How We Started
I am very proud to be Chairman of Cannon Lane Pre-school. It's a fabulous setting for children to take their first steps on the road to life-long learning.
Here's just a selection of the most recent feedback we have had from parents and visitors
- Staff are strongly committed to learn through play and parental involvement
- Many cultures and beliefs being explored and celebrated through interesting and well researched activities
- Excellent interaction throughout the assessment observation
- All staff and parent helpers related well to all children and adults
- Children are not rushed or put under any pressure in anything they do
- The group is very relaxed and well ordered
- A very friendly atmosphere with the staff presenting a good relaxed environment for the children to learn through play, through stimulating activities provided
- It looks like a great playgroup, go to their face book page and have a look and share, I would send my little one there if I had one, it looks fantastic
- It looks like an amazing playgroup, really well equipped, unlike so many others
- I went to their open day. This is a really well resourced centre. I was very impressed
Cannon Lane Pre-school
Registered Charity Number 283834
Cannon Lane Methodist Church was founded in 1956 using the farm house which stood on the site as its centre for both worship and other activities. The building scheme which produced the present range of buildings was carried out in two phases.
The first was completed in 1965 and the final phase in 1975. Throughout the history of this Church the community aspect of its work has always had a high priority and has developed as the facilities of the buildings have grown. In addition to directly run and sponsored youth activities the Church has given active support to many community run projects and amongst these, activities for the very young and the elderly have been prominent. In the late ‘60s a commercially run Nursery School was started and operated on the premises for a number of years.
The Church then made the decision to support a community run playgroup rather than a nursery school and, following the drawing up of the necessary constitution, the Downs Playgroup was born in September 1975. The first playleader was Sheila Taylor who had both the joy of starting something completely new and all the hard work that went with it. Sheila was succeeded after a short time by Vera Edwards who acted as playleader for some two years until her removal to Hertfordshire where she was appointed to a post having responsibility for playgroups in that area.
Betty Steggals then built upon the firm foundation laid by Vera and gave very devoted service until she relinquished the post in 1984 to take up a supervisory position within Harrow. Moira Start then took over the reins and served the playgroup with a great deal of enthusiasm for two years until her appointment as playleader of the demonstration playgroup at Harrow College of Further Education. When Moira left two of her trained assistants, Jane Marks and Val Fineberg, took over the running of the Group until Jane left to take training as a teacher.
Val continues to lead what has become a very successful playgroup. The Playgroup has been very fortunate in attracting high calibre staff since its inception as is evidenced by the promotions they have received when leaving.
When founded the playgroup met for two mornings a week. This has now grown to all five mornings plus two afternoon sessions as well. All these developments have depended upon both the playleaders and the Committee. The committee consisting of a Chair (drawn from the Church), Secretary, Treasurer and up to nine other members including a Church representative has developed a reputation for fund raising and other support second to none.
In September 2013, Downs Playgroup changed it's name to Cannon Lane Pre-school.
Pre-school Learning Alliance
Each family joining Cannon Lane Pre-school becomes a member of the local Harrow Branch of the Pre-School Learning Alliance. The branch links Pre-schools and mother and toddler clubs in the area and offers various services - bulk-buy stores and regular visits and support from Branch Visitors and Area Organisers. In addition courses are run at the Harrow Colleges of Higher Education where interested parents can share and explore ideas about children’s needs and development.
Parents are welcomed to
- work in the group with the children
- assist with fundraising
- take part in the management of the Pre-school
- Represent the Pre-school at branch and county activities of the Pre-school Learning Alliance.
- attend open meetings of the Pre-school Learning Alliance
- attend training courses, workshops and conferences organised by the Pre-school Learning Alliance.
For further information on the Pre-school Learning Alliance please contact them at:
PSLA, The FitzpatrickBuilding, 188 York Way
020 7697 2500