St John's Green Playgroup

                                     ST JOHN'S GREEN PLAYGROUP 


We have intentionally retained the word ‘playgroup’ in our name because we believe wholeheartedly in the central role of play. It is the most powerful and natural way for young children to learn. 

Our mission is to allow children in our care to learn through conversation, exploration, challenge and play.


To fulfil our mission we will;

Provide stimulating, thought provoking and challenging environments for all the children
Recognise the primary role of the family in the children’s development and to be a welcoming, supportive partner with all parents and carers.
Observe and follow the children’s needs and interests, allowing the children the time and space to develop at their own pace.



The group is a member of the Pre-school Learning Alliance which is the largest organisation for under 5s in the country. We are registered with Ofsted to provide preschool care and education in return for government funding.

We are inspected on a regular basis to ensure the premises are safe and the staff are providing the government’s requirements for preschool children.


We are a registered charity.

In order to fulfil our status as a limited company with charitable status we need a volunteer trustees to oversee the essential tasks that are done outside of the sessions – e.g. playing rent to the school, playing staff wages, fundraising and so on.  The trustees of the group as of 05/11/2018 are Joanna Ling and Tina Bourne.  If you would like to get involved and become a trustee please register your interest with us via email.


The directors as of 05/11/2018 of the company are Joanna Ling, Tina Bourne and Chelsey Baker.

Tina Bourne oversees Safeguarding

Joanna ling oversees Health and Safety


You can add your child’s name to our waiting list at any time and visit as many times as you like. During your visit you are responsible for your child and we ask for a donation towards our funds.  These visits will give you an insight into how the playgroup works, will allow you to ask questions of the staff and other parents and will give your child time to settle in.

We admit children from approximately 2 years and 9 months old.  Please talk to Chelsey Baker about availability of places and when your child will be able to attend.

The waiting list operates on a first-come, first-served basis, rather than on the age of the child or where you live. Please ensure your contact details are kept up to date as we will contact you via email to inform you when your child gets a place with us.


3 Year Old

You are entitled to 15 hours free child care a week from the term after your child turns 3 years old. Please talk to Jo Ling about this as there is a simple form for you to fill in in order to claim this funding.

Under 3

Until your child is 3 we ask you to pay for the sessions, unless your family is entitled to free places for 2 year olds.  (We can advise you about this). We endeavour to keep the costs as low as possible.  The sessional rate is £12.00 per morning. 

We ask you to pay for the sessions in advance – half termly if possible or weekly if not.  We cannot allow children to attend sessions without the fees in advance.


Chelsey Baker – Manager and Designated lead for Safeguarding 

Emma Hayes - Deputy Manager and Health and Safety Officer

Wendy Battersby - Level 3 Early Years Practitioner  

Pauline Nairac - Level 3 Early Years Practitioner 

Holly Currell - Level 3 Early Years Practitioner and ENCO

Laura Bethell - Level 3 Early years Practitioner and Acting SENCO

We ensure all staff have up to date qualifications and training for caring and educating your child. 


When your child joins us one of the staff member will be assigned as your child’s ‘key worker’. This person is responsible for keeping records on your child’s progress and linking up with you to talk about how your child is doing, both at the group and at home. 

We have an ‘open door’ policy at St John’s Green Playgroup and you are welcome to stay and play and/or have a chat with your child’s key worker whenever you want.  Please do not wait for an invitation!


The group is open Monday morning, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday all day and Friday mornings.

The morning sessions are 9.00 – 12.00

The afternoon sessions are 1.00- 4.00

Your child can stay all day (i.e. 9.00 – 4.00). You are required to provide a packed lunch (with a drink) AND to pay £2.00 per lunchtime to cover our costs – staffing, room hire etc.

This £2.00 is non-negotiable and MUST be paid by all families regardless of circumstances as we operate on a very tight budget!

Please see Chelsey for how to pay the lunchtime fees.


The sessions usually follow the following timetable, although we are flexible according to the children’s needs and interests and sessions may change according to time of the year and with different groups of children.

9.00 Children arrive. Please ensure your child has been registered.  Free choice of activities inside and outside

10.00 Circle time – children sit together, greet each other, sing a song, listen to a story.

10.15 Free choice of activities.  Snack is provided during this time. The children can come to the snack table when they choose.

11.40 tidy up time – everyone helps!

11.45 Quiet time – letter and number/maths activity of the day.

12.00 Home time and preparation for lunch


The sessions usually follow the following timetable, although we are flexible according to the children’s needs and interests and sessions may change according to time of the year and with different groups of children.

1.00pm Outside play – weather permitting we go to the playground in the ‘big playground’

2.00pm Letter sounds/singing/maths

2.15 Snack

2.30 Free choice play and learning

3.10 Tidy up

3.15-3.30 Story time and free reading 

3.30- Free choice play or adult led learning

3.55- home time preparation 


In order to receive government funding we have to follow the Early Years curriculum as set out in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2014).  The areas of learning are:

communication and language
physical development
personal, social and emotional development
understanding the world
expressive arts and design

At St John’s Green Playgroup we plan activities and experiences which will ensure children are able to develop in all these areas through play and games, indoors and outside.

 A brief outline of the week’s learning will be emailed to the parents every week , along with any notices. – if you do not receive emails  let Jo know.

A lot of rich deep level learning involves getting mucky – painting, modeling with clay and mud, water and sand play and so on. Please provide your child with clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and suitable outdoor clothing, including waterproof trousers and wellies.  We do have some spare clothes for accidents but it really helps us if you can pop some spare clothes into a bag for your child, just in case.


We have a large outside area which is used every day. Please provide your child with adequate outside play clothes, including waterproof trousers and wellies on wet days.  It is most helpful if you can clearly label the clothes with your child’s name.

Unfortunately our forest school site is currently being developed for housing and we are in negotiation with Colchester Council to find another suitable site. 

We have brought the forest school approach to learning into the outdoor area at playgroup, so you may see ropes to climb and logs to sit on!


As part of our provision we provide snacks for your child. You MUST inform us of any dietary needs and/or allergies.  We do not serve meat but we do sometimes serve fish, unless we are informed otherwise.

We are proud of our snack-time ethos, It is a time for social interaction, conversation, practicing manners, learning how to use cutlery, learning how to pour drinks and prepare food,  learning about different foods and ingredients, cooking and combining ingredients.  Unless they have a special need we expect all children to be able to pour a drink, drink from a cup and spread their own bread or cracker by the time they leave us.


It is the statutory and moral duty of all staff and volunteers to be aware of child protection and safe guarding issues and to act upon any concerns.  Jo Ling is the Safeguarding Officer and all concerns over a child’s safety should be reported immediately to her.  Our SafeGuarding Policy is on the display board in the classroom for more details.


All children and families are welcome at St John’s Green Playgroup.  We work closely with all families and aim to ensure they all feel comfortable and cared during their time with us. If you have any queries over our practice in this regard please raise them with a member of staff.  We are always working to improve our practice and your comments will be appreciated.

Special education needs and disabilities.  We work together with parents and families to ensure all children have the opportunities they need to flourish.  Jo Ling is our Special Needs Coordinator. If your child has any additional needs we will work together with you and any outside agencies, such as Speech and Language Therapists for example. 

English as an Additional Language. We often have children in the group who are bi or even tri-lingual and we view learning more than one language is an advantage for a child.  We will work with you in ensuring your child’s home language is recognised and respected, along with expanding his/her understanding of English. 

Complaints and Concerns. If you have any concerns or complaints please speak to Jo Ling the manager in the first instance,  If you need to complain to Ofsted about anything please ring 0300 123 1231.  If you wish to read our complaints procedure it is on the notice board in the classroom

SAFEGUARDING We have a legal and moral duty to safe guard all the children in our care. This may mean we have to consult with Social Services Safe-Guarding Officers if we have concerns over any child. Although this can be distressing for the family it is our duty to adhere to our legal obligations.  If you have any concerns over the safety of the children at playgroup please talk to Jo Ling or ring Social Services on 0845 603 7627

Other policies and procedures.  You are welcome to read any or all of our policies and procedures which are kept at playgroup.

Please note

The playgroup is run independently from the school. We have a separate entrance – through the coloured gate to the left of the main school entrance - and a separate phone number.  We are not allowed to use the school car park.  We hope you have found this prospectus a useful introduction to our playgroup. We hope you will become part of our community soon. 

Chelsey, Emma, Laura, Holly, Pauline and Wendy.