Enjoy the latest wonderful testimonials, submitted for our entry for NDNA Nursery Of the Year 2017, from our parents
We could not ask for a better standard of care and education
Our son has been attending Shrewsbury Prepatoria since he was just under a year old. We could not ask for a better standard of care and education. We continue to be blown away by the dedication of the team and the care and attention that he receives. The facilities are wonderful and most days he doesn’t want to come home as he has had such a lovely day. We have already signed our unborn child up as we didn’t want to risk them not having a place. I feel that Shrewsbury Prepatoria has played an enormous part in our son’s development to date. I could never recommend it enough or put into words just how appreciative we are for the care and education they provide.
Naomi Adams, March 2017
..the perfect environment for my child to thrive
I visited a lot of nurseries and then walked through the door of Shrewsbury Prepatoria and instantly liked the calm and positive atmosphere. A home from home, everything about this nursery creates the perfect environment for my child to thrive and most of all feel happy and loved and safe. There is a fantastic range of activities on offer each week, a small number of children per member of staff means that strong relationships are built between staff and children, the staff are excellent and you can tell the children adore them. The settling in experience for my sensitive son was gentle, the staff put so much thought and consideration into understanding his feelings and building his confidence. Shrewsbury Prepatoria is an outstanding nursery.
Camilla Ditty, March 2017
– fun with a purpose!
From the very first time we visited the Prepatoria and met Jane, we were astounded at the level of care, creativity, and variety of activities. Our son attends Shrewsbury Prepatoria 5 days a week, as both myself and my partner work full time, and I honestly can’t think of a better place for him to be. At the Prepatoria, children’s activities are based around an overarching periodical theme, and are linked to the early years foundation stages. The amount of effort and creativity that goes into crafting the activities is fantastic – fun with a purpose! Jane and her team inspire our son’s curiosity, and encourage his learning on everything he shows interest in. As a result his skills and language are surpassing expected levels, which we attribute to his time at the Prepatoria (plus a little bit of our parenting!). The atmosphere at the Prepatoria is like a home from home; caring, nurturing, and loving. The high ratio of staff to children (1:2), and the provision of key people ensures that our son has close relationships and a high level of trust with those he is with on a daily basis. Our son loves it at the Prepatoria, and we are incredibly fortunate that such an establishment exists in our local area, it’s a shame that other parents can’t experience the high standard of care that Shrewsbury Prepatoria offers.
Andrew Turner, March 2017
It feels more like an extended family
There is quite simply no-where else I would consider sending my children. Most amazing, caring, educational and nurturing environment for our little ones. The staff are outstanding and their love for the children is genuine and heart warming. It feels more like an extended family.
Alison Sayer, March 2017
Nowhere else quite like it.
I am so grateful for all the staff at The Prepatoria, it has an amazing atmosphere and Henry simply bounces out of the car excited to be there. We feel very lucky that Henry is able to attend and can’t recommend this Nursery enough.
Emma Wigley, March 2017
..children learn whilst still enjoying a fun and stimulating environment
The most fantastic setting with children taught in low ratios with fully qualified teachers and practitioners and excellent support staff. Imaginative use of resources to help children learn whilst still enjoying a fun and stimulating environment. My little boy is in preschool and will be prepared for reception in September through the regular teacher/pupil reading and phonics time. Nowhere else quite like it.
Laura Williams, March 2017
Very professional, friendly & extremely knowledgeable
This nursery is fab. Very professional, friendly & extremely knowledgeable. It has to be nursery of the year!
Victoria Pearson, March 2017
We knew we didn’t want our little boy to go anywhere else
We started looking at nurseries 2 years ago and as soon as we’d been to see the Prepatoria we knew we didn’t want our little boy to go anywhere else. He absolutely loves it and has come on leaps and bounds. The staff are so lovely. I couldn’t fault anything about it. It definitely deserves to win nursery of the year.
Suzannah Davies, March 2017
The staff are truly expert
Alexander absolutely adores the Prepatoria and has developed so much during his time there. The staff are truly expert but also incredibly kind and caring, and I’ve recommended them on to friends and family
Felicity Wingrove, March 2017
…development has come on so much in a short time.
Such a wonderful place! From the first time I stepped through the doors I knew it would be the right place for my little boy. My son loves going to nursery and his development has come on so much in a short time. When we arrive in the morning we are always greater with a smile and he is itching to get down and play. We always have a full nights sleep after nursery, which is wonderful for all the family!!
Emily Browne, March 2017
100% better than any other I looked at.
Outstanding nursery in every way, I’m a child-minder and completely didn’t like the idea of my daughter going to a nursery, but she needed time away from me, when I found this nursery I was delighted, 100% better than any other I looked at. Very professional, extremely caring and friendly.
Juliet Gurney, March 2017
Staff and children excel in every aspect!
A super fun, friendly and outstanding nursery where staff and children excel in every aspect!
Rachael Morgan, March 2017
I will be sending my second child there too
My daughter has attended this nursery since she was 9 months old. She is now nearly 2. She loves going to nursery and the care she receives is brilliant. I will be sending my second child there too when the time comes.
Elizabeth Gilbert, March 2017
…tailored and personalised learning
Outstanding level of care and education provided. Real attention given to providing tailored and personalised learning within a warm, friendly, family feel environment, where all children feel valued.
Jenny Riches, March 2017
..a truly unique environment for children to grow, develop and learn
The Prepatoria is a truly unique environment for children to grow, develop and learn. They take the time to feed back lots of information to parents, whether it be in relation to weekly activities or how a child is settling into th environment. The food is all prepared on site by their own chef and children are encouraged to take part in cooking activities. The Prepatoria always is looking at ways it may improve its care to children. They really go out of their way to ensure that each child is treated at an individual and meet their special needs to make sure the environment is one that the child can enjoy and grow in confidence.
Sarah Richardson, March 2017
..a range of fantastic activities
Our Daughter started at Shrewsbury Prepatoria in January this year and we could not wish for better care and education for her. All of the staff care for our Daughter to the highest standard possible. She goes in so happy and is excited to tell us all about her day when we collect her. She is always provided with a range of fantastic activities and she is developing so well in all of the areas of the EYFS. The staff treat her as an individual and the staff are always very approachable. We always highly recommend The Prepatoria to family and friends.
Becky Rohr, March 2017
I was very surprised when the settling in period didn’t take as long.
When Ava (my daughter) started at Shrewsbury Prepatoria she was a very shy little girl with very little confidence. She didn’t like it when I wasn’t there and I thought we were going to have major issues with settling her in to the nursery. However, I was very surprised when the settling in period didn’t take as long. Since starting in September, Ava has grown into such a little character. She is still a shy little girl with people she doesn’t know, but it doesn’t take as long for her to feel comfortable around people. Her confidence is growing every day and she is learning so many new things that it’s hard to keep up with her. She still has a little more confidence to gain so she is fully comfortable there, but I have no doubts that Ava would not be the little girl she is now without Shrewsbury Prepatoria.
Katie-Ann Cook, March 2017
Nicola Parro, March 2017
…an amazing and unique nursery
Shrewsbury Prepatoria is such an amazing and unique nursery. The staff, the building, the resources available to the children are all fantastic. I was nervous about my daughter starting nursery two years ago but we were able to gradually settle her in and she now loves her days there and adores the staff. I feel happy and reassured that I leave my little girl in the care of wonderful people-she gets cared for and taught at the same time!
Claire Round, March 2017
..excellent care and education
My Grandson has developed so much in the 6 months he has been attending the Shrewsbury Prepatoria with the excellent care and education they provide I couldn’t wish for better place for him to attend whilst his parents work.
Di Preston, March 2017
They know how to look after him just like his mum would
Shrewsbury Prepatoria gives pure piece of mind knowing my Grandson is cared for and loved by all the staff. They know how to look after him just like his mum would, which is fantastic. Always willing to tell you all about his day so my daughter doesn’t feel she’s missing out so much.
Di Preston, March 2017
WOW!! It is a beautiful setting for small minds to explore and learn!
When it come to recommending a childcare provider, I simply cannot recommend Shrewsbury Prepatoria enough! Our eldest son attended the setting from its opening up to starting primary school last September. He could not have been more prepared for the huge transition and as a result has settled into school life fantastically well, which has been a huge relief to us all! Shrewsbury Prepatoria gave him not only an abundance of valuable knowledge to give him the very best start in his learning journey, but also the love and confidence to embrace new situations with gusto! He is excelling in all areas academically at his new school, and is a popular, kind and caring boy who cannot wait to learn each day! We are enormously proud of him and cannot thank Jane and her staff enough for their love and support in preparing him, and us, for the transition! In October our youngest son started at the new infant centre…WOW!! It is a beautiful setting for small minds to explore and learn! The settling in process Jane and her staff promote meant that both Rueben and myself were nothing but relaxed when he started, and as a result there hasn’t been a day when he has not been super excited to get in and amongst the beautiful things!! In a world where most parents have to work, leaving your child knowing they are so happy and settled and so loved and cared for is simply priceless! The menu offered is amazing and there are few settings where food is prepared on site, fresh and delicious each day! I love to see what Rueben has to look forward to in the weekly e mail menu! Parents are kept up to date on children’s progress on a regular basis, through daily reports, thoroughly completed learning journals, and online zen folio picture galleries which we love looking at to see all the beautiful happy faces!! I could go on for pages as to how fantastic I think the Prepatoria is, but in summary I consider the most important reason I think they are the “best” to be that they are an extension of our family and not just a childcare provider! They look after our most important people as if they are their own and exactly how they deserve to be cared for. Jane and her staff are knowledgeable, supportive and caring…they strive to be the best, offer nothing but the best and simply are the best!! I thank my lucky stars we have such a wonderful setting in our town…and of all the worries us parents face on a daily basis as to whether we are doing our best, it’s a huge relief to know when it comes to their daycare we absolutely are!!
Kim Kelly, March 2017
The nursery has been fantastic with our daughter and it has been very easy for her to jump straight in!!
Stefan Nowosielski, March 2017
Emily Browne, March 2017
Excellent work by Mrs Smalley and her team.
Ritika Singh, March 2017
What an amazing place.
What an amazing place. Prepatoria has a fab blend of academic pursuit and play where my child in particular learns so much and has so much fun. The staff are wonderful and nurturing, the food and eating environment excellent and the facilities just right for little ones! I will be sending my third soon and wish very much that I had been able to send my first. Sadly that time has passed but he does spend some time there with his brother and loves it. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!
Jordana Fawaz, March 2017
The staff are second to none
Absolutely wonderful! The staff are second to none, and have made my son very welcome and extremely happy.
Danielle Martin, March 2017
An absolute credit to the nursery!
An absolute credit to the nursery! Such a lovely kind and caring lady who the children and the parents adore.
Danielle Martin, March 2017
Caring, ambitious/interactive and fun
Top notch nursery, I couldn’t have asked for better. Caring, ambitious/interactive and fun, as good as it gets.
A wonderfully kind, intelligent and interesting lady, just what my small person needed.
Kate Knight, March 2017
We have been so pleased with the Prepatoria. Our little girl has been very happy here and her development has been outstanding. The staff are dedicated, encouraging and supportive. I would through recommend the Prepatoria to any parent.
Zoe Detheridge, March 2017
What stands out about Shrewsbury Prepatoria is the attention to detail that they always put into everything they do, and do so much more than they need to create a warm, beautiful environment for the children. The effect of this is happy children but also seemingly happy parents and staff! It is very child focused and Mrs Smalley makes changes to improve things all the time. A wonderful, professional nursery with stands out!
Lucy Gahan, March 2017
..flourished in the very special environment this nursery provides
My little girl was one of the lucky ones to be there in the first year Prepatoria opened. She flourished in the very special environment this nursery provides. Her social skills and the way she grasped basic phonics and maths has stood her in good stead now she is in reception. Ella talks fondly of Prepatoria and would be back in a flash with my blessing if this was possible! Even though she has left the nursery she will be back for summer school where I know she will be greeted with open arms and smiles by the children and staff that are The Shrewsbury Prepatoria.
Sadie Blake, March 2017
A bright, welcoming and caring place
A bright, welcoming and caring place for my daughter to learn and grow. She always comes home full of excitement and eager to tell us all about her day at Prepatoria.
Esther Doughty, March 2017
Shrewsbury Prepatoria stood out from the crowd like a shining beacon
We discovered Shrewsbury Prepatoria through recommendation of our friends and Miss Astbury and Miss Birch’s involvement with the early education of their daughter. Our friends could not speak highly enough regarding what had been achieved with their daughter and how she had developed, both Educationally and Socially. Like all parents you desperately want what is best for your children, and we recognised the absolute importance of a solid grounding in the Pre School Years. However, finding a setting that provided anything approaching the standards that you might expect of a good school proved to be extremely challenging. Whilst many nurseries provide solid pastoral care, finding one that understood how to ‘Educate’ and prepare our child for school was another matter. Shrewsbury Prepatoria stood out from the crowd like a shining beacon. Not only is the environment your leave your child in quite unlike any other setting we have encountered but the standards upheld are the very highest. Shrewsbury Prepatoria is not seeking to be an outstanding Nursery, it is seeking to re define what Pre School Education should be. We feel privileged that our daughter is having the opportunity to experience this, and we feel she will be better prepared for School and the challenges ahead as a result. I cannot recommend the Prepatoria highly enough as a result”
Mr and Mrs L. – Shropshire.
..freedom of childhood whilst laying the stepping stones to be well educated, kind little people
This nursery is like no other. Driven by education, good values and love, it is an environment where children can thrive in every way. We personally want our children to enjoy the freedom of childhood whilst laying the stepping stones to be well educated, kind little people. The Prepatoria ticks all boxes and for us and is therefore an extension to our family values. I wouldn’t recommend anywhere else.
Shrewsbury Prepatoria is what we have been looking for!
Clearly a passionate team with a desire to deliver a philosophy and mission based on sound theory and research evidence. There is a holistic view taken of the child and wider family with emphasis on an emotionally healthy environment for the child.
Wonderful safe well thought out environment with ‘quality’ running through every element. This could make a lasting, positive difference on an individual child and excitingly for more children indirectly.
Mrs M. – Shrewsbury
I can not speak more highly of this nursery.
We had tried to settle my daughter at nurseries in the past, but having spent 2 years only being looked after by her parents, our daughter found it distressing to be left with other people. However due to the unique way in which children are introduced to the Prepatoria; with parents encouraged to stay until their child is completely settled with Miss Astbury and Miss Birch before leaving, she has built up such a lovely relationship with them both and looks forward to going each week.
However it is not only the settling in approach that is so wonderful about this nursery, but our reasons for choosing it, are due to the Reggio approach to learning that the nursery is adopting. Having heard that a Reggio nursery was opening in Shrewsbury, I jumped on the phone as quickly as I could. The Reggio approach acknowledges that children are all different, and by following such a philosophy Miss Astbury and Miss Birch will nurture the interests of each child, and as such will develop our daughters uniqueness,which is of paramount importance to us.
We also love how the children are not segregated according to age, thus allowing younger children to learn from older ones, and teaching older children to learn compassion, patience and understanding of those younger. As our daughter is a single child we believe this will be an added benefit to her social development.
Another wonderful touch to the nursery, is the kitchen. As a family we love cooking at home, and our daughter likes to join in with us, and to see what we are doing. At the Prepatoria, children are free to go in to the kitchen area and imitate what is happening using the toy kitchen or just to experience the social aspect.
Despite being a nursery it has such a family feel, and provides children with lots of real life experiences.
The outdoor area, has also been well thought out, and our daughter absolutely loves climbing on the rope, running around and riding on the trikes.
The experience and expertise of both Miss Astbury and Miss Birch is obvious, even from the first visit they made very accurate observations of our daughters development and character, and we are thoroughly enjoying reading the entries they make in to her learning journey each week.
Now rather than dreading leaving her in childcare, we look forward to hearing all about what she has learnt and discovered when we collect her.
Mrs T. – Bayston Hill
We couldn’t have asked for more – all of our expectations of the Prepatoria were not only met but also exceeded in every area.
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….
Alison Sayer, October 2016
We could instantly tell that this was a very different kind of nursery
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, October 2016
Jane’s enthusiasm, knowledge and genuine desire to provide the very best has never faltered
Mylo started at the Prepatoria shortly after it opened. He was already attending another setting, however a spur of the moment visit to the newly opened Prepatoria and we knew in a heartbeat that this was where he was supposed to be…it instantly felt like a home from home and quite unlike anywhere else we had visited in our quest for child care!! No lengthy discussions were required between my husband and I…we signed up pretty much there and then and it has truly been one of the best things we could have done for both him and us as a family!!
Jane’s enthusiasm, knowledge and genuine desire to provide the very best has never faltered from the first moment we met her. Children are surrounded by beautiful things in every carefully thought out room, and the outdoor area is every inquisitive child’s dream!! Thanks to the delicious menu, and skills of fabulous kitchen staff, our once fussy eater soon developed a taste and love of food which has made meal times at home a joy!!
Mylo had a love for numbers from a very young age and this was quickly picked up on and encouraged so that it has continued and developed in a fascinating way!! His new “big school” are quite astounded at his abilities with numbers, as well as his reading skills, manners and his way of reasoning with his peers!! We are truly proud of him everyday and I am in no doubt his time at the Prepatoria has promoted and developed these skills enormously, preparing him for this new chapter in his school life with gusto!!
He has been treated as a small human rather than a baby/child and he has the confidence to tackle new situations without fear which has helped us all with the transition immensely!!
The focus on family life and encouragement for families to mix and socialise has enabled us to make life long friends, with whom we will be able to share watching our children grow, despite them now attending different primary schools.
Shrewsbury Prepatoria is not just a nursery/pre-school setting, it is an extension of the home, with each child being treated as an individual and the love, care and lessons, both in life and learning are simply priceless!
We cannot thank Jane and her wonderful staff enough for all they have done to make our families pre school experience so incredibly fantastic…we cannot wait to watch our second child on his journey with you all!!
Kim & Kris Kelly September 2016
You have managed Ella’s ‘preparation’ perfectly
I thought it was time that I should write to you to express my gratitude as to the way Ella has developed under the guidance of you and your team at the Prepatoria.
It has been clear for the past couple of years whilst at The Prepatoria that Ella has had a really positive and well balanced experience which has encompassed not only an education from an academic stance but also from an early year’s development.
However, having now left and begun main stream school it has become even more evident that you have managed Ella’s ‘preparation’ perfectly and she has embraced the next level of reading, math’s and social engagement with aplomb. It would appear that Ella is well ahead of many others within her year and although I am sure they will catch up it has made the transition so much easier.
Away from school, time and again we receive comments as to Ella’s interaction capability for someone so young and although Mother and I would like to think that we have some influence there, we also know that you have had valuable input which is aligned with decent values and good manners.
So, thank you so much for the past couple of years, the Prepatoria influence will no doubt last for many more years to come.
Shrewsbury Prepatoria enabled both of our daughters to flourish and develop a love of learning
Shrewsbury Prepatoria is a wonderful setting, which has enabled both of our daughters to flourish and develop a love of learning. The setting is happy and completely child centred, focusing on developing each child at their own pace. Mrs Smalley’s approach to educating young children is unique but is one which we both subscribe to. She respects and understands all of her children and in return they respect her back. Indeed both of our daughters adore Mrs Smalley and when our eldest daughter found the initial move to the Prepatoria difficult, Mrs Smalley supported her wonderfully and understood her fears. As a result our daughter built up a very special relationship with Mrs Smalley and with the rest of the staff members. The highly skilled staff at the Prepatoria are dedicated and committed to the children in their care and fully understand each child. Activities are carefully prepared for the children and well thought out so that children have the chance to follow their own interests and are fully engrossed in what they are learning about. As busy working parents who are not often able to collect our daughters, we have also really valued the personal feedback which we have received from the team via emails, notes home etc. The staff truly know our girls inside out and they feel loved and special. As a result our eldest daughter has started school this September happy and confident and with the necessary skills to allow her to have a successful reception year. We therefore cannot recommend Shrewsbury Prepatoria enough. We feel very lucky that our daughters have been able to be a part of such a special nursery.