The Very Best Start

Early Years at Elleray are rooted in the belief that care, creativity, curiosity and courage develop motivated and successful learners, as well as confident and compassionate people.

Adventure and discovery at Windermere begin here. This is a place where children can be children, with plenty of time to explore and play, whilst at the same time learning that education is both fun and exciting.

Using a practical learning-through-play approach we ensure that these crucial developmental years are filled with wonder and new discoveries in a warm and engaging environment. Each room in the Early Years Department has access to an enclosed Outdoor Play Garden. This allows the children to thrive in the natural environment with inspiration from the unspoiled views of the beautiful Lake Windermere and Lake District fells beyond.


Children can join Windermere School from their third birthday. They’ll take part in a wide range of experiences: from music-making to plum-picking in the orchard; watching the newborn lambs in the adjacent meadow; writing their own name for the first time, or performing in the nativity play.


The Early Years day starts at 8.30 am and provides a full day for children through until 3.30 pm.

There is the option of staying for the late afternoon session until 5.30 pm with a light snack included.


Windermere School welcomes children up to Year 1 that are eligible for Funded Hours, for up to 15 hours per week. Please contact us to find out more or to arrange a visit to the Elleray.


It is assumed that children who have attended Early Years will continue their education with Windermere into the Junior School.

As the Early Years children utilise many areas of the main school building, they are familiar with their next step environment. To really embed this throughout the year there are several days and events that allow the children the opportunity to further experience the junior school and become more familiar with their new classroom in the main building.

By starting Windermere in Early Years, the transition into the junior school is smooth and provides a consistent education.