Rogate school opens its doors to playgroup

By Post in Local People

ROGATE school has taken in a play group due to be made homeless by the summer with the goal of providing education to children from age two to 11.

For the past three years Stedham Squirrels playgroup has used a classroom at Stedham primary school, but as more youngsters are to join the school in September the classroom will be needed.

Last Thursday (March 16) Rogate Primary School governors agreed the playgroup could move the three miles to Rogate school and use an empty classroom there.

The group will now call itself the Rogate Robins, and the ambition is to integrate it into the school, so education can be offered to youngsters aged from two to 11.

Rogate head teacher Amy O’Toole said: “This will provide a much-needed service to local working parents, and allow us to offer children the chance to go right through to age 11 in one lovely setting.

“By working closely with the pre-school, we can avoid the changes that can make the transition from nursery to primary difficult for some children.

“If all goes well and both sides agree the ideal would be to merge into one school for two to 11 year olds.

“I passionately believe this would be the right answer for the school and community, and my governors have already agreed to set up a working party to explore integration plans.”

As well as a classroom for the newly fledged Robins, Rogate has plenty of outside space so the young play group children won’t feel overwhelmed by the primary school youngsters.

Play group manager manager Gemma Gabler says: “I want to thank Stedham school governors for letting us know as soon as the expansion of the school was agreed, and I feel this might be the best thing that ever happened to us.

“Rogate has an ideal classroom and lots of outside space and forest school facilities.

“We will be entering into a partnership with the school to invest in new equipment and learning material, and running a full day care service in conjunction with Rogate to provide flexibility for working parents. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us and I can’t wait to get started.”