WEIRD AND WONDERFUL

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PUBLISHED BY RIVERSIDE TRAINING (SPALDING) LTD

Like many people, I'm strangely drawn to tales of the weird and wonderful.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of these don't relate to the Early Years sector.

So when details of a new and exciting London nursery - or rather pre-prep school - with striking interior design started circulating they caught my attention.

Kingsland Pre-Prep is in the famous King's Road in Chelsea, famously frequented by hippies and bohemians in the 1960s, and opened it's doors to two to five-year-olds this term.

The pre-prep is housed in what was once the Chelsea Conservative Club.

And while the five-storey building's Victorian facade has remained virtually untouched during the transformation, there's nothing traditionalist about the interior design.

The creation is the inspiration of Headteacher and founder Stuart Bamford and, according to the Kingsland website, is 'inspired by the magical world of children's literature and artistic film makers'.

It's certainly a stimulating environment.

Avant-garde would be one way to sum it up. Great fun would be another.

Maybe the fact that Mr Bamford's grandfather worked for NASA on the Apollo missions has something to do with his desire to push boundaries?

With predominantly monochrome and pink throughout, every fixture and item of furniture is bespoke - down to the Himalayan rugs.

There are four spacious classrooms, including one with a life-size oak tree with a net canopy allowing children to look at books amid the branches as well as a performance studio and trendy toddler toilets.

But the most fantastic addition has to be the imaginarium - a space which transforms, once the automatic blinds come down and numerous projectors are switched on, to provide an incredible 360 degree immersive experience complete with surround sound. What toddler doesn't want to be swimming with the fishes in an aquarium?

The Kingsland website describes the pre-prep as providing children with 'immersive theatres of learning where creativity and confidence is at its forefront' and aiming to challenge 'the culture of 'box-ticking' education'.

It certainly fits the bill visually and sounds like a magical learning environment.

Kingsland Pre-Prep opens during term-time only and offers morning and afternoon sessions, although children can also stay a full school day. On top of the weekly activities of ballet, music and French, there are extra-curricular activities including drama, sports, science and tennis.

As you would probably expect, sending your tiny tot to Kingsland is not cheap.

A two or three year old attending five morning sessions a week from 8.30am to 12noon costs £4,350 a term. With three terms, that's over £13,000 a year.

Kingsland is the new sister of Chelsea Pre-Prep, established in 2009, and continuously rated Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ since opening. It, too, has fantastic facilities inside and out, including a huge garden with areas for sports, gardening, a sand pit, garden pond, mud kitchen and bug hotel.

If you want to see some interior shots of Kingsland Pre-Prep then Pixangle Property Marketing has some fabulous photos here.