A committee run playgroup in the heart of the thriving Woodchester community. Registered as a charity we have been established for over 30 years. A dedicated and wonderful small team of staff encourage the children to flourish and grow. We are set within the grounds of Woodchester school and operate from our own building with an enclosed garden for outdoor play. We also have use of the school playground.
Woodchester Playgroup is managed by a committee of volunteer parents who are elected each year.
We follow Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidelines to ensure all children have the opportunity to develop their potential while with us.
The aim of the EYFS is to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children are provided with the knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good progress through school and life.
The EYFS principles are grouped into four themes and commitments:
A unique child
Learning and development
These in turn cover the seven areas of development, PRIME AREAS are:
Personal, social and emotional development
Communication and Language
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
To discover more about the EYFS guidelines click here to download the pdf.
Staff & Committee Members
"It’s great for her to mix with children of different ages, and we have great communication from her key worker and staff. We were particularly impressed with how they have handled the difficulties in operating during 2020, and are confident that staff always put the children first.
'The team are great - so engages with the kids, thoughtful and supportive, I love the atmosphere there, and the space is great too. Would highly recommend!'
'The staff always seem so happy to work there which is a testament to how great the playgroup is. i couldn't wish for a better environment for my daughter in her early years.'
'My children have absolutely loved Woodchester playgroup. The caring staff go above and beyond to find fun things for the children to do, encouraging growing independence and helping wonderful friendships develop.'
Bev Fowler: Playgroup Leader
I have worked at Woodchester Playgroup since 2016 but have been involved for many years before as my three children all attended. I have a level 3 diploma in Nursery Nursing (NNEB) and have many years experience working with children. I also run Woodpeckers After School Club for children from Woodchester Endowed Primary School. In my spare time I enjoy running, walking, gardening, upcycling and camping trips with my family in our VW camper van.
Alyson Hunt: Deputy Playgroup Leader
I am qualified to NVQ Level 3 in Childcare and Education and I have over 10 years’ experience working with children in playgroup and nursery settings. The eldest of my three children came to Woodchester Playgroup many moons ago so I feel I have come full circle. In my spare time I enjoy pottering in my garden, keeping fit and going for walks in this beautiful area where we live.
Laura Turk - Playgroup Assistant
I am a busy mother of two and qualified to a NVQ Level 3 in Childcare and Education and I have been a member of the team at playgroup since 2016. I am also involved with Woodchester Endowed School as a TA, vice chair of the PTA and also run the school breakfast club. My weekends are taken up with the children's activities including Dance, Rugby, Martial Art and Football. I enjoy family walks and socialising with friends.
Cherril Wenban - Playgroup Assistant
I have been qualified in childcare level 3 for over 10 years. I have worked at Woodchester Playgroup for nearly 2 years and recently have taken on the SENCO role.
I have a son who has Tourettes Syndrome, Aspergers and suffers with mental health, as a family we are members of 'Allsorts', a charity who help families who have children with disabilities and additional needs, with who i'm also a volunteer with and have been for 11 years.
In my spare time, I volunteer with my local Brownie pack and I love to sew, do cross stitch, sketch, paint anything craft related. I enjoy walking with my dogs and love to gardening.
Amanda Catchpole - Playgroup Assistant
I have over ten years experience in different childcare settings and have a degree in Early Childhood studies. I love to bake, making lots of different themed birthday cakes and even a wedding cake. I also enjoy photography and being outside, especially on a beach. I have many happy memories from attending playgroup myself and I’m very excited to now be working here.
Woodchester Playgroup is a charity and is committee run, which means it is managed by a group of parents and community members. The committee are voluntary directors of this charity. The committee are an essential part of this playgroup as without them to run the setting Woodchester Playgroup would have to close. If no committee come forward each year playgroup could be closed following the AGM.
What do they do? The committee are responsible for managing funds,deciding on outings,organising events,fundraising, making decisions and managing the staff.
How to get involved?
We are always on the look out for enthusiastic fundraisers who would be happy to help out at one of our events.
Committee members usually change at the AGM held in June. If you are interested please ask a member of the committee or make the Playgroup Leader aware. Each year we begin handover in the summer term to allow people time to learn the roles before they are responsible for them.
What are the roles?
Chair - leads the committee and oversees the administrative tasks. Chairing meetings and working closely with the playgroup leader
Treasurer- Responsible for overseeing the finances of playgroup and managing the accounts. Other tasks include preparing the annual budget, overseeing expenditure, signing cheques, banking and reconciling petty cash. A background in accounting would be ideal.
Company Secretary - They will take, distribute and keep a record of meeting agendas and minutes. They will communicate with parents in collaboration with the Chair
Other Committee Members - These directors attend and vote on committee meeting agenda items, support the committee and are delegated tasks throughout the year.
How often are meetings?
Meetings are held once a half term plus an annual general meeting in June. Additional meetings for fundraisers are held when needed. If you would like to get involved with just fundraising this is brilliant. We are always open to new ideas.