Life in the Preparatory School


Old Palace Pre School & Prep provides a nurturing environment for girls aged 3-11. Here pupils develop to become capable, confident and connected individuals; well positioned for a successful and meaningful future. 

We pride ourselves on being a caring and supportive school where pupils are empowered and enabled to excel, both academically and socially, within an inclusive and nurturing environment, and where diversity is very much celebrated.


Small Classes and Individual Attention

One of the main advantages of Old Palace Prep is our small class sizes – there are typically no more than 20 pupils in each class.  This provides more time for us to meet the individual needs of our pupils which, alongside high quality teaching and well differentiated lessons, means our pupils are able to succeed without distraction. We ensure that they are stretched and challenged in all areas of the curriculum: our expectations are high and our students attain high outcomes. At the same time, our academic curriculum is balanced with a wealth of extra curricular activities. This ensures life at Old Palace Prep is happy and rewarding.

Outdoor Learning

Toasting marshmallows around a camp fire…learning how to plant and care for vegetables and flowers…studying mini bugs…the list of outdoor learning at Old Palace Prep is endless.


Old Palace Prep is blessed with modern, bright and airy classrooms together with extensive grounds. These include tennis and netball courts, an on-site sports field/running track, a purpose-built gym and a well equipped music room. In addition, we have a dedicated DT room, fully equipped cookery suite and the wonderful ‘Wagstaff’ Library.

Freshly cooked lunches are prepared and served in our dining hall each day. We cater for all dietary requirement.


Music is very important at Old Palace and the opportunities for our pupils are extensive and wide-ranging. We have an orchestra, run polyphonic lessons and our Prep School choir even sings at Croydon Minster. We regularly perform at the Whitgift Care Homes as well as the Fairfield Halls, and we take part in the very popular ‘Young Voices’ at the Royal Albert Hall.  We also offer choral music scholarships in Year 3.

Assemblies, Trips and Events

Life at Old Palace Prep is never dull; days are filled with inspiring and uplifting assemblies and exciting trips and visits. We also celebrate important events such as harvest festival, Eid, Diwali, Black History Month,  Remembrance Day and Christmas.


Weekly Swimming Lessons in our own Pool

As part of the curriculum, our pupils enjoy a weekly swimming lesson in our full-sized pool at the Senior School. From Reception onwards, girls take the mini bus once a week to the Senior School, where they are taught by our fully-qualified swimming coaches. By the time pupils leave the Prep School, they are confident and accomplished swimmers.

The Library

The Wagstaff Library is the beating heart of our school: it is warm and cosy with comfortable seating and beautiful views over the Old Whitgiftian playing fields. Pupils are able to enjoy a huge selection of books which cater for pupils from Pre School pupils right up to Year 6. We have a full-time Librarian who runs library lessons and oversees our acclaimed Accelerated Reading Scheme; this encourages girls to read above and beyond the curriculum and significantly increases their confidence and reading ability.

Pupils take part in an annual sponsored read to raise money for books for children in hospital, and we encourage them to take part in competitions such as the Marty Mighty Nose Poetry Competition. We also host a very popular pyjama party for parents and pupils in Year 5, where girls and their parents spend an evening in the library cuddled up in their pyjamas and duvets whilst listening to stories and sipping hot chocolate.

Year 6:  Our Year 6 pupils enjoy their own dedicated form room plus a common/study room, complete with outside space. A science lab, specialist subject teachers including Latin and a focus on preparation for our Senior School entrance examination are just some of the many advantages open to our pupils.

Links with the Senior School

What makes Old Palace Prep different from a stand-alone Preparatory School is our links with the Old Palace Senior School and our pupils benefit from this in so many different ways. Older students visit the Prep School on a regular basis: one example is during our annual On-line Safety Week which sees our digital leaders visit the Prep School and deliver crucial sessions on personal on-line safety. Our Year 10+ Sports Leaders run regular sports sessions and a crucial bond is formed when our Prep and Senior School choirs sing together at major end-of-term events in Croydon Minster.