Hind Leys Pre-School playgroup began over 45 years ago as a “pack-away” each day playgroup situated inside Hind Leys Community College.
We have always been a registered Charity. We began with 20 children and 3-4 qualified assistants just opening for session times during the academic term, with a Committee of dedicated parents/trustees.
Even back in those early days we were known for our high quality of care and education.
Having experience of leading a creche and working in other play groups and social care settings, Ruth – our current Director – joined the setting over 30 years ago. In that time she has led the setting into the 120+ Forest School with an Outstanding Ofsted rating that it is today.
We moved from the college to a purpose-built Nursery mobile unit over 15 years ago, after the space was needed for students. Quickly running out of space, we pushed for grounds and a garden and purchased Mobile 3 from an owner in Oxford. It cost £42,500 to purchase, move the building and establish the gardens. An investment that has helped us create a fantastic space for our learners to explore.
Our nest facility, which has always been part of our Director’s vision, has been open for 6 years. We quickly realised the demand for a Forest School Baby area, and we bid for the Old Premises Officers Bungalow as the community base moved to an Academy. This cost a massive £52,500 to convert into a purpose fitted setting. After one burglary and a vandal attack during the conversion, we fulfilled the vision.
We now employ 18 staff members. Our latest area is a fourth “bubble” called Return to Forest School situated at the front of the Nest next to the fire pit area. It is an ongoing project to develop for returning to forest school children who attend school and wish to return during their holiday breaks.