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As a community playgroup we want our children to be involved in and with their local community. Over the last few months we have organised various visits for them. These have included a visit from the farming community and we also went on visits to local primary schools and a nursing home. As you can see from the photos, a good time was had by all!

Sitting in the cab of a tractor was very exciting!

We had a visit from local farming contractor, Brian Dickey & Co, who brought his tractor and baler to the playgroup grounds. The children loved getting to sit in the tractor cab and seeing the huge machines.

On the bus to go to sing for the residents of a local nursing home
The children enjoy a treat after singing at a local nursing home

The children had an exciting day out as they visited Prospect Nursing Home. As it was coming close to Christmas, they sang Nativity songs for the residents and were well rewarded afterwards with lots of buns! Also in the run-up to Christmas the group visited Ballymena Primary School to see Mr Hullabaloo and also went to hear some storytelling and a Nativity Play at Dunclug Primary.

Our post box for letters to Santa

Coming up to Christmas we had our own special post box for posting letters to Santa. As you can see it looks like Santa has been here to collect some letters and left a bit of a mess behind him! So as you can tell we’ve had a busy few months and the children have had lots of opportunities to connect with the local community.

High Kirk Community Playgroup is based in Ballymena. It provides a quality learning environment for the pre-school child. The sessions starts at 9:10am and end at 12:10pm from Monday to Friday. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more.

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.

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.

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.

The High Kirk Community Playgroup trip to Carnfunnock Country Park was held in June.

High Kirk Community Playgroup trip to Carnfunnock Country Park

The day out was a big celebration of all that the children had learnt throughout their year at High Kirk Community Playgroup. All the children had lots of fun and the staff enjoyed their day out too.

Here are some of the pictures.

High Kirk Community Playgroup has been offering a quality learning environment for pre-school children in Ballymena for 20 years.Children of Pre-school age are provided with a funded placement and High Kirk Community Playgroup have arranged an open day for any parents who might be interested in sending their children along. The well established playgroup offers a high standard of care and education open to all children in the community, with qualified staff who are passionate about helping your child to grow, learn and play preparing them for school and giving them a head start in life-long learning.

At High Kirk Play Group we are just starting our new term. We love meeting lots of new children and their parents. If you would like to know more about the learning, trip and visits your children can expect at High Kirk Playgroup please click here to read our blog.

This month at High Kirk Community Playgroup has the opportunity to meet a shepherdess and some of her lambs. Learn with Lambs had a brilliant visit here and the kids really enjoyed meeting and learning about these lovely little farm animals.

Learning with Lambs at High Kirk Community Playgroup

Learning with Lambs at High Kirk Community PlaygroupLearning with Lambs at High Kirk Community Playgroup

Gill from Learning with Lambs explains:

Each element of the programme has been specifically designed to connect with the children and allow them to have fun while learning about the world around them.  No matter how much I am TOLD about our flock and what we need to do with them, my real learning happens ‘on the job’, handling the lambs and being shown what to look for…that was where our slogan ‘real life learning, real life lambs’ came from.   

I have put my heart into creating ‘Learn with Lambs’ programmes, to ensure that not only are they are factually correct but that they engage and excite children, no matter what their age, background or level of learning. I hope ‘Learn with Lambs’ excites you as much as it does me!

As you can see the visit was a great success. The children had the opportunity to feed lambs and learn how best to care for them. If you would like to find out more about Learn with Lambs then click here to visit their website.

Thanks to Learn with Lambs for visiting us here at High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena.

 

 

 

 

 

High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena have hosted many exciting events for our children. The children who attend High Kirk Community Play group all enjoy it when someone visits, or they get involved in new activities and we love seeing them have fun while learning. Here are some of the things which we have been up to lately:

Party animals paid us a visit and we got to meet all sorts of different animal! The children loved meeting a skunk, an African giant snail, a guinea pig, boa constrictor, tortoise, bearded dragon, and  some stick insects. The children also brought along some of their parents to join in with the fun, although we think the the children were much braver than some of the grown ups.

Latest news from High Kirk Community PlaygroupLatest news from High Kirk Community Playgroup

Book Start Rhyme challenge also was an exciting activity we enjoyed. The children received certificates for participating in learning ten rhymes also had the chance to make jelly. “Jelly on a Plate” links rhyme with the science behind this yummy pudding – melting jelly cubes and watching it dissolve in warm water then using cold of fridge to set. It was a delicious tasty reward for learning 10 rhymes!

Latest news from High Kirk Community Playgroup

And at Easter the children of High Kirk Community Playgroup had a brilliant Easter party where everyone wore an Easter Bonnet and took part in the hat parade. Don’t they all look amazing? All the kids had their own individual look which was expertly created with the help of some talented parents.

Thanks to all the parents, children and organisations who help us to make High Kirk Community Playgroup a brilliant place for children to learn and have fun together.

High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena enjoyed a great, and noisy visit from Fun with Drums! They use Rhythm to bring Joy, Creativity, Hope & Engagement to Groups of all kinds! Fun With Drums say:

Our rhythm workshops make music accessible to, and incredibly FUN for, everyone! We like to work in groups so that everyone gets to join in, engage, and interact with each other and with what’s going on – it’s just better, and more FUN, that way!

Fun with Drums and People who help - High Kirk Playgroup P1010525

The children certainly had lots of fun beating out rhythms and playing along with the Drums for Fun team.

We also have another visit from some special people who help us in the community – the police and the Fire Service. They both came along and explained a bit about their jobs and how they help people to the children.

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We know it is early to tell but we are sure that lots of little ones would like to be in the police and Fire Service when they grow up.

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It was brilliant to enjoy these visits with the children. In February our focus was on People who help us and we thank all who came along and worked with the children at High Kirk Community Playgroup.

World Book Day was held on the 3rd March and here at High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena we invited lots of incredible characters to our playgroup. All the children were encouraged to dress up as their favourite character from a story book. Just have a look below:

World Book Day at High Kirk Community Playgroup

World Book Day at High Kirk Community Playgroup

We had some handsome princes, princesses, a gruffalo, a hungry caterpillar, and lots more amazing characters. On World Book Day all of the children are given a £1 voucher which they can exchange for a free book encouraging them to enjoy reading from a very early age. At High Kirk Playgroup we see this as very important and the children here absolutely love story time! The World Book Day books which we would recommend for pre-schoolers are Kipper’s Visit and Supertato. Well done to all the children who dressed up and to all the parents who helped them with their wonderful costumes.

If you would like to find out more about World Book Day please click here to view the website and click here to visit the High Kirk Playgroup homepage.