Pre-school birthday's extra special for mum
A NAILSEA mum who joined a town pre-school aged just three is still loving life in the classroom – as the playgroup celebrates its 40th birthday.
Lisa Paul, 42, first joined Greenslade Pre-School in 1973 when she was just three years old and is now its deputy leader.
Back in October 1973 Lisa (nee Nash) was among the first intake at the Pound Lane playgroup.
Lisa, of Oaksey Grove, said: "I can remember the toys being stored under the building and getting the bikes out."
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A black and white photo still exists, inset, of Lisa, who was among the initial 20 children to register, on her first day at Greenslade. The pre-school was started in 1972 by the Parent Teacher Association of Greenslade Infant School. It was granted charitable trust status and was launched with a £3,500 loan from Long Ashton Urban District Council.
To save money dads – including Lisa's father John – rolled up their sleeves and dug out the foundations for the new building. Since then the infant and neighbouring junior schools have merged and the pre-school now sits in the grounds of Kingshill Primary School.
Thanks to its founders hundreds of children during the four decades have enjoyed the benefit of one of the few pre-schools in the country to have its own purpose built building.
The pre-school which is rated "outstanding" by Ofsted currently has 60 children aged two to four on roll, runs from Monday to Friday during term time and for some designated sessions in the summer holidays.
Lisa became a parent helper when her children Alex, 18, now reading architecture at Portsmouth University and Jess, 15, who is studying for her GCSEs at Nailsea School went to Greenslade in the 1990s.
Lisa said: "I helped with snacks and crafts – I was an extra pair of hands which were much needed."
For the past decade Lisa has worked four days a week at Greenslade alongside leaders Debbie Davie and Deborah Williams.
Lisa said when she walked about the village she still saw people she went to pre-school with in the 1970s.
To further her career Lisa took an NVQ Level 3 early years care qualification at Weston College.
She said: "I still love the job and it is really rewarding as children are so enjoyable at this age."
To mark its 40th milestone the preschool is planning a week of celebrations with children, staff and parents past, present and future.
Next week, the pre-school will be decorated with banners and balloons to get everyone in the party spirit and a large cake has been ordered. And there is an appeal for anyone who has any photographs and/or memorabilia for the displays.
There will also be a coffee morning on October 25 to which visitors are welcome.