About Us

The Playgroup Setting & Activities | Committee | Policies & Procedures | OFSTED Outstanding | Staff

The Playgroup Setting


Our modern, purpose-built Playgroup provides excellent indoor and outdoor play facilities for children aged from two and a half years to school age. We are located in a beautiful rural setting, within the grounds of Thriplow Primary School.

What Happens at Ladybird Playgroup?


Each week, we focus on a new topic, chosen to reflect the interests of the children. We have recently enjoyed Welly Week, Elmer the Elephant Week and Numbers and Shapes Week.

The usual weekly activities are interspersed with a range of special events such as local outings, family days for parents etc and visits from interesting people such as the fire service, Dentist, Nurse or a vet, for example.

Playgroup Activities


The Wild-Space

The children love the new outdoor space behind Ladybirds, lots of areas to investigate with logs to step on, hills to climb, our mud kitchen and our new shed to house our equipment.

Activities for pre-school year children

To help children in the pre-school year prepare for the transition to school, we introduce PE lessons with Johnny and Max from JH School of Sport and a weekly library book for each child. We do 'stepping up' activities, which include watching school plays in the school hall and having story time in the 'Ants' reception classroom.



Parent Committee

Ladybird Playgroup is run by the management, a voluntary parent Committee and a great team of qualified staff. The Committee is involved in planning and running fundraising events such as the Christmas Party; reviewing/agreeing the Playgroup's policies and procedures and much more besides.


If you would like to join the Committee, please do contact us as we would love to hear from you.

Committee members

Sarah Wells

Meghan Bonner

Kate Noble

Tracey Dervish 

Ann Robertson

Caroline Short

Anya Kothari

Sharon McGinty

Michelle Fairweather

Chair Person​



Committee Member - Policies

Committee Member - Fundraising

Committee Member

Committee Member

Playgroup Leader

Deputy Playgroup Leader


Policies & Procedures


OFSTED rated Good Playgroup and Pre-School - January 2020


We are extremely pleased and proud to say that Ladybird Playgroup was awarded a rating of Good in our January 2020 OFSTED inspection! Download the new report here.




"Staff promote children's learning with their highly effective teaching. They continually help children to develop and explore their own ideas. Staff listen carefully to what children say."


"The extremely well-led team works very effectively together, in order to deliver a high-quality provision for all children."


"Children are eager to get involved. Story time is extremely popular. Staff are expressive and skillfully engage children, who then participate with enthusiasm. Children use the books and props in their own play, recreating the story for themselves."


"Children thrive in the setting."


"Children are very prepared for starting school."

"Children benefit significantly from the opportunities for outdoor learning."

"The Committee has had a very positive impact on the organisation of the group. This has helped everyone to work towards achieving excellence."

"Partnerships with parents are excellent. They contribute to children's learning at home, use the library and frequently share WOW moments."


Meet Our Staff


Sharon McGinty - Lead Practitioner

Sharon has enjoyed working at Ladybird Playgroup for over 20 years. Prior to this she was a Civil Servant.

Qualifications include Level 3 Childcare; Paediatric First Aid; Child Protection; ENCO/SENCO; Food Hygiene, Child Protection and Designated Behaviour Member of Staff.  

Michelle Fairweather - Deputy Lead Practitioner

Michelle has previously worked at Sawston Nursery

Qualifications include Level 3 Childcare; Paediatric First Aid; Child Protection; Food Hygiene. Designated Child Protection Member of Staff, ENCO/SENCO 2nd. Michelle is working towards her level 5 in Childcare Qualification

Alice McGinty - Early Years Practitioner

Alice has worked at Ladybirds Playgroup for several years now.  Qualifications include Level 3 Childcare Qualification, Child Protection Food Hygiene and Paediatric First Aid. Alice also is our Health and Safety Officer.  


Georgie Sims - Early Years Practitioner

Georgie has returned to the Early years now that her own children are at school.  She is qualified to Level 2, with Emergency Paediatric First Aid, Child Protection, Food Hygiene.  Georgie is working towards her Level 3 in Childcare Qualification.


Sarah Williams - Early Years Practitioner

Sarah joined the team in early 2020, having previously worked in childcare. She is qualified in Paediatric First Aid. Sarah is working towards her Level 2 Childcare Qualification.

Angela Mulholland - Playgroup Administrator

Angela has previously been been Administrator of the Thriplow Daffodil Weekend Committee after being a Paramedic for over 10 years. Angela also works as a "one to one" with children who have medical needs and has, Emergency Paediatric First Aid, Child Protection and Food Hygiene.

All Ladybirds Staff have also completed their Safeguarding, Prevent, FGM Training and are kept up to date in all areas through regular Staff meetings, 1 to 1’s, Annual appraisals, peer on peer observations and several publications.