After 45 Years, Alphabet Preschool Finds A New Home

Alphabet Preschool in Easton, near Wells, will be heading for pastures new this year – although not too far down the road. Their new premises will be at St Lawrence’s School in Westbury-Sub-Mendip, which will be opening its doors to welcome the staff and children of Alphabet from September.


Jenny Rogers, preschool leader, said: “We’re all excited about the move. It opens up more opportunities for learning and sustained play, because at the moment we have to clear the Village Hall daily so it can be used for other things. At the school, we’ll have access to more green space and an adventure play area, and it means there’ll be a seamless move when the children go up from preschool to reception.”


Alphabet has a long history in Easton Village Hall, having welcomed the first children there in 1973. The decision to move was made when a space opened up at St Lawrence’s, thanks to some changes at the school.


Rosie Thorner, headteacher of the Federation of Priddy and St Lawrence’s, said: “There are some very positive changes happening where Priddy and St Lawrence’s will be working much more closely with each other in future. Children from both schools will be learning together, which allows us to share resources and gives the children bigger horizons. We’re looking forward to welcoming Alphabet on site here; it’s all a part of giving the children a great foundation going forward.”


Although they will be sharing a home, the school and preschool will remain independent from one another, with their own staff and governing committees. Many of the pre-schoolers at Alphabet go on to enrol at St Lawrence’s, so the move has been widely welcomed for easing the transition into primary school.


Jenny continued: “At the end of the day it’s about what’s best for the children. Easton and Westbury-Sub-Mendip are like two halves of a whole, so it makes sense for the preschool and the school to come together like this. It won’t change the care that we give the children – Alphabet’s very focussed on play based learning, and it’s a really nurturing environment where the children learn key skills while they’re having lots of fun. But it gives us more scope to individually tailor the care that we give, with the chance to move in and out of different learning environments.”


The move will take place during the summer holidays, with Alphabet continuing to run from Easton Village Hall until then. Local parent Emma Giffard, who currently has one child at the preschool and another at St Lawrence’s, said: “I’m over the moon about the change because I think it’s going to really benefit the kids. I know a lot of schools are struggling with huge class sizes, but we’re really lucky – with village settings the kids get so much more individual support because the classes are a bit smaller. The teachers and the preschool staff know exactly where our kids are at academically and socially. I would worry that their needs would got lost in a bigger school or a busier nursery.”


Rosie Thorner continued: “The preschool and the school are both such important parts of the community, and it makes perfect sense for us all to work more closely together. These children are our future doctors, builders, engineers and artists, and these changes are going to make sure we can deliver a very high quality, child-centred education across the age ranges.”


Alphabet currently has the capacity to enrol more children, and interested parents are invited to come and meet the staff, who can be contacted on 01749 871227.


Recruitment of Parish Clerk

Details for the recruitment of a Parish Clerk are available on this website under Parish Council > Meet the Councillors, Staff and Volunteers.


Mendip Community Transport

The Parish Council is keen to publicise the excellent services provided by Mendip Community Transport. If you have any disability, and need help with transport, then do have a look at the MCT website for further information:


Have you suffered Poor Air Quality?

The Parish Council has received a number of complaints about poor air quality.

If you are affected, then the appropriate authority to notify is Mendip District Council’s Environmental Health department. Their website gives further details:

Telephone: 0300 303 8588
Post: Environmental Health, Mendip District Council, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT

The Parish Council suggests that you keep a diary of incidents of polluted air, and is happy to be copied in on any communication to Mendip D.C. Environmental Health.

Defibrillator Training – Saturday 14 April, 11:00 a.m., Village Hall

Defibrillator – Free Public Training

Provided by Anna Smith
Assistant Community Responder Officer
South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust

No booking needed, just turn up

Saturday 14th April,

11:00 – 12:00, Village Hall


Enquiries: Mark Smith,
01749 871076


Asbestos checks from the County Council

Planning Renovations This Year?

If you’re thinking of a new extension, a bit of remodelling, or finally knocking down that old garage, have you checked for asbestos? Any property built or refurbished before 2000 could potentially contain ACMs (Asbestos Containing Materials). Commonly found in corrugated roofing sheets, it was also widely used in artex-type paint coatings, insulation material, floor tiles, other construction material, fixtures and fittings. Left undisturbed, these materials don’t present a health risk. However, when damaged the fibres easily become airborne and can be inhaled. Exposure to these microscopic fibres can lead to severe lung disease and cancer. In the UK, around 5000 deaths a year are linked to asbestos exposure, and it can take years for symptoms to develop. Invisible to the naked eye and normally blended with other substances, professional testing is needed to ensure asbestos is dealt with safely.

Somerset Scientific Services, part of Somerset County Council, offer free impartial asbestos advice as part of our commitment to public health and safety. We also offer an expert service to identify and project manage the removal of any ACMs. Samples of suspect material can be sent to our lab for analysis and we’ll provide impartial advice on your next steps if asbestos is identified. For larger projects surveys can be completed on site by our specialist asbestos team if needed.

Call the team or visit our website for expert advice – and to find out what other services we provide.

01823 355906

Westbury Archaeology display in the Community Shop

Following the recent Barry Lane Lecture given by David Dawson, the display on the  Westbury Society Archaeology Group’s excavation at Court House Farm and other investigations around the parish is now in the back room of the Community Shop.

If you want to learn more about the archaeology and history of Westbury, just ask the shop staff if you can go and have a look.

Should you be interested in joining the Archaeology Group, use the contact form on the Westbury Society page of this website.

Th Westbury Inn kitchen is now operational – hooray!

Yes, it’s a quick snap of Andy working in his new kitchen.

So now you know where to go for an interesting and well cooked menu in a welcoming village pub

Could you refurbish the Parish Council noticeboards?

There are four parish council owned notice boards in need of a bit of TLC – if you would be interested in quoting for the work please contact the Clerk, Mark Smith or telephone 01749-871076.

Photographs of the four noticeboards are on the poster here : Noticeboard Job Ad


New ‘Subscription’ service is live, and available to everyone

If you would like to receive an email notification every time there is a new News item posted on the Parish Council website, then submit your email address in the ‘Subscriptions’ box on the bottom right of the Homepage.

You will be sent an email to confirm your subscription, and once you have done that, you will be notified of each new News item.

You can unsubscribe from the service at any time by clicking the ‘Unsubscribe’ link in any Notification email.