Liz Barnes, owner of College Fields Montessori Nursery School in Marlborough is retiring this Summer so she can spend more time with her family.  The nursery will continue to provide an excellent service to the families of Marlborough in the hands of her long-term colleague, Sophie Shepard.

Liz has owned the nursery since 2001 and it will be the end of a very special era. She has created a wonderful haven for hundreds of families over the years and provided a caring and nurturing environment for all the children in her care. The nursery has become a part of the Marlborough community and the number of families that have grown with us are a testament to her success.  


‘Liz has been my mentor, colleague and good friend for 14 years and, I think we would all agree, she will be sorely missed. Working with Liz has been inspirational: She always put the parent’s and children’s needs first and foremost.

I feel very privileged to be taking over College Fields from September 2023 and will do my utmost to carry on Liz’s good work.

I will embrace everything I have learned with Liz over the years and will continue to value our heuristic ethos, traditions and aim to provide a relaxed, supportive, and friendly service to the families of Marlborough and the surrounding villages.’                                SOPHIE SHEPARD


Sophie Shepard will be the new owner of College Fields. Sophie has trained and worked at the nursery for 14 years and she holds Early Years Professional Status (Level 6) a BA degree in English Literature from University of Southampton and ILM (level 3). Sophie is a mother of 2 children.


 What our Parents Say:

J had the most wonderful time at College Fields and has grown in confidence immeasurably. He has had some amazing experiences. You have the most wonderful setting and team who allow the children to develop and bond with one another. J is very much looking forward to going to big school but I know he will miss College Fields a lot and will always remember his happy times with you all.

Best of luck in your retirement Liz - you must have had such a positive impact on so many little people. Now some time for you and your family.

And good luck Sophie on taking the reins - you will make an amazing job of it.



I sent both of my children to College Fields and their experience was truly happy. College Fields provided a wonderful basis for education by teaching the children about nature, geography, cultural celebrations and more, all the while being nurtured and encouraged by caring staff in a fun and relaxed environment. My children are now in their early school years and still talk fondly about their nursery days and how they miss the ladies who looked after them and helped them make friends. I could not have wished for a better start for their road to independence.                                                                                                                                                                                                     LJ

From the very fist visit, just from talking to Liz and Sophie, I knew it was the place for us! You were so kind, calm and your genuine affection for the children oozed out you. The reality outstripped my high expectations and could not be more delighted with our years with you all.                                                                                                                                                     TT

We cannot thank College Fields enough for all the love, care and support you have shown our children over the last few years – you have all been wonderful.                                     OS



Ofsted Embrace the Montessori Education Philosophy At

College Fields Nursery School, Marlborough


College Fields Montessori Nursery School are delighted to announce that they received a GOOD overall result from their latest Ofsted inspection last term (August 2022)

(Ofsted Ref 146048)


'Children are greeted at the nursery door by kind and smiling staff who help them
to settle quickly. Children are independent as they place their lunch box on the
trolley and eagerly find their own coat peg. This provides them with a sense of
belonging. Younger children are motivated learners who enjoy playing in the safe
and stimulating environment. Older children are confident and curious individuals.
They invite visitors to join them in their play. They ask staff questions about nature
as they thoroughly enjoy exploring outdoors. Children learn to be careful as they
handle spiders and beetles.
Children enjoy spending time with familiar adults, who provide them with comfort
to help them feel safe. Children are eager to explore and they play together with
construction toys cooperatively, demonstrating good concentration skills. For
example, children work together to build houses out of bricks for the toy animals.
They take care designing their creation. They have formed good friendships.
Children enjoy using their imagination as they make an ice-cream shop in the role-
play area. They communicate well and talk about different flavours of ice cream.
They can recall previous learning, for example, they know that Italian ice cream is
called 'gelato'. Children develop the skills needed for future learning.
Staff use children's interests and starting points to plan activities. They observe and
assess children accurately to identify what they need to learn next and use this
information to help children progress. Swift action is taken to address gaps in
children's learning. Consequently, all children make good progress.'



To view the full report click the link below



Phonics at College Fields


Maria Montessori was one of the first educators to believe in the use of phonics as a way of teaching our children to read and write. It is an approach that Montessori schools and nurseries have been using for years and is now the preferred method of teaching children to read and write in the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage. Learning the sounds of the letters (phonemes) will enable your child to blend or ‘sound out’ new words when they encounter them. The following link shows you how to make the sounds of the letters as you learn at home with your child. There is also an app link which has been recommended.

At College Fields your child will be given their own record card for letter and number recognition and we will work with all the children on a one to one basis and in small groups using our traditional Montessori sandpaper letters and numbers. We will also encourage mark making at every opportunity.


If you would like your business or organisation linked on our website please contact us.























Primary Schools


Our main feeder schools are Preshute Primary and St Marys Infants but we have excellent links with various schools in the area so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like any help or contacts. Please check the following website for some good advice and to apply online.




Preshute CofE Primary


St Marys Infants School






01672 515486


Ofsted URN  2753008


Please also use our contact form.


College Fields Montessori Nursery






Mon :

09:00  - 15:30 

Tue :

09:00  - 15:30 

Wed :

09:00  - 15:30 

Thu :

09:00  - 15:30 

Fri :

09:00  - 15:30 

WE CAN ALSO OFFER EARLY DROP OFFS FROM 0830 AND LATE PICK UPS TIL 1600 ON REQUEST.We are open term time only and closed on Bank holidays. We often offer holiday club sessions for 2 - 8 year olds that can be booked in advance.

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