The overall aim of the playgroup is to offer a range of activities, opportunities and experiences that will enable all children to develop self- esteem, confidence and independence. The children are encouraged to be part of a group, take turns, share, make friends and develop their physical, emotional, personal and intellectual skills.
We follow the revised version of the Early Years Foundation Stage updated July 2014) by incorporating the characteristics of effective learning, engagement, motivation and thinking, and by targeting activities for each age group. A child’s progress falls into three stages during their time at our Playgroup:
The settling-in process which is individual to each child
Confidence building and social skills
Focusing on improving literacy and numeracy through games and activities.
We use a weekly child-centred theme to provide stimulating activities for the children both inside and outside the setting. We use careful observation in a nurturing environment to promote the interests of the individual child. It is important for children to be active learners and to learn through play and exploration and to do so they need to feel happy, safe and valued. We follow the revised version of the EYFS by incorporating the characteristics of effective learning, engagement, motivation and thinking and by involving the children’s participation in the seven areas of learning. Activities are planned and targeted for each individual child and progress is continually assessed.
Each child is assigned to a Key Person whose role is to liaise closely with parents/carers and ensure each child’s needs are recognised and met. Each child has their own tracker file and Learning Journal where their Key Person records evidence of their learning, samples of work and photographs of what they have been doing. We value contributions that parents would like to make to the learning journal – sharing your child’s experiences and achievements outside playgroup is a great way to encourage communication.
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We organise settling-in sessions before a child’s first day with us, and follow up with a home visit. We will find out what the children already know and can do and use this information to help us develop an individual learning programme for each child. We have a flexible approach to children starting playgroup to allow the parent and child the time they need to separate.
Parents receive a newsletter via email each weekend detailing the planning for the week. Every week has a theme and the activities are planned around this theme. Every session will consist of circle time including stories or songs; free play activities including some/all of: art activities, playdough, water/sand play, the book corner, cooking, craft making, guided computer activity, home corner and dressing up.
There is a snacktime for children to enjoy together. Every session will have outside play: we have a lovely garden with a variety of outside toys & equipment, sandpit and planting area. We have regular short trips during the session, for example, we will check a recipe and make a shopping list, then go out shopping and bring back the ingredients to cook with. Among our other trips are visits to the river, the train station and we have a few sessions a year which take place in Chiswick House Grounds, allowing the children to experiencing the changing seasons.
Every term, in addition to the special events that the children enjoy throughout the term, there is at least one event for parents to attend. This enables the children to learn songs for a show, practise activities for a sports day or create decorations for a religious festival.
Children can stay at playgroup until they are eligible for a Nursery/Reception school place. Our children typically move on to one of the local state or private schools and we encourage links with the Early Years departments of these schools to ease the transition to the next setting; staff are invited to come and visit playgroup and introduce themselves to the children.
The playgroup is a non-profit making group run by a committee comprised of a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary and current parents. The Chairperson is a current or recent playgroup parent, who generally stays in position for a couple of years; the Secretary and Treasurer have been with the Playgroup for a considerable length of time. All positions are elected at the Autumn AGM. The committee meet several times a year and all parents are encouraged to attend meetings and contribute ideas and feedback to ensure best practice. The committee is responsible for the finances and fundraising and ensuring the playgroup meets legal requirements and national standards including insurance, health and safety, Ofsted, EYFS and CRB checks.
The committee employ a dedicated staff team who hold appropriate qualifications. The committee works closely with the Supervisor especially to implement Ofsted and EYFS requirements.
BA (HONS) Early Years Teaching Early Years Professional Status. She been associated with the Playgroup since the youngest of her 4 children attended 14 years ago and started working here one morning a week at the same time. She liked the local community ethos of the group and was able to gain the qualifications necessary to manage the group in such a way as to meet the needs of all children and their families. Jane is the designated child protection officer. In her spare time she enjoys being with friends, going to the theatre, cinema, reading and travelling.
Corinne has NVQ Level 3 in Childcare Learning and Development, and has worked at the Playgroup since 2004. She was appointed Deputy Supervisor in 2009. She holds responsibilites for Health and Hygiene, and is our Fire Marshal and designated First Aid Officer. She is French and enjoys teaching the children the French language, cooking and dancing with them; implementing PALS (playing and learning to socialise) and reading stories. She particularly enjoys the teamwork at Playgroup.
Beverly joined Playgroup in 2008. She is qualified with a BA(Hons)in Early Years education and childcare. Beverly is the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO). Her special professional interests are the “key person” approach,and the language and communication of younger children. Beverly lives locally in Grove Park with her husband and two daughters. Her hobbies include reading, travel, gardening and keeping fit.
Sonia has gained significant experience working in Early Years settings since 2010. She has just completed her Early Years Foundation Degree and is currently working towards a BA (Hons) degree in Early Years: Teaching and Learning at Kingston University. She has attended workshops on Transactional Analysis, Behaviour Modification and Dale Carnegie. She is fluent in Spanish and understands Italian and Portuguese. She strongly believes that when children start a new learning environment every effort should be made to make their transition from home to setting as smooth as possible, providing positive experiences, supporting and enhancing the children’s new environment. Her hobbies are running, attending Zumba classes and going for long walks with her family and their two dogs.
Vanessa qualified as a Primary school teacher in 2007. She taught Key Stage 1 from then until 2011, before taking a break from teaching after having her second child to look after her family. She sent her son to Grove Park Playgroup for a year before he went onto nursery school and has now come on to work at the Playgroup as a Key Person. Having seen how her own child grew up and developed in confidence from being at GPPG, she wanted to focus her skills working with foundation stage children.
Michele has been Treasurer of the Playgroup for a number of years. She provides accounting and payroll support and generally manages the financial affairs of the Playgroup. Michele has worked as an accountant for a number of years and has two teenage sons.
Jo has been Secretary of the Playgroup since her daughter finished here in 2004. She is the first point of contact for prospective parents, and is responsible for managing enrolment, fees collection and doing general (non-curriculum) administration for the Playgroup. In her spare time, she can generally be found walking the streets of Grove Park with her slightly naughty dog, Pip. Or drinking coffee.
Moving to Chiswick just before Christmas 2015, Ruth and her family are really happy in Grove Park, enjoying living near the river and being able to hear the birds singing. Her eldest daughter Neha thoroughly enjoys attending sessions at the Playgroup, whilst her baby sister is already looking forward to joining in the fun!With many years experience of working in primary education, with particular focus on the Early Years, Ruth hopes to use her knowledge to help support the running and development of the Playgroup.She would very much like to hear your views and suggestions so please do not hesitate to contact her.
The Playgroup is open to children from the age of 2 years old, and we have both morning and afternoon sessions.
The Playgroup Secretary is in charge of processing admissions and all initial enquiries should be made via our enquiries form; full contact details for the Secretary are here. Please also contact the Secretary for all details of current session fees.
We are a small and popular Playgroup, and can become oversubscribed; we therefore advise early application for a place where possible. A non-refundable registration fee of £10 is payable upon submission of the registration form; places are only offered to those children who have submitted a form. We offer places on a first-come, first-served basis; however we do have different availability of spaces for under 3s and over 3s. We aim to provide as many children with places as we can; in order to make this possible, we will not offer any child more than three morning sessions (unless there are exceptional circumstances.) For families wanting 4 or 5 sessions, we will offer a combination of morning and afternoon sessions. Afternoon sessions can also be booked separately.
We offer Early Learning Entitlement and Early Education Entitlement places subject to availability. Further information about these schemes can be found here:
Once your child has been offered a place, it is secured by a deposit of £250; this is returned to you in your child’s final term at Playgroup. Deposits can also be refunded if we are given at least 6 weeks’ notice of either departure or of not taking up a reserved place.
For queries about the playgroup, to arrange a visit, request an application form and current fee information (including details on free early years entitlement and childcare vouchers) please contact our secretary, Jo Duddy, using the enquiries form.
If you need to contact staff (e.g. if your child will not be attending playgroup through illness) please use the Isis Rooms number (020) 8742 8293 during session times. For non-urgent enquiries, the staff can also be contacted via the Playgroup staff email .