Our History

  • Wrenthorpe Pre-school started life as Wrenthorpe Playgroup in 1968. It was started in the old Village Hall by two local mothers. Parents left their children for 2 hour sessions on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. As most children didn’t start at local schools until they were nearly five there was a big demand and opening times were soon increased to eight sessions per week to accommodate other children.  For nearly 30 years playgroup ran like this, with each pair of sessions having different children and different staff. Playgroup was registered with Social Services for 30 children and was always play based with the full range of activities and with parents involved ‘on rota’ and with fundraising etc.


    There were various changes over the years with a new Village Hall in 1986, the Children Act 1989 and several new systems of registration and inspection. A big change was the adoption of a charitable constitution in 1994. This meant a switch from the group being managed by staff to being managed by an elected committee of parents working on a voluntary basis. Soon after this Wrenthorpe Playgroup changed its name to Wrenthorpe Pre-school, in line with modern trends. The major turning point came when government funding for nursery education, for four year olds from 1998 and three year olds from 1999, came in.  With the funding, parents were offered five free sessions for their children. This resulted in changes to times and sessions available as well as a set curriculum and inspection by Ofsted.


    Pre-school opened the Early Birds Breakfast Club in May 2003 by extending its sessional hours. It was open to older children and was started with the parents of Jerry Clay Academy in mind who had no ‘wrap around’ care available on the school site.


    To meet demand a Holiday Club was opened in August 2004 running from 8am until 4pm in the Village Hall through the summer and catering for 4-11 year olds.


    Registration for full day care was achieved in December 2004 enabling Pre-school to take children over lunch time and all day if parents needed it. Children going half days at school were picked up or dropped off as required. This also meant that children could now attend breakfast club and stay on for pre-school if parents wished.


    In 2005 Pre-school was invited to move up to a new site at Wrenthorpe Academy.  The Holiday Club had to be closed as there was not enough room up at the school. The move went smoothly in October 2005 and everyone soon settled into the new routines.


    In February 2008 Pre-school celebrated 40 years with its Ruby Jubilee day of celebration which included a successful balloon race.


    From September 2011, we set up our Night Owls after school club, which enabled parents to leave their children for the full day up until 6pm.  


    We also re-established our Holiday Club in October 2011, which now operates for many of the school holidays.