CELEBRATING a 40th Birthday in a sunny playground was a very different way to spend a Saturday.
There were many fun-filled preparations taking place at the premises of St Padarn’s school, and the commitment of the St Padarn’s’ playgroup was being demostrated to its fullest. Forty years of unique, fun, and beneficial childcare was celebrated within the community.
Situated on Llanbadarn R oad, Aberystwyth, St Padarn’s Playgroup has established itself as a charity which provides excellent childcare with a special emphasis on education. Through the medium of English and Welsh, the Playgroup gives children a fun experience while they learn through interactive planned activities and free play.
Run by an elected committee of parents, the Playgroup is fully insured through the Wales Pre-School Playgroup Association and also offers an after-school care for St Padarn’s School pupils on the same premises.
The Playgroup also have the policy of allowing parents of current pupils to automatically become members of the charity that run the playgroup, and encourage all parents to get involved in any way they can.
The community atmosphere was tangible even before the event had begun, the many young families helping to set up for this important day. Putting an emphasis on fun activities for children is one of the core principles of the Playgroup and continued with the children at the event having had the opportunity to enjoy various happenings such as face painting, Arts and Crafts and a cake competition stall.
While the children had the freedom to alternate between playing with toys scattered along the ground or on the wooden playground equipment, the parents showed their support by assisting with the raffle and the food stall.
With contemporary music playing throughout event, there was a special live performance from singer songwriter Callum Duell, entertainment from the Pied Piper and a petting corner, courtesy of Pets at Home in Aberystwyth.
Amber Walker, member of the Playgroup PTA and parent said: “The Playgroup has never felt like a Playgroup, but an education. The cake stall competition and the event itself is a wonderful way to get the children involved”
Committee-Secretary of the St Padarn’s Playgroup, Lisa Jones-Evans further explained while helping with the raffle stall: “My child has been in the playgroup for two years and absolutely loves it”.
The Organisers of the event warmly welcomed present nursery children, staff and committee member to the celebrations. Among them was Kath Philips, the playgroups’ longest serving Manager for 27 years, former Playgroup leader Maureen Gallop, former one to one assistant Margaret Evans and the former Playgroup Treasurer.
Speaking of her previous role and how the Playgroup formed, Kath explained: “The ethos of the Playgroup changed after a while and focused on navigating towards working parents. The Playgroup thrived and was all about having fun. We were forever having parties”
Sitting looking at old photos from 1982-1983 with the group gave a great sense of nostalgia and how the Playgroup formed into a highly affordable and well thought of childcare group under Kath’s leadership: a fantastic way to ensure that children were well looked after and well educated outside of the home.
Leontia Slay, one of the co-founders of the Playgroup, began a child care service in an old Catholic hall in Aberystwyth.
“The Playgroup came from nothing and was so simple when it began. Then it exploded into something special.”
The event included a tour around the Playgroup facilities by current playgroup manager of three years, Eleri Barker. Showing me and former staff of the Playgroup around the outdoor facilities, she explained: “Part of the children’s education at the Playgroup is the gardening. We’ve had a Lottery Grant this year for £5000, and we also relied on sustainability grants to do what we want to do.
“The children enjoy growing a garden and they have a mud garden, a kitchen to play in, a musical stand and a construction corner. We were also very fortunate that Mount Trading in Aberystwyth were able to give us gravel for the garden.
“The children have a sensory garden where they have a little shed to grow runner beans, black currents, blueberries, lettuces and potatoes.”
Discussing the developments of teaching methods over the years while in the Playgroup classroom, Eleri told The Herald: “The class should be open access all the time, with the castle in the corner and the three little pigs display. The committee are good at looking at what we need and there are always ways for everyone and anyone to fit in”
Pointing to a decoration hanging from the ceiling, she explained that they once built an igloo out of milk cartons and the children loved the bubble wrap icicles hanging from the ceiling so much, they wanted to leave them there.
The event concluded with a presentation and a birthday cake for the Playgroup in celebration of the high quality childcare and education that it continues to provide.
Penrhyn-coch Brownies compose song
PENRHYN-COCH Brownies were congratulated for composing a new Welsh language song recently. The workshops were part of a program of Welsh language workshops organised by Cered – Menter Iaith Ceredigion.
Following a series of workshops with the young singer, Mari Mathias from Talgarreg, the girls decided to compose a song. ‘Yn yr Haf’ was recorded with the girls singing and Mari on the guitar. All the group members received a copy of the song on CD.
Rhodri Francis, Cered’s Development Officer said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the group and we congratulate members on their masterpiece. Thanks also to the leaders for their enthusiasm in securing opportunities for the members to socialise in Welsh outside of school hours.”
Cered’s main aim is to support, influence and develop the use of the Welsh language in Ceredigion through partnership and co-operation, to establish the best possible foundation for the development of the language in the society and community.
Wendy Reynolds, leader of the Brownies unit in Penrhyn-coch said: “The experience has been amazing for the girls and they’ve had a lot of fun doing activities through the medium of Welsh.”
Follow all the news about the wider work of Cered, through liking the Facebook page @ceredmenteriaith or follow on Twitter @MICered.
For more information on Cered, phone 01545 572350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theatre caravan coming to Aberystwyth
THE SMALLEST cinema in a theatre caravan will be on the Promenade in Aberystwyth for three Saturdays this summer.
Staff from Ceredigion Museum, together with the Friends of Ceredigion Museum, will be hosting a series of free entertaining events in and around the theatre caravan on July 28, August 4, and August 11 between 12pm and 4pm.
Sarah Morton, the Events Organiser for Ceredigion Museum said, “We have a series of short local films from the National Film and Screen Archive which links to our summer exhibition relating to the seaside at the museum, in the old Coliseum Theatre. The two minute films show people on the beach and promenade in Aberystwyth as well as Y Borth. We will also have singing from the Showtime Singers to add to the entertainment.
“We will be situated in and near the bandstand and hope to be able to bring some of the traditions of a typical coastal break back to life.”
Besides the theatre caravan, there will be a Guess-the-Object held in the bandstand with museum staff to aid in identifying the mystery objects.
For more details about the caravan and the entertainment, contact Sarah Morton at Ceredigion Museum on 01970 633088
Surprise presentation for retiring cook
AFTER feeding hundreds of children in her role as cook at Ysgol Eglwyswrw for the past 40 years, Mrs Anona Williams is finally hanging up her apron. But there was a shock in store for Mrs Williams when she arrived at the school for one of her last days at work on Tuesday (Jul 17).
Cameras from the S4C magazine programme, Heno, were present to capture her receiving a special award from music conductor and presenter, Alwyn Humphreys.
She started at her post in 1978 and during that time has fed three generations including her own niece and nephew and great-niece and great-nephew.
Headteacher, Edryd Eynon, said Mrs Williams would be sadly missed.
“We will miss her delicious meals and her caring nature,” he said.
“She spoils all the children and is like a grandmother to them. Her contribution to the school is priceless.
“She ran the breakfast and the Cook It clubs and ensured all pupils had an exciting experiences working with food and preparing many delicious recipes.
“Every sports day she would prepare and donate coffee, tea and her famous scones and all the money she raised would be given to school funds. She did this for 40 years.
“Mrs Williams will be sadly missed at Ysgol Eglwyswrw not only for her delicious food – especially her pizza and coleslaw – but also for her caring and loving character. We wish her all the best for the future.”
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