Together we learn

Our Nursery

For many children, attending Nursery is the first time they spend significant time away from home. For that reason it is vital that the setting they attend makes them feel happy, secure and valued. Furthermore it is such an important time for your child to develop learning characteristics that will set them up for their educational journey ahead. It is where it all begins and a time of limitless exploration and growth. These early years are fundamental to embed learning habits and develop confidence.

We are an independent Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School in Liphook, situated in 175 acres of stunning grounds in the South Downs National Park on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex. Our vision is to teach children to collaborate, to be resourceful and to take charge of their own learning and to provide a welcoming environment in which to do so. We plan a curriculum that cultivates good habits and attitudes that will enable your child to become an eager and courageous learner. As your child progresses through the Nursery years, they will develop into a tenacious, imaginative and logical child who is self-aware, collaborative and inquisitive. The foundations of all of these traits are put in place from the moment your child walks through the Nursery door for the very first time. Above all, we aim to make your child’s time in Nursery a joyous experience. During their time with us their imagination will grow, their thoughts will become more complex and their understanding of the world around will unfold. The aim of our Nursery is to instil a love of learning that will set them up for the rest of their life.

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Core Education

Our Nursery timetable is predominantly led by the children’s interests and is made up of mainly child-led learning time as well as forest school. Our expert Nursery Practitioners curate a wide range of activities for your child to engage with to help them develop prime development areas:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

At Highfield and Brookham, we pride ourselves on our impressive breadth of curriculum, supplying your child with plenty of new skills to discover. Alongside your child’s core education, they will be taught by our specialist subject teachers in swimming, PE, ballet, music and Spanish.

Child-initiated

Here at Highfield and Brookham, we have a real passion for and belief in child-initiated learning based on extensive research on how young children learn best. Your child will make decisions about what they want to do, where they want to do it, and what resources they will need. Crucially, the teachers participate as play partners identifying learning opportunities and skilfully responding to the children rather than leading the activities. This is all made possible because of our high staff-to-child ratios. It’s only when your child starts to apply independently what they have learnt that we know they have truly understood and engaged with what they have been taught.

We love the nursery and could not be happier that we chose it for our children.

Outdoor Learning

There is a plethora of evidence in support of outdoor learning and at Highfield and Brookham we see the proof of this every single day. Each of our Nursery rooms has direct access to our wonderful Nursery garden, which is fully equipped with a giant sandpit, mud kitchen and vegetable patch. Your child’s imagination will know no bounds as they explore and discover wonderful new things inside and out. Come rain or shine your child will be able to decide to go outdoors whenever they like, and we know that the lure of splashing in puddles or making mud pies means that children want to go outside whatever the weather. This is why waterproofs and wellington boots are staples in the Nursery wardrobe. One of the most popular activities in the garden is growing vegetables. Your child will plant, water and care for a variety of vegetables in the Nursery garden and, best of all, they will also get to harvest the produce and cook it in their very own kitchen.

With 175 acres of beautiful grounds, outdoor learning at Highfield and Brookham really has no limits. Your child will relish their time in their dedicated space at forest school, which is just a stone’s throw from their classroom door. Here they are free to explore and roam in our wondrous woodland as they hunt for the most magical minibeasts, build the most extravagant dens and craft the most elaborate leaf crowns. We want to engender a love of wildlife and respect for the natural environment in your child.

Free Flow

Your child will enjoy the freedom of free flow across all three of our Nursery rooms for a large proportion of the day. This is where all the children come together and are given the independence to explore their environment. During this time the younger children learn from their older peers, enhancing their language development and communication. Simultaneously, the older children learn valuable skills such as empathy as they take on the position of role models for their younger classmates. This combination of dedicated and shared space is a key factor in your child’s personal, emotional and educational growth.

Open-ended Resources

Our Nursery is purposefully equipped with an exciting variety of open-ended resources for your child to discover. The classrooms are carefully kitted out with blocks, loose parts and modelling resources. A toy fire engine is always a fire engine, but a pile of bricks could be an aeroplane carrying an important guest, a rocket on the hunt for life on mars or even an underground tunnel leading to an undiscovered land. The only limitation is your child’s imagination.

Food

We take food very seriously at Highfield and Brookham and your child will quickly find out why. We hire a fantastic Catering Team who keep your child’s energy at the optimum level so they can fully engage with everything that Nursery has to offer. At 10am your child will enjoy a morning snack on the carpet with their friends. This usually consists of fruit or a slice of our delicious homemade, reduced-sugar banana loaf.

Lunchbreak for our Nursery children is at 11.45am. The Tiny Bears, our very youngest children, enjoy lunch in their room, The Den, before settling down for a much-needed lunchtime nap. Our Little Bears and Big Bears don their gingham smocks and head across the courtyard to the main dining hall. Your child’s lunch is freshly prepared on site by our in-house chefs. Children are served at the table and always have the option to ask for more if they want it.

Mid-afternoon, children gather back on the carpet with the other Nursery children to enjoy a well-earned rest and snack. Cheese and crackers, sandwiches or breadsticks and humous are usually on offer to see them through to tea time.

Rooms

There are three specialist rooms in our Nursery – The Den, Woodlands and Meadows. The Den is home to our youngest cohort, Tiny Bears. This dedicated area, designed especially for our youngest children, allows your child to undertake age-appropriate activities which help them to develop independence, imagination and communication at a pace that is just right for them. Importantly, there is a dedicated space for your child to have their valuable daytime nap if they need it to ensure they are rejuvenated and ready for their afternoon adventures.

At the age of three, and when they are developmentally ready, your child will move up to either Meadows or Woodlands. Both rooms have a managed mix of our Little Bears and Big Bears so they can grow and learn together.

Logistics

Our Nursery is open for 35 weeks of the year. We welcome children from the age of two when they attend for a minimum of two mornings per week. As your child progresses into their final Nursery year, they will attend a minimum of three mornings per week, with lunch. This extended week helps with their readiness for the transition to Reception.

The morning sessions in Nursery run from 8.15am to 11.30am. You can choose for your child to stay for lunch, which the children take in our main dining hall at 11.45am. Collection is after lunch is at 1.00pm or 3.15pm if your child is staying for the full day.

Your child may attend on any days of the week where we have availability, and in any combination of morning, morning with lunch and full day sessions, up to full time, five days a week.

The Nursery Week

  • 7.30am Breakfast club (Optional £)
  • 8am Before-school care
  • 8.15am Doors open
  • 11.45am Lunch break
  • 3.15pm School day ends
  • 3.15pm After-school care (Optional £)
  • 4.30pm Picnic tea and play (Optional £)
  • 6.30pm Last pick up

Drop off

The doors to our Nursery are open for children at 8.15am. We know and completely understand that mornings can be busy for many families, with parents juggling school drop off, work and other commitments. It’s important that your child’s start to the day is calm and stress free to set them up for a successful say of learning. That’s why we offer an earlier 8am drop off option for those families who need it, at no extra charge.

Many of our families make use of our breakfast club, which opens for our Nursery children at 7.30am. Breakfast Club takes place in the main dining hall and your child will be spoilt for choice for what to have for breakfast. There is always a hot option such as beans on toast as well cereal, porridge, yoghurt, toast and fresh fruit. A truly hearty breakfast to kickstart them for their busy day in Nursery.

After School

The Nursery day draws to a close at 3.15pm. We have excellent after-school care provision that covers you if you need a later pick up.

As part of the after-school care programme, your child will have a fantastic choice of games and activities at their disposal. After-school care runs until 4.30pm.

For those families who need a later collection time we offer our ‘picnic tea and play’ session. A high tea will be served at 5pm with a selection of sandwiches, crudités, fromage frais and fruit on offer. Your child will be looked after until 6.30pm if required.

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What we’re up to

We’d be thrilled if you could spare a moment to vote for us in this year’s Tatler Schools Awards. Head to our bio to find the link. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #tatler #tatlerschoolsguide2024 #tatlerschoolsawards2024

The children have had a fantastic time at our tennis club today, learning one of the most essential (and tricky!) skills in tennis – serving. Under the guidance of our Head Tennis Coach, and with enthusiasm and focus, the children worked hard to master their serves, from perfecting their stance to nailing the throw and swing. There’s been plenty of fun and games to help the children learn the techniques and seeing the children persevering and gaining in confidence when they get it right is fabulous. If your child would like to learn or improve their tennis skills, we’ve got two more tennis clubs running in the coming weeks. Find out more bit.ly/3y4Ybfi

We’re excited to invite you to our first Open Morning of the new academic year on 28th September. Come and discover why we’ve been shortlisted for Independent Prep School of the Year. Explore our beautiful school site, meet our dedicated staff and discover first-hand what makes our school a standout choice for your child’s education.. Head to our website (link in bio) to book. #nursery #preprepschool #prepschool #Liphook #Surrey #Hampshire #westsussex #PrivateSchool #IndependentSchool #BoardingSchool #TogetherWeGrow #awards2024 #awards #independentschooloftheyear

We’re accepting applications for our new Year 5 all-rounder scholarship for entry in September 2025. This scholarship is designed to recognise exceptional children who demonstrate a real passion for learning and a thirst for knowledge. If you have a bright, curious and enthusiastic young learner who would be eager to make the most of our enriching educational environment, we encourage you to apply. Find out more ➡️ bit.ly/4aVPBwY

After a busy morning decorating biscuits in the kitchen, our Mini Marvels headed out to make the most of the nursery garden. From digging in the sandpit to running around and playing with friends, every moment has been filled with fun and laughter. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

We’re thrilled to announce that Highfield and Brookham has been shortlisted for Prep School of the Year in the Independent School Parent Independent School of the Year Awards. Our focus on blending academic excellence with essential life skills has put us in the spotlight. Equipping our pupils with the tools they need to thrive, both in now and in the future. We’re incredibly proud of our team for this recognition. Fingers crossed for September!

Over, under, jumping, balancing…the children on our Mini Olympics Holiday Club really have been put through their paces today. They have shown amazing enthusiasm and energy, learnt new skills and had enormous fun doing so. It’s been fantastic to see their determination and excitement as they participate in all the various activities. Can’t wait to see them back tomorrow!

Exciting changes are happening! This underutilised area is being transformed over the holidays into a wellbeing garden. The new space will further enhance our pastoral offering, providing an outdoor classroom and a beautiful natural space where children can unwind and relax. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #WellbeingGarden #OutdoorClassroom #NatureSpace #Relaxation #PastoralCare

We are delighted to be featured in the @goodschoolsguide Boarding Schools Guide 2024, the complete guide to the UK’s best boarding schools. Boarding at Highfield and Brookham is ever popular and an integral part of our school community. It is so much more than a place to live, it’s a vibrant, supportive community where children make cherished memories. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #iloveboarding #countrysideboarding #GoodSchoolsGuide

Our adventurous Year 7s had an amazing week in the Scottish Highlands at Ridgway Adventure. They embraced every challenge, learned survival skills and discovered the magic of teamwork. With new friendships and unforgettable memories, they returned with stories of adventure and a newfound confidence.

Our brilliant holiday activity courses have finally got under way and we’re incredibly excited about what lies ahead. Whether you’re into the performing arts, bushcraft, sport, spectacular science, creative crafting or all things tech, we really do have something for everyone. So if you’re looking for an enriching, engaging and downright fun course for your child this summer, simply click the link in our bio and see what we’ve got to offer! #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #HolidayActivities

A medal, two new school records and a clutch of personal bests was a brilliant reward for our eight athletes who competed in this year’s National Prep Schools Track & Field Championships at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham. Warmest congratulations to Phoebe G, Xander A, Tiggy W, Clemmie C, Cristo P, Olivia T, Tiger E and Imi K, we’re very proud of you all for representing the school so brilliantly. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #Athletics #NationalChampionships

Are you considering schools? Come along to our Open Morning on 28th September and discover why we have been shortlisted for Independent Prep School of the Year. Head to our website (link in bio) to book. #nursery #preprepschool #prepschool #Liphook #Surrey #Hampshire #westsussex #PrivateSchool #IndependentSchool #BoardingSchool #TogetherWeGrow #awards2024 #awards #independentschooloftheyear

Are you considering schools? Come along to our Open Morning on 28th September and discover why we have been shortlisted for Independent Prep School of the Year. Book your place➡️bit.ly/3XZVruq

The fabulous outdoor adventures continue for our all-action Year 7 children on their character-building trip to Scotland. Facing their fears and working as a team, the children have reached the twin summits of the mighty peak Arkle and taken to kayaking like the proverbial ducks to water. Wonder what exciting things they’ve got in store next thanks to the brilliant folk at Ridgway Adventure, Ardmore, Highlands of Scotland… #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #Adventure

Our whole-school community really went the extra mile – quite literally in some cases – on our inaugural Giving Day to raise an amazing £27,000 for the Centenary Bursaries Fund. The fund helps pave the way for children to receive a private education which otherwise may be out of reach. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

When it comes to our Year 7 children, resilience, determination, teamwork and a sense of adventure come as standard. All of these things (and more) will be put firmly to the test in the wilds of spectacular north-west Scotland over the next few days as our children tackle all the amazing character-building challenges and outdoor opportunities that @ridgwayadventure has to offer. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #Adventure

Our children have only been gone for 48 hours but work refurbishing the girls’ common room is already well under way. The room has been gutted ahead of painting and, in consultation with the girls ahead of the summer break, will feature a small breakout area, larger social areas and a themed, calming colour scheme. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #Refurbishment

Hard on the heels of being named a finalist in the ‘Pastoral Development of the Year’ category of this year’s NAPCE awards for our Beehive initiative, we are delighted to unveil our latest peer listeners, who are an integral part of our pastoral provision and provide amazing support for younger children who may not feel like approaching an adult with any concerns or issues they may have. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #PeerListeners

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that Highfield and Brookham has been shortlisted for Independent Prep School of the Year in the Independent Schools of the Year Awards. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm #awards #awards2024 #independentschoolsoftheyear #independentschoolparent @isotyawards

Our pre-prep children rounded off the school year with a wonderful music concert in front of proud parents. Accomplished performances on guitar, recorder, piano, drums and violin, not to mention whole-year choirs, showed just how much the children have progressed under the guidance of Mrs Harman and her fellow music teachers this year and have whetted the appetite for what lies ahead. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm

We’re bursting with pride after our first ever Giving Day. The biggest thank you to the incredible Highfield and Brookham community and our amazing local supporters: @knightfrank, @rangerhomecare, @littlefishsushiinthesticks, @thehawkleyinn, @silverliningswellbeing. Together, we raised a staggering £27,000 for the Highfield School Centenary Bursaries Fund! This amount of money truly will change lives. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #GivingDay #Bursaries #BursaryFund

The biggest thank you to the local and school community! We’re absolutely blown away by your incredible support for our first ever Giving Day in aid of the Highfield School Centenary Bursaries Fund. We’ve raised over £27,000, and it simply wouldn’t have been possible without each and every one of you including Little Fish, Sushi in the Sticks, Knight Frank, Silver Linings Wellbeing, Ranger Home Care and The Hawkley Inn.

Every year we think that our Year 8 leavers’ play can’t get any better, but every year it seems to do exactly that. Under the expert direction of Mrs Baird, our dedicated Head of Drama, the children said a fond and rousing farewell to their time at Highfield and Brookham with a spectacular adaptation of hit musical School of Rock. Bravo, Year 8, you will be missed! #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #SummerTerm #Drama

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