Choosing a pre-school for your child is one of the first big decisions you will make about your child’s education. I recently wrote a post of ‘10 Tips to Help You Find the Right Pre-School for Your Child‘ which received a lot of positive feedback.
I decided to do a series of interviews with local mums to find out their opinions on the local pre-schools. My aim was to give local parents, looking into pre-schools for their children, some information from a ‘mum’s perspective’. I started by interviewing a local mum about her thoughts on Pied Piper Playgroup.
In today’s post, I interview a mum who has a child at Horfield methodist Playgroup, held at Horfield Methodist Church, Churchways Avenue, Horfield. This pre-school does not seem to be quite so well-known as others in the area despite being formed in 1968! Horfield Methodist Playgroup boasts a Grade 2: ‘Good’ Ofsted rating.
1) How did you select a pre-school for your child?
I really wanted to find a pre-school that was local and within walking distance (I live in Bishopston) and so I started by looking at which ones were nearest to me. I then spoke to friends who also live locally and got recommendations from them about where their children had gone and then I visited some.
Despite asking other people’s views and taking those on board I also really wanted somewhere that I thought felt right for my child and that was friendly and welcoming to me too!
2) What made you decide on Horfield Methodist Playgroup?
When I came to visit Horfield Methodist Playgroup I had already visited two other pre-schools and so was really struck by how much space they have, what great resources they have and how lovely the staff were. They spoke really warmly to me and my daughter and gave us lots of time to explore the setting and join in with all the activities.
My daughter seemed very happy and relaxed from the moment we arrived and loved getting involved in the morning’s activities. There was a great feeling of calm, purpose and fun from the staff and the children. I could see my daughter being really happy in that environment.
3) How did your child settle into pre-school? How did staff help her settle in?
My daughter settled so well! In fact she has never once seemed upset about going or being left. She has a key worker in the staff team who she adores and who makes a special effort to talk with her when she arrives and engage her in an activity so she very quickly gets into the ‘swing’ of the morning, and I think this has really helped her settle in quickly.
However I have also seen the staff deal with other children who are distressed and they are brilliant at being calm and so caring and trying lots of ideas to distract the child and engage them.
4) What do you like best about Horfield Methodist Playgroup?
This is such a hard question! There are so many great things about the group! I think what stands out for me the most is the staff team and the amazing effort that they obviously put into planning the themes for each week and the mornings and the incredible way that they get to know the children, putting them at ease immediately and helping them have a great time.
We have had pirate weeks, dinosaur weeks, colours weeks, pattern weeks (to name but a few!) each one with brilliantly thought about activities which the children really love.
5) What do you like least?
6) What activities does Horfield Methodist Playgroup offer?
Every morning they have a selection of activities out for the children to enjoy including; painting, play dough, reading corner, sand or water tray, puzzles tables, musical instruments, computer based activities etc.
They also have an amazing selection of bricks and Lego and little toys like a farm and a town and dolls house and cars and garages etc. As they have access to a kitchen they often do cooking and they have an outside courtyard area with even more things to play with and a space to plant and grow!
This year they grew potatoes in pots and then cooked them and ate them together. They also have activities out specific to the theme that are currently following and others that the children help them make – like the amazing cardboard box castle!
7) What are the staff like?
They are just amazing! They are really friendly and welcoming, always making time to have a chat and share how the morning has gone. They get to know the children really well and seem to know what makes them ‘tick’, they are really skilled at engaging all of them and getting them involved in what they are doing. The staff seem to genuinely love their jobs and the whole pre-school reflects that.
8) Anything else you would like to mention?
Horfield Methodist Playgroup is a bit of a hidden gem I think! It does not seem to be as well known about or advertised as some of the other pre-schools in Bishopston, I only heard about it through a recommendation from someone who lives on my street, but it is totally worth a visit if you are looking for a pre-school that is relaxed yet purposeful and totally committed to the children it cares for.
If you would like to contact Horfield Methodist Playgroup, or find information about other pre-schools in and around Bishopston, please go to my ‘Pre-Schools/Primary Schools’ page.
If you would like to share your experiences about a local primary school, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org