stclair, we moved to the UK from abroad 7 months ago, and had to look for a nursery for my son to start this past September. We are in the Maida Vale area and I visited 10-11 schools, including a few in SJW. :P love your area and wish I could do house-hunting all over again.
Anyway, yes, a lot of the good schools here tend to have 3-4 year olds attending 5 times a week. I was very weary about this in the beginning. My son had never really attended school/daycare before, but he loves his school! and 5 times a week is actually quite a nice break for me. ;) He is in a montessori and only attends half days though.
Not sure about about half days vs full days, but I thought St Saviours has a half day option for certain younger kids? Maybe it's case by case? Go with your gut. My DS needs his nap and although he loves school, I think a full day would totally tire him out. (I am somewhat concerned about next year when he will be going full time.)
Do you drive or will you have someone help bring your daughter to school each day? I found your post because we are currently researching reception schools (If only my son was born in Sept and not the last week of August!) and you posted two schools we are applying to. But HG is a harder commute, and I wonder if it's worth it... what are your thoughts on the commute?
Has anyone any experience of these schools? We are at the scary stage of trying to find a school for dd to start preschool in September next year. We attended the open day at Hampden Gurney, which although clearly a good school, seems incredibly intense in that nursery has 3 year olds attending 5 days a week full-time. Is this usual? My dd turns 3 next July so would be so wee! Robinsfield Infant School which is so close to us has half days for nursery which seems so much more doable. Is it normal that state schools have half days and faith schools full days?