Sherington Playgroup (now called Pre-school) started in September 1972 and is celebrating 35 years in 2007. The following article on how it all began was published in the October 2007 issue of SCAN magazine.
Sherington Playgroup - the beginnings....
It was spring and Caroline and Catherine, two lively two year olds, were playing happily whilst their mothers relaxed over a well-deserved cup of coffee! The mums, both teachers taking a break from work in order to look after their young families, were discussing how they were going to amuse and stimulate the girls in the years before starting school when the subject of playgroups came up. In the past Sherington had had an informal group run from Arbour House, but this group was no longer in existence. The conversation led from one point to another until it seemed very clear that Sherington needed its own organised playgroup and maybe we were the people to get it started.
Proceedings commenced by holding a meeting of interested 'mums' to which a local Playgroup Adviser was invited in order to explain the aims and objectives of a playgroup. We were informed that a playgroup (later to be known as the Pre-School Movement) was an opportunity for young children to meet together to learn social skills in preparation for starting school, parents would be encouraged to attend Playgroup sessions and any formal teaching was absolutely discouraged. There would be no requirement to set targets, fill in forms or to record anything other than keeping an attendance register (oh, how things have changed!!). The outcome of the meeting resulted in the firm decision that there was a real need for a playgroup in Sherington.
The two mums, Halcyon Hinde and Christine Bearman, each contributed a lump sum of money to purchase suitable equipment which included a nucleus of toys, art equipment, a water and sand tray, a climbing frame and finally a selection of story books. We begged end of paper rolls from local printers and disused wallpaper books for artwork from hardware stores. We both raided our own children's toy boxes and bought puzzles, games and more books from jumble sales. Lastly, we managed to acquire a number of child size tables and chairs for free from the Education Store in Aylesbury. The playgroup was to be run three mornings a week from the Village Hall and to be staffed by Halcyon and myself, with the invaluable help of regular assistants, and augmented by the attendance of mums on a casual basis. After a great deal of organisation, preparation and generous support from the community, Sherington Playgroup was duly opened in September 1972. Christine Bearman
We currently have the following 7 archive photos of the Playgroup. The first three are from 1987/88/91, but the others are undated at present.