Buckingham Pre-School Playgroup

Founded in 1967, Buckingham Pre-School Playgroup (BPSP) is on Bourton Road in Buckingham. It takes in children between two and four years of age and guides them through the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) of their development.

These early years should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs. BPSP provides this with a caring and safe environment for their young ones to interact with other children and adults.

As part of the development the Playgroup identified a need for an "Interactive Board" for use by the children. These boards are invaluable in helping children develop their phonic, numeracy and literacy skills, as well as being an excellent way of introducing youngsters to technology and enhance their motor and coordination functions.

At a cost of £2,000 they are expensive items to fund for small independent playgroups; and so Karen Clarke, the Play Leader at BPSP, approached Jamie Robinson, whose daughter Gracie attends the school, to see if he could help.

Jamie is a member of Wineslai Lodge, No. 2435, and he asked the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund (BMCF) if there was anything that could be done to help with the funding costs.

At their latest meeting, the committee were delighted to allocate the full £2,000 to the Playgroup for the provision of the board.

Interactive Installs Ltd in Milton Keynes, were then approached to source, supply and fit an appropriate board for the Playgroup. When David Lowey, Company Managing Director, found out that the BPSP were looking for the board he ensured that the cost of supply and fitting was looked after by Interactive Installs. David's daughter had been a pupil at the Playgroup and he was delighted to assist in ensuring they had the best possible equipment at the best possible price! Once the fitting was complete Jamie constructed a cabinet to protect the screen when not in use.

Karen said; "We at BPSP are absolutely delighted to have this piece of modern technology for use by our children. In the short time it has been in place the children absolutely love the way they can interact with some of their favourite characters and, of course, they are learning at a much quicker pace than some of the traditional methods of numeracy and literacy teaching. We would like to thank the BMCF for their generous donation and to David Lowey and Jamie Robinson for making it all happen."

Steve Smirthwaite, a member of the BMCF committee, who visited the Playgroup on 11th January, to see the newly installed equipment in use by some of the youngsters said: "With two grandsons under five I am particularly aware of the need for youngsters to gain as much confidence with technology as they can. For them to be learning their basic life skills of language and numbers at the same time is an added bonus. We at the BMCF were delighted to fund this project."

Pictures show two of the children (Harriet Grace and Gracie Robinson), enjoying the Interactive board and Harriet Grace with Karen Clarke (Play Leader).