Doorstep DROP Farewell from Highworth Pre-School 

Sadly, lockdown meant we didn’t have the opportunity to say goodbye to our little ones off to BIG School.


Children instead had a ‘Doorstep Drop’ by staff to be presented with certificate, learning journey and school leavers rainbow t-shirt.

Thank you to the staff team - Supporting Key Workers 

Highworth Pre-School has support keyworkers during lockdown. A big thanks to the staff team. 


In September, we are still working with government guidance to ensure that we reduce the risk to children, staff and families  whilst still providing the best possible learning environment. 

Rachel Uzzell – Highworth Citizen of the Month - April 

Having celebrated our own 50 years as a charity run childcare provider,
Highworth Pre-School celebrated with Mrs Rachel Uzzell, 20 years of service to
the pre-school.
Rachel started at Highworth Pre-School, a place of work she calls her second
family, as a parent helper and she now forms part of the management team. She
is the driving force, taking steps to bring improvement for the pre-school and
this has had a positive impact on thousands of children in the Highworth
The role over the years has changed with limited support now from outside
agencies, so as the Supervisor, Safeguarding and Special Education Needs Lead,
she has become a counsellor, confidant, nurse, advisor and support to not only
the children but the families. Whilst always remaining kind, caring and doing her
upmost for the best outcomes for the children of Highworth Pre-School. Rachel
even on her busiest day will always take time with the children in pre-school, to
encourage and support them as well supporting the staff team.
Kelly Preston, Chair of Highworth Pre-School Committee said ‘Rachel is a truly
amazing member of the team - to say that she goes above and beyond is a
massive understatement. She gives her absolute all to the children (past and
present), to the parents, as well as to the rest of the staff.  She has the
biggest heart and she pushes herself to make sure that she is covering every
angle required to fully support the children especially those with special needs.’
As a result of this hard work she was nominated for Early Years Excellence
Award - “Outstanding contribution to supporting children with SEN and
Disabilities” and her work continues to be recognised by Swindon Borough
Council Early Years.
A current parent on hearing the celebration said ‘Wow Mrs Uzzell! That’s
incredible. You really are a very special lady and have helped us as a family
beyond anything you could even imagine.  You work so hard for so many and
without you and the preschool we’d be lost. Thank you’
Here's hoping that Highworth Pre-School children and families have the
amazing Mrs Uzzell for another 20 years! Congratulations and well done - it’s a
job we certainly don’t do for the money, it’s for the community and children!

 Thank you for Donations  

As a charity run pre-school, we really appreciate all donations and this year already we have had local donations from:


 Wrde Up Music Festival to create a cosy sensory area for children with Special Education Needs.


ASM Drylining to improve our bikes/trikes and area used for the children outdoors to help improve gross motor skills.


The Plough from customers, Sunday Quiz Entry Fees and Sweet Machine Profits. This money will go towards supporting children with Special Education Needs.


Thank you for all your support. 


Ready for the new school year 

The staff have been busy over the holiday just a few sneak peeks ?new Hopscotch, tidy Mud Kitchen ready for little chefs, great new Woodland sign as we can’t wait to do more exploring in the Woodland area, cozy sleep area and finally refurbished Noticeboard to keep you all up to date with our news at Pre-School.


Summer Fayre 

A very busy end to the school year with our Summer Fayre celebration raising £615 for the pre-school. Our fundraising events are so important to the pre-school as they enable us to purchase new equipment and resources for the children. 


Bathalf Fundraising and Quiz Night 

Highworth Pre-School want to say a big thank you to 2 of our amazing parents, Paul Barras and Natalie Baldwin. They ran the Bath Half marathon on the 17th March and so far have raised £1659 for Highworth Pre-School.

Paul and Natalie said ‘We both have children who attend this amazing preschool and see daily the effort and care that goes into making this preschool such a valued part of the community.’

Highworth Pre-School is charity run and we will benefit hugely from this fundraising.


Then in April The Rec Highworth hosted a Quiz Night with fundraising spilt between Highworth Pre-School and Gloucester House.

The £175 donation was added to the Bathalf fundraising by Natalie Baldwin and Paul Barras bringing the total to £1839. Amazing support to Highworth Pre-School.


Thank you to all those that sponsored Natalie and Paul and for all that attended the quiz night.


Scarecrow Trail - Highworth Pre-School Entry 

Croc'R'Us Visit 

Highworth Pre-School had a visit from Crocs'R'Us during our week of reading a book called - 'Open Very Carefully - A book with bite !' about a crocodile. The children, staff, parents and grandparents had an amazing hands on experience with Tinkerbell the Crocodile and her friends Toad, Chameleon and Frank the Python. Many of the children were alot braver than the staff.


New Road and Track for Bikes 

Highworth Pre-School Celebrate 50 Years

On Saturday 23rd June 2018 we has a wonderful celebration of 50 years of Highworth Pre-School, we were overwhelmed by so many people attending from past and present making it a very successful fundraising event. 

We were lucky enough to have Gillian Flight pop into the celebration. Gillian actually lives in Australia since 1970, she just happened to be on a trip over to celebrate her own school reunion and it was this weekend of our celebration. Gillian was moving to Highworth from Swindon in 1967 and placed an ad in the local paper to ask for any parents interested in a playgroup for children to get in contact. That was the beginnings of Highworth Pre-School!

We were delighted to have Highworth Mayor Julia Bishop unveil our plaque to mark 50 years, Red Bear also come along from SPA Highworth - Simon Smith Group as Highworth Pre-School is the chosen charity for this year. 


Thank you to the Kelham Family for £500 Donation 

Neil Griffiths - Storytime at Highworth Pre-School


Pre-school celebrates golden anniversary against the odds

Highworth Pre-School pupils and teachers with author Neil Griffiths.

Pre-school celebrates golden anniversary against the odds

Highworth Pre-School pupils and teachers with author Neil Griffiths.

HIGHWORTH Pre-school is celebrating its 50th year a matter of months after staff feared it was about to be evicted from its home.

Back at the beginning of the year staff and parents were worried that they would have to leave the base in the grounds of Westrop School if parents of the school children voted for a nursery to be set up in it.

But following a nervous eight months the pre-school is finally able to look ahead to its golden anniversary with confidence.

The vote went 90 per cent against any moves to evict the charity-run facility and as a result staff are free to plan a programme of celebrations.

They started off on Friday with a visit from children’s novelist and former primary school head Neil Griffiths for a special storytime.

“We have been overwhelmed by the community support,” manager Helen Simpson told the Advertiser.

“We want to make it a positive against all odds. We have been up against it really but we have managed to turn it around and we have started school with 77 children and we have retained all our staff.”

But there have been changes. The rent has gone up by £8,500 and the pre-school will no longer have access to the building 52 weeks a year. Instead they will be able to use it for 38 weeks plus five days. They will have to pay extra if they want to use the building outside the agreed dates for events.

A section of the outside play area has also had to be given up to the new nursery, which is situated next door.

But said Helen, staff and volunteers had rolled up their sleeves and got to work during the holidays, moving equipment and creating a new play space. “It is an incredible outside area.”

She paid tribute to the parents and the 21 members of staff for their support. 


Outstanding Commitment

At the recent Swindon Borough Early Years Conference I received a Nomination for Outstanding Commitment to Early Years a recognition I am proud of. But I want to share it with Highworth Pre-School.


At work I have a lot of things to think about and my to do list is long.... Ofsted, rotas, staffing ratios, staff contracts, quality assurance, liaising the management committee, fundraising, training, newsletters and I could go on .....


Firstly, thank you to all our 120 families and children as it only takes a few small visitors to the office 1, 2 sometimes more to make me realise why I do the job (because it sure is not for the money!). Those little faces make it real and help me to review my priorities (because playing and learning is so much more fun than Ofsted).


Secondly, a huge thank you to my staff team for putting up with me being determined and committed to get it right, always driving for improvement and thanks for not saying out loud "Oh no here she goes again!".


My commitment comes from you all helping to make Highworth Pre-School the place that it is for work, learning and play. I hope you all have an amazing, safe and happy summer.


Just for the record I will be taking a little break over the summer, but in between we will be spending a few weeks at work to get that list of jobs done. Along with our superb management team Rachel Uzzell, Bernie Davies and Carol Jessett, who I am truly grateful to be able to work alongside with a combine 58 years experience at Highworth Pre-School !  


Helen Simpson

Manager, Highworth Pre-School 


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