30 Hour Childcare Offer Latest News

From April this year, the ‘30 Hour FREE Childcare offer’ is coming to the Vale of Glamorgan including Wenvoe, so we want to be sure that you are ready.

The 30-hour FREE care is offered as 12.5 hours of Nursery Education and 17.5 hours of Care, therefore; you may receive up to 17.5 hours FREE care here at the Playgroup.

As long as Parents fit the following criteria your child may receive FREE care from April 2019 if living in The Vale of Glamorgan.

It is available to Children the term after their 3rd Birthday. If your child is 3 between:

  • 1st Sept – 31 Dec they will be eligible in January
  • 1st January – 31st March they will be eligible in April (after the Easter Hols)
  • 1st April – 31st August – they will be eligible in September


  1. if the Child is living with 2 parents, both parents must work a minimum of 16 hours or more per week at National Minimum Wage (NMW)
  2. if the Child is living with 1 parent, then they must work a minimum of 16 hours or more per week at NMW.


  • if you earn more than £100,000.00 per parent then the Child is not eligible.


Contact: The Vale Family Information Centre (FIS) Tel: 01446 704704 E-mail: fis@ valeofglamorgan.gov.uk. The FIS will also advise if you fit the criteria to apply and help with your application.

A contract will have to be completed with us prior to taking up the offer and your placement confirmed at the Playgroup prior to applying. We have limited space at this time.

We have children with us at this time from Cardiff who are benefitting from our wrap around service with Gwenfo Nursery and are receiving up to 17.5 hours of their time FREE at Playgroup.

Your Child could benefit with 4 days wrap around care from 9 – 1pm for £0.00

Please contact us here at the Playgroup for more information

Email: wenvoeplaygroup@ btinternet.com Telephone: 20597494

Please view our website: www.wenvoeplaygroup.co.uk and our Statement of Purpose for further information operating times etc.

For all those families wishing to join us from September this year, we will write again for April’s What’s On Edition to give details of our open afternoon and information for September. If you wish to join our waiting list for September, then please email us on the above email to register your interest. Thank you.

Llanharan Winter Walk


What a contrast to the Craig yr Allt walk, it had snowed and the sun was shining so visibility was great but it was very cold. We voted to go to Llanharan and walk in the snow to the wind turbines. Parking in the station car park, we climbed a short way along a road and were soon crunching over icy snow which had partially melted and frozen again overnight.

Paths had to be carefully negotiated in places as puddles had become icy stretches. Our route took us across to Llantrisant Forest. Climbing we could see the wind turbines against the clear blue sky ahead. Flocks of sheep were scratching for grass below the snow.

As we walked through the woodland we were surrounded by ‘Christmas’ trees blanketed in snow. Sunlight shone between the rows of trees.

In the valley we spotted a single turbine with a green stem and yellow fins, like a daffodil. We stopped for lunch on the edge of woodland beside a small stream with some ice. As we got close to the wind turbines many parallel lines of power cables stretching from pylon to pylon covered the landscape. In front of the wind turbines the snow lay in deep drifts at the side of the path.

Walking back towards Brynna woods, England was clearly visible across a sparkling English Channel. Once again the snow lay in deep drifts alongside the path and walls were patterned by windblown snow. Reaching a road we met a horse rider who commented that she was cold. It was a lot colder on the top! We returned to Llanharan via Brynna woods and Llanharan Marsh – a Community Nature Reserve.

The walk was refreshing and uplifting after so many gloomy winter days. Distance covered 8 miles with 1100ft ascent



Misty Morning at Craig yr Allt

Craig yr Allt

It was a misty morning as we travelled to Tongwynlais. Driving to the top of Heol y Fforest we parked at a picnic spot feeling pleased that we had climbed a fair way before starting the walk.

The mist thickened as we headed roughly west, following a track that took us to the sculpture trail in the woodland above Castell Coch. The sculptures are wooden portrayals of nature, trees, birds, wild animals and even insects; an excellent place to entertain children. We took our time examining each piece. Unfortunately the signage on them is showing the effects of weathering and some were difficult to read. I particularly liked a seat whose back was the outstretched wings of two birds with this sign:



‘These creatures are gone from the forest now

But the ones who live here today can be found

There’s badgers and dormice and buzzards I’ve heard

Goshawks, owls and other woodland birds!’

Now we headed for the Taff trail travelling north on our way to Craig yr Allt where we were promised views across to the Garth and Castell Coch and Cardiff to the south. Taking a path east we had a steady climb across open grassland which was pretty muddy in places. At the top we disappeared into fog and imagined the views we were meant to enjoy by looking at an App which named hills as you pointed a phone in their direction! There was something cosy about being wrapped in a blanket of fog, as it created a great atmosphere (and we knew exactly where we were).

Not long after we started to descend visibility cleared enough for us to see around us. The green-yellow catkins of a birch tree looked cheerful in the gloom. Black sheep were difficult to spot as they sat under a copse of trees about 100yards from us; it was only their white faces that gave them away.

We stopped for lunch in a field, sitting on tree trunks under beech trees and relishing the peaceful atmosphere. As we ate we glanced back, noticing that the fog had lifted on Craig yr Allt and we joked about walking back up to see the view (which was still swathed in mist).

We made our way to the Forest Tea Rooms, catching a brief glimpse, through the trees, of Castell Coch. At the tea rooms we enjoyed comfy seats and welcome refreshment. We returned to the cars via a leafy track above Heol y Fforest.

The walk was 7 miles. Map 151



A Very Busy Half Term at the Primary School

Well, we have had a very busy half term in school and we cannot believe how quickly the time is going!

Year 1 and 2 have thoroughly enjoyed African drumming sessions – they really have created some wonderful music.

Year 4 have visited St Illtyd’s and Years 5 and 6 went to the Story Museum. The children were all very well behaved and a real credit to school.

Years 2 and 3 have both led super assemblies – families of the children are invited to their assemblies and stay afterwards for a cup of tea and biscuit – it is always a very special time.

PC Emma has been into school to talk to parents about Internet safety. Parents of children in our Foundation Phase were also invited into school to work with their children. Many thanks to all who attended.

To raise money for Velindre Hospital, we all wore red to school for the day. This happened to fall on the day it snowed and a super day was had by all. The children and their teachers went onto the field and built snowmen. This was followed by hot chocolate and biscuits in the classrooms!

Parents Evenings were held this week and last week and it was lovely to share with parents and carers how hard their children have been working; parents and carers also had an opportunity to look through their children’s books.

We are looking forward to a restful half term and a wonderful celebration of St David’s day in our Eisteddfod, during the first week back.



Some Simple Steps To Improving Your Mental Well Being

Psychotherapist Noel McDermott has said there are some simple steps to improving your mental well being. They include

Getting enough sleep


Doing housework


Ignoring your phone

Getting a pet


Getting more friends


Going outside

While it may not be possible to alter your body clock to get more sleep, the living with cancer strollers can help you smile more, get exercise outside and meet more friends!

February’s stroll around Cosmeston certainly made us smile as the sun shone, then showers nearly caught us and mud pools were avoided. We took a new route to take in the new bridge and couldn’t resist a photo. No troubled waters in Cosmeston!

If you prefer a leisurely walk in good company rather than improving your well being by hoovering, or tidying the garden…..then join us at Cosmeston on the first Thursday of every month at 10:30.



Dogs Are Clever…But They Can’t Do This


The Vale of Glamorgan website reminds us that it is an offence for us not to remove any faeces deposited by our dog. If we take our dog for a walk and it fouls in a public space it is our responsibility to pick it up. If we fail in our responsibility, we could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75 or be prosecuted which could result in a fine of up to £1,000.

People living in the village are meticulous in caring for the environment in which we enjoy walking our dogs. We always take bags on our walk, pick up after our dog and dispose of waste in any council litter bin.

It seems however, that some people may have forgotten the recent campaign ‘Dogs are clever….but they can’t do this’. Please call into our local library and purchase your dog waste bags at £2.00 for 100 bags and help us to continue enjoying a clean environment. As the Dog Kennel Club points out: ‘Owners who do not meet their responsibilities only contribute to growing anti-dog sentiment and give dog owners a bad reputation within their local communities.’



Let’s Talk Organ Donation

Let’s talk organ donation. How many of you knew about the Organ Donation Act in Wales? Did you know about ‘opting-in’ or ‘opting-out’? Let’s talk about it.

Currently in Wales there is a scheme which came into effect in January of 2015 in an attempt to increase the number of organ donations throughout Wales. It states that you can ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’ of organ donation. But what does that mean? It means that in the event of your death, a decision has to be made on whether or not your organs will be donated. Without making a decision about whether you want your organs to be donated or not (the ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’ policies as they are dubbed) the decision is in your family’s hands. With your consent to be an organ donor post-mortem (by ‘opting-in’) and by ticking the box on your card which states your family is aware of your decision, there is no dispute. The same happens if you decide you don’t want to be an organ donor (by ‘opting-out’).

If you don’t make a decision – which isn’t the be-all and end-all of life – your family decides for you. There is an option which not many are aware of – you can appoint a representative to make the decision on your behalf. This means that they make the decision on your behalf when you die, and it means that the decision is made by someone you know will do what’s in your best interest, rather than someone who would make the decision based on their own views.

I can’t tell you which way to register. That’s not my place. I can, however, offer you my own personal opinion. When I turned eighteen, I made the decision to ‘opt-in’ to the organ donation act. My decision was made without the influence of family or friends – it was a decision I made on my own behalf because of the beliefs I have surrounding organ donation. It wasn’t either a spur-of-the-moment decision. I did my research and came to the conclusion that I’d like to be an organ donor when I die.

My role here isn’t to tell you that you should ‘opt-in’ and it’s in no way discouraging you not to ‘opt-out’. That decision is solely yours and yours alone to make. A topic of debate I’ve seen presented by some is that they want to die ‘complete’, which I entirely understand. I have my own beliefs about life after death, and to an extent, the fact that I’d rather be cremated than buried does influence my decision to be an organ donor post-mortem. My beliefs are my own and you are equally entitled to yours. Your decision one way or another should not be judged, because it is a decision you have made for yourself, in your best interest.

My role here is however, to tell you that if you don’t make a decision, you really do need to talk to the people who will make the decision on your behalf. There are too many people who don’t discuss organ  donation and many decisions are made by family members who disagree with their relatives’ decision to either ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’. It is crucial that we all have the discussion about organ donation.

I made my family sit down and have an adult conversation about my decision before I applied to ‘opt-in’. My brother has not made a decision to ‘opt-in’ or to ‘opt-out’ but by having the discussion, I’m aware of his beliefs on the matter, and I, in turn, am aware of my parents’ decisions on the matter. When the (hopefully very, very distant) time should come for me to have to make the decision on their behalves, I know that I will act in their best interests. I know this, because I’ve had the discussion with them about it. In the same way they’ve had the discussion with me.

Whether you want to be an organ donor or not, let your family know. Express your views in the most basic way possible. Let them know whether you would ultimately like your organs donated. You don’t need to jump into the decision, you do however need to have your family know which side you’d land on. If you don’t talk about it, they may make a decision you disagree with because they think it’s in your best interest. Tell them. Have the discussion.

Let’s all have the chat about organ donation.

By Tirion Davies



Apple and Marzipan Torte

Apple and Marzipan Torte

butter for greasing

2 large eggs

125g caster sugar

4 Cox apples [roughly 400g] Peeled, cored and cut into small pieces

100g marzipan, cut into small pieces

200g plain flour

1tsp. baking powder

To serve, extra thick double cream and a soft berry fruit.

Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line the base of a 20cm spring form tin. Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk/ mixer on high, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stir in most of the apple chunks and the marzipan, then sift the flour and baking powder over it. Gently fold into the mixture, then pour into the tin. Scatter the remaining apple chunks on the top. Bake in the oven for about 50 – 55 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool, carefully remove from the tin and remove paper.

Serve with the cream and a soft fruit of your choice.



Mushroom, Leek and Stilton Tart

Mushroom, Leek and Stilton Tart

1 sheet frozen ready rolled puff pastry, defrosted

2 tbsp. whole grain mustard

1 leek [good size] thinly sliced

200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 heaped tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley

1 tbsp. milk

100g Stilton, broken into small pieces

Heat oven to 180C. Unroll pastry and place on a baking tray to suit. Score a 1cm border in from the edges, prick inside the score lines with a fork and spread a thin layer of mustard within the border. Fry the leek and mushrooms in the oil for about 2 – 3 minutes. Season, add the parsley and spread the mixture over the mustard. Brush the border with milk. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes, remove from oven, dot over the Stilton and cook for a further 10 minutes. Serve with buttered baby new potatoes and green round beans.



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