Horfield Methodist Playgroup: A Mum’s Perspective


Choosing a pre-school for your child is an important decision to make. If you are a regular reader of Bishopston Mum, you will know that it includes information on local pre-schools in and near Bishopston, as well as regular reviews by local parents to help other parents make this important decision.

Today, a local mum kindly shares her experiences of Horfield Methodist Playgroup which her daughter recently started attending. Horfield Methodist Playgroup is a pre-school for children aged 2.5 – 4 years and is based at Horfield Methodist Church Hall on Churchways Avenue in Horfield. It is open Monday – Friday 9am – 12 noon and has an Ofsted rating of 2: Good.

What made you choose this pre-school for your child?

I left it fairly late to look for a pre-school as it hadn’t originally been part of my planning. Most of the preschools I called had no spaces. I looked at Horfield Methodist Church Playgroup and one other preschool.

I immediately liked it, the space is great as is the range of activities. There are several tables set up in a large hall and the activities are rotated so that there are different and varying opportunities for play. I liked that it wasn’t too busy. I also liked it because it reminded me of the village playgroup that I went to as a pre-schooler.

How did staff manage your child’s settling-in process?

The staff have been really welcoming to my daughter and also to myself and my other children. Molly was anxious about starting and they were very reassuring, responding to her with warmth and affection.

They sought her out to engage in play with her and helped her to navigate the playgroup and the activities. During her first visit when she became a little tearful during a transition as the group went to sit in the reading corner after finishing their activities the adults noticed her change in mood and immediately scooped her up and asked if she wanted a lap to sit on. She was allocated a keyworker straight away who has started getting to know her and is showing a clear interest in Molly, her interests and her sense of identity.

What do you like best about this pre-school?

As above. Molly is only in her second week as play group but has settled really well so far and has been able to seek the adults out for support. I also especially like the space and that the children have the run of the large hall.

What do you like least?

The outdoor space is relatively small.

What kind of activities are there?

There is a very well equipped, large home corner which is brilliant. There are several other table top activities which are regularly rotated for variation. Again, these are really well resourced.

There is a sand box with coloured sand, lots of small toys/spades and also pretty jewels buried in it which Molly loves. There is also a water table with toys/fishing rods/fish. There are two different climbing frames. There is a puzzle table with a variety of wooden puzzles.

There is an arts of crafts table which again is really well resourced with all sorts of stuff to cut and stick; a good variety of tactile and visually stimulating materials. There is a music table; the instruments are made from wood/natural materials and so are pleasing to look at and to touch, the instruments are also rotated so that there are different ones to play with each day.

There is a large train set for the floor and also a good selection of building toys; Kinex type stuff. There is also a large toy castle with figures. There is a well-stocked book corner with cushions for comfort. At the end of the session all of the activities are put to the side or packed away whilst the children have a snack and story/singing in a different room. The workers then get out trikes, scooters and pushchairs and the children then have the run of the hall to peddle/scoot about for the end of their session – perfect.

What do you think of the staff?

So far the adults have made a real effort to get to know Molly and have shown her warmth and affection. They have also been very friendly to me and welcoming to my other children, allowing us to spend a whole session with Molly on her first visit and saying that we are always welcome.

It is evident that they are flexible and child centred in helping children to settle in. They are clearly also well organised and structure the activities and the sessions really well. They also present as investing in building positive relationships with the children and parents.

How do you think your child has benefited from this pre-school?

Early days but I think it will be great for her. At 3.5 yrs she has been at home with me and her baby sister for over a year now so I think she is ready for a change! We attend regular groups but I think that it will now be lovely for her to have a playgroup where she can go for a few hours a day to socialise with children of her own age.

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Please click here to read a previous review about Horfield Methodist Playgroup. 

Many thanks to this mum for kindly sharing her perspective on this pre-school. If you would like to provide a review about a local pre-school, please email me on bristol_mum@hotmail.com