It is truly very special when parents write a testimonial for us. Please take a look at some of the lovely things our families have been saying about us. The two testimonials below are from families whose children have now left to join school.
Our daughter first attended the Prepatoria at the age of 2 years and 8 months. Having heard about the Prepatoria from someone whose daughter was already attending, we were curious and decided to go for a look around. Having read up on different approaches to child care such as Steiner and Montessori, we were pleased to learn more about Reggio Emilia from Mrs Smalley, and about the philosophy of this still quite new establishment. We could instantly tell that this was a very different kind of nursery – it felt safe, calm, nurturing, and as though each child genuinely was seen as an individual. We immediately liked the emphasis on time spent outdoors, and on art and creativity, and of enabling and encouraging children of different ages to spend time together.
Starting nursery was a scary prospect, and of course it wasn’t easy at first but with the support of Mrs Smalley and her team, separation soon became easier for our daughter and for us, and things quickly settled. Over the next 2 years, we loved hearing about our daughter’s experiences at the end of each day, and reading the learning journey which the staff spent time and care in writing up. It was especially nice to see photos of all her adventures, and we loved that she frequently came home singing a phonics song with twigs in her hair – for us, that showed that the balance of indoor and outdoor, structured learning and free play was pretty healthy!
For us, social and emotional development and wellbeing were our prime priorities, and we felt that our daughter was in safe hands. What we hadn’t anticipated was that, due to the wonderful way in which children of different ages mix at the Prepatoria, our daughter became fascinated with the phonics and literacy work that Mrs Smalley was doing with an older child, and wanted to try it herself! What a wonderful way to start the journey of learning to read and write – purely because it looks like fun! This love of letters has continued, and having just had her first parents’ evening at primary school, it’s clear that her literacy skills are ahead of expectations for her age. Her first choice of activity at home is always art of some kind, and this is, I’m sure, due in large part to the emphasis on creativity that she’s picked up from the Prepatoria. A wonderful nurturing and caring environment, where learning and living together creates an ideal environment for little ones!
Sally and Guy Pluckwell
We watched our shy little boy blossom under the watchful eye of Shrewsbury Prepatoria. He not only grew in confidence and maturity but left with a clear understanding of how to behave in a classroom setting and how to treat his peers with love, kindness and respect. He was fully prepared for the transition from nursery pre-school to reception class at school both mentally and physically – he had learnt to take ownership and responsibility of looking after his ‘homework books’ and he had even practised getting changed for PE which was a lovely touch, something as a parent hadn’t crossed my mind! Above all else, we were astonished he left the Prepatoria being fully able to read and blend his phonics, hold his pen correctly and write and also perform basic maths number bonds. We didn’t fully appreciate these skills until he started in his Reception Class at his new school when the teacher pulled us to one side to say how wonderful he was doing and stated he was months ahead of his peers and in order to continue supporting his outstanding development they would be challenging him further by doing one-to-one whilst the rest of his class are catching up! We couldn’t have asked for more – all of our expectations of the Prepatoria were not only met but also exceeded in every area. The children are all treated very much as individuals and their development is tailored perfectly to their suit their individual needs, this can only be achieved by the ratios of staff to children. The intimate setting and beautiful environment was absolutely perfect for our little boy to grow his wings and fly….