Fifty years ago, three forward-thinking women originated Rudgwick Pre-School as a centre for children to receive early years education and to make friends for life.
On Saturday June 22, staff, pupils and parents past and present gathered to celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary, and were delighted to be joined by two of the three founders – Joan and Rita – as well as Jeremy Quin MP.
The afternoon was hailed a great success, with cakes in the theme of The Summer of Love by Jane Thomas and Kirsty Kay-Russell, face painting by Bee Anything Facepainting and a bouncy castle.
Jeremy Quin said: “Pre-school years are so important for all children. It was a huge pleasure to congratulate the Ofsted outstanding Rudgwick Pre School on 50 years of service to the children of Rudgwick and the surrounding area.
“So nice to see current and former pupils and staff and two of the founders all there to help celebrate its continuing success.”
As a small village pre-school, it is run by a committee of parents and a small, dedicated team of early years practitioners.
The team has faced many challenges over the years but has stayed resolute in their mission to give all of Rudgwick’s children the best start in their school careers.
The pre-school is a registered charity, and at no point in their 50-year history have they operated to make a profit.
Rudgwick Pre-School is ably headed by current supervisor, Claire Brown, whose mother was one of the women that started Rudgwick Pre-School back in 1969.
Mrs Brown said: “Our dedicated staff strive to offer our children a great variety of activities, and we have won awards and gained accreditation in areas that include being friendly to the environment (schools’ eco award: silver), forest school (Forest Childcare), communication (Communication Friendly Early Years Setting), school gardening (Royal Horticultural Society) and sun safety (Sun Safe Nursery).
“Our team of early years practitioners undergo constant training to support SEN children, to introduce and educate on healthy eating, and to support children through difficult times.”