Entry into the Early Years (Lower Kindergarten, Upper Kindergarten & Reception) – children aged 2½ (rising 3) to 5

At all points of entry in the Early Years, the School sets its own tests as appropriate through extensive informal observations that take place by one or more members of staff during an extended Taster Session.

We are looking to admit boys and girls who:

  • Are able to interact appropriately with children of a similar age and adults
  • Display a level of behaviour that meets the school’s high expectations
  • Are able to listen to directions and follow instructions
  • Are able to concentrate on set activities
  • Are able to use the toilet independently, and are dry at the point of entry
  • Are able to use language appropriate to their age.

Children must be 3 in the term in which they start school (rising 3) to join Lower Kindergarten.

In all cases there will be a discussion with the parents by the Headmistress to establish that the School is right for the child.

Children are able to start at different points in the academic year in Lower Kindergarten, Upper Kindergarten and Reception. A taster session will be organised in school as part of the admissions process prior to offering a place.

School experience sessions are used for staff to observe the children in school and to help the children to acclimatise to their new surroundings. A school experience session will be arranged during the half term before the accepted start date.

Children in Lower Kindergarten start with a minimum of three half-day sessions. Children in Upper Kindergarten start with a minimum of five half-day sessions. Families are able to increase their sessions at the start of each term and children are encouraged to attend full time mornings and afternoons by the Summer Term before they start in Reception. Children in Reception attend full time.

Additional Factors

The School is oversubscribed in certain areas.  If we need to decide between two or more candidates who meet our admission requirements, after all appropriate allowances and special consideration has been given, we may give preference to:

  • A child who already has a sibling in the school or whose parent is a former pupil here
  • A child whose parent is a current member of our staff
  • A child with a particular skill, talent or aptitude
  • A child who will stay at the School until age 16.

We recognise that a candidate’s performance may be affected by particular circumstances, eg:

  • If she is unwell when taking tests or has had a lengthy absence from her school
  • If there are particular family circumstances such as a recent bereavement
  • If there is a relevant educational history, for example education outside the British system
  • If the applicant has a disability or specific learning difficulties
  • If English is not the candidate’s first language.

In any of these cases, we may request further information such as a medical certificate, educational psychologist’s report or any family history as we consider necessary to make a fair assessment.

The School will not normally accept children with challenging behaviour or who have been required to leave another nursery, school or college due to unacceptable levels of behaviour.


We aim to give the siblings of current pupils at Braeside priority when considering children applying to join the school from outside. However, admission is not necessarily automatic and siblings are still subject to the school’s admissions procedures when applying for all year groups.

The deadline by which time siblings must be registered to join Braeside each September is the start of the preceding October. We will not be able guarantee siblings priority consideration if applications are made after this time as the process will have started for those who have already registered to enter the school from outside.

Character References

Families applying for a place in Kindergarten or Reception whose children are currently attending a nursery will be asked to provide the most recent nursery profile report.

At all other points of entry the candidate’s current school will be asked to provide a written reference as to the candidate’s academic ability, attitude and behaviour, involvement in the School Community, talents and interest, and any other special circumstances such as special educational needs, or a disability. The reference may also include the results of tests taken at the school.


Parents must, as soon as possible, disclose any particular known or suspected circumstances relating to their child’s health, allergies, disabilities or learning difficulties.