Join Us This September

We are now taking applications for this September.

Children are admitted from the time the child reaches the age of 2 years, but normally during the academic year they reach 3 years old, to the term of their fifth birthday.

If you would to join our waiting list (with no commitment) please contact us.

Have a look at our Welcome page for a brief overview of our playgroup and the rest of our website for deeper insight.

Starting School in Reception

If your child was born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018 you will need to apply for a Reception class place for September 2022.

The closing date for applications is 15 January 2022.

Please read the ‘Starting School in Hounslow in September 2022.’ brochure carefully before completing your application.

Hounslow residents must apply online at www.hounslow.gov.uk/primaryadmissions where additional information can be found.

For advice and guidance contact the admissions team on: 020 8583 2721 or admissions@hounslow.gov.uk

Key Dates


1 September
Applications open ‐ apply online at www.hounslow.gov.uk/primaryadmissions

15 January, midnight
Closing date for applications

9 February, 5pm
Closing date for applications from people moving into the borough after 15 January or for any late applications to be considered ‘on time’ due to exceptional circumstances.

19 April, evening (after 5pm)
National Offer Day
Parents will be sent an email (after 5pm) with the outcome of their application

4 May
Last day to respond to your school offer online

Early Help from Hounslow

Urgent Mental Health Support

Children, young people and their families can get free help, advice and urgent mental health support from 24/7 crisis telephone lines available in every London borough.

Every NHS mental health trust in London has put these in place, so children, young people and their families can get help quickly when they need it. Professionals are also able to access these crisis lines if they are concerned about or would like advice about a child, young person or family. The crisis lines are supported by trained mental health practitioners, who can offer advice and signpost other sources of support as needed.

Please find details of these crisis lines as well as other support available below (e.g. Shout, Good Thinking and Kooth).

Feltham Early Years Network

Reach Children’s Hub

The Reach Children’s Hub are looking forward to re-starting their Feltham Early Years Network next week after a break for summer. The sessions will continue online and with the format of three 1.5 hour sessions per topic. Between now and Christmas, we are excited to announce that Rebecca Skinner and Becky Poulter Jewson from Thriving Language, will be leading the first three sessions on the topic of ‘Quality Interactions in the Outdoor Environment’.

Session 1 – 05/10/21 (4pm-5:30pm)

This session will be reflective. We will explore practitioners’ feelings and attitudes towards the outdoor environment and why reflecting on this matters. We will discuss what quality interactions look like and understand how adults can impact the environment.

Session 2 – 02/11/21 (4pm-5:30pm)

In this session we will explore the physical environment – the resources we have and the reason why we have them. We will explore how children access their environment and what it means for them to be outdoors.

Session 3 – 07/12/21 (4pm-5:30pm)

This final session will explore what deep engagement in play looks like and the adult’s role in this. We will discover what awe and wonder look like in the outside environment and support practitioners to take this information into their own settings.

If you would like to join the first session next Tuesday, please sign up here: https://forms.gle/XPARN8pomW6oA5GFA

Short Breaks Oct Half Term Newsletter

Please find attached the Short Breaks newsletter for the October half term holiday.

Registrations start dates are as below:

  • Pathway 3: Wednesday 6 October
  • Pathway 2: Friday 8 October
  • Pathway 1: Tuesday 12 October

Short Breaks is a service for young people with disabilities and/or SEN up to the age of 18.  Families can self-refer or via a professional.  All you need to do is call 020 8583 3636 or email shortbreaks@hounslow.gov.uk. If you have any queries, please do get in touch.

Ofsted and Playgroup

Ofsted registers and inspects childcare for children aged from birth to 17 years.

Registered childcare providers and childminders have to meet requirements that relate to welfare and safety, the people providing the care and the organisation of the childcare. Childcarers registered on the Early Years Register, who care for children aged from birth until 31 August following a child’s fifth birthday, also have to meet requirements for children’s learning and development.

What you can tell Ofsted:

• Is the childcare good?
• Can it be made better?
• Do you have any concerns?

If you want to tell Ofsted anything about your child’s childcare, you can ring 0300 123 1231
Or you can write to : enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk or
Applications, Regulatory and Contact (ARC) Team
Ofsted
Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
Manchester M1 2WD

For more information, search for ‘Information for parents Ofsted’

If you would like information about the availability of childcare in your local area, please visit www.familyandchildcaretrust.org

Let’s Learn at Home

Free Support Sessions for Families from the Early Years Alliance

Let’s Learn Together @ Home

A six-week online learning programme for families with children aged 0-5 years. Delivered once a week via Zoom, these sessions will provide advice and ideas to help parents to support children’s learning and development from the home environment.

Our expert early years tutors and practitioners will share ideas and suggestions for home learning, focusing on a different theme each week. Families are encouraged to take part in activities during the session.

The programme will run on various dates from November 2021 through to April 2022. View the full programme and details on how to book here.

Topics include:

  • An introduction to home learning
  • Music time with the kitchen band
  • Creating awe and wonder through science
  • Supporting emotional wellbeing
  • No garden gardening
  • Physical fun

Parent Connect sessions

A series of online events exploring the home learning environment. These sessions provide an opportunity for parents and carers to connect and share ideas, while learning more about to how to support children’s learning and development at home.

Click on the dates and times below to book:

Supporting your child’s learning at home – an introduction

Join us as we begin to understand how to support children’s development at home, using everyday objects and experience to enhance learning.

13 October 2021:  2-3pm or 7-8pm

Supporting communication and language development at home

‘Knowing more words makes you smarter’. Find out why communication and language development is so important in the early years, and how to support this at home.

20 October 2021: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Supporting physical development at home

Have you ever wondered what Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills are? Discover the development of movement and the physical body, and learn how to best support this at home.

10 November: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Learning in the kitchen

There are so many opportunities for learning and development in the kitchen! Discover what activities children might enjoy in the kitchen as how these contribute to the development of knowledge and skills.

17 November: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Supporting personal, social and emotional development at home

Help children to recognise their emotions and explore ideas on how to support children’s positive emotional wellbeing.

24 November: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Learning in the bathroom

Bubbles, splashing and lots of fun! Discover the learning and development that can happen in the bathroom and how to make daily routines more engaging.

1 December 2021: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Home learning for babies

Babies can play too! Understanding baby brain development and enriching babies play time can hugely contribute towards lifelong learning.

8 December 2021: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Learning in the garden

Being outside has so many benefits for the mind and body, whatever the weather! Discover how to make the most out of your outdoor space – however big or small!

5 January 2022: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Home learning for toddlers – with a focus on schemas

Have you ever wondered why some children like to play in a certain way or enjoys some activities more than others? Explore the interest of toddlers, their play development, and how to support this at home.

12 January 2022: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

If you have any questions or would like further information about family learning and support programmes, please contact: connect@eyalliance.org.uk

Early Years Development

What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a guide for parents

St Mary’s Playgroup follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This document outlines how children learn and develop over their first five years and what adults can do to help their children grow.

The Department for Education have produced a straightforward guide for parents to the EYFS which will help you understand the importance of how playgroup works and suggestions for parents to help support children’s development.

Survey for Parents

Early Years Alliance

The Early Years Alliance would like to gain a better understanding of how easy or difficult it currently is for parents to find, access and afford the childcare and early education services they need.

They have issued a brief survey on this important issue for parents and carers to help inform their ongoing conversations with government ahead of this year’s Spending Review.

The survey link is www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/parentsEY2021

The survey is completely anonymous, and will close on Friday 6 August

If parents/carers have any queries about the survey, please contact feedback@eyalliance.org.uk.

Thank you for your ongoing support – it is greatly appreciated.

The Early Years Alliance is the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England. As a registered educational charity, it represents 14,000 members and supports them to deliver care and learning to over 800,000 families every year.

Free Support Sessions for Parents

The Early Years Alliance is offering a number of exciting programmes aimed at supporting parents and families with children aged 0-5. Each programme is FREE to join and sessions will take place online.

Details on how to book can be found below and on the Early Years website here.

Let’s get ready for school

A three-week virtual Zoom programme for children due to start school in September 2021. Each session will last 30 minutes and there will be one session per week:

  • Week 1 – independence
  • Week 2 – fingers and tools
  • Week 3 – my first day at school

Dates and times

Programme 1
13th – 27th of July
4.00pm – 5.00pmBook here

Programme 2
19th August – 2nd of September
9.30am – 10.30amBook here

Let’s learn together at home

A six-week virtual family learning course in supporting children’s learning and development in the home environment 

  • Week 1 – an Introduction to supporting home learning 
  • Week 2 – making music with the kitchen band 
  • Week 3 – creating awe and wonder through science 
  • Week 4 – promoting emotional wellbeing 
  • Week 5 – no garden gardening  
  • Week 6 – physical fun

Dates and times

Programme 1
7th June – 12th of July
1.00pm – 2.00pmBook here

Programme 2
9th June – 14th of July
10.00am – 11.00amBook here

Parent connect sessions

An opportunity to connect with other parents and carers, learn about topics relevant to families with children aged 0-5 years, and share ideas in how to support each other.

Supporting children’s emotional wellbeing

Help your child to recognise their emotions and explore with us ideas for how you can support children’s positive emotional wellbeing.Thursday 10th June: 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Let’s talk about behaviour

In this session we try to define behaviour and look to delve into some of the influences and functions of children’s behaviour. Finally, we round things up with a discussion around addressing some behaviour concerns.Thursday 17th June: 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Supporting your child’s speech and language development

In this session we explore the importance of speech and language development and how you can support communication.Thursday 24th June: 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Process over product

 ‘It’s not the destination, it’s the glory of the ride’ Join us as we explore what this means for children in their play.Thursday 1st July – 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Outside fun

To explore and discuss activities and ideas for outdoor play, and to learn about the many benefits that this has for childrenThursday 8th July: 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Five ways to wellbeing

This session includes simple exercises and ideas that can be used by families as well as ideas families can go on to use to further support their mental health and wellbeing.Thursday 15th July – 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Importance of play

Together we consider what play is, explore play-based learning and take a closer look at how play shaped our own childhoods.Thursday 22nd July: 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Free Business and Employment Courses

Hounslow Adult and Community Education are running various free online course that can help individuals to prepare for work, find work or improve their career prospects

These courses are beginning in June and last from 1 week to 6 weeks. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Advanced Course in Online Selling
  • Advanced Course in Digital Marketing
  • Turn Your Idea (or Hobby) Into a Business
  • Create a Business Website Easily (No Coding Skills Required)
  • Grow Your Business Through Online Advertising
  • Into Work- CV, Cover Letter and Interview Skills
  • Introduction to Business Administration

Please ask the interested individuals to contact Hounslow Adult and Community Education on 020 8583 6000 or visit hace.ac.uk for more details.

Free Family Activities over Half Term

As restrictions are now being relaxed, Let’s Go Outside & Learn CIC have shared details of a series of free activities that have been planned at Donkey Wood, Feltham TW14 0HD . They are currently open for bookings and are seeking your assistance to promote the activity. They require participants to let them know in advance so that they can make the sessions as safe as possible. 

They have also planned a special activity for the kitchen garden at Chiswick House on 3rd June 2021 from 10:30am to 12:00pm. They are only able to register 10 families for this activity so suggest families let them know as soon as possible if they would like to attend.