On Friday the 24th of May 2019, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VWBro Charles Bennett, together with other members of De la Pré Lodge No. 1911 returned to Kings Preschool, Boughton Green Road, Northampton to view, first-hand, the improvements made-possible as a result of a £2,000 donation presented by them in late 2018. The donation was jointly funded by the Lodge and the Provincial Grand Charity. 

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From left, VWBro Charles Bennett, DepProvGM; WBro Gerry McLaughlin, ProvGAlm; Jane Codner, Headmistress; and Bro Lewis Chowney

The donation came about as a result of Bro Lewis Chowney, a member of the Lodge whose daughter attends the preschool, informing WBro Ron Reid, the Lodge's Charity Steward, of the dire state of the preschool’s play-area.

At that time, the garden contained one large shed and one smaller shed that were both in desperate need of replacing.

The Lodge helped purchase smaller sheds so that the children could access the play equipment themselves. They also helped provide a covered area offering shade on sunnier days, and outdoor play in all weathers.

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Inclement weather meant that the improvements could not be completed until April this year. However, the returning brethren - VWBro Charles Bennett, DepProvGM; WBro Gerry McLaughlin, Provincial Grand Almoner; and Bro Lewis Chowney (with his daughter in tow!) - all agreed that it was well worth the wait.

The headmistress, Jane Codner, invited the brethren to install a plaque in grateful acknowledgment of the support provided. The plaque was kindly donated by another member of the Lodge, Bro Richard Atkins, who runs a signage company.

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Additional Information About Kings Preschool

Kings Preschool is a registered charity that operates from a mobile classroom on the site of All Saints CE Primary school.

Notwithstanding its location, Kings has no connection with All Saints. The mobile classroom is leased from Northamptonshire County Council.

The headmistress, Jane Codner, has been running Kings Preschool for 24-years. She is assisted by a core group of staff who have worked with her for over 10-years. 

The fees are in-line with the local area. They are kept as low as possible to make the school accessible to all families.

The only government funding received is the national free entitlement for 3-4 year olds, which equates to roughly £3.80 per child, per hour. This is the only cost passed-on to feepayers.

Any past fundraising has been ploughed-back into teaching resources and the professional-development of staff.

This often leaves Kings financially strained when it comes to maintaining and repairing the building and associated garden.

Regardless, Kings was stil rated as oustanding following an Ofsted inspection in March 2017.