre-School provides so much stimulation for the children.”
Portsmouth High Pre-School Parent

Regular one to one support helping children blossom

We pride ourselves in the individual attention that each and every child receives.

Unique Explorer approach to learning

We encourage the children to be active explorers, not just passive recipients.

Specialist teaching

From French to music, the children have a host of additional opportunities provided by specialist teachers.

Outdoor learning in beautiful grounds

Our gardens are a hidden gem that are just waiting to be explored.



The Pre-School at Portsmouth High is a leading independent nursery in Portsmouth and welcomes children into a warm and inclusive environment which always puts their well-being first.

Set in the extensive grounds of our Prep School in the heart of Southsea, the Pre-School is based in a light and modern building with access to a large wooded garden, a real oasis in an inner city environment, offering plenty of space for play and exploration.

Pre-School teachers are highly qualified and get to know and understand each of the children in their care. The school offers an outstanding start for girls from the term of their third birthday (rising 3) up until they join Reception Class.

You are warmly invited to visit us, meet Early Years teaching staff and find out more about the opportunities available. Do Request a Prospectus and book a personal tour of the school. We are very much looking forward to meeting you and your daughter.

Paul Marshallsay

Summer Open Morning

Saturday 18 June 9am to 12.30pm

A warm welcome to visit the Pre-School on our Summer Open Morning for a personal family tour.

Meet our staff, tour the school facilities and ask any questions you may have.

Find out more and register your interest via the link below.

Learn More

Portsmouth High Pre-School...

bespoke teaching

spacious grounds

individual attention...

and the opportunity to learn without limits.

Meet our Pre-School girls

Nursery girl outside on a windy day


Jessie likes going outside and enjoying Forest Schools.

Nursery girls


Beatrice likes being a special helper and counting the children.

Nursery girls playing outside


Hallie loves to paint and draw.

Nursery girl playing


Ria loves playing with her friends.

Nursery girls writing her name


Eleonora likes her teachers and ballet.


Aurora enjoys looking at books and listening to stories.

Nursery girl playing with a puzzle


Catharina loves singing and playing the musical instruments.

Buttercup Bear at Portsmouth High Pre-School


Buttercup lives in the Pre-School and loves to go home with the children and meet their families.

Meet our Early Years team

Head of Early Years Portsmouth High School

Mrs Victoria Fabre De La Grange

BSc (Hons) EYFS

Victoria is Head of Pre-Prep and is the Reception Class teacher with many years of experience in the Early Years.

‘Early years education is the foundation of the learning journey and we provide a nurturing and supportive environment that allows children to flourish both socially and academically. We strive to inspire, motivate and encourage pupils to be curious about the world around them and instil a passion for lifelong learning.’

Mrs Abi Nelson Pre-School Teacher at Portsmouth High School

Mrs Abi Nelson

Pre-School Teacher, BEd (Hons)

Abi is a Pre-School teacher and through her educational approach every child in Pre-School is given the best possible start to their school life.

She believes bespoke teaching and individual attention are key to helping each child grow in confidence and flourish at the start of their learning journey.

Mrs Jackie Shaw Portsmouth HIgh Pre-School

Mrs Jackie Shaw

Pre-School Practitioner, FdA Early Years Care and Education, NVQ Level 3

Pre-School practitioner Mrs Jackie Shaw has extensive experience of delivering excellence within an early years setting. Educated to degree level in Early Years Care and Education, she has built a new nursery from scratch and also worked to achieve an outstanding inspection assessment in a well-established independent school.

Pre-school children creating some creative artwork together at Private School Portsmouth

Mrs Clare Cane

Pre-School Teacher, BEd, QTS, EYTS

Pre-School teacher Mrs Clare Cane started her career as a primary school teacher and specialised in Early Years, taking an extra qualification to acquire Early Years Teacher Status. She has worked in a wide variety of settings in both the public and private sector, and is passionate about the importance of high quality Early Years education to give our youngest children the best start in life.


Mrs Johanne Brown

Teaching Assistant, NVQ Level 3 in Early Years Education

Johanne has over 20 years’ experience working in an Early Years setting.

She particularly enjoys working with Pre-School as she finds it very rewarding to see the progress children make during their early years as they prepare for the start of school.

Free Wraparound Care

Pre-School hours and fees

Pre-School hours

The Pre-School is open throughout the school term from 8.30am to 3.30pm. Morning sessions run from 8.30am to 11.30am and afternoons from 12.30pm to 3.30pm.

Outside these hours, girls can join our Early Birds’ Breakfast Club which runs from 7.30am until the start of school and our Aftercare Club which runs from 3.30 to 6.00pm to assist the needs of busy and working parents. There is no extra charge for this wraparound care, it is included in the termly fees.

Early Education Funding (EEF)

Portsmouth High Prep School is a registered provider for EEF which provides your daughter with 15 hours (5 sessions) of free education a week. EEF is available from the term after your daughter’s third birthday.

In addition to this, through the wraparound care scheme and free lunch care, the school is able to offer up to 37.5 hours for free to a child attending full time without the need for the administrative burden put on parents by the government’s 30 hours scheme.

Pre-School fees

The government’s Early Education Funding scheme makes Pre-School fees more affordable for parents. From September 2022 the fees for the Pre-School are £23.43 per session (morning or afternoon) or £46.86 per day (morning and afternoon).

The annual fees are divided into 3 termly instalments. Each instalment for full-time attendance (before EEF is applied) is £2,751 per term. There is no charge for the supervision of children joining us for lunch, the only expense is the lunch cost of £4.54 per day or £261.67 per term for a hot home-cooked meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section answers the most frequently asked questions about entry into Portsmouth High Pre-School and out of hours care.

If you require any other information or assistance please do not hesitate to contact Admissions Registrar Mrs Fergie Cox in the Prep School office who will be pleased to help. You can e-mail Mrs Cox at admissions@por.gdst.net or telephone her on 023 9282 4916.

The Pre-School follows the key principles of the HighScope approach to early education alongside the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. HighScope uses a research based, carefully developed system that recognises each child as unique. It views every child as an active participatory learner, able to tackle problems and explore solutions. We believe that children learn best through exploration and encourage natural curiosity through a play based approach to education.

From our last Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) inspection it is an honour to say we have been judged as excellent in all areas of school life. The Pre-School provides a strong academic foundation for your daughter’s continuing education, using resources specifically designed to promote phonic and number awareness. Girls attending Portsmouth High Prep School from the Pre-School make strong academic progress, supported throughout to reach their true potential.

Children can start during the term of their third birthday. There are three terms during the school year. The spring term runs from January until Easter, the summer term starts after Easter and ends in mid-July and the autumn term starts in September and finishes at Christmas.

The Pre-School is open throughout the school term from 8.30am to 3.30pm. Morning sessions run from 8.30am to 11.30am and afternoons from 12.30pm to 3.30pm.

The current fees for the Pre-School are £2, 626 per term (full-time). The daily rate is £44.74 plus the cost of a home cooked two course lunch at £4.25 per day. A morning session or an afternoon session costs £22.37. Lunchtimes are valuable time for children to model good table manners, and to try out new foods. Staff sit with the children to eat at the table.

Portsmouth High Prep School offers a comprehensive programme of free wraparound care. Girls can join our Early Birds’ Breakfast Club from 7.30am to 8.30am and our Aftercare Club from 3.30pm to 6.00pm.

A structured programme of care is offered through the holiday club scheme, charged at a weekly or daily rate and must be booked in advance.

Portsmouth High Prep School is a registered provider for EEF which provides your daughter with 15 hours (5 sessions) of free education a week.

EEF is available from the term after your daughter’s third birthday.

To adhere to the EEF legal framework from Portsmouth City Council. Portsmouth High Prep School is not able to claim any funding for your child once they reach Reception Class as children are then in full-time education.

In addition to this, through the wraparound care scheme and free lunch care, the school is able to offer up to 37.5 hours for free to a child attending full time without the need for the administrative burden put on parents by the government’s 30 hours scheme.

Employers are able to help employees who pay for registered or approved childcare to benefit from tax and National Insurance savings by substituting part of their salary, up to £50 per week, in exchange for childcare vouchers. Parents should liaise directly with their employer for further details. Please ensure that your daughter’s name is referenced on the Voucher Payment electronic remittance advice.

Billing for school fees is managed by Mr Robert Nichols, Fees Manager at the GDST Fees Department. For any queries relating to fees parents should contact Mr Nichols at the GDST, 10 Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DH or telephone direct on: 020 7393 6666, or email r.nichols@wes.gdst.net. Childcare vouchers in payment for fees are accepted by the GDST for Pre-School fees from childcare providers.

No deposit is charged for up to 15 early education funded hours. If your child attends the pre-school for more than 15 hours (5 sessions) a week the GDST terms and conditions apply (Portsmouth High School is part of the Girls’ Day School Trust) and a deposit of £500 is payable. If your daughter leaves the school, the deposit will be returned providing a term’s notice in writing is given.

Attendance can be booked termly in advance as fixed sessions. There is an expectation that the number of sessions will then gradually build towards a more full time attendance plan to promote a smooth transition to Reception class.

The children’s education is tracked using the online system Seesaw where significant learning moments are captured on ipads and each entry is emailed directly to parents to share in the many successes during the pre-school day. This system allows us to review your daughter’s development daily and produce reports to share with you at regular intervals.

Portsmouth High Pre-School News