Pre-Prep School

The Nursery and Pre-Prep are situated in their own purpose-built micro-school, next to the main Prep School building.  The Preparatory School has use of its own sports hall, swimming pool, libraries, dining halls and play areas.

Nursery and Reception are located in the Upcot building, Year 1 in Hermitage building and Year 2 and 3 are based in Priory building, within the Pre-Prep School.

There are seven key areas of learning and development.


The mastery of early literacy skills is essential in forming a secure foundation in all other areas of children’s future learning. This is reflected in the broad-ranging curriculum taught in the Pre-Prep at Marlborough College. Phonics activities and games are a regular feature in the daily timetable to enable children to develop their oral blending and segmenting skills to prepare for the next steps in their reading and writing. Books are a central part of learning at Marlborough and the children are immersed in a wide range of traditional and contemporary stories and poems. The large open spaces in the Pre-Prep environment give all children varied opportunities to explore and grow in confidence.

Communication and Language

Activities and structured play times are carefully planned and taught by qualified teaching staff to enable children to develop their speaking and listening skills and become attuned to the sounds around them. To ensure depth of learning for these vital skills children take part in small group and one-to-one activities as well as whole class sessions. In this carefully supported learning environment, children develop the confidence to communicate with others so that they can express their ideas, make predictions and describe past events.


We aim to develop each child’s natural curiosity and interest in numbers, shape and space during the important early years. These early maths skills are developed through a hands-on approach to their learning, where children can talk, play and explore in a stimulating and engaging environment. To ensure that children become confident with numbers and the shapes around them, they take part in regular numeracy based activities that are fun and engaging to all learners.  Children learn to recite and recognise numbers with rhymes, songs, stories and counting games to aid the development of early maths skills. Varied and memorable learning opportunities are created so that children learn to use number names in their play, extend their understanding of number and reach their potential.

Understanding the World

Pre-Prep Children take their first stepping stones to learning science as part of the curriculum. They are encouraged to develop a knowledge and understanding of their environment, they talk about and recognise significant events in their own life as well as talking about themselves and their family. They will learn how to use their senses to make observations and to use technology, such as iPads to support their learning. In addition, children will learn about understanding and respecting other cultures. They will take part in regular events in the school calendar and join with older year groups to celebrate these occasions.

Expressive Arts and Design

Imaginative and creative play is embedded throughout the PrePrep week through art, music and movement, role-play games and specialist ballet lessons. Children explore sound, texture, colour, shape and space as part of their creative development. They are given opportunities to respond in a variety of ways in order to understand what they see, hear, smell, touch and feel. Children are encouraged to think creatively, through pupil-centred activities such as messy play. Every day presents a different opportunity for children to experience periods of sustained exploration, creativity and critical thinking.

Personal, Social and Emotional

The Marlborough College three Cs are taught throughout the school, starting with the youngest Marlburians. The values of Compassion, Companionship and Conversation are a positive platform from which to promote personal, social and emotional well-being. During their time in the children are supported and given the tools required to express their opinions, solve problems and seek help when needed. Enabling them to form essential skills in relationships with adults and children so they will be able to work as a part of a group and take turns. This area also involves encouraging independence in dressing and personal hygiene. It is our belief that a nurturing and caring setting promotes confidence among children to develop their self-belief and to maximise their potential in all areas of the curriculum.

Physical Development

A broad range of activities is provided so that children can develop physical skills, co-ordination and body awareness. Table top toys, puzzles, drawing and cutting help develop fine motor skills. Specialist PE and swimming and ballet lessons are included as part of the weekly timetable in the Pre-Prep. The outdoor playground area with slides and climbing frame, sand pits and water play give children the opportunity to develop their gross motor skills.

Additional Languages

Spanish, Mandarin and Malay are taught by specialist staff through the use of song, stories and hands on activities.