A pre-school is celebrating its 35th birthday this month with a tea party.

Thames pre-school in Cricklade is celebrating the milestone event with a tea party with attendees including founding committee members, one of whom now has a grandson at the group.

The pre-school has come a long way since it first opened in 1984, moving from its original site in the Thames Hall on Cricklade High Street, to its current location on Bath Road, Cricklade.

Initially operating as a drop in playgroup, Thames evolved to meet the needs of the Cricklade community and now operates as a pre-school for children aged two up from Cricklade, and surrounding villages.

Helping children prepare for the start of their primary school journey are six dedicated pre-school staff.

With a strong focus on child-led, learning-through-play, the pre-school offers a large outdoor garden, sensory area and vegetable patch.

Outdoor learning is a key feature of the curriculum with Forest School activities also being offered.

In addition, the pre-school enables children to experience their wider community by participating in community events such as the Easter Bonnet Parade and regular trips to shops, the fire station and regular to Cricklade Open Door, a social group for elderly in Cricklade.

The pre-school also hosts a programme of drop in sessions during the summer holidays and a range of community events such as a Christmas Bazaar and pamper evening.

Kathryn Reed, committee chair, said: “Thames pre-school is an important part of the local community, serving families from Cricklade, North Swindon, and surrounding villages.

"Many of the children who attended in the past now have children of their own using the pre-school.

“We’d like to thank all the local community who have supported us and continue to do so as we celebrate reaching our milestone birthday.

"Attendance and support for the fundraising events we hold throughout the year means we can continue to provide a facility in which pre-school children can thrive, and help prepare them for their primary school journey too.

“We’re so lucky to be part of a community that cares about us as much as we do about the children who attend our pre-school, Benchmarx Swindon has just donated us a brand new kitchen which has been kindly fitted by Total Bespoke Solutions – what better present to celebrate 35 years?!”