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Bright Horizons Playgroup

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Bright Horizons Playgroup


Welcome to our website

Bright Horizons is a children's playgroup situated in the beautiful Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. We cater for children from 2 years 9 months of age until they begin school.

The playgroup is registered charity 1080949. and is managed by a committee of elected volunteer parents. We are extremely fortunate to be able to offer parents the choice of two early years settings. In 2016 both of our settings have been assessed as "GOOD" following inspections by Ofsted.

At Bright Horizons children are encouraged to "shine" in their own way...

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is produced by the Department for Education and sets standards for schools and childcare providers for the learning, development and care of children from birth to the age of five years. It provides a framework that all early years providers must meet.

Details Here Parents Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage framework


On Mondays and Wednesdays we hold sessions between 9am and 1pm at our setting in the village at Westbury on Severn Church of England Primary School. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we hold sessions at Walmore Hill Primary School located between Minsterworth and Westbury on Severn.

To ensure children are as prepared as possible for school life the children attend planned activity sessions in reception classes where they are able to have a taste of school life, meet reception class teachers, staff and reception class pupils. The children are also invited along to special events at school such as Sports Days and Nativity plays.

The two settings are just over three miles apart which enables us to offer parents the choice of sending their children to not only one but two different sessions at two wonderful locations..

Bright Horizons - Happy Kids!

We provide children with a place to explore, learn and develop in a safe, fun, friendly and stimulating environment with the aims of developing their confidence, self esteem, independence, social and physical skills. We have well resourced indoor and outdoor areas for learning and play and as we are surrounded by the beautiful Forest of Dean we make the most of learning through nature. Bright Horizons playgroup is privileged to employ a team of three dedicated, well experienced and qualified members of staff who have worked for our playgroup for many years.


We are very proud of our playgroup and all it has to offer children but don't just take our word for it do come and visit to see for yourself. Visits can be arranged through our Registrations Secretary whose details can be found on our Contacts page

Our playgroup is very popular with parents and we have limited places so we always encourage parents to register their interest in a place for their child at Bright Horizons as early as possible.

Bright Horizons Children at Play


All children attending our playgroup are required to wear green Bright Horizons Playgroup & Pre-school uniform polo shirts which are embroidered by a local company. Sweatshirts and Cardigans are also available. Children can wear their own trousers, leggings or skirts with a pair of closed toe shoes. The wearing of uniform promotes a sense of belonging for the children and prepares them for the wearing of uniform when they start school. Uniform orders can be placed by contacting a member of staff at playgroup.

Ofsted appraisal
Cater for children
2 years 9 months of age
until they begin school
3 dedicated
well experienced and
qualified members of staff


At Bright Horizons Playgroup & Pre-school each child is encouraged to “shine” in their own way. Our trained staff work to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years of age

Details Here - Parents Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage framework

Indoor play and Learning

Our playrooms are vibrant and we have a wide range of indoor toys and learning resources at our settings which allow children to learn and develop through self-directed play and through play with other children. Children can build on their confidence, listening and communication skills whilst having lots of fun with friends during planned sessions directed by our Playleader and Play Assistant.

Children are able to develop their imaginative and creative skills by taking part in the many arts and crafts sessions. These enable the children to learn about shapes, colours and different textures and forms of materials whilst using their imaginations to create their own individual works of art which we often put on display for all to enjoy! Our playrooms are vibrant and stimulating and we encourage children to enjoy regular music sessions where they can develop a love of music by taking part in singing, dancing and playing musical instruments.

Rainbow Hands

We offer a great selection of books for the children to enjoy and each day the children have “story time” where they can listen in a group to a story surrounded by friends. Children can also choose to dress up and learn through “role play” .Exercise is very important for children’s development, health and well-being. At Bright Horizons we have regular access to the school halls where staff hold fun exercise and dance sessions with the children which enables the children to develop their co-ordination, strength, balance and flexibility. Children also exercise in specially planned outdoor fun, activity sessions.

Snack Time & Lunch time

Parents/carers are requested to bring in a healthy mid-morning snack and a healthy packed lunch for their child. Children are encouraged to be independant when eating their lunches and sit together in small groups to enjoy their healthy food. They are taught the importance of hygiene and make the most of this opportunity to enjoy their social time together as they eat, chat and spend time with their friends at playgroup.

Outdoor play

At each of our settings the Bright Horizons team promote a love of Nature, of our environment and how we can care for it. As we are located in the Forest of Dean we are very fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful woodlands and countryside. Children can enjoy outdoor exercise by exploring and playing in our secure, outdoor play areas which have a range of outdoor toys. There are also opportunities for children to enjoy messy play with water, sand and mud. Our staff regularly hold outdoor sessions where children can have fun learning about and experiencing all types of weather.


At each of our settings we have access to Forest school and trim-trail areas where the children can exercise, explore and investigate the wonders of nature. We request that parents bring wet weather clothes and appropriate outdoor footwear to each session for the children to change into.The children also have the opportunity to have fun digging as they plant seeds, tend to plants and flowers and watch as they see their seeds grow. These sessions promote an understanding, respect and appreciation for nature and are always a firm favourite with the children.We also organise a variety of trips to local forest areas where children can enjoy and explore their beautiful local surroundings.

Special guest speakers

From time to time we invite special guests to our playgroup to talk to the children about interesting hobbies or jobs that they may have. For example, local Forest rangers who can talk to the children about the forest and animals and insects that live there. These visits are always enjoyed by the children who are encouraged to ask lots of questions during the visit. The children are also invited to attend talks by special visitors to the primary schools. For example, the children at playgroup recently enjoyed a talk given by local firefighters who showed the children a fire-engine and their fire-fighting equipment.

Preparing for school

At Bright Horizons we appreciate that starting school can be both an exciting but also a daunting time for children. We have excellent relationships with both Walmore Hill and Westbury on Severn Primary schools. Throughout the year the children are invited into the school reception classes for half hour planned activities which they take part in joined by the children in the reception class. This enables the children to experience being in the classroom, become familiar with class rules and enables them to mix with school pupils so they become familiar with school routine when they start school. Reception class teachers and support staff often visit the playgroup children which enables the children to become familiar with Early Years staff at school. Children at playgroup are frequently invited along to special school events throughout the year such as school nativity plays and sports days.

Term times

Bright Horizons Playgroup operates from Westbury on Severn Primary School on Mondays and Wednesdays each week during school term times and from Walmore Hill Primary School on Tuesdays and Thursdays during school term times. Term times and school inset days at each school can vary. For further information about these schools and to view the school term times please click on the links below to the school websites.

 Registration and Funding page   Registration &
Funding page 

Welcome to our Registration and Funding page!

All children of 3 and 4 years of age in Gloucestershire are entitled to 15 hours free pre-school education each week (570 hours in a year) which may be shared between settings.

The point at which your child qualifies depends on their birthday. Our Registrations Secretary Sam Harris is able to explain how funding is arranged through Bright Horizons Playgroup and will assist with any questions you may have. To request a registration form please contact Sam by email at


or on 07791 741623.

The following table shows when a child is eligible to receive funding (all dates are inclusive):

Childs Birthday.. Eligible for free place..
1st January and 31st March The start of terms 5 & 6 (Summer Term, April) following their 3rd birthday until statutory school age
1st April and 31st August The start of terms 1 & 2 (Autumn Term, September) following their 3rd birthday until statutory school age
1st September and 31st December The start of Terms 3 & 4 (Spring Term, January) following their third birthday until statutory school age

Many children attend one or both of our settings for more than fifteen hours each week. If any additional hours are required above the funded 15 hours each week then the fee charged by Bright Horizons Playgroup for additional hours will be charged at our normal fee rate of £3.80 per hour

Our sessions are held during school terms and are as follows:

On Mondays and Wednesday – 9am until 1pm at Westbury on Severn Primary School

On Tuesdays and Thursdays – 9am until 1pm at Walmore Hill Primary School

For younger children to begin with we advise an earlier finish time of 11.30 am during their initial settling in period until they are comfortable with staying until 1pm. Our staff are very experienced and will discuss this with parents and carers as all children are different and will be ready at different stages to stay for the full length of the session.

The fees for sessions above fifteen hours each week are payable monthly in advance and a minimum of one month's notice is required if your child leaves the setting or settings. Fees are not charged for in service days or holidays. All sessions will be billed at the end of the month for the following month.

A month's notice is required if a child is to decrease their hours at Bright Horizons or leave the setting. We require notice in order to be able to offer vacant places to other children on our waiting lists. Without notice we are unable to refund any fees paid in advance. If you wish to increase a child's hours at our sessions please inform our our Registrations Officer. Our Registrations Officer will advise if we are able to accommodate an increase in hours.

Fees and funding for children from the age 2 years 9 months

Bright Horizons Playgroup currently provides early years education for children from the age of 2 years 9 months. Fees for children of this age are charged at our normal rate of £3.80 per hour which are payable one month in advance. Free funding of 15 hours per week for children from the age of 2 is available but only if certain criteria is met.

You may be entitled to a funded free place if:

If you think you may be entitled you can contact Gloucestershire County Council's Family Information Service on telephone number 01452 427362 where staff will be able to advise you if you are eligible.

Children may also be entitled to statutory funding if they meet one of the following:

Additional early years funding to support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities

Additional funding is available from Gloucestershire County Council to support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities in their early years education. Our member of staff Jo Trigg is our designated Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and has experience of supporting children who attend our Playgroup sessions. Jo is able to answer any questions with regards to how children with extra needs can be supported during their time with our playgroup.

If you wish to speak with Jo she can be contacted Monday to Thursday between 9am and 1pm on 07523 184868 or by sending an email to:


Our Treasurer is familiar with the application process and will submit the necessary forms to apply for Special Educational Needs funding in consultation with our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.

Free Taster sessions

We recognise how important it is for parents and carers to see our settings for themselves to ensure it is the best setting for their child to attend. We are very proud of our Playgroup and all that it has to offer children in their early years education and in preparing them for making the transition to school.

We hold free taster session for any parents and carers who wish to come along with their child and spend some time at our settings with your child so you can be confident that the setting is a warm, safe and welcoming environment which enables children to develop personal skills, confidence, make friends and learn through self-directed play and play with children of similar ages. If you would like to arrange a taster session at one or both of our settings please click on the contact form and click send. The contact form will then be forwarded to our Registrations Secretary Samantha Harris who will contact you to arrange a suitable time and date for your taster session.

We look forward to meeting you!


Welcome to our Policies page

Bright Horizons Playgroup & Pre-school operates in accordance with statutory requirements and Bright Horizons policies and procedures which are reviewed on an annual basis by our committee.

Our policies are available to view at each of our settings at Westbury on Severn and Walmore Hill primary schools. Please ask any of our members of staff for a copy of our policies.

Admissions Policy

Bright Horizons Playgroup caters for children from the age of 2 years 9 months until they begin school

What criteria is used for offering places at our Playgroup?

Should a waiting list be in operation at the time a completed Registration Form applying for a place at Bright Horizons Playgroup is received by our Registrations Secretary – the next available place/s will be offered to children who are the eldest (those children who are closer by means of age to starting school). To request a Registration Form please complete and submit the Contact Form. Your request will be forwarded to our Registrations Secretary Sam Harris who will contact you to discuss your application.

What if a place is not available at the setting of your choice?

We fully encourage children to benefit from attending both of our settings especially as they are less than three miles apart. However, if a place is not available at a specific setting requested by a parent or carer and we have places available at our other setting we will offer the next available Bright Horizons place to the eldest child who is registered on our waiting list/s. Provision of early years care for children in the community is our priority. If the place is declined the child's name may remain on the list for preferred setting and the available place will be offered to the next eldest child on the waiting list/s.

British Values Policy

The Prevent Duty Guidance came into force on 1 July 2015. This places duties on schools and registered childcare providers of keeping children safe and promoting their welfare. Childcare Providers are required to “˜have due regard to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.

The Department of Education has recently re-inforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”

Read the full policy here

Special Educational Needs Policy

Children with Special Educational Needs are given equal consideration for admission to Bright Horizons Playgroup & Pre-school.

Bright Horizons Playgroup & Pre-school has a designated Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator who is fully trained in identifying children with SEN needs and working to support children with SEN. Currently our dedicated S.E.N.C.O is Jo Trigg. Bright Horizons Playgroup has access to S.E.N.D and disability awareness training via the Early years team and Gloucestershire L.E.A.

Full details here

PLEASE NOTE: Attendance at our Playgroup does not guarantee a place at a primary school. The admissions process for allocation of places at primary schools in Gloucestershire is administered by Gloucestershire County Council. Details of the school admissions process schooladmissions

 Bright Horizons Staff & Committee   Bright Horizons Staff &  Committee 

Bright Horizons Staff & Committee

Our playgroup is a member of Gloucestershire Playgroup and Toddler Association (PATA) and is registered with OFSTED. Bright Horizons is managed by a dedicated team of elected volunteer parents and we employ three well experienced and qualified members of staff.

Gingerbread Men Rainbow by theyogre

Our team


Dawn Wiczling is our Playleader. Dawn has worked as our Playleader at Bright Horizons for several years. Dawn has gained the following qualifications:

  • Cache Level 2 and Cache Level 3 Diploma in Pre-school practice
  • Early Years First Aid
  • Enhanced Child Protection
  • Food Hygiene

Deputy Playleader

Jo Trigg is our Deputy Playleader. Jo was previously the Treasurer for Bright Horizons volunteer committee. Jo has gained the following qualifications:

  • NVQ Level 3 Child Care, Learning and Development SENCO – Jo is our dedicated member of staff dealing with special educational needs
  • Early Years First Aid
  • Enhanced Child Protection

Management Committee


Our Chair is Polly Kelly who ensures that the playgroup is managed efficiently and effectively and that the management committee participates fully in its decision making.


Our Treasurer is Andy Trigg who deals with all aspects of the financial operations for our playgroup.

Registration Secretary

Our Registration Secretary is Samantha Harris who deals with all enquiries relating to the registration of children at the playgroup and the administrative process for the admission of children to Bright Horizons Playgroup.


Our Secretary is Kat Hughes who deals with all administration needs for the playgroup ensuring the committee runs smoothly.

 News and Shine   News and Shine

Welcome to our News and Shine page

On this page you can view our most recent Newsletters which will contain our current news and details of our fundraising events. We hold regular fundraising events for Bright Horizons Playgroup throughout the year which are always enjoyed by many so please come along! We can always use some helpers!

To view our latest Newsletter please click on the box to the right.

Rainbow News

Last Months Newsletter


Each child in Early Years has their own individual learning journals where their development and progress is recorded. To make these records an even more accurate account of your child's time in Early Years, Bright Horizons Playgroup uses 'Shine' vouchers for you to record your child's 'SHINE' moments that happen at home or outside of playgroup.

For example; your child may have written their name for the first time by themselves or swam a little during swimming lessons. When you have written down your child's 'SHINE' moment, please hand the vouchers to our Early Years team Dawn or Jo so the moment can be added to their learning journals.

To print extra 'Shine' vouchers please click on the 'Shine' box below or you can ask Dawn or Jo for some new vouchers at playgroup. We look forward to reading your child's “Shine moments“

Shine Vouchers

 Contact us   Contact us
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