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

Congratulations to all of the children in Ash house, who took the honours in today’s pre-prep singing competition, impressing head judge Mr Mühlemann with their excellent rendition of George Ezra hit Shotgun. Enjoy! #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

Our prep-prep children have had the most amazing week of swim galas, watched and cheered on by proud parents. The galas are a great way for parents to see just how much progress their children have made during the school year under the expert eye of Mrs Simpson, our brilliant Head of Swimming, and her skilled swim coaches. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #Swimming

We’ve got some exciting news coming up about senior school scholarships, so keep your eyes peeled… #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

We love it when parents and grandparents pop into school, and today it was the turn of our marvellous mums to join the Reception children in the woods for some crafts using nature’s bounty and a lovely picnic around the campfire. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

When child-initiated learning at pre-prep turns into an impromptu band rehearsal in front of the judges… #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

We’re really proud of our thriving art department, led by the excellent Mrs Houghton, and the imagination, creativity and dedication of our pupils, whose craft is recognised each month as part of a celebration assembly. This month, Adelina’s seeds of hope-themed clay sculpture, Ian’s Modigliani-style drawing in chalk and Clemmie’s self-portrait in acrylic paints took top billing. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

Our intrepid Year 8 children are having a superb time in Wales courtesy of the excellent team at TYF Adventure. Firepits, teamwork challenges, rock climbing and surfboarding have been just some of the highlights so far as the children have faced their fears and thrown themselves whole-heartedly into a wealth of amazing activities. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

Congratulations to all of our boys and girls who competed so brilliantly at the @iapsuksport national swimming championships at @londonaquaticscentre on Saturday. We didn’t secure any medals on a day of intense competition, but all of our swimmers did gain new personal best times and had the most wonderful experience. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

The summer holidays are fast approaching and we are excited to offer some incredible holiday clubs where your children can learn, play and grow. Head to our website, link in bio, to find out more. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #holidayclubs #summerholidays

Highfield and Brookham’s strong links with a town in northern Italy have been cemented further with a visit from our scholars, who met up with some familiar faces along the way. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

When it comes to problem solving and working things out, we definitely think three heads are better than one! #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

We’ve had the most scintillating afternoon of cricket as our 1st XI boys reached finals day in York on 17th June in the IAPS U13 cricket cup with a thrilling 49-run win over valiant visitors Bede’s Prep in the quarter-finals. Having been bowled out for 94, the boys gave little away in the field; the bowlers hitting a metronomic line and length to frustrate the visitors while the fielders were outstanding with direct hits on the stumps and nerveless catching seeing off Bede’s for 45. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

Our 1st XI boys have reached finals day in the @iapsuksport U13 cricket cup for the very first time with a superb 49-run win over @bedesprep in the quarter-finals. Four teams will now vie for the title of national champions at @stpeters.york on 17th June. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new Year 5 all-rounder scholarship for entry in September 2025. The scholarship will recognise exceptional children who are bright and curious and show a real passion for learning. Head to our website (link in bio) to find out more. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #year5scholarship #talkeducation

Managing our estate is a big undertaking all year round, not least at this time of the year when Mother Nature has something of a growth spurt. This week, the lovely Katrina has been busy trimming and tidying the box hedges, ensuring they remain in tip-top shape, while head groundsman Jasper has been erecting a windbreak to protect the beautiful ornamental acer tree which was planted last summer in memory of Nilesh Patel, our much-loved head of IT. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

On the 80th anniversary of D-Day, we fondly remember the Old Highfieldians who fell in the service of their country during the Second World War. We will never forget them. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #DDay #LestWeForget

History has been brought to life for our Year 6 adventurers, who have spent the past few days in Ironbridge, a fascinating village on the banks of the River Severn which is widely believed to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Not only did their time in Shropshire give the children the chance to dig deeper into their course work focusing on the UN sustainable development goal of affordable and clean energy, it also gave them the chance to call in at Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, on the way home to bring their English studies to life. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

With little more than two weeks to go until Sports Day, our Reception children have been learning a valuable lesson in teamwork while practising their baton handovers ahead of the relay races. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

Our children get such an amazing amount out of school trips. As well as building their confidence and gaining real-life experience of topics that they learn in the classroom, the children get a wonderful opportunity to put new-found skills such as leadership, problem solving, teamwork and creativity into practice; skills that will serve them well throughout their educational journey and beyond. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

We are delighted to announce the launch of Highfield and Brookham’s new Year 5 all-rounder scholarship for entry in September 2025. The scholarship will recognise exceptional children who are bright and curious and show a real passion for learning. Find out more ➡️bit.ly/4aVPBwY

Focus and concentration were the order of the day as our Lower Prep children took aim at extra-curricular archery today. The children were taught how to create a solid anchor point with their stance, place the arrow in the bow, grip the string, draw the bow, take aim and release the arrow. Despite a few stray arrows early on, the children’s patience was rewarded as they found themselves hitting the target time and again. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

Our young artists are using British painter and sculptor Maggi Hambling as inspiration in their latest extra-curricular project; researching her work before producing their own pieces based on Maggi’s amazing creations. #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex

A memorable day at Highfield and Brookham. Today we installed this stunning abstract seed sculpture, lovingly carved by current parent and Old Highfieldian @matthewkendallsculpture. It serves as a visual reminder of the life-changing Highfield School Centenary Bursaries Fund. The sculpture, carved from a fallen 300-year-old oak tree, took more than a year to complete and is 3.6m in circumference. “I have sought to incorporate the school’s motto of growing together into the piece. There is an obvious link with the use of a tree. Beyond this I chose a spherical form to represent the ongoing nature of growing and learning. The grain alludes to the shared pursuit of growth, the cracks to the inevitable mistakes involved in the learning process, the twisting and cracking that will take place as the wood dries to the ever-evolving nature of a learning community, and the fluted grooves to the impact each person has on the school and the school on them in turn.” Thank you, Matthew, for this beautiful gift! #TogetherWeGrow #IndependentSchool #PrivateSchool #BoardingSchool #PrepSchool #PrePrepSchool #Nursery #Liphook #Hampshire #Surrey #WestSussex #ChangingLives #TransformationalBursaries

We’ve had a fabulous week of holiday clubs with children eagerly engaging in a variety of activities. From mastering new recipes in cookery, honing survival skills in bushcraft, to improving their swings in golf and tennis, the enthusiasm and joy have been truly inspiring. As we look ahead, the summer holidays are fast approaching, and we are excited to offer even more incredible opportunities for your children to learn, play and grow. Don’t miss out on the chance to give your children an unforgettable summer experience. Check out all the wonderful clubs we have planned here➡️bit.ly/3VnNNs1

A truly heart-warming day as we installed the beautiful abstract seed sculpture, painstakingly carved by current parent and Old Highfieldian Matthew Kendall. It serves as a visual reminder of the life-changing Highfield School Centenary Bursaries Fund. The sculpture, carved from a fallen 300-year-old oak tree, took more than a year to complete and weighs approximately one tonne. “I have sought to incorporate the school’s motto of growing together into the piece. There is an obvious link with the use of a tree. Beyond this I chose a spherical form to represent the ongoing nature of growing and learning. The grain alludes to the shared pursuit of growth, the cracks to the inevitable mistakes involved in the learning process, the twisting and cracking that will take place as the wood dries to the ever-evolving nature of a learning community, and the fluted grooves to the impact each person has on the school and the school on them in turn.” Thank you, Matthew, for this incredible gift!

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