Ducklings Pre-School

Based in the rural village of Great Massingham, Norfolk, the preschool is on the grounds of the village primary school. A small, highly qualified and experienced staff team enable children to be supported to reach their full potential.

Opening Times

Sessional care

Monday to Friday during term time

9am-12 / 12-3pm

For breakfast and high tea 8-9am / 3-4pm/ 4-5pm / 5-6pm

Please enquire

Fees and Funding

All 3 and 4-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours funded childcare from the term after their 3rd birthday. 

30 hours funded childcare available for eligible 3 and 4-year-olds. 

15 hours funded childcare for eligible 2-year-olds. 

9am-12noon £11

12-3pm £11


Bookings are being taken for 2017 and 2018. 

To book your  visit please email

Autumn Term

Preschool Newsletter November 2018

Our version of the Coffee Shop really appealed to the children’s entrepreneurial skills with a brisk trade in lattes and tea made with air. The till was ringing with the clink of fake bank notes designed by the children. As book of the week The Very Hungry Caterpillar was used to learn about different fruits and try them out other than the usual bananas and apples. We have been learning about Autumn and seasonal changes, on one of our walks we collected conkers and autumn leaves to support number recognition. “Look Pip this clonker has been eaten by a squeezle!”. How to get the bear across the river was part of the ‘problem solving’ theme in November. The children were provided with a tray of water, some bears and duplo. The children developed their team building skills, taking and managing risk, trying out and exploring new ideas. We have been on several Listening Walks this term, developing the children’s listening and attention skills and awareness of sound to support sound blending in phonics. “Play is a child’s work” – Piaget. Children are never “just playing”, they are developing skills such as cooperation, concentration, problem solving, using imagination and creativity, reviewing and revising. All skills important for everyone to have!

Learning Journals

‘Tapestry is being used for online learning journeys. As parents you are able to access your child’s record of their learning and development.  Parents are asked to add your own comments, photographs and anecdotes.


The Library

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss

Reading together supports language development and gives you a special time with your child. The library is once again in full swing, please help yourself to a couple of story books each week or maybe try a story sack. Please list the book and write a comment in your child’s reading record.


It’s never too early for your child to join the Norfolk Library Service. Story sacks are available. Even the youngest baby benefits from being read with.


Speech and Language

(SaLT) Drop in session 27th November. 9.30-11am at St Clements Children Centre, Terrington St Clemet or ring 01493 809 977 for information and advice.





Services to Home Educators

“Flexi-schooling” or “flexible school attendance” is an arrangement between the parent and the school where the child is registered at school and attends the school only part time; the rest of the time the child is home educated (on authorised absence from school). This can be a long-term arrangement or a short-term measure for a particular reason. “Flexi-schooling” is a legal option provided that the head teacher at the school concerned agrees to the arrangement. The child will be required to follow the National Curriculum whilst at school but not whilst he or she is being educated at home. Local authorities should make sure that head teachers are made familiar with flexi-schooling and how it may work in practice.  This and further information is available on the Norfolk County Council website. (

Diary Dates

December 1st

10am – 2pm Christmas Fete, Massingham Village Hall

Preschool will have a stall (volunteers needed to run the stall!)

December 14th

10am-2pm Farmer Freds Trip

December 18th

Christmas service

Time to be confirmed

Gt Massingham Church

Preschoolers will be “Rocking out to Rudolph”

December 18th

Last day of term

January 3rd

Back to school

Looking for Preschool from September 2019?


Contact Ducklings

07807 185 746


Preschool News October 2018

The children may not remember The Contours and the Mashed Potato Song ( Home Alone for younger viewers) but they know this is Makaton for G.  We were learning biggest and smallest by building different height towers of bricks. Problem solving skills took over when 2 bright sparks used the bread-crates and a stool to make their tower higher than anyone else. We had an extra Fire Drill as the alarm went off, something about burning the toast that we had with our very healthy fruit snack. We used the The Book of the Week, The Very Hungry Caterpillar to learn about different fruits and try them all out. Our version of the Costa Coffee Shop really appealed to the children’s entrepreneurial skills with a brisk trade in lattes and tea made with air. The till was ringing with the clink of fake bank notes designed by the children so we have probably produced next generation of master forgers. Our next Book of the Week is Cops and Robbers and Burglar Bill. We were collecting conkers on one of our preschool walks ”Look Pip, this clonker has been eaten by a squeezle”

One of our school leavers was on a bug hunt with the rest of reception class and stopped to tell Pip ,  ” I found a worm”. ”That isn’t a worm, its duck poo”.

Ducklings May/June News………………….

The pirate ship was sailing the seven seas. It probably wouldn’t get very far as it was six crates, a pole and a flag. ‘Where are we sailing to? ‘  ‘ Tescos’.  More luck with the maths as this was counting gold coins. By the end of the week, some of us could add coins together to make up to 10.  Planets again this year. One parent thought the silver emergency blankets were to keep the sun out, the children knew that we were inside the spaceship. Silly mummy. As the week went on we learnt about the solar system and the oldest could put other children in the positions of the planets and know which ones moved around which. Even the two and a half-year-old got gravity. ‘Big jump, come down.  Succinct.

We run around all the time, but we tried some organised running, into two groups, run round Emily, run back. Except one kept going and didn’t stop. We have had some trips out this year when we could fit into a couple of cars.

The toilet system at Castle Acre Castle was of particular interest, imagine those discussions. The beach was great for rolling down the dunes, apologies to the couple who got squashed.

This week we went with school to a music session with instruments, singing and stories. Most impressed with our children’s behaviour. Children learn through play, it is their ‘work’ Besides the phonics, the maths and the mark making that is generally adult led or initiated, children explore, discover, use imagination, learn to get on with each other. We have homework sheets but these are taken by the children, or not, as they want.  ‘ Pippy, I done it Yay ‘ with both arms in the air, I’m still not sure what it was, but we all went ‘yay’  with the child in celebration.   We took the older children to the Damien Hirst Exhibition and used the theme of circles and dots for our own activities, some very artistic T-shirts were created with circle designs, circles painted on the windows, circles in the air. New experiences bring resilience and confidence.

The children sat on the tyres in the sunshine for an impromptu concert as parents arrived to take them home and sang, ‘ you are my sunshine, my only sunshine’ with Makaton signing.

Perfect picture, lovely children.


Ducklings December and January News……………

Lights ,camera, action. Amazing performances by Rudolf et al and thanks to Lily who came in at short notice as an understudy at December’s shared production with school. Next year we will be needing somewhere else with a bigger stage so the sledge doesn’t fall off, microphones and some heating so Rudolf’s nose doesn’t turn blue.

Castles and dragons for a week meant lots of dressing up as characters, a history lecture on a time before cars, dragon painting and on one day we ran up and down Castle Acre castle because we wanted to. We were pleased to discover what was first thought to be a large fairy door ( something we know all about but you don’t because you are older than us ) but the general conclusion was that it was actually something else. The cardboard castle morphed into HMP Great Massingham. Burglar Bill turned out to be a really good guy who returned the stolen goods and went on the right path. Ethics for 2 year olds. A dad had made a lock board for us with a combination of padlocks, key locks, and bolts. The level of concentration from each child as they worked on picking the locks probably should give some cause for concern if it wasn’t about the EYFS developing fine motor skills. No really, it was. Book of the week was definitely Cops and Robbers by  A. Ahlberg.  The  HMP is undergoing another paint job and will be a twitcher’s  hide complete with binoculars and sightings checklist by Monday morning of the RSPB Garden Bird Watch week.  Is there a difference between a birdwatcher and a twitcher? More phonics, ssssss,  aaaaa,  tttttt. Think hissing snake, ants up the arm and tennis. And the woolly mammoth is back again.

Ducklings News….. November ..
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes has a tune, try and make one up to stomach, heart, and lungs, breathing, blood and where your food goes. Me, myself and I also included sharing photos of our parents as children. Wasn’t this a party game?
We went on a Bear Hunt, found a toad, made him a house and squelch squelched in the mud. One unnamed child ate the mud pie.
In our history session, we dressed up as Guy Fawkes and his supporters vs King James and his soldiers to explain bonfire night. We used old spray bottles to make firework pictures.
On Sunday 12th preschool was represented at the Remembrance service.
Covey the dog and Billy the budgie will be visiting our little vets at preschool. It’s too cold for the tortoise.

newsletter november 2017 Ducklings

Ducklings October News………………

All together to the tune of ‘I’m a little tea pot’.  I’m a little hedgehog, brown and small, very prickly, not that tall when I’m feeling frightened, away I crawl, and curl up in a tiny ball. Twelve hedgehogs sang cheerfully about harvest as the dragon slept below the grating. If you are way over five you think that the dragon is either fog or someone has set the church furnace going, we know better.

When you are 2 and learning numbers the binary code is a good start for our digital age. Collecting conkers in buckets on our walk on the green and numbers start to be more than cut out shapes.

Our little library of bedtime books and mini story sacks are well used by mums and dads so if anyone happens to visit Waterstones, think of us.

So is 0 a number or n0t?


Ducklings Preschool News…….. What’s Been Happening in September?

Rousseau’s Tiger was ‘Surprised’ at our children’s version of tiger faces made from paper plates, lots of orange paint and tissue paper.
For the newest 2 year olds, running the tap in the bathroom is just as fascinating as painting ‘grass’ for the jungle picture using both hands. They are a bright lot as they have worked out that more paint means more water.
Everyone is an elephant’s child. Then we bopped to hey hey we’re the monkeys, I’m the king of the jungle and the eye of the tiger. No prizes for putting into chronological order.
Our circle story time hasn’t quite come together yet. The circle tends to have a few parabolic curves as something else attracts attention and the little person makes a bee line for whatever. Hence the transport theme this week – D D D Digger, C C C Car, B B B Bus, T T T Train. Toy car wheels make great paint patterns and tracks on paper and using the principle of gravity the same cars go much faster down a ramp, until someone sat on it.

Oh what fun we have at Preschool. Always something to discover!


Great Massingham website
Karl Andrews
Community Cars
West Heath Barn
Dabbling Duck
Massingham Village Hall & Club