Highworth Pre-School has closed its doors for the last time after 53 years of looking after children in the area.

Staff past and present as well as committee members met to share fond memories and look to the future. 

And the their wealth of experience will not be lost in Highworth as most of the staff are moving to Westrop Nursery in September. 

The famous Highworth Pre-School teddy bear will also be staying as he has found a new home resting under the tree on Westrop Primary School’s logo. Staff will also be creating a teddy bear garden to ensure that the mascot remains a part of the community for years to come. 

Carol Jessett, who was the longest serving member of staff at the pre-school with 30 years of service, said: “It’s been so rewarding to watch generations of children thrive in an environment filled with so many dedicated, professional, kind, caring and supportive early years practitioners.”

Deputy supervisor Karen Kinnane worked at the pre-school for 26 years.
She said: “It’s been an honour and a privilege to help and look after not only the children in our care but the families and wider community.” 

Pre-school practitioner Lynda Taylor said “I fondly remember the children always commenting that they thought pre-school was our home and where we lived all time.”
Pre-School manager Helen Simpson added: “Our parents and families entrust us with their children. 

"We pride ourselves in not only caring and nurturing the children to learn, development and become independent but we have supported families and worked within the wonderful Highworth community to ensure we provide the best possible outcomes for children. 

"For many families and especially our long-serving staff team Highworth Pre-School is like a second family. 

Ms Simpson thanked everyone who had had ever been involved with the school, from staff and committee members to local businesses 

She said: “The end of a school year is an emotional time in normal circumstances, but this year is an especially sad time for us all. 

"We are also grateful not only to our current team but the staff and committee from the past over 53 years. 

“The list could go on with the staff, committee members and local businesses that have supported Highworth Pre-School over the years. Thank you to each and every one of them.”

This Is Wiltshire:

While the teddy bear lives on, the pre-school's most enduring legacy will be the hundreds of children who have passed through its doors.

Parent Jacqui W revealed she still keeps in touch with some of the staff that looked after her son.

“My son who is now nine and has a rare brain condition, attended Highworth Pre-School," she said.

"They nurtured and supported him from being a very clingy, anxious toddler to a confident child throughout his time there, and he loved every minute. 

"The fact that we still keep in touch with many of the pre-school team years after he left speaks volumes”

On the last day pupil Harry received a special certificate for helping to tidy up and said: “This is the best pre-school ever!”