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High Kirk Community Playgroup is based in Ballymena and provides a quality learning environment for the pre-school child. The sessions starts at 9:10am and ends 12:10pm, Monday to Friday.

Our blog regularly shares updates about what the children in the playgroup are up to. Here they are showing off some of their recent awards and certificates.

Community Playgroup Ballymena Community Playgroup Ballymena

At High Kirk Community Playgroup we love seeing each child develop at their own rate as they grow in confidence.

With us the children learn to express themselves and be creative through many different areas of the curriculum – including role play, books, drama, singing, music, science and the natural world. Above all, we aim for all our children to have fun at playgroup for it is then that they learn most effectively.

Community Playgroup Ballymena

We are registered with Homefirst and Early Years: The Organisation for young children, and we offer funded pre-school places for children in their immediate pre-school year. This is part of the Pre-school Education Expansion Programme provided by the Department of Education. We also provide private fee paying places.

The staff in the playgroup are fully qualified and specialise in pre-school education and the implementation of the Pre-School Curriculum. Our adult:child ratio is 1:8.

If you woudl like to know more about High Kirk Community Playgroup then please visit our website or call (028)2564 4834.

Fun in the Snow at High Kirk Community Playgroup. In Ballymena we have had more than our fair share of snow this winter. Hopefully things will get more springlike soon and we are looking forward to some warmer brighter days.

Fun in the Snow at High Kirk Community Playgroup

The snow isn’t enough to keep our children from getting outside. Here are some photographs of what we get up to out and about even when it has snowed. Fun in the Snow at High Kirk Community Playgroup

 

As you can see the snow didn’t keep us from learning and playing together. We just get wrapped up in our coats, scarves and gloves.

Learning is at the centre of all that we do here at High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena. All our staff provide a carefully planned and structured learning environment, in line with Department of Education guidelines. Coming to playgroup helps children learn how to develop relationships and respect for other children and adults. It builds confidence, independence and self-discipline to enable them to make their own choices. We encourage all children to develop at their own rate through stimulating, progressive play. They learn to express themselves and be creative through many different areas of the curriculum – e.g. role play, books, drama, singing, music, science and the natural world.

Above all, we aim for all our children to have fun at playgroup for it is then that they learn most effectively. Stay tuned to see more of the activities planned for the children who attend High Kirk Community Playgroup. 

High Kirk Community Playgroup has opened its doors for a new school year and welcomed lots of new little faces. Starting out in play group is always an exciting event but sometimes children need some time to settle in. We are happy to report that the children of High Kirk playgroup are settling in well and enjoy every day as they learn and play together.

Settling in at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena Settling in at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena Settling in at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena Settling in at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena

Settling in at High Kirk Community Playgroup – Ballymena

Here is some information about our Community Playgroup here in Ballymena:

High Kirk Community Playgroup is a well-established playgroup which is committed to providing a high standard of care and education for your children. In our pre-school setting, your child will be offered the best possible start to their educational life; giving them a head start in life-long learning.

The playgroup is registered with:Early Years: The Organisation for young children (the largest organisation for young children in Northern Ireland)Northern Health and Social Care Trust – The Early Years Team

We offer funded pre-school places for children in their immediate pre-school year as part of the Pre-school Education Expansion Programme provided by the Department of Education. We also provide private fee paying places.

The staff in the playgroup are fully qualified and specialise in pre-school education and the implementation of the Pre-School Curriculum. Our adult:child ratio is 1:8.

In Our recent ETI inspection in March 2017 High Kirk Community Playgroup achieved an OEC1 rating evidenced by “the consistently high quality pre-school education being provided.”

Please visit our website to read more about High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena.

At Ballymena based High Kirk Community Playgroup we have just our Sports Day in the middle of a very busy month. Our Sports Day is a much anticipated day of fun, games and learning. Some of the most important things that children can learn from an organised sports time is how to take turns, play fair and how to work as a team. These skills are invaluable in all walks of life and we enjoy watching the children gain experience in the playgroup.

Sports Day at High Kirk Community Playgroup – Ballymena

Of course this is just the start of the benefits of sports for children. Physical exercise is brilliant for children and helps them to maintain a healthy weight.The ball games we play can help with coordination. Sports can also help with emotional well being as achievements can build self esteem. The social skills gained by working in a team together are very important and this is also a great time for children to learn about the reality of winning and losing.

Thanks to First Touch who have visited for the third time this year.

Sports Day at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena Sports Day at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena

Don’t they look like they had fun! And after sports day there is a very important thing we the children were looking forward to. ICE CREAM!! As a special treat the kids enjoyed ice creams together after their exercising.

Sports Day at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena

We hope that you enjoy seeing the children of High Kirk Playgroup enjoying their time here and learning so much at the same time. Keep checking the High Kirk Community playgroup blog to keep up with what we are doing.

As you have already seen springtime is a busy time for us all at High Kirk Community Playgroup. We have already enjoyed a visit from “Learning with Lambs” and lots of role play coupled with learning.

As it is springtime we checked on our daffodil bulbs that were planted in October to see that they had thrived.

Springtime at High Kirk Community Playgroup : Part 2

We also enjoyed learning about potatoes and planted some. The potatoes were chitted, planted, watered and now we wait for our harvest. Yum.

Springtime at High Kirk Community Playgroup : Part 2

We enjoyed some outdoor play and learned about taking turns and playing together.

 

All this learning can be tiring.  Here are some pictures of the children taking time out with Goldilocks and the three bears.

As you can see we have learned lots during the spring term and enjoyed lots of learning too. Please stay tuned to the High Kirk Community Playgroup website to keep up to date with all of our activities.

High Kirk Community Playgroup continues to be a busy place. The children who attend here had some great visits over the past few month. As we learn and play together we have enjoyed lots of different activities.

Learning with Lambs

The children of High Kirk Community Playgroup thoroughly enjoyed meeting Jill Farmer, from Learning with Lambs, along with Samson and Delilah.  The children were given the opportunity feed and touch the lambs. Additionally they were also involved in a fun craft activity were they made lambs and then participated in song time using their creations for props.

Springtime at High Kirk Community Playgroup : Part 1

Springtime at High Kirk Community Playgroup : Part 1

 

Mothers’ Day Tea Performance

Mothers’ Day Tea Performance was well attended and after Tea and Scones the children’s performance was rapturously applauded.

 

Problem Solving and Role Playing

The children particularly enjoy outdoor play, in all weather, and this can be seen in their enthusiasm as they learn to play collaboratively whilst they problem solve.  Peek a Boo is a good game.  They also enjoy learning cricket, climbing and role play pirates is always fun too. Children learning to put on their own coat is a task that is always appreciated by the staff.

  

Role play indoors and outdoors for Pirates, Knights and Castles has been very popular with the children.  They even stop to ‘read’ and share books for ideas.

We hope that you enjoy seeing the children of High Kirk Playgroup enjoying their time here and learning so much at the same time. Keep checking the High Kirk Community playgroup blog to keep up with what we are doing.

February and the start of March have been very busy and productive months for the children of High Kirk Community Playgroup.

In February our theme was people who help us. There was quite a diverse range of visitors to inspire the children and the photographs show how learning can be fun.

High Kirk Playgroup learn together in February and March

High Kirk Playgroup learn together in February and March

Vets 4 Pets visited to teach the children the importance of caring for their pets as well as the role of Vets. Then later in the month we invited Fire Personnel to visit and to teach the children the importance of safety in the home. They also taught us about the role of the Fire Brigade in our community. The children enjoyed trying on their equipment and using the hose.

High Kirk Playgroup learn together in February and March

Making Playdough is one activity the children of High Kirk Community Playgroup particularly enjoy. This wonderful activity gives the children the opportunity to explore how the ingredients change as they mix together, about quantities and how to be safe in the kitchen and of course the children love to get messy too.

Craft is another activity where children can use their imagination and problem solving skills and in this picture you can see the pleasure obtained in creating their helicopter. This led to a discussion around lifeboats and helicopter rescue and was a brilliant learning opportunity.

Another important visitor was Alison the Optician. The children enjoyed trying on different shaped glasses and the importance of caring for your eyes.

On the 1st March Angela The Librarian visited High Kirk Community Playgroup and the children were enthralled by her puppets, storytelling song and rhyme session. We are really looking forward to a visit to our local library.

2nd March was World Book Day and this is a very important date in the High Kirk Community Playgroup Calendar. We like to use this date to reinforce the importance of early literacy and the positive aspects of sitting down with children and reading.

The children are encouraged to dress up as their favourite character from either a book, rhyme or fairytale. This as you can see, from the pictures, captured the children’s imagination and we would like to thank the parents for all their hard work in putting together the costumes.

Phew, what a month. Please keep an eye on the High Kirk Community Playgroup blog to keep up with all that we do here in Ballymena.

At the start of this year we at High Kirk Community Playgroup have had a jam packed schedule for our children. One of the first things on our list was to invite along the Dogs Trust. They brought in some lovely doggy friends who met the children. Because we feel it is important that the children learn through playing we took the opportunity to teach children about how important it is to take care of their pets

A great start to the year at High Kirk Community Playgroup A great start to the year at High Kirk Community Playgroup

Both children and the dogs were all very well behaved and we had a lovely time. To find out more about the work of the Dogs Trust please click here to visit their website.

Here a picture of one of our pupils who was part of our class about building aeroplanes. The children used their problem solving skills to select resources and follow instruction cards to complete aeroplane. Just take a look at the results below. 

Some other children were learning how to use knives safely. They practiced cutting sticky jelly and we talked about all the different sensations we could feel. The children enjoyed exploring their senses and got very messy by making jelly and then experimenting with its properties after it had set.

We also like to keep the children active so here are some pictures showing them participating in a variety of physical activities to promote balance, jumping and team participation as well as learning to practice turn taking.

We enjoyed a visit from First Touch who taught the children team games and help assist in our physical programme promoting health and fitness.

And finally the children had fun learning how to cook rice and noodles and the really nice part was the role play of a Chinese restaurant where children were encouraged to serve and taste the food. Awareness of Chinese culture was also promoted through books, displays and the Media Initiative resources of puzzles, posters, puppets and stories. Take a look below;

It is such a delight to see the children of High Kirk Playgroup enjoying their time here and learning so much at the same time. As we get closer to springtime we are excited about what our next term will bring. Keep checking the High Kirk Community playgroup blog to keep up with what we are doing.

December can be such a busy time but here at High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena we had lots on. The children who come to our playgroup enjoyed lots of educational and festive themed fun.
Just take a look at the children as they enjoyed their activities below:

December at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena

The children’s performance in the Nursery Rhyme Nativity was excellent and well supported by an audience of Parents/carers, grandparents, aunts and uncles on the 20th December 2016. Everyone did a great job!

Children had eagerly awaited receipt of their Santa letters after they had posted their Christmas Lists to Santa earlier in December and Santa’s Christmas Elf ate the Chocolate Orange!

Sarah the Christmas Elf visited the children during the month of December and brought a variety of friends to visit the children. There weren’t any Reindeer but lots of exciting new animals to learn about.

At High Kirk Playgroup we look forward to another great year learning together. 2017 will have lots more adventures and new experiences for the children to enjoy and we look forward to helping them develop. Stay tuned to the High Kirk Playgroup blog to keep up to date with our latest news.

In Ballymena, High Kirk Community Playgroup have enjoyed lots of activities and games. Although it is lots of fun the best bit about High Kirk Community Playgroup is that our children learn as they play and are exploring the world together.

This month we had lots of great activities which were designed to help the children to learn new lessons.

Firstly we had a pyjama party where the children came in wearing jammies and onesies and explored the concept of Day and Night.  We were even able to encorporate one of our favourite storybooks ‘Can’t you Sleep Little Bear’ by Martin Waddell. If you would like to share this story wth your kids then please click below to watch a beautiful video accompanied by the story.

The children learned about the concept of small, medium and large and we all enjoyed our Farmers Dress up Day! Just take a look below!

October at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena

Farmers Day invited the children to dress up and meet local farmer Victor Steele who kindly brought his tractor. It was a very big hit with all of the children and everyone enjoyed talking to Victor. The children made soup and learnt about how vegetables are harvested at this time of the year and names of lots of different types of vegetables and fruit.

This month the children also had great fun developing skills with First Touch who teach them how to play together and learn ball skills. And then we enjoyed planting bulbs which we will all keep a close eye on for some new flowers in the springtime. Some of the children will find it hard to wait that long!

And finally last month we investigate a very exciting type of mountain –  A volcano! Not only did we learn lots about volcanos but we actually got to build some too.

As you can see it was educational, fun and fairly messy too! What a great way to learn.

If you are considering sending your child to High Kirk Community Playgroup and have any questions please contact Mrs Dempsey on (028) 256 44834.