Welcome to Plaistow Pre-School

Outdoor play and learning

From age 2 & Up

Now open 9am-3pm Monday to Friday


We create learning styles to suit each child individually


We have a fun, stimulating and safe outdoor environment


 Our children learn at their own pace

Who We Are

Established in 1966, Plaistow Pre-School is a good Ofsted rated (URN 113649) charity-run Pre-School (Registered Charity No.305405) offering affordable care and education for 2 to 5 year olds, in the heart of the Plaistow, Ifold, Kirdford and nearby rural West Sussex community.

The Pre-School’s stimulating outdoor learning environment is centred around the ethos of ‘learning through play’ in it’s wonderfully upgraded outdoor garden setting. The learning through play ethos and mostly outdoors provision assists the children to de­velop prime areas of learning; communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development in natural surroundings with freedom to explore. As children grow, these prime areas will help them to develop skills in four specific areas: literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design so that all children can confidently progress to the next stage of education.

Our strong and caring team of Early Years staff have a wealth of experience and qualifications between them and are all on hand to care for your children.

The Pre-School is supported by a management committee of parents who help to organise fund raising activities and take pride in the Pre-School’s long history of quality care and early years learning.

Outdoor Play and Learning

SONY DSCChildren arrive at Preschool for 9am to be welcomed by Katy and the Preschool team. Every child has a peg with their name written above it and the children are encouraged to hang their own coats and bags upon arrival. Parents are welcomed to accompany their child through the hall and into the outdoor learning environment in the garden, where they say goodbye. Gentle settling in sessions are actively encouraged.

Our beautifully designed outdoor classroom includes a year long growing area where children will choose seasonal produce to plant and maintain on a daily basis. Children can explore the curiosity area which is central to our play with sand, mud, pebbles, rocks, logs, shells and leaves used to design fabulous habitats for dinosaurs, diggers and trucks to excavate and discover seaside explorations.  Children will be able to lead their own play, inviting adults to support and scaffold their learning.

Mathematics, expressive arts and design, literacy and understanding the world are supported in all areas of the pre-school. 

Our outdoor covered classroom area and play equipment, like the pirate ship and race track give plenty of space and different areas for the children to explore.  Water and paint are available all day, every day.  Mixing colours, turn taking, working collaboratively, measuring, demonstrating control, pouring skills and ideas on how to develop their own initiatives.  The children get wet and dirty and have a fantastic time!

Indoor play is a quieter area with a beautiful canvas tent, blankets, cushions, Jelly Cat soft toys and fidget toys to offer calm, concentration and tranquillity.  A reading area with all their favourite stories and puppets supports emotional well being.  A doll’s house and knights’ castle adds a new dimension to small world play. 

Once all the children have arrived we sit together to sing our welcome song, with Makaton signing and have a chance to sing, chat and connect.

At snack time a choice of three healthy snacks are provided and the children are invited to help prepare the snacks and fruit with safe cutting knives and peelers. Milk and water is provided and offered to all children freely throughout the day. Children will learn to pour their own drinks and wash up their own cups, prompting independence.

The children are encouraged to sit together to eat lunch, and often staff will sit and eat with them too, to help role model positive eating habits. Children staying for the afternoon have a toothbrush provided to help promote and practice good Oral hygiene.

As school age approaches, children increase their practice of letters and numbers, writing their name and building up confidence socially and academically.

garden & bubbles cropped greyWe are very proud of our wonderful garden and are very fortunate to have this fantastic resource to make the most of learning outdoors. The wooden Gazebo is a real focal point to the garden and provides a lovely sheltered area for the children to enjoy.

In addition to the outdoor play equipment, we have areas for the children to plant their own seeds and bulbs and to take part in other developmental activities such as water and sand play, ball play and other tactile activities.

The Preschool Committee ensures the garden is maintained regularly and every Spring we look forward to seeing what the children have planted. Scroll down to see photos of our wonderful garden in our Gallery

SONY DSCWe offer regular ‘excursion days’ when the children will get a chance to visit local attractions. Past trips have included: a walk around the bluebell woods, Winkworth Arboretum, Chichester Canal and Christmas Pantomimes.

All children are given starring roles in the Pre-School nativity at Christmas. They also enjoy the fancy dress dance around the Maypole every Mayday – a tradition that has existed since the School was first established and the inspiration for the Pre-School’s logo.

Sports day is also held on the Village Green just before the end of the Summer term.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a framework developed to support children’s learning and development from birth to 5. Plaistow Pre-School ensures that all sessions incorporate elements of the (EYFS) through structured and varied play sessions. At Plaistow Pre-School, children are supported and encouraged to develop both academically and socially. Emphasis is placed on learning at a rate that suits each individual child to support confidence and self esteem. The Pre-School regularly reviews the syllabus to keep up-to-date with current EYFS guidance and OFSTED criteria.

The current EYFS curriculum consists of 7 areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

The 3 Prime areas include:
– Communication and language
– Physical development
– Personal, social and emotional development

These are strengthened and applied through an additional 4 Specific areas which include:
– Literacy
– Mathematics
– Understanding the world
– Expressive arts and design

For more information please visit www.gov.uk/early-years-foundation-stage.

Our Local Offer for children with Special Educational Needs

We welcome all children to our Pre-School and work closely with families to identify and work with any special educational needs. All families are invited to share their children’s likes and preferences in writing, so the setting can provide for their individual needs. If a keyworker working with a child feels that there could be a need, then communication would be made with the parent(s) on a one-to-one basis to determine whether an Education Health Care Plan would be the best option. All steps in this process would be shared with the child and parent(s) and if it appears that outside agencies would be of help, they will be contacted with the full agreement of the family.

We believe in our Equal Opportunities Policy and if we are approached by a family whose child has been diagnosed with a need, then we would invite them to the setting to assess our facilities. Within the village hall, we have wheelchair access to both the hall and garden areas, as well as disabled toilet facilities. We have soft play equipment and a sensory area can be created.

Plaistow Pre-School aim to communicate to all families a willingness to share their concerns and worries and deal with all situations to the best of our abilities. Confidentiality is observed at all times.

About Us

Children PlayingWe have over 40 years experience in the learning and development of Pre-School children. Our team of energetic and trusted staff, provide an exciting, enthusiastic and positive environment for the children to grow and thrive.

We have excellent facilities to cater for the maximum 24 children in our care. The outdoor play and learning environment is spacious and well developed with wonderful equipment and is used at every opportunity throughout the year to give the children a chance for fresh air and natural play.

We are only yards away from Plaistow and Kirdford Primary School.  Many children progress to this school and we work closely with the head teacher and reception class teachers.  The team will help to introduce the children to school by taking them on visits to the Primary School and meeting the reception class teacher.

We are a Pre-School that functions at the heart of the community, combining the solid foundation of over 40 years tradition with modern and inspired ideas for learning according to the latest EYFS.

Read our Preschool Policies here Plaistow Preschool Policies and our Plaistow Outbreak Management Plan

“The close link we have with Plaistow Pre-School is highly valued, the children come to us in Reception well prepared to continue their learning journey.”
(Mr King, Headmaster Plaistow & Kirdford School)

“Plaistow Pre-School is like home from home – my 2 year old son has settled in without a squeak, and shouts ‘hooray’ whenever I say it’s time for school. In fact on his 3rd day, he ran up to Nicola, with big smiles and hugs! It’s such a friendly and warm environment, with great indoor and outdoor activities and plenty to stimulate little people’s minds – it’s a joy to have such a lovely starter school on our doorstep.”
(Chantelle Rountree, Mummy to Arthur)

“My daughter has just started school after nearly 2 years in Plaistow Pre-School and is a happy and confident girl and already regularly gets the school bus to and from school with her friends. Her little brother is continuing at the Pre-School for another year before he follows on and so he will continue to enjoy the learning environment as one of the older boys in the Pre-School now, with more of a sense of responsibility. Nicola and the staff have a perfect balance of teaching and caring, with total focus on the children at all times, without wrapping them in cotton wool and allowing them to be the little children they still are.”
(Tamsin Simpson, Mummy to Matilda and Daniel)

In October 2019, we were delighted to receive a ‘Good’ rating from the Office of Standards in Education (OFSTED). The Inspector’s report complimented the School’s facilities, staff, education and overall learning environment. On the overall effectiveness of the early years provision:

“Children are warmly welcomed by caring and understanding staff into a safe and secure environment. Overall, most children’s learning needs are addressed successfully to ensure they are developing personal qualities and skills for the future. Children are well motivated and build good relationships with the adults, particularly with the lead practitioner. Strong links are forged with the parents, the school and local community; there are clear open lines of communication. Evaluation and continuous improvement is an integral part of the staff practice, which ensures that outcomes for children are positive.”

The Inspector also noted in her report that: “Children feel safe and secure and behave in a safe and non-challenging way. This is because staff ensure children develop a good sense of self-worth through effective positive encouragement and regular praise during play.”

Maypole danicingPlaistow Pre-School is a registered charity that relies on fundraising events to keep the fees relatively low. We hold a number of fundraising events throughout the year and the Pre-School’s Maypole Fete is a very important date in the local calendar. Based on the traditional English fete format, there is plenty of fun for all the family and central to the whole day is the children’s fancy dress dance around the Maypole. We usually have a local celebrity to judge the competition. In 2008, Julie Walters very kindly agreed to come along and do the judging and in 2014, local personality Jodie Kidd joined in the dance around the maypole.

We are also a registered charity with the Google search engine, which enables sellers to give a percentage of the sale of items to Plaistow Pre-School. Registered Charity No. 305405

If you would like to learn more about us, please download our Prospectus. Click here to view: Plaistow Preschool Prospectus

Plaistow Pre-School is a community based pre-school that is owned and run by the parents/carers of the children attending (this means you!). As we are a voluntary, non-profit making charity, we would not exist without a committee. Our committee take pride in the Pre-School’s long history of quality care and early years learning. A committee must be in place in order for the Pre-School to operate and must consist of a Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary and two others as a minimum. Committee members are re-elected at an Annual General Meeting in the autumn term, to which all parents and carers are invited to attend.

Plaistow Pre-School is a registered charity that relies on donations and fundraising events. Our biggest fundraising event is our Maypole Fete – your support and help before and during the Maypole Fete is vital to the success of this fundraising event. Getting involved in the committee or helping out at an event is a great way of getting to know other parents, having some fun, sharing or learning new skills as well as helping a great cause and becoming involved in the care and education of the children.

If you can help in any way, no matter how much or how little time you can give, it would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in getting involved in either the committee or an event, please speak to the team or a committee member. The committee can also be contacted using the Pre-School email address (plaistow.preschool@gmail.com).

Contact Us

You can also call us on 07789 414821  or pop us an email at plaistow.preschool@gmail.com

Plaistow Pre-School, Winterton Hall, Plaistow, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 0PX

OFSTED Number 113649. Registered Charity Number 305405

Hours and Pricing

  • 9am – 12pm
  • Monday – Friday
  • £18 per day
  • 9am – 1pm
  • Monday – Friday
  • £24 per day
  • 9am – 3pm
  • Monday – Friday
  • £36 per day

We are now offering afternoon sessions from 12 – 3pm.

Contact Us for September 2023 availability.

Don’t forget that children are entitled to receive Government funded sessions from the term after their 3rd birthday, and we also offer funded places for eligible 2 year olds – please contact the team for more details.

Please note all fees are to be paid half termly in advance.

Plaistow News

Plaistow Pre-School Tesco Grant Plans

Plaistow Pre-School is delighted to be shortlisted for a grant from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative in hundreds of regions across England and Wales. The scheme will see three community groups and projects in each of these regions awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 416 regions across the UK, a share of revenue generated from the 5p charge levied on single-use carrier bags and Plaistow Pre-School has been shortlisted to receive one of these grants.

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