Rolleston pre-school playgroup was the brainchild of two of Rollestonís local residents, Patsy Starbuck and Gwyneth Kendall, back in 1971. The following year an interest group held its first meeting and from this plans to start a playgroup were set in motion. The Methodist schoolroom was chosen for the venue, this was to be one of many sites.

Mrs Kendall was appointed supervisor and with the assistance of Mrs Day and Mrs Kendrick, fully staffed pre-school opened on February 12th 1973, running 2 sessions a week, each session costing 25 pence per child. Wages back then were set at £1 for supervisors and 75pence for assistants.

In the year 2000, pre-school is in the mobile classroom on the John of Rolleston Sherborne site where we have an excellent working relationship with the school. We returned to the site after much work carried out during the summer by volunteers, parents, staff and committee members to ensure that the mobile was up to scratch for the childrenís new term.

Pre-school now runs 9 sessions per week for approximately 55 local children. We are lucky enough to have a full time manager, Janet Wood, who is NNEB trained and makes a fantastic job of co-ordinating pre-school. Our 5 remaining part-time staff all hold the "Diploma of Pre-school education" certificate, this being, initially a millennium objective for us to achieve.

Pre-school, as already mentioned, operates from school premises, putting our children at a distinct advantage to thoose from other organisations. The children benefit from continuous liaisons with the school, attending special assemblies, working with the reception teachers and time in the school library, ensuring a continuing curriculum for each child. Children from the reception classes at John of Rolleston in turn receive valuable input from pre-school in the form of "physical free play sessions". This is where the children return to pre-school on a weekly basis, to run around and have some fun, an essential part of child development.

The younger members of the local community are not forgotten. the Rolleston Mother and Toddler group is funded by Pre-school. This enables mums to come together, have a cup of tea and meet new people. The children are given the opportunity to interact with future school chums and have a good time.

1999 saw us celebrating our 25th anniversary. In the year 2000, we look forward to a further 25 years of developing and nurturing of our children. For the children, we wish them to continue to have fun, while making new friends and learning new things at the same time.

Kate Hardiman, Information secretary

Back to Index

© This site was created by Richard Bush

Last updated: 5 April 2000