Bamford Pre-school combines ice-cream and learning!

Just before the summer half term, excited children from Bamford Pre-school set off on an adventure to Thorpe Farm, the home of Hope Valley ice-cream!

Focusing on ‘Understanding our World’, the children’s learning started immediately on the 271 bus journey to Hathersage, as the pre-schoolers talked about public transport and different ways to travel. After a walk up Thorpe Farm driveway, the children were delighted to be able to get close to lots of different farm animals – donkeys, pigs, chicks, calves and, of course, cows! They were fortunate to see the cows being milked and learned about the importance of animal husbandry. After all the learning, the children were rewarded with a delicious Hope Valley ice-cream and a play in the sandpit and toy tractor park, before a return bus journey back to Bamford.

Caroline Hunter, Pre-school Leader said “We had a fantastic day out, with the children learning a great deal about their local area. At pre-school we aim to provide a fun, nurturing learning environment, to help our children become confident and independent for the next stage in their educational journey – trips such as today are a big part of our approach. All the staff were very proud of how caring the children were towards the animals and how enthused they were to learn”.

A big thank you to Jane Marsden and the Thorpe Farm team for a wonderful warm welcome. Also a big thank you to Paul Fathers for a generous donation to help fund this trip from his charity raffle. Thank you all very much!  

Bamford Pre-school is open Monday – Friday during term time, including Breakfast Clubs. For more information please visit: or call 07591 979051. 

Bamford Pre-school’s Agricultural Adventure!

In April, Bamford Pre-school were fortunate to be invited to help with lambing at a local farm in Edale. The day started with great excitement with three modes of transport – walking, public bus and train! It was a particularly special visit, as the pre-schoolers saw a sheep giving birth naturally, as well as ‘Farmer James’ assisting with a delivery. The children were eager to help too feeding the new born lambs.

Farm visit 3

It was a fantastic day and a unique learning experience for all the children, including learning about breeds of sheep and how they differ, as well as the journey of wool from sheep’s coat through to the end product. The children’s words summarised the day well, including “the best day ever!” “I’d like to be farmer” “I want to come again tomorrow” to name a few.

Caroline Hunter, Pre-school Leader explained “We want to bring education to life as much as we possibly can and today was a real ‘hands on’ learning experience. It was a very special day for our children and staff alike – learning about the wider world by travelling on public transport and spring life on a farm. We were all very proud of the children being so responsible, enthusiastic and caring. A huge thank you goes to the Metcalfe family (Robin, Diane, James and Rachel) for sharing this wonderful experience with us!”

Farm visit 2

The visit is part of Bamford Pre-school’s commitment to creating a fun learning environment, helping each child develop their social skills, creativity and confidence in preparation for school. 

Bamford Pre-school is open Monday – Friday during term time, including Breakfast Clubs. For more information please visit:  or call 07591 979051.

Bamford Pre-school’s ‘Journey through Science Week’

This month, Bamford pre-schoolers enjoyed participating in British Science Week (8th-17th March); a national educational initiative celebrating all things STEM* related. This year the daily experiments and discoveries were around the theme ‘Journeys’.

As part of this initiative, the children enjoyed becoming chemists for the day during a special masterclass with local business owner Bob Webster. Bob is based at the Hope Valley Garden Centreand kindly volunteered to show the children how ingredients such as sodium bicarbonate, critic acid, witch hazel and essential oils can ‘journey’ to become luxurious bath bombs. The results were very successful and popular with children and parents alike!

Caroline Hunter, Bamford Pre-school Leader said “Bob’s interactive session was great; the kids loved getting involved mixing all the ingredients. Bringing STEM to life through hands on exploration and creation is something we are passionate about. This workshop clearly helped our children understand how science is working in everyday items”.

Bob thoroughly enjoyed the session too, commenting “Having worked in education for a number of years, I was hugely impressed with the children’s enthusiasm and understanding. All the children loved getting involved and hopefully we have helped inspire future chemists. It was great fun and I’d love to come back again!”

As well as Bob’s workshop, during the week the pre-schoolers enjoyed learning about the velocity of different liquids, how a hungry caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly, creating wind socks to understand how wind travels, reading maps and identifying scientific and mathematical influences on their journeys to pre-school. 

The initiative is part of Bamford Pre-school’s commitment to creating a fun learning environment, helping each child develop their social skills, creativity and confidence in preparation for school.  

Bamford Pre-school is open Monday – Friday during term time, including Breakfast Clubs. For more information please visit: or call 07591 979051. 

Bob’s artisan toiletries and candles can be found in ‘Greenstone and Ivy’ at Hope Valley Garden Centre. 

[*STEM stands for Science, technology, engineering and maths]

Bamford Pre-school welcomes back their ‘artist in residence’

Bamford Pre-school were delighted to welcome back local artist and Bamford resident, Jenny Mather, for another interactive workshop.

Jenny used her artistic talents and art therapy skills to lead a ‘mini-beast spring garden’ session inspired by the recent sunshine we have enjoyed. 

After a discussion about the importance of local flora and fauna, the children used their observation skills to draw local mini beasts and plants. These were then made into 3D models and installed onto the group painted garden.  The finished garden could surely enter RHS Chatsworth Flower Show and will be the front cover of the April edition of Bamford News!

Caroline Hunter, Pre-school Leader said “We are very grateful to Jenny for her time and inspiring workshop. The children were really engaged and learnt a huge amount from all the different activities. The honey tasting definitely helped highlight the importance of bees to the children!”

Jenny commented “The creativity and enthusiasm from the children was fantastic. I really enjoyed working with these budding artists and was impressed with their teamwork. It was a great morning and seeing their artwork in print in Bamford News is a real highlight for the children”.

The session is part of Bamford Pre-school’s commitment to creating a fun learning environment, helping each child develop their social skills, creativity and confidence in preparation for school.  

Bamford Pre-school is open Monday –Friday during term time, including Breakfast Clubs. For more information please or call 07591 979051.

Extended hours & breakfast club for Bamford Pre-school

Following a successful trial, Bamford Pre-school will continue to offer extended hours. This includes a ‘Breakfast Club’ on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am, as well as longer sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current hours are:

  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 9am – 1pm (with the option of a 12noon finish)
  • Tuesday and Thursday: 8am – 3pm (with the option of a 9am start and/or a 12noon or 1pm finish. Afternoon only sessions are also available).

Caroline Hunter, Pre-school Leader, commented “We are delighted that the positive feedback from our recent trial has meant we can continue to extend our hours and provide additional childcare in Bamford. We aim to be as flexible as possible to meet the needs of all our families”.

Bamford Pre-school is for children aged 2-4 years old, helping them to prepare for school by learning through play. If you would like more information, please email: call: 07591979051 or visit:


This December Bamford Pre-school is hosting a spectacular second-hand sale, selling good-quality clothes, toys and books to help raise funds for the playgroup.  The event, which will take place on the 2ndDecember at the Moore Memorial Hall will be a great opportunity to pick up some bargains before Christmas, and they’ll be fun for all the family with; face painting, Santa’s lucky dip and delicious refreshments.

You can support this fun event by donating good quality toys, clothes, books, shoes, bags, belts etc… to Bamford Pre-school by the 23rdNovember as well as coming along on the day to shop, shop, shop!

Pre-school Leader, Caroline Hunter said: “Everyone needs a clear out to make space for Christmas, so we would encourage people to give generously to this great event, which will help us to raise money for pre-school. On the day, Bamford Bazaar will be a bustling second-hand marketplace where people can come along and do some Christmas shopping as well as enjoying delicious refreshments and take part in the fun activities.”

Bamford Bazaar
The Moore Memorial Hall, Bamford
Sunday, 2ndDecember
10am – 2pm

For more information please contact Faye:

We’re Hiring!

Bamford Pre-school: Part Time Pre-school Assistant

Bamford Pre-school, which has recently extended its provision, is looking for an enthusiastic individual to join the team of this well-established village pre-school.

The part time role will support the highly committed and friendly staff to provide high quality education and care for children aged 2 – 4 years old.

The ideal candidate will have experience of working with young children and will possess a Level 2 or 3 Early Years Childcare qualification, or be working towards it. However, candidates with other relevant qualifications (e.g. Teaching Assistants) and/or the right experience will be considered.

A Forest School qualification or an interest in working towards one is also desirable.

The position is for six hours per week (term time), plus holiday and sickness cover. Initially a temporary position until July 2019 with the possibility of becoming permanent.

For an application form or to discuss the role further, please contact Pre-school Leader: Caroline Hunter 07591979051 or email:

Closing date: 5thNovember 2018.

Starting date: December 2018 / January 2019.

Please note: due to the nature of this role the successful candidate will need to undertake a DBS check.


A great year and extended opening hours for Bamford Pre-school

Bamford Pre-school staff, children and parents are celebrating following another happy and eventful academic year!

The school year started with a bang thanks to the success of the Bamford Bake-Off fundraising event, which was followed by more kind donations from parents and the local community, including a £330 raised by pre-school parent, Paula Grant, who ran the Sheffield 10K and decided to donate her sponsorship to pre-school as well as the local toddler group. Other kind donations came from High Peak Garden Buildings… two successful blue bag collections that were supported by the whole village saw fundraising reach in excess of £2,000. In March, pre-school applied for a grant from Foundation Derbyshire and was successful in securing financial support, that was used to improve facilities and staff training in the setting.


The playgroup saw further support from the community with visits from Bamford Dentist and Hope Valley Vets – not forgetting a fantastic art session from local artist, Jenny Mather.

Staff also used topical events to inspire the children as part of the Early Years Foundation Curriculum, which included British Science Week and Healthy Eating Week.


The spring saw the opening of the extended outdoor play space and introduction of a new water play area and then in the summer term pre-school’s Friday afternoon Forest School session returned thanks to the support of Bamford Primary School, providing a unique outdoor learning experience for the children.


After such a great year, Bamford Pre-school is delighted to extend its offer to help parents and provide more flexibility. From Tuesday 4thSeptember parents/carers will be able to choose from an 8am or 9am drop off five days a week, for the early starters there’s the option of breakfast. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday’s the morning sessions will be extended to 1pm for those who want to take advantage.  Tuesdays and Thursday afternoon sessions will continue to finish at 3pm.

On a sadder note, pre-school’s Deputy Leader, Wendy Ridgeway retired in July after 18 loyal years at Bamford Pre-school. Wendy has seen many changes throughout the years, however her warmth, good humour and professional has remained the same for almost two-decades.  Her love of singing and stories will be remembered by all as well as her fear of spiders and dislike of snow!

Pre-school Leader Caroline Hunter commented: “This year we have seen huge support from parents and the local community, which has helped us to make the last 11 months one of the best yet! It’s with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Wendy, she’s part of our history and will be sadly missed by all.” 

Bamford Pre-school is for children aged 2-4 years old, helping them to prepare for school by learning through play.  Spaces are still available for September 2018.


Bamford Pre-school is embracing the warmer weather thanks to a bigger outdoor play area, which has been created thanks to the fundraising efforts of one parent!

Paula Grant, whose son Archie attends the playgroup, ran the Sheffield 10K last September and through sponsorship she raised £330, which she donated to Bamford Toddler Group and Bamford Pre-school.

Pre-school has used the funds to buy new fencing, floor lining and wood chipping to enlarge its all-weather outdoor play area and also purchased some water play equipment, just in time for summer!

Pre-school Leader Caroline Hunter commented: “On behalf of the pre-school I would like to thank Paula, her donation has enhanced our outdoor play space, which is used every day in all weathers! The water play equipment compliments our mud kitchen and sand-pit, creating an exciting area for our children now and in the future.Water Play is important for preschoolers as it provides opportunities for the children to develop fine and gross motor skills through actions like pouring, squirting, scrubbing, stirring and squeezing.

“I would also like to thank Bamford Methodist Church, who allowed us to use this extra space and have been supportive in helping us to make this a fun and safe place for the children.  The staff have also given their free time to make the space look great, so it has been a real community project and we are delighted with the results.”

Bamford Pre-school is for children aged 2-4 years old, helping them to prepare for school by learning through play.  It operates from the Methodist School Rooms and is open every morning of the week 9am-12pm and all day (9am-3pm) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Parents who are interested in enrolling their child or would like more information please contact Caroline on: 07591 979051or email  You can also visit the website: for more information.


Next week the staff and children at Bamford Pre-school will celebrate British Science Week (9-18th March) with daily experiments around this year’s theme, exploration and discovery.

During the seven-day celebration of all things scientific the children will explore the outdoors by creating their own bug hotel, grow their own beans, investigate how water freezes and melts by freezing toys in ice and helping them escape, create giant bubbles and even make their own ocean in a bottle!

The children will also receive a masterclass in magnets thanks to Nyah’s Dad Phil, who has very kindly volunteered to run a special session all about recycling – using his skills and experience from working as Environment Manager at Tata Steel – to show the children how magnets can be used to test what is steel and what isn’t.

Pre-school Leader Caroline Hunter said: “Kids love to explore, create and discover – so British Science Week is perfect for pre-school! Our activities will introduce STEM* to the children in a fun and interactive way and we hope that we can in some way inspire the scientists and engineers of the future.”

*STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths