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

Join us for Bradninch Christmas Fayre

Sunday 4th December 10am – 4pm
Bradninch Guildhall
In support of Bradninch Preschool and Playgroup

Follow Christmas Fayre updates on Facebook


As the nights draw in and the autumn leaves are falling, our thoughts start to turn towards Christmas and we hope you will join us at the Bradninch Christmas Fayre!

We have a fantastic array of stalls, so you will easily find something unique for the person who is impossible to buy for. There are handmade up-cycled bags, locally made jams and chutneys, Usborne books, wood-turned items, homemade fudge, Somerset cider, artisan choccies, disco bead bracelets, decorations, hand-sewn cushions, ceramic and porcelain jewellery, homemade pressed apple juice, stain glass and wire crafts, paintings, vintage glass and kitchenilla, wooden toys, and silversmith jewellery. In fact the fayre has been so popular this year we are spilling out of the Guildhall.

Not forgetting the children (who the fayre is really all about), there will be kids activities and face painting and Father Christmas will be visiting.

Our raffle and other competition prizes this year include a family ticket to Plymouth Aquarium, tickets to Escot and Bicton Park. The great new Indian restaurant in Broadclyst, Spice and Stone, have kindly donated a meal for two and there are many more prizes. Jess Sweeney is donating a beautiful and delicious cake for a “Guess the weight of the cake” competition. Then of course there is the lucky dip and you can even make a Christmas card with our very own local artist Jeremy Speck.

All of this you can enjoy with a refreshing hot drink (or perhaps something a little stronger) and a delicious cake.

We look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions or would like a stall please contact Duchy Board member Lis Presland here

Posted in Uncategorized

Hello from the Trustees

Hello to everyone out there, especially to the parents of children currently attending our great setting, to those who have done time here and hopefully to prospective new parents!

A lot has happened at the Duchy Preschool and Playgroup in 2016, with a brilliant new Managing Supervisor, Bridget Cross, replacing another brilliant and long serving one, Mary Richards. The new staff team has been working very hard to maintain and improve on the service we provide for you and your children. Our thanks to Mary for all her hard work over the years and also to Sarah Shaw, who recently left us after also providing committed and high quality service over a long period of time.


As most of you may know the preschool is a registered charity and in 2016 we have finally converted to a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO), which does not make any difference to the service we provide, but is more appropriate for a preschool run by local parents. The CIO process has been long and time consuming and a huge word of thanks must go to Sera Byrne and the previous Board of Trustees for patiently and diligently bringing this about, with the able support of our trusted Business Manager Phil Whateley.

The current Board of Trustees comprises – Andrew Boys, Sera Byrne, Simon Crawford, Madeleine Harvey-Howe, Lis Presland, Kirsty Simpson, Harriet Twiddle and Natasha Wills. We have decided not to elect a Chair as we are small and nimble enough to mobilise and support our staff together when they need us. But we are all committed to providing the young children of Bradninch and surrounds with a safe and exciting place to meet friends, play and learn and we are determined to maintain the high quality experience they and you deserve , despite some very serious financial challenges.


This message is the first of what we hope will be many interactions with you as we hope to improve communication and transparency with our parents, members and supporters. We feel this communication is crucial to ensure that you know how the setting is being run and so that those of you who want to tell us how we can improve or contribute in some way, feel comfortable doing so.

Unfortunately we are also facing a major challenge to survive and continue and we will be appealing to you to consider ways in which you may be able to help us to do so, for your children who may attend or have done in the past and for those to come. This could be in the form of fundraising, spreading the word about us or just taking part in our initiatives such as the Bonus Ball Prize Draw or the Christmas Fayre.

If you have any queries, questions or comments please feel free to contact us at or reply below.

Thank You

Posted in Uncategorized