Local artist visits Bamford Pre-school

Bamford Pre-school’s budding artists had the opportunity to develop their talents with local artist and Bamford resident, Jenny Mather, who came to deliver a colourful painting session.

A renowned Artist and qualified Art Therapist, Jenny was very generous with her time, tailoring two workshops for both younger and older children.

The children banished any grey skies with the colourful rainbows they painted. The process of mixing colours gave the children the opportunity to share their paints and work together as a group. As well as ‘traditional’ painting, the children had fun learning about different textures and experimenting by painting with fruit and vegetables…….possibly inspiration for the next Turner Prize!

Jenny commented, “It has been a real pleasure working with the children. They all worked together really well, with the older children helping the younger ones. There was a lot of enthusiasm for messy painting too!”

Caroline Hunter, Bamford Pre-school Manager said “We are really fortunate to have visitors like Jenny to help with our creative learning approach. The children were really engaged during the session, learning lots whilst having a lot of fun too! Huge thanks to Jenny for such interactive sessions”.


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.  


Organisers of The Great Bamford Bake Off were overwhelmed by the number of people who turned out to support their event on Saturday 16th September, which attracted 89 entries and raised over £1,300 for Bamford Pre-school.

The baking competition and family-friendly event took place on Saturday 16th September at the Moore Hall in Bamford.  Contestants were asked to bring along their best bake to enter into one of seven categories including; Cakes & Tarts, Junior (under 12s), Pastry, Buns & Biscuits, Bread, Free From or The Show Stopper.

Celebrity judge, Howard Middleton, who took part in the BBC show, The Great British Bake Off, was joined by Bamford WI member Ann Beckett and given the difficult task of tasting all 89 bakes and then naming the winners.

The winners were…

  1. Cakes & Tarts: Rachel Gray from Bamford
  2. Buns & Biscuits: Gill Harris from Aston, Hope
  3. Junior (under 12s): Sarah Gillott aged 11 from Bradwell
  4. Bread: Helen Beach from Bamford
  5. Pastry: Annette Nordhausen Scholes from Bamford
  6. Free From: Kat Allan from Bamford
  7. The Show Stopper: A group called ‘The Millers’ from Bamford

Bamford Pre-school would like to thanks their sponsors, Carbolite and Hope Cement, Heatherhill Farm embroidery and all the local businesses that donated prizes for the raffle.

Victoria Watson, Bamford Pre-school committee member and the brains behind The Great Bamford Bake Off commented: “So many people contributed to making the event a success giving their time or products for free to help us create a fun event that captured the imagination of baking enthusiasts in the area.  I would like to thank everyone who helped, took part or came along on the day – your contribution is much appreciated by all the committee, staff and children at Bamford Pre-school.”


This September Bamford Pre-school will be asking the Hope Valley to come together and celebrate the area’s best bakers and cake eaters, with a new fundraising event entitled; The Great Bamford Bake Off.

Just like the TV show with a similar name, baking enthusiasts are invited to present their best cakes and buns in front of a prestigious judging panel who will rate their efforts and present aprons to the winners in each category.   Local celebrity and Bake Off contestant Howard Middleton will lead the judging with help from Bamford’s WI.

The event will take place on Saturday 16th September at the Moore Memorial Hall on Brentwood Road.   The fun-filled event is open to all ages and there will be a host of family entertainment on the day, a baking themed raffle, refreshments and of course and plenty of cakes, pastry and sweet delights to buy.

Bakers can choose to enter one or more of the following categories:

  • Junior (under 12s)
  • Cakes & Tarts
  • Buns & Biscuits
  • Free From
  • Savoury
  • Bread
  • The Show Stopper

Competitors are required to pay £2 per entry and all cakes will be sold once the winners have been announced to raise funds for Bamford Pre-school.

Bamford Bake Off Judge Howard Middleton said: “I am really excited about coming to Bamford to judge at this brilliant event.  Having a Free From category is particularly exciting for me as I wrote my first book all about gluten-free baking.  It’s also great to see a category for young bakers – who knows, we may discover a future baking champion! Good luck to everyone who enters – I’ll see you soon!”

Pre-school Leader Caroline Hunter commented: “This event is for people who love baking or eating cake, so surely that’s pretty much everyone? People can enter on their own or work together as a family to create the perfect show stopper! Alternatively, just turn up on the day and sample some of the best baking in the valley and support our pre-school – we promise that it’ll be a lot of fun.”

The event is being sponsored by local businesses; Hope Cement Works and Carbolite.  If you would like to support the event or help in anyway, please contact Vicky Watson: v_l_henderson@hotmail.com / 07808 297 895.

To find out more about the competition and how to enter please visit: http://www.bamfordpreschool.co.uk/BamfordBakeOff or follow the event on Facebook @BamfordBakeOff.


New Forest School for Bamford Pre-school

The children and staff at Bamford Pre-school will be donning their wellies and waterproofs this summer term as they head to the woods for new Forest School sessions on Friday afternoons.

The playgroup has joined forces with Bamford Primary School to extend its offering, giving children aged three and over the opportunity to benefit from these brilliant outdoor lessons, which are run by a qualified teacher and teaching assistant who are currently training to be Forest School leaders.

Forest School, it is an inspirational process, that helps young children develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees. Activities include; den building, painting with mud, creating woodland musical instruments and campfires!

The new Forest School sessions will mean that eligible children can now do a full day at pre-school on Fridays until 3.15pm, with the option to have a school dinner.

Pre-school Leader, Caroline Hunter said: “We are delighted to be offering Forest School in conjunction with our friends at Bamford Primary. Connecting with nature and learning about the environment is something we’re passionate about, Forest School provides the perfect opportunity for the children to explore and learn about the outdoors, while building their confidence and independence in preparation for big school.”

Headteacher at Bamford Primary, Kate Gemmell said: “We strongly believe in the importance of outdoor learning and in recent years we have invested a great deal into Forest School. We have recorded some brilliant results for both our reception and year one classes and so it’s fantastic that now pre-school children can enjoy this enriching experience too.  These close links with pre-school also mean that the transition to school from nursery is as smooth as possible, allowing children to settle into the school environment well.”


March 2017

Bamford pre-school celebrated British Science Week (March 13-17) last week and was lucky enough to have a visit from TV weather presenter Kerrie Gosney, who came along to talk to the children about meteorology.

Kerrie, who grew up in the Hope Valley (much of her family still reside in Bamford) now presents the weather for ITV Granada, as well as covering forecasts for Calendar Yorkshire from Leeds.

Kerrie kindly took time out of her busy schedule to inspire Bamford’s young minds with a talk about meteorology, talking to the boys and girls about why and how the weather changes, something the children certainly have plenty of practical experience of living here in Derbyshire. This was followed by a welly walk during which the children discussed the weather – like all good Brits should – and more importantly its impact on nature.

The visit was a highlight for the children and staff at pre-school, who conducted different science experiments each day to mark the national event.  The daily activities were all themed around ‘change’ and included, observing decay with rotten fruit, making daffodil windmills, creating their own exploding volcanos, baking cinder toffee and watching flowers change colour!

Kerrie Gosney comments: “Growing up in a beautiful area such as the Hope Valley I was inspired by the nature all around me, and fascinated by the changing seasons. It was great to meet the pre-school children and see them getting excited by science, I will be very proud if I have managed to inspire the next generation of Hope Valley weather people!”

Pre-School Manager Caroline Hunter comments: “British Science Week is a ten-day programme of science, technology and maths events across the UK, and so an amazing opportunity for us to inspire our inquisitive young minds here at pre-school. We’ve had a great time, learning lots and getting very messy! Kerrie did a brilliant job bringing science to life for the little ones and behalf of everyone at pre-school we’d like to say a big thank you for taking the time to come and see us.”


November 2016

The children at Bamford Pre-School are celebrating with mud pies and sludge cupcakes thanks to a generous donation from Sickleholme Service Station, which has allowed them to build their very own mud kitchen!

The donation of £735 was presented to the Pre-school after it was chosen as the service station’s charity of the year.  The staff, committee members and children at Bamford Pre-school voted unanimously to spend the funds on creating a purpose-built mud kitchen that can be enjoyed by generations to come.

The money was raised through the Make a Difference Locally charity that helps independently run stores add value to their communities.

The mud kitchen is complete with sink, oven, utensils, pots and pans and is housed in a sturdy wooden structure.  There are hooks to hang aprons and a blackboard so that children can write up their muddy recipes!

Bamford Pre-School Manager, Caroline Hunter commented: “All the children love the new mud-kitchen, it’s the highlight of the week when they’re allowed to get completely filthy!  There’s lots of fun to be had, but the mud-kitchen format provides younger children with different learning opportunities too, via sensory, imaginative, creative and exploratory play. Being outdoors also gives children the chance to connect and learn about nature, while being imaginative and inventing their own role play games.

“On behalf of everyone at Bamford Pre-school we’d like to say a big thank you to Sickleholme Service Station for choosing us as their charity of the year, the mud-kitchen is a fantastic resource for us and one that will be enjoyed by local children for many years to come.”

The new mud kitchen will be named ‘Mr. Stan’s Mud Kitchen’ in memory of William Stanley Willis, who sadly died in April this year.  Stan, who was a Methodist Minister and later a teacher, was well-known in Bamford and has close contact to the Pre-School, which operates from the Methodist School Rooms.

Caroline said: “Stan was always very supportive and helped us whenever he could, the children and teaching staff affectionately referred to him as Mr. Stan and he is very sadly missed. He was also well respected in the village and renowned for getting jobs done – so it just seemed appropriate to dedicate our new mud kitchen to him.”

Meghann Somerset, Manager at Sickleholme Service Station commented: “As a business we serve people from across the country as they travel through the Peak District, however, we strive to support our local community as much as possible and want to see Bamford continue to thrive.  We know that Bamford Pre-school does some great work and so we wanted to show our support this year by naming them as our chosen charity.  The mud kitchen is fantastic and a worthy project that has honoured a local man, who did so much for community and we hope will encourage the community champions of the future!”


December, 2015

It’s been a busy and exciting few months at Bamford Pre-School and everyone involved is pleased to have been assessed as ‘Good’ by OFSTED in a recent inspection. Well done to all the staff, volunteers and of course the little ones who make the Methodist School Rooms next to Bamford Primary School such a fun place to spend those formative years.

They’re not resting on their laurels though and there’s a new programme of stimulating daily events in place including Muddy Mondays, Arts & Crafts Tuesday, Baking & Making Wednesday, Welly Walk Thursday, Gardening and Nature Friday. Now each day children come home with something they’ve made or a story to tell about their adventures.

Younger children are now welcome to enrol too, as the entry age has been lowered to two from two and a half, providing a good value community-based childcare option for parents of younger children as well as the chance for siblings to spend longer together at Pre-School before the older ones graduate to reception class. The Pre-School has a first-rate relationship with Bamford Primary School next door, enjoying visits to the ‘big playground’ and regularly sharing welly walks and events such as sports day with the older children in order to prepare children for life at school.

Caroline Hunter, Pre-School Leader, comments: “We have a great group of children at Pre-School and it’s lovely to see them flourish by learning and playing in such a nourishing environment. Our new timetable of activities just creates that extra buzz and excitement and it’s super having younger children around the place giving the older ones chance to nurture them and act as role models.”