Winsham Pre-school was established in 1984 and has been running successfully ever since. Our group is registered by Social
Services, which ensures that we offer the highest quality care for the children. Many of the children who attend the Pre-school, live in Winsham, but several come from Chard and the surrounding villages. We are also registered members of the Pre-school Learning Alliance and a registered charity. Although not officially affiliated to the school, we work closely together and often join them for special events.
The Pre-school is run by a committee made up from volunteers elected each year at the A.G.M, mainly from the parents and carers of children in the Pre-school. At the start of the year 2000, there were ten committee members and four paid members of staff, including the Pre-school Supervisor and two assistants. An administrator was appointed this year to undertake some of the financial and business side of the group. We also have a Pre-school assistant who works in a voluntary capacity.
There is a "Helpers Rota" where parents help in the Pre-school once or twice a term. We are very lucky to have several older members of the community who also help on this rota. The committee is responsible for the general running of the Pre-school, working to a constitution set up by the Pre-school Learning Alliance. They also undertake fundraising. During the year 2000 we have raised money through Jumble sales, book parties, etc. We provided refreshments at the Street Fair and we are organising our annual Christmas Bingo, which is usually a very popular village event.
The Pre-school follows a curriculum which covers such areas as; Personal and social development, Language and literacy, Knowledge and understanding of the world. We are registered to claim the Nursery Education Grants, which are available for four-year-olds and therefore are inspected regularly by OFSTED (the
Office for Standards in Education). Our Supervisor holds the Diploma in Pre-school Practice and all members of staff are encouraged to attend training courses regularly.
At the start of the year 2000 there were sixteen Pre-school children and about eight toddlers regularly attending the Parent and Toddler group. The sessions are from 9.15-12.00 Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in the Jubilee Hall, and for the first time ever, there was an additional session on a Monday this summer term, which was aimed at the "Rising Fives". Themes this year have included; farming, transport, the seaside and the jobs people do.
Outings have included a visit to a farm, a teddy bears picnic and sports day held at the Sports and Social Club and a visit to Lyme Regis. A highlight of the year was an African/ Caribbean drum and rhythm workshop, which culminated in a mini-camival to which the children of Winsham School were also invited. The Pre-school is very involved in the events of the village. During this year the children's work has been exhibited in the Winsham Horticultural Society Show, the Art Club's annual exhibition and St. Stephen's Flower Festival as well as displays in Chard Library. Next year the children's work will hopefully create part of "The Future" in the Winsham Millennium Exhibition.
To sum up, we are a relatively small but very active group. We have a very dedicated staff team and benefit from the support of the village, and we have lots of FUN!
The total of Pre-school children through the doors during the year
2000 was 22 and the number of Toddlers was 15.