Grindleford & Eyam Playgroup

Welcome to Grindleford and Eyam Playgroup!

Find us at All enquiries to our Supervisors, Sophie Grant and Pauline Bowman, on 07842 095402 or

We are a rural Peak village pre-school which provides childcare and early learning to all 2-5 year olds from Grindleford and Eyam, the surrounding area and also from further afield.

We deliver the Government’s Early Years Foundation Stage and help children develop the skills and experience they need to make the most of their early years in school and ultimately get a head start in life. We are a charity, not a business – and we do what we do because we believe it allows us to provide the best care and learning opportunities to the children in our care.

We have been under new management since September 2012 and our new, forward-thinking and unhurried approach to learning gives the children who come to us a rich, nurturing and above all joyful pre-school experience. Our very practical curriculum includes Gardening Club (at Grindleford Allotments), Forest School, visits to Grindleford Primary School’s woodland trim trail and Baking Day. We wholeheartedly embrace the rich outdoor learning environment offered by our beautiful natural surroundings as a vital tool in our children’s development. We were rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in November 2012.

We have strongly structure daily and weekly routines, whilst our activities over the course of the year focus on the themes of the seasons and major cultural festivals. Our daily routine is planned around moments of joy and energy and periods of calm and tranquility. The familiarity of our daily rituals enables the children to feel very secure and settled. There is a thoughtful balance between adult-led structured activities and child-led free play. Our daily circle time consists of singing, dancing, drama, numeracy, phonics, signing and poetry, whilst our daily story time is often an oral story with props and puppets.

Our pre-school has a warm and welcoming base in the Bishop Pavillion in Grindleford as well as a Forest School site in beautiful local National Trust woodland. The Pavillion is close to well-equipped playing fields, the village playground, the churchyard, the alloments and the river and we visit all of these as part of our daily excursions.

The Pavilion is well-stocked with a range of toys and resources which stimulate hugely joyful, creative and imaginative role play, especially in our den areas and home corner. Children have access to mark making equipment and emergent writing is encouraged throughout our activities. There are two tables of craft available during free play, and a cosy reading corner is provided for stories and quiet time. During free play times, children have access to our well-equipped and secure outdoor play area.

What makes GEP special?

We have a distinctive educational ethos based on a forward-thinking, unhurried and playful approach to early learning which is rooted in a wealth of educational best practice

We value outdoor learning as a key factor in children’s development, and so we wholeheartedly embrace the rich outdoor learning environment offered by the Peak District’s natural heritage

We foster the individuality of each and every one of our children, meeting them where they are and helping them to develop at the right pace for them.

We never forget that our most important job is to love each and every child who walks through our door, to support them and their families, and to make sure that they love coming to pre-school
What is our educational ethos?

We don’t follow any particular philosophical approach to early years childcare. We’re not dogmatic and we don’t accept things without question. Instead, to help us provide the best level of care for our children, we have eight core principles that we apply every day (for more information on this, see enclosed leaflet):

1. We believe that children learn best through play
2. We prepare children for school, but we don’t mimic school
3. We promote child-led free play as an essential part of children’s learning
4. We balance free play with focused, structured adult-led group learning
5. We believe that children should be engaged, not occupied, at pre-school
6. We provide experiences which are meaningful to our children
7. We manage behaviour positively
8. We value outdoor play as a vital childhood experience

Opening hours and fees

Our opening hours are currently Monday 9.30-12.30, Tuesday 9-3, Wednesday 9-3 and Friday 9.30-1.30. We offer places to all 2-5 year olds and accept local authority funding for 2 and 3 year olds, as well as childcare vouchers. Fees are £3.50/hour for 2 year olds and £4.25/hour for 3 year olds (this charge only applies to any hours over the 15-hour free  entitlement).