The Pre-Reception children transfer into Reception in the September following their fourth birthday and are joined by children from other local nurseries. All of them are placed into balanced classes with an appropriate mix of age, gender and ability. As the children progress through the school, they largely remain in the same class compositions. However, changes are sometimes made to enable a better balance across the classes within the year group. The children visit their new classes just before the end of the summer term.

There are usually three Reception classes, all of which are located on the first floor of the Mulberry building. The Year 1 and 2 classrooms are situated in Mulberry and the Vicarage.

All rooms have been recently renovated and are equipped with an interactive whiteboard, its dedicated computer and projector and an additional computer to enable individual ICT work on a rotational basis. In addition, the Year 1 and 2 classes have available one class set of netbooks, which can be connected through a local wireless network for class ICT work.

The bulk of the critical transition from a play-based learning approach to a more formal school-type approach occurs in the Pre-Prep. The children who attended our Kindergarten and Pre-Reception already started it toward the end of Pre-Reception and have been well prepared for this. The biggest step in the transition occurs in Reception and it is largely complete by the end of Year 1.

Herne Hill School

The children benefit from the continuity by same specialist peripatetic teachers introduced in Pre-Reception (music, sport/PE and dance). In addition, French is added from Reception. Dance is dropped in Year 2 to allow concentration on other subjects but the Year 2 children can still benefit from the teaching of our popular Miss Polly by joining her jazz & hip-hop dance club on Mondays after school.

Pre-Prep pupils arrive between 8.40am and 8.55am and end their day at 3.15pm (Reception), 3.20pm (Year 1) or 3.30pm (Year 2). Reception children are given the option of attending only a half day on Friday until they turn five years old.


All Pre-Prep children eat a hot lunch in our new school hall, prepared by our caterers Wilson Vale. The school is ‘nut free’, and Wilson Vale are able to provide for all dietary needs and allergies.

The children wear the blue and red Herne Hill School uniform. There are winter and summer uniforms for both boys and girls, which are available from Thomas’s School & Sports Shop at 8 Croxted Road or through the second hand uniform sales regularly organised by our parents’ association “The Friends of Herne Hill School”.