Castleton Preschool and Nursery

Background of the Setting

Castleton Playgroup was started in 1988 by Sharman Morgan as a private playgroup and was originally based in the Church Rooms at Castleton Baptist Church. At an early stage. Sharman kindly donated the playgroup to the church to be run for the benefit of local children. Jane Bradley, took over the running of the playgroup in 1992 and over the years much change has been seen. Following the sale of the church, the playgroup relocated to St Brides Village Hall in 2002 before moving to its current home in the grounds of Marshfield Primary School in September 2005. Following Jane’s untimely death in September 2010, Carol McIver took over the reins as supervisor and whilst the playgroup entered a new phase in its development, the main aim, namely for the well established ethos of the playgroup to be maintained, has been achieved. Indeed during Carol’s six year period in charge, she steered the playgroup through a highly successful Estyn inspection and two equally positive CSSIW inspections, all at a time when much change is being seen in the organisation and expectations of the pre-school education sector.

Moving forward Carol stepped down from the supervisory role in July 2022 although she continues to act in an advisory capacity to Sian Davies and Chloe Ackerman who have now taking on the role as managers of the setting. Both Sian and Chloe are now working together to ensure that we continue to prove the best quality of care to all our children at the setting.

The current premises consist of one main playroom, a quiet room, toilets, store cupboard and office/kitchen. Excellent facilities exist outside and ‘free access play’ is encouraged.

The playgroup is a feeder setting for the adjacent Marshfield Primary School with which there is an excellent relationship.

Castleton Playgroup is the working name of Castleton Baptist Church Playgroup, and is a Registered Charity, Charity Number 1199736.

Early Years Education Providers

In April 2016 the playgroup successfully re-applied for the tender for Early Year’s Education funding, which the setting had previously provided for the last nine years. This allows Castleton Playgroup to continue to offer funding for 3 and 4 year olds, subject to certain criteria being met. We also deliver educational provision for parents who would like more flexible sessions around the working week. The playgroup is a feeder setting for the adjacent Marshfield Primary School with which there is an excellent relationship. This relationship continues to grow as we provide wrap around care for the school nursery.


The playgroup is inspected annually by CSSIW (Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales). The last inspection was in November 2018 and details of this can be viewed here (.pdf). Details of the previous inspection can be found here (.pdf).

The playgroup is also accredited under the Wales Pre-School Playgroups’ Association (Wales PPA) Quality Assured scheme. The playgroup was the first in Newport to achieve the latter distinction.

The last Estyn inspection took place in November 2018 and full details can be found online at or you can view the report here (.pdf)

The playgroup is a registered provider for the Newport Childrens’ Partnership and as such parents of 3 and 4 year old children receive funding subject to certain criteria being met.

In 2002, Castleton Playgroup became the first playgroup in England and Wales to receive the Basic Skills Agency Quality Mark, this being successfully renewed in 2005 and 2008.

In 2004, the playgroup successfully took part in the Sure Start Healthy Playgroup Award and was recognised accordingly. In 2008 the playgroup was reaccredited.

In 2007, Castleton Playgroup was selected as one of the pilot pre-school settings for the new Early Years Foundation Phase.

The Playgroup Committee

The affairs of the setting are managed by a committee comprised of church members, parents, and staff ensuring that the settings best interests are at heart at all times as well as providing a safe and welcoming environment for the community.