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Alexander Dickson Primary School Alexander Dickson Primary School

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Ballygowan Community Pre-School and Playgroup

Ballygowan Community Pre-school and Playgroup


About us


Ballygowan Community Pre-School & Playgroup is a registered charity, providing a warm and secure education and play environment for pre-primary school children aged from 2 years 10 months.  We were established in 1983 and were initially based in the Village Hall in the centre of Ballygowan, before moving to purpose built premises in 2011, within the grounds of Alexander Dickson Primary School.


We are an Independent Community Based Pre-school and Playgroup, offering a maximum of 24 funded places for both Pre-school and Playgroup each year.


When our Pre-schoolers graduate from us, they typically go on to primary schools in the local area Ballygowan, Killinchy, Derryboye, Comber, Moneyreagh, Saintfield and surrounding areas.
















Our aim

At Ballygowan Community Pre-School & Playgroup, our aim is to advance the development and education of our kids and to provide a safe and satisfying way of learning through play in a parent involved, community based group.


We pride ourselves on being part of the Community within Ballygowan and surrounding areas and are so appreciative of all the support that we receive from friends, families and local businesses.  We also like to think of ourselves as one big family, with our kids developing friendships that will stand the test of time; and parents supporting each other and having family fun together.



What is our ethos?

Our ethos is “helping little minds to grow” – we enable the children to learn through play and help them develop and thus make a smooth transition from our setting into school.


We are an inclusive setting and welcome all children, irrespective of physical or mental ability. We will do everything we can to facilitate a child to attend; and will support both child and parent with settling in and seeking any additional measures that may benefit the child.


We believe all children should be valued, stimulated, encouraged and listened to, in order to help each child reach their full potential through growth in confidence and self-esteem.


















Our playgroup or "pre-pre" sessions run on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, from 12.45pm to 2.30pm, for children aged from 2years 10months.  These sessions are not funded by the Education Authority; instead, we charge a fee per session. To register your child for playgroup, please contact us directly, noting that you can register your child from birth onwards.


Please e-mail us us to find out more at




















Our pre-school is for the year before your child enters Primary School. This runs Monday - Friday from 9am to 12 noon. These sessions are funded by the Education Authority - all we charge is a nominal fee each term towards funds, which contributes towards resources, snack, trips and educational visits such as Fitness Freddy and many more! The application process is facilitated through the Education Authority's online portal, with set application dates, notified by them.

The Pre-school Curriculum covers 6 areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development and Movement
  • Language Development
  • Early Mathematical Experiences
  • The Arts
  • The World Around Us



Your children won’t realise that they are learning through play, but it is amazing how they develop and grow during their time with us.



Our team

We strive to keep developing the skills and specialisms of our committed and energetic team, led by Mrs Barbara, who in 2020/21 was awarded with “A Shining Star” accolade by Ards & North Down Council for her hard work during the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Mrs Barbara is our SEN Specialist and joined us in 2000.



Left is a picture of Mrs Barbara with Michelle McIlveen MLA, at the official opening of our outdoor learn and play area in May 2021.  During 20/21 we renovated our outdoor area into a fabulous all-weather learn and play area with facilities for the children to explore and create wonderful adventures with their friends. 


Mrs Lorie is our Deputy Leader, who has been with the team since 2013


Miss Nicola and Miss Julie are our Assistants and are great at developing a strong and positive rapport with parents and children alike.  Miss Nicola joined us in 2018 and Miss Julie joined us in 2022.









We are always happy to answer any queries you may have, so please do not hesitate to get in touch:




Tel: 028 9752 0800


Find us on Facebook page at Ballygowan Community Pre-school & Playgroup where you can keep up-to-date with all our adventures.