The Pre-Prep at West Sussex private school Sompting Abbotts is where your child officially begins his or her education. The department comprises Pre-Prep 1 (Nursery); Pre-Prep 2 (Reception); Pre-Prep 3 (Year 1) and Pre-Prep 4 (Year 2). These year-groups are housed in the 'Old Stables' building.

A great start for your child's education

Class sizes are kept small, with most classes having maximum 15 pupils. Children are taught by a close team of experienced teachers supported by teaching assistants. It means our friendly department has the time to really build firm relationships with your child and your family.


We strongly believe that the first years of school are a period of rapid cognitive development and that the teaching children receive at this stage will have a significant impact on their future attainment at senior school level. Evidence-backed research shows this.

In the Pre-Prep, pupils are taught English, Maths, Science, Geography, History, RE, Cookery and Design Technology by the class teacher. Specialist teachers are used for Music, Art, French and PE. Classrooms are equipped with Smart Boards, computers and digital tablets. We have a shared Junior Library with comfy cushions. 

Pastoral care is a strong priority for us. We encourage our children and their parents to share life events, problems or successes. We keep you up-to-date on your child's progress both in person and through twice-yearly reports.

One-to-one attention

The Pre-Prep department places a strong focus on early literacy skills. All children are heard read aloud individually for at last 15 uninterrupted minutes a day and carefully selected reading books and a reading diary are sent home daily. Watch the video to find out more.

Skills for life

All our children perform in assemblies in front of their peers and parents. It's all about learning to stand up and talk in public – a skill that will be important later in life. We know that with encouragement even those of a shyer disposition become more comfortable and gain confidence when they're given the support they need to 'shine'. Self-confidence is gained from each small success, which leads to more success.


Extra-curricular clubs after-school are offered three days a week. The topics change every term. They include art and crafts activities, science and nature, indoor and outdoor games, and cookery. Ballet, speech and drama and music lessons are offered. We also organise regular topic-based educational trips outside school and invite interesting visitors into Pre-Prep.

Children climbing the low branches of the fruit trees in the Walled Garden at playtime

Children climbing the low branches of the fruit trees in the Walled Garden at playtime

Outdoor play and discovery

Pre-Prep children play together at break time. At midday, they eat a home-cooked lunch on communal tables with their teachers in the Dining Room. They have a large walled garden to explore, play hide-and-seek, clamber on the adventure equipment and role-play their passion of the moment – whether it's Harry Potter, the Gruffalo or The BFG! 

Wraparound care is free to our parents. Children in the Pre-Prep attending our West Sussex private school Sompting Abbotts are welcome in the Early Room from 8am and in the Late Room until 4.30pm. If you're unavoidably delayed, your child will be taken to main school and supervised with the Prep pupils in the Library.

Second language learning in the Pre-Prep

All children in the Pre-Prep department begin learning a second language from age 2. From age 2 to 4 years, we use immersion teaching methods via song and music. From Reception onwards, we begin more formal language teaching. Watch the video to find our more.


Click to see the full scheme of work for your child

Pupils are confident, articulate and listen well to one another. They are courteous and well-behaved and have a sense of their own self-worth, which is encouraged by the celebration of each individual’s talents, progress and behaviour.
— ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) latest report
IMG_1776 copy.jpg

Our top 30 story book recommendations for Key Stage 1 children (age 5 - 7)