News, Events and Fundraising

Raise funds for preschool when you shop online!

September 21, 2015

As a non-profit making organisation we are always looking at ways to increase our income to maintain the facilities, purchase new equipment and enhance the children’s experience with additional activities.

Below are just a few of the ways in which you can raise funds for the school without any additional expense to yourselves:

You can now generate free cash donations for the Valley Preschool every time you shop online at more than 100 different stops including high street names from Amazon and eBay, to Sainsburys, Tesco and M&S. It will not cost you anything extra, the online shop pays the donation on your behalf.

  • JOIN as a shopper/giver
  • CHOOSE to support the Valley Preschool
  • REMEMBER to shop at TheGivingMachine every time you buy online and each purchase will generate a cash donation to the preschool.

My Nametags offers a massive range of labels for everything!
Quick, easy, and washable just stick them on clothing, shoes and belongings.  The Valley Preschool receives £1 for every order plus any postage and packing (e.g. parent orders 2 sets and pays £29.90 (£9.95 x 2 + £1 P&P), preschool receives £3). Please quote the preschool’s ID 49840 when placing your order.

Offering an amazing range of arts and crafts, educational games, toys and gifts, many unique to Yellow Moon the company was set up to offer schools a 20% cash donation on all purchases. Please quote the Valley Preschool’s source code STH12176 when placing an order.

There’s everything you need to make any present look really special! When you buy products from this website and select the Valley Preschool (SO32 3NJ), the preschool will receive 22% of everything you spend (excluding P & P).

For every £10 spent the preschool will receive ‘1 sprout’ which we can then spend on gardening supplies and equipment to support our gardening activities.

Donations to the Valley Preschool can be made:

  • online by visiting:
  • online bank transfer to Sort Code: 309085 Account Number 00271741
  • or by cheque made payable to ‘The Valley Preschool’ posted to the preschool

New Management Committee

The Annual General Meeting for the Valley Preschool took place on 15th September 2015, and a new management committee was elected. We would like to thank those committee members standing down – Ana De Laborde for her support in overseeing the new health and safety processes and for her continued support in this field, Anna Rolfe for her financial management as treasurer over the last two years, and Pippa Heggie for her achievements in fundraising over the last three years. The beautiful modern building that we are so lucky to have at the Valley Preschool would not be here without Pippa’s dedication and hard work.

If you have any questions or feedback about the Valley Preschool and would like to talk to a committee member, please do get in touch. For further information on committee roles and members please see the Meet the Team page.

New Management Committee appointed

September 26, 2014

On 23rd September 2014 a new Management Committee was appointed at the AGM held at the preschool. Our thanks to Nish Bain, Sarah Cleary, Emily Peachey and Jane Joyce who stood down this year. Their helping hands, hard work and enthusiastic support have been invaluable in the past few years, particularly during the new building campaign which would not have happened so smoothly without Emily’s invaluable oversight of the project.

And the winner is…

July 14, 2014

The 130 photographs submitted to The Valley Preschool’s ‘Meon Valley Photo Calendar Competition’ made a wonderful display at the Exton Fete on Saturday 12th July and there was a constant flow of people viewing the images and choosing their personal favourite. At the end of the fete the votes were then counted and the winner is Ester Riley’s image of sheep grazing in the shade of a tree. We are delighted that the ‘People’s Choice’, which will be on the front cover of the calendar, was taken by someone in the under 18 category but are extremely grateful for everyone for entering their photographs.

We were delighted that Mike French, a professional photographer and the owner of Meonshore Studios, with nearly 30 years experience of having a camera in his hands kindly offered to perform the difficult task, as an independent judge, of selecting 12 winning images to be used in the calendar.

A 2015 calendar will now be produced with the winning images – you can pre-order a copy for £7 each until Monday 11th August at the Corhampton Village Stores. Once we have closed the books on pre-ordering we will print a number of additional copies which will be available for sale at the Meon Hall Christmas Fair in December – just in time for those last minute presents, but we would be extremely grateful if people could pre-order.


Walk on the wild side

May 17, 2014

The concept of ‘forest schools’ was initially conceived in Wisconsin, USA in the 1920s and post-war has been become standard pre-school educational practice in Scandinavia. Its arrival in the UK is more recent, but the philosophy and ethos of building a deeper appreciation of the natural environment is becoming increasingly mainstream.

Whatever the weather children decked out in waterproofs and wellies are taken in small groups to play in the woods. As in The Valley Preschool, learning is essentially child directed rather than adult lead. However, the children are offered the opportunity to explore activities often discouraged within a formal setting, like tree climbing and making camp-fires.

Being outside in all seasons the children explore and interact with the natural environment; learn to identify and handle risks; build on their inherent inquisitiveness and nurture their creative imagination. It increases co-operation with other children and they learn to recognize their own capabilities and limitations, all helping to build independence and self-esteem.

Two of The Valley Preschool teachers have recently completed woodland training courses, learning to assess risk, and health and safety in a natural off-site area, as well as den building, basic outdoor cooking and the holistic principles of forest schools.

Enthused by their own outdoor adventures, and the children’s discovery of worms, woodlouse spiders, snails and other creepy crawlies whilst digging in preschool’s new vegetable plot, informed the development of this term’s topic ‘Minibeasts’. The children have been out in the wooded areas of Meonstoke school grounds looking at mini beasts in their natural habitats. Excited and fascinated the children have handled the creatures with care, shown consideration to others and of course remembered to wash their hands after their outings.

Inspired by their woodland adventures, back indoors the children have looked at pictures and read stories about creatures great and small, worked on their pencil control to recreate the creatures and explored vocabulary to describe the way they look, move and live.

Surrounded as we are here in Meonstoke by wonderful woods and wildlife, we are keen to ensure the children attending The Valley Preschool have ample opportunity to benefit from this rural setting by developing forest school opportunities and are delighted that Corhampton Farm will be working with us to establish regular woodland sessions starting in the Autumn term.

Meon Valley Photo Calendar Competition

March 20, 2014

The Valley Preschool and Meon Ladies are joining forces to run a photography competition and produce a 2015 calendar with the winning images.

You are invited to submit up to 3 landscape format images on the theme ‘Meon Valley’ per person for £1 per image. There will be four categories: Children under 7; children 7-13; children 13-18 and adults.

Registration will take place at Meon Ladies events 17th April and 15th May, Brook Cottage plant and cake sale 17th May, Droxford Fair 7th June and FOMS pop-up coffee shop on Saturday 28th June.

Judging will take place at the Exton Fete on 12th July. The community will be invited to vote for their favourite photo and the winning image will be used for the cover image. A member of the Marwell Photography Club will judge the best three images per category to be used for each month in the calendar. Winning photographers will be listed in the calendar and will receive a copy of the calendar.

The calendars will be available for pre-order for £7 at the time of registration and will be sold at the Christmas Fair 6th December. All proceeds from the competition will be divided between the Meon Ladies and The Valley Preschool.

So have a look at the photographs you’ve taken in the Meon Valley and take your camera with you so you don’t miss the opportunity to take a winning photo!

Welcome to Jemima and Freda!

March 3, 2014

Keeping pets is an excellent way for children to learn about responsibility, as well as helping them to develop a kind and caring attitude towards animals.

While this sounds great in theory, many of us do not have the space at home for pets and are aware that while children are enthusiastic and excited about a newly arrived pet, the novelty does wear off and parents need to accept that they will end up being responsible for clearing out the pen, cage or hutch and feeding the pets.

During February half term The Valley Preschool became the new home for a couple of guinea pigs, Freda and Jemima. Guinea pigs are a great favourite with children. They are safe and easy for a toddler to handle and they have lovely, friendly dispositions and all sorts of fascinating habits and entertaining antics to watch.

Since half term the children have been helping Freda and Jemima settle in to Preschool. They have been very careful when holding and stroking and feeding them and have been following healthy practice by washing their hands after touching the ‘piggies’. There was a lot of excitement (and helpers) when we cleaned out the hutch and put the dirty straw in the compost bin.

Learning to care for the guinea pigs is a perfect example of the philosophy at The Valley Preschool, providing activities through which children learn about the world around them. Listening, paying attention, understanding and learning to manage their behaviour around animals builds the children’s self-confidence as well developing a sense of responsibility. Research has also found that pets in the school environment can have a calming effect on pupils.

The flexible space provided by the new building is easily adapted by the children and staff in-line with whatever theme the children choose. The arrival of these furry friends stimulated the children to use the ‘home corner’ as a Pet Shop and Vet’s waiting room. The children have been looking at brochures, books and magazines about animals and how to care for them.

With 43 children currently registered to attend The Valley Preschool at various times throughout the week, guinea pigs Freda and Jemima, are going to have lots of loving attention and the children will have the invaluable opportunity to learn to care for others.

Two Guinea Pigs - Jemima and Freda - joined preschool after half-term

Developing Green Fingers

February 12, 2014

Liz Clements gets preschool gardeningOn 28th January, Sue Stuart, on behalf of the Hampshire Garden Trust,  kick started a weekly gardening session which Liz Clements will kindly take on once it is established. We will therefore need to purchase appropriate children’s gardening equipment which will be the next thing funds raised will be spent on. A small plot in the outdoor space has been identified for establishing a vegetable plot and we hope to install some hanging boxes on the fence and grow some potatoes in planters. Thanks to a donation from Garsons we have been able to purchase the necessary equipment to get us started. Further donations of vegetable or flower seeds would be very welcome!

Meonstoke celebrates opening of The Valley Preschool’s new building

September 14, 2013

George and Peppa Pig assist George Hollingberry MP in the officlal opening of the preschool.

George and Peppa Pig assist George Hollingberry MP in the officlal opening of the preschool.

On Saturday 14th September Meonstoke celebrated the opening of its £175,000 new preschool building all paid for by fundraising events and donations. More than 200 people took the opportunity to explore the new facilities and the children attending happily demonstrated their delight in the new indoor and outdoor play equipment.

Over the summer the shabby second-hand 30-year-old classroom has been replaced by a brand-new purpose built portable building that will last for decades. The preschool will now be able to continue acting as the primary feeder for Meonstoke Infant School and Droxford Schools. These schools are essential to the health and vitality of the Meon Valley villages.

“With an incredibly small window of opportunity to demolish and remove the old structure and install the new building, the whole project was completed in just six weeks during the school holidays,” says Sarah Winter-Page, the preschool supervisor.

“We would not have been able to undertake this building project without the incredible support of the community who have made personal donations, organised and attended numerous events and bought countless raffle tickets over the past few years,” adds Sarah Winter-Page.

The Valley Preschool building was officially opened by George Hollinbery MP, who said: “I am delighted to have been asked to open the new home of the Valley Preschool. I was first contacted by parents back in 2011 and have had the pleasure of watching the plans for the school develop and come to fruition over the last two years”.

The preschool were delighted with the turnout at the event which just served to reinforce the level of local support the project has enjoyed, and are extremely grateful to the Meon Lions for running a sell-out BBQ, the Traditional Icecream Company for supplying the icecream the children enjoyed despite the autumn chill, and to Bowman Ales, Barton Vineyards and Hill Orchard for providing the drinks.

New Building, new look!

September 9, 2013

After many years of fundraising the team are delighted to welcome you to the new Valley Preschool building built summer 2013. Construction of the new modular building, designed and installed by Modulek, has been managed by a strong team lead by Nick Riley, local Parish Councillor and Director of Prospect Construction Management Ltd and Emily Peachey, Committee member and former environmental consultant.

We would not have been able to undertake this building project without the incredible support of the community who have made personal donations, attended numerous events and bought countless raffle tickets over the past few years. In addition we would like to thank:

  • Cllr Felicity Hindson
  • Meonstoke Parish Council
  • Swanmore Preschool
  • Sir Jim Scott Trust
  • Winchester Area Community Action ‘Have Your Say’ community grant
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Hampshire Garden Trust for their contribution to the new decking
  • European Agricultural Fund for European Development 2007-2013: Europe investing in rural areas , which has been delivered through Fieldfare Local Action Group for part funding the internal fixtures and fittings and outdoor music equipment.
  • Our thanks also to Simon and Kris Brasted of Inca Design for their enthusiastic and generous donation of their time and skills to create new logo for the preschool, and to Paul Martin of Wizbit Internet Services Ltd for designing and hosting this super new website.
Text size: A A A

Latest News

  • Christmas fundraising thank you

    Many thanks to everyone who purchased tickets for the Christmas hamper raffle. The prizes were won by: First prize - Marcia Smith Second prize - Michael Anthony Third Prize - Martin Evans The proceeds have been used to purchase two new balance bikes, several toy tractors, and a toy vacuum...


  • Fundraising Book Box

    Do you have any children's books at home that are no longer read and are taking up space? We will shortly be setting up a mini book stall in the lobby at preschool and would greatly appreciate the donation of any children's books please. Books will be offered for sale at a small cost and will help...


  • Christmas Hamper Donations

    We are putting together some wonderful Christmas hampers, to be raffled off at this year's Christmas Nativity on 17th December. We would be very grateful for any donations of food items to include in the hampers - please bring donations to the preschool by 4th December. If you would like to enter...