Smallwood Pre-School

Our Pre-School is open term-time from 8.00am to 6.00pm and has a lovely ‘home from home’ atmosphere where our youngest children can feel happy, secure and open to the world of learning.

For many children the pre-school is their first real encounter with another establishment outside the familiar boundaries of their home. Smallwood Pre-School therefore has a very open approach to children and parents to secure this homely atmosphere.

We provide pre-school education for children from the age of two, who are divided into two classes:- The Squirrels being the youngest members at 2 years of age and the Owls are the older children at 3-4 years of age. Both classes have a room leader who is able to closely monitor and assess every child through daily planned activities in accordance with the Early Years Foundation Stage, thus giving every child opportunities to achieve their full potential. Each class also have dedicated assistants who are able to work alongside the room leader ensuring continuity of care. Smallwood Pre-School employs a high ratio of staff to ensure the children attending are given an excellent start to their education.

Daily Routine

Our mornings are more structured being able to give children time on a one-to-one basis and impress on those all important social skills needed to live in our busy world.

The afternoons are dedicated to a specific activity Monday to Friday where both classes come together and learn from one another.

Children receiving pre-school education at Denstone College Prep School also benefit from the school’s facilities such as the gym, the outdoor classroom and extensive grounds, where, when weather permits, they can enjoy nature walks, picnics and outdoor lessons.

Smallwood Pre-School also runs a holiday club for children between the ages of three and eight, where children can undertake a range of activities including dance, music, art, cookery and Forest School.

To support their pre-school education and to help children to become socially confident, there are opportunities to meet the other infants and staff during lunch time, at Pre-Prep music time and assemblies. Pre-School also joins in the whole school Chapel service each week.

The Pre-School works closely with the Reception Teacher, Mrs Lakin, to ensure smooth transition into the academic world.


Set in the Grade II listed school quadrangle, the pre-school has been specifically designed to meet the education needs of both children and teachers. We provide a stimulating learning environment that feels like a home from home.

Everything at Smallwood Pre-School has been planned with the children in mind – from the colour scheme which maximises light and creates a bright colourful space to the positioning of the pegs in the cloakroom.

Health, safety and security are of paramount importance and the pre-school exceeds the relevant health and safety guidelines. The layout of the quadrangle means that it is a totally enclosed unit. There is a secure outdoor hard play area at its heart, with a second enclosed grassed area to the rear.

Learning Through Play

Smallwood Pre-School focuses on Learning Through Play, by following the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum to ensure that activities engage, stimulate and challenge youngsters.

30 Hours Free Childcare Funding

As a registered childcare provider it is important to let you know that we accept the 30 hour free funding from the government.

Open Days and Tours

We hold regular open days and tours to allow parents and their children to come and meet headteacher, Jerry Gear and the rest of our teaching staff and look around our extensive facilities.