The Nursery School day at Portsmouth High School

The Pre-School day

The Pre-School day runs from 8.30am to 3.30pm and free wrapround care is available for girls from 7.30am to 8.30am and from 3.30pm to 6.00pm

Early Years’ pupils follow a structured timetable centred around the children’s interests and needs.

Their learning is complemented by external visitors coming into school and there are trips out and about in the local area. Healthy snack sessions are provided in the morning and afternoon and hot, home-cooked lunches are provided each day around family tables.


The start of the day

Pre-School children arrive and are individually welcomed by the Pre-School staff. There is a short free play session to settle everyone in. Welcome time then begins and includes self-registration for the children and child initiated activities.

Circle time

At 9.00am the children meet as a whole group for circle time and participate in activities supporting literacy, mathematics 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.

Morning break

Morning break starts at 10.00 with a free play session outside in fine weather.

Planning time

Girls come back inside at 10.30 for planning time when independent learning skills are developed. 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.On some days they have music and French or ballet with specialist teachers.


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


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.

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

End of the school day

The Pre-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.