Managing Supervisor’s Update – May 2017

Each week we plan activities for the children as a foundation for their learning. All of our staff in contact with the children contribute to the plan and it is based on what the children have asked about or done or we feel they will engage with well.

A typical week in May this year included:

  • Respect for others – what makes us and others special – children to talk about their friendships and how they value others. How can we be a good friend? Specific language related to PSE learning objectives – lots of positive words and phrases such as: thoughtful, polite, nice, caring, helpful, friendship, good friend, good, sharing, take turns, patient, wait, proud, well done, kind, impressed and pleased.
  • Going on a bug hunt, using equipment, children to catch and look at bugs, lots of emphasis on being careful with the animals.
  • Thinking about summer and the hotter weather, what we must do to keep ourselves safe in the sun. e.g. sun cream, wearing sensible clothes and a hat and the importance of staying hydrated.
  • Communal painting on large roll of paper and in the playground with paint brushes, toys and roller paint toys.
  • How much can a container hold? Filling containers with water and comparing how much each contains.
  • Role play hairdresser area. painting








For small groups or 1:1 for school children:

  • Maths shape and space;
  • Literacy phonics.

Also on offer every day for children:

  • puzzles;
  • Play-Doh;
  • home corner;
  • dressing up;
  • book corner/quiet area;
  • construction;
  • sand;
  • water (not in the winter);
  • craft, singing/ musical instruments;
  • ICT;
  • Bikes/scooters/ride on toys/ stilts/hoops/balls;
  • Small world – farm/dolls house;
  • Animals (jungle/ wild/domestic/farm/dinosaurs).










We hope to give opportunities to learn and thrive through play and interaction, while enjoying their precious early years.

Please feel free to contact Bridget Cross if you have any questions or comments.

Posted in Setting News

Make sure Bradninch Summer Fayre is in your diary!

Join Us – Saturday 8th July 2017 –  10am- 3pm – Bradninch Football Ground

Do make sure you come along to Bradninch Summer Fayre, back this year. It is all set to be a fun packed day with lots to see, buy, do and win! All in support of Duchy Preschool.

There will be craft stalls where you can snap up some unique artisan products, something beautiful to give or to keep.

If you prefer exotic animals, Animal Encounters with Chris Johnson will be there. You’ll have a chance to hold snakes, lizards, and other awesome creatures.

Have you ever tried bubble football? We haven’t either. Running around inside huge inflatable balls, looks fun!

Try the bouncy assault course and children’s soft play. Or swing boats – possibly a more sedate option for those who fancy a little sit down while staying on the go. There will also be face painting for young and young at heart. Or keep a momento of the day in the form of a caricature.IMG_6126








Do not miss our fun family dog show starting at 11am (classes are £1.50 per entry). Your family pooch will have the chance to strut its stuff and win a rosette, whether it’s for:

  • Child’s best friend;
  • Dog most like owner;
  • Dog with waggiest tail;
  • Dog with glossiest coat;
  • Scruffiest dog/Worst hair day;
  • Veteran (over the age of 8 years, special prize for the oldest dog);
  • or Best trick!

Please note dogs must remain on a lead at all times and we will have some basic rules to keep things friendly and tidy!

We will have burgers, doughnuts, candy floss, cake, ice cream and cups of tea available to fuel your day.

Make sure you enter our prize draw, with some amazing prizes to be won! Bear-Outline_small-1




Brandnich Summer Fayre, back by popular demand, in support of Duchy Preschool.

Entrance just 50p for adults, 20p for children.

Everyone is welcome for what will be a fantastic day!

If you have any questions or would like some prize draw tickets, contact

Posted in Events and Fundraising

Join our Bonus Ball Prize Draw!

Bonus Ball Image 2

The Duchy Preschool Bonus Ball Prize Draw continues, with recent big wins of £30-40. We have 17 numbers taken of a possible 59, with £10 on offer each week, which rolls over if there is no winner. So you can win big if your number comes in!

One of our many initiatives to raise funds to keep our fantastic setting going is the Bonus Ball Prize Draw.

The idea is that any individual (parent, supporter etc.) over the age of 16 can purchase a number from 1 to 59 (subject to availability) for £1 per week. 50p goes into a prize draw pot and 50p is donated to the preschool. Each week we use the drawn bonus ball number from Saturday’s National Lottery and the owner of that number receives the prize draw pot. If a number is drawn which is not allocated, the prize draw pot rolls over to the following week.

We hope you agree this is a great way for you to potentially win some prize money, while also donating to secure the future of the Duchy Preschool.

If you would like to learn more, or pick a number and sign up, please contact the Duchy Preschool Trustees

Then sit back and watch the numbers roll in!

Posted in Events and Fundraising

Looking to Declutter in January?


We have been given an opportunity to run the Exeter Sunday Market and Car Boot Sale in Marsh Barton on 15th January 2016. We have secured some willing volunteers to run the set up and close down. But we also have a free pitch to sell car boot type items.

So if you have anything in your house, garage, sheds or elsewhere that you are looking to dispose of, we can take them off your hands, save you time and inconvenience and any funds we raise will go directly towards keeping our preschool running.

Please contact Andrew Boys or speak to Bridget or Donna at the preschool if you have any items you want to donate.

Posted in Uncategorized

Volunteer Post Available


Following the departure of our Business Manager, we will shortly be looking to recruit a new Administrator. But to assist with a crucial transition, we are looking for a willing volunteer who could really help out the Duchy Preschool and give us an opportunity to reorganise and recruit.

We hope this opportunity may appeal to someone interested in learning about administration and business practices, looking for valuable work experience for your CV and it may lead to an interest in the final role we recruit for.

For the Preschool, we really could use someone who has the time and motivation to help us as soon as possible in January, with our Business Manager leaving. You will be working with the Trustees and our Managing Supervisor Bridget Cross. The voluntary post could continue for up to 2 months.

Please contact Andrew Boys or speak to Bridget or Donna at the Preschool if you would like to discuss the role in more detail or apply.


Posted in Uncategorized

Farewell to our Business Manager


We are sorry to announce that Phil Whateley, our Business Manager, will be leaving the Duchy Preschool in January. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Phil for his many years of hard work and expertise. He has been a very safe pair of hands who has steered the preschool through much development, most recently the conversion to charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) status and he will be hugely missed.

The Trustees and staff wish Phil all the very best in his future endeavours.

Posted in Uncategorized

November Update from Staff


It is hard to believe that we are approaching the end of term in just a couple of weeks. This half term is one of our busiest with the preparation for Christmas, so expect to hear Christmas songs and see lots of glitter.

We have lots of fundraising events taking place this term, from letter from Father Christmas to the Christmas Fayre. Many thanks must go to Lis and the Trustees who have arranged it and to Alex who has managed to get us some amazing draw prizes. There are posters in the small classroom asking for your support with help on the day, providing a cake and draw prize. If you can offer help in any way please speak to any Trustee, Bridget or Donna.

The staff will be organising a Christmas Hamper (to be drawn last day of term). So please watch out for notices in your children’s pockets, on the white board and on posters in and around the Preschool. It is vital that we have your support as without it we will struggle to carry on. Hamper prize draw tickets will be on sale in Preschool. Please consider bringing in something that we can put in the hamper, last time we were given so much we made two hampers!

The Bonus Ball will be restarting in December. If you want more details please contact Andrew at

Thank you to everyone who purchased photographs and Christmas cards, the children’s work looks spectacular, as do the children’s photographs. Please save the date for next year’s photographs Wednesday 11th October 2017 in the morning. Please bring along any family members if you would like a family group photograph.

Guess the Weight of Becky’s Baby was won by Leonie. Many congratulations to Becky and her family on the birth of her beautiful baby daughter!

Many thanks to Maddy, Leonie and Amy (and her daughter) for their hard work at the Silverton Baby Sale. Also to Harriet, Simon, Sarah M and Phil for representing the Preschool as marshals at the town firework display.


We have some exciting news to announce, we will be opening at 7.45 am for an early drop off session. At the moment it is an extra chargeable session. Should you wish to use this session please speak to Phil, Donna or Bridget.

The preference forms for next term will be out very soon, so please fill it in and return as soon as you can. If you would like a Friday please indicate this on the sheet, the more people who want it, the more chance we have of reopening on Fridays again.

Thank you for collecting your children on time, especially at the end of the day, it means that the Out of Hours children do not have to sit on the carpet for any longer than necessary waiting for the session children to be collected .

May I also remind all parents to remain in the hallway and not to come into the classrooms when collecting their child from Afterschool Club; this is purely for the safety of your children.

Our opening times are

OoH Breakfast 8.00am – 9.15am

Morning session 9.15am – 11.45am

Lunch 11.45pm – 12.45 pm

Afternoon session 12.45pm – 3.15pm

OoH session 1 3.15pm  – 5.00pm

OoH session 2 5.00pm – 6.00pm

The Playdate sheet for next term will be going up in the next couple of weeks, please fill in the dates you would like to come and play, you can come along as many times as you want. You also do not have to wait until your rota date – if you would like to stay and play when dropping your child off please do, the more the merrier – and it is fascinating to see what children get up to when at Preschool. It is how the vast majority of us became involved in Preschool education. Also if you would like to have lunch with your child after a morning session please do just bring along a packed lunch.

We now have so many 2 year olds that we now give them a special outdoor playtime. While the 3-4 year olds have snack, the 2 years olds can go out and explore, climb and play. It has been fascinating watching them; we have noticed that they are all desperate to climb and stand on top of anything! So if you have toys or climbing equipment that we could use for these very special children we would be grateful to receive them. Our supply of toy cars has dwindled to just a handful, if you have any spare ones I can guarantee that they will be very much loved! We also need toys for our 2 year olds.

Thank you for your support, Preschool really does appreciate it and need it; without it we would not be able to have a preschool in the town. We need to do a lot of fundraising this term to ensure that we are be able to provide childcare for your amazing children. The Duchy Preschool and Playgroup is a very special place, the children are amazing and the staff are very experienced – between us we have nearly 100 years worth of it! We are proud to say that we work at the Duchy Preschool and Playgroup.

We have a good reputation for the standard of care given to our children by those within childcare services and the community at large. this is being shown by how many children we have, already we have sessions that are nearly full!

Finally, our Christmas Celebration will be on Thursday 8th December, our last day this year at 1.30pm in the Baptist Church. Please share our celebration, the children have been learning Christmas songs and would love to see family there.

Please note that photographs taken of the children at any Preschool event are not to be posted on social media if they include other children. This follows recommendations from the Children’s Safeguarding Team.

The staff and Trustees would like to wish you all a  Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year. See you all next term, the week beginning the 9th January 2017.

Posted in Uncategorized

Volunteers Needed for Bradninch Christmas Fayre


The Bradninch Christmas Fayre is only a week away and it’s looking to be the busiest one yet!  The Guildhall will be bursting with an array of stall holders and there will be tea and cakes and children’s activities as well as an opportunity to meet Father Christmas.

Bridget and other staff members along with the Trustees will be there all day running the Fayre, but  we really need your help too and we are asking for just 1 hour of your time on Sunday 4th December to either help out in the kitchen serving tea and cakes or supervising the children’s activities.  If you are able to offer your time please email

We have also sent your child home with prize draw tickets this week for you to buy, sell to friends and family or even knock on doors with! There are some great prizes up for grabs – family tickets to Escot, National  Marine Aquarium and Bicton, a family swim pass, a Christmas turkey and a meal at Spice and Stone, original artwork by Jeremy Speck to name but a few. Please make sure your stubs and money are returned to Preschool by Thursday 1st December.  If you would like any more prize draw tickets, please ask at Preschool.

All proceeds from the prize draw and other initiatives on the day (other than the stallholders’ takings!) will be used to keep the Duchy Preschool going.

We look forward to seeing you on 4th December!

Thank you

Posted in Uncategorized

Potential new 7.45am opening time

Alphabet Blocks and Chalkboard

We are thinking of opening our breakfast club 15 minutes earlier for a trial period to see how much interest there is. We appreciate the bus leaves Bradninch at 8am, which makes it impossible for commuters to use the breakfast club. We are considering changing our opening time to 7.45am.

If you are interested in taking up this option, please reply below, let our staff know on site, send an email to or call 01392 881975. We will only go ahead with this if there is sufficient interest.

Please also feel free to share this information with other parents. We know that some who would like to use our preschool do not due to the later opening times.

Thank you

Posted in Uncategorized

Bonus Ball Prize Draw – Join by 1st December and win £63 Roll Over


We are re-starting on 1st December and we have £63 to give away on the first Saturday if you pick the right number. Sign up today or purchase another ball! 

One of our many initiatives to raise funds to keep our fantastic setting going (we are a registered charity, short on funds) is the Bonus Ball Prize Draw.

The idea is that any individual (parent, supporter etc.) over the age of 16 can purchase a number from 1 to 49 (subject to availability) for £1 per week. 50p goes into a prize draw pot and 50p is donated to the preschool. Each week we use the drawn bonus ball number from Saturday’s National Lottery and the owner of that number receives the prize draw pot. If a number is drawn which is not allocated, the prize draw pot rolls over to the following week.

We hope you agree this is a great way for you to potentially win some prize money, while also donating to secure the future of the Duchy Preschool.

The Bonus Ball Prize Draw is re-starting after a short break on 1st December 2016. If you would like to learn more, pick a number or make arrangements to sign up, please contact Duchy Board member Andrew Boys

Then you can sit back and watch the numbers roll in!

Posted in Uncategorized