Click for Percy Pig cartoon

Percy Pig is now online too!

Barrow Voice is published by Barrow upon Soar Community Association. Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the editorial committee or the Community Association.

Barrow Community Association is a registered Charity No: 505692.
Barrow Voice Team
Advertising Deadline
17th October 2003

Winter Copy Deadline
24th October 2003
Copy to:
The Editor
17 North Street
Barrow upon Soar
Leics LE12 8PZ


There has been a Pre-School Playgroup within the village for over 30 years. In more recent years Playgroup has been held 5 mornings a week at the Methodist Church Rooms and 2 mornings at the Humphrey Perkins Community Lounge.

Playgroup was started by a group of dedicated Mums and has grown and adapted over the years to become a Registered Charity run by a committee of volunteers. Playgroup provides care for children from the age of two and a half to school age, with sessions being run by a fantastic team of qualified and experienced staff. The emphasis is on play and fun, especially as for many of the children Playgroup is the first time they have been left by their parents. The staff provides stimulating activities, with children having the opportunity to choose which activities they would like to participate in.

Playgroup - visited by chicks.

In order to meet the standards set by the Regulatory Body, OFSTED, a few changes have been made over the last two years. These have included the introduction of a milk bar, where children have a drink and snack with friends in a mini cafe. This is very popular with the children and staff alike!

The committee made the difficult decision this year to close the sessions at Humphrey Perkins and increase the numbers of places available at the Methodist Church Rooms. We can now cater for up to 34 children with 6 members of staff. The amalgamation of staff, children and resources proved to improve the quality of Playgroup and this was confirmed in June following a positive OFSTED inspection. Well done and thank you to staff, children and parents that helped to make this happen. A particular thank you also to the Methodist Church. Their continued and invaluable support has made a Playgroup in Barrow Upon Soar possible.

Barrow Playgroup  bikes buggies and tricycles!

But what have the children been up to? Our eventful Summer Term included a topic on growth. The children grew mini gardens and were visited by a new baby, ducklings and French Hen chicks. A trip to Twycross Zoo in June was a great success, a good time had by all. The annual Trike Ride again proved to be a brilliant fundraising event as children were sponsored to trike/bike around Hall Orchard's playground. The money raised, which was matched by Lloyds TSB, will be spent on a digital camera, books and further training for our staff.

This year Playgroup was awarded the Investors in People approval, acknowledging the emphasis placed on staff training and developing our 11 staff.

Playgroup - More bike fun.

Thank you to all who have supported Barrow Pre-School Playgroup over the years and we are sure you will agree that Playgroup continues to provide good quality care for pre-school children.

If you are interested in more information on Playgroup or would like to become involved, please contact Julie McParland on 01509 412370.


Steve Skidmore reading to the children.

Well over a hundred children have signed up for Barrow's Reading Maze this summer. Summer. Thirty of them arrived on Thursday 24th July for a morning of fun and laughter with children's author, Steve Skidmore.

Steve entertained the children with jokes, stories and readings from his books. His message rang loud and clear: we are all writers in our own way. No-one should be frightened of having a go. We don't have to limit ourselves to what our teachers direct us to write.

Some of the eager young readers.

Steve is now a full-time author but only three years ago, he was Head of Arts at Rawlins Community College. He and his co-author, Steve Barlow have written many children's books including the latest series about the Outernet. As children progress through each Outernet story, they delve deeper into their own Internet connections as they are given new passwords and commands.

The children were clearly captivated. Best Bits included 'the jokes'; 'especially the story about the moss'; 'Steve reading from his books'; and 'I liked the unpleasant bits best'.

Judith Rodgers