SeptemberOctober2017Newsletter AB

Message from Emma Pearson ‘I am going to run 100 miles in May to raise some money for the school outdoor play area. We have a lovely big playground at Massingham School but I think everyone would agree it is a little bare. The school is aiming to provide some fun & educational outdoor equipment to enhance playtime for the children.

I want to help the school reach this goal and create a space that the children can enjoy for years to come. I will record all runs online through my Garmin watch and post regular updates on Facebook. It equates to roughly 3.5 miles a day but I’ll do some long runs too.

I have a crowd funding page where people can donate directly.

This is the very long winded link:

I will also have a collection box at the school if anyone wishes to donate.

Federation Day

Each term we hold a Federation Day for the two schools, Great Massingham and Harpley, to work together. The Federation Day on March 13th took the theme of Science.

DUCKLINGS PRESCHOOL NEWS……………….. Firstly, Tales from The Potting Shed. Peter prefers lettuce so we are growing tomatoes, so they should be safe from the rabbits, if not the snails but we’re not so sure about Callum. He does a real good imitation of Mr Mcgregor. The peas that were growing in the plastic bags and cotton wool on the washing line in the window have now been potted as they were threatening triffid like behaviour. The individual Seed Story books describe a pictorial story of imbibition and germination with some excellent examples of the development of mark making into writing. Its all about pen control and following the yellow highlighter. Joining dots doesn’t work, believe me.

For the pop up ‘Pets at the Vets’ week there was the rabbit, the guinea pig, the tortoises Delilah and Barnaby and Larry the Lamb (real one) – hence the enclosure on the lawn. We really didn’t use it to stop Chloe escaping. Apparently Larry used to be on Children’s Hour on something called the Home Service. Our children, four generations down the line, use the ipads at preschool to check out learning zone apps, but we don’t teach them how to create ebay accounts. It wasn’t us. The sunken tyre trail is used as an obstacle course by the 2 year olds. This develops their balance, encourages risk taking and problem solving.

Skills for future entrepreneurs? The ‘People Who Help Us’activity weeks included a trip to the Fire Station which was popular with the parents as well as the children. It was all about the Fire Engine, the real one. Get a grip. Donna the Dentist was fun with a serious message and a set of very big teeth. Why exactly do we give our children sweets and sugar drinks? When did your child last go to the dentist? When did you?

Lovely story about one of our pre-schoolers, coping with going to hospital by wearing one of our doctor outfits complete with stethoscope and was stopped by a doctor wearing the same outfit who wanted our doctor to treat his tummy ache. Ah. The woolly mammoth has been spotted in the far field again, we have the instruction book in our library on how to wash it. We don’t get too close, even if it thinks its one of the sheep.

Some time ago, our pre-schoolers had moved onto school and were being taught about how woolly mammoths had died out millions of years ago. Sheer incredulity from preschool alumni.

But Miss…………………… Pip Armitage


DUCKLINGS PRE-SCHOOL NEWS …. The squash muffins we made were as flat as pancakes but ‘delish’ with cream cheese. Sorry parents, none left when you arrived!

We had tickets to ride with our own railway station, train track and Skimbelshanks, a very important cat travelling on the night mail train with Eliot and old possum. We went tenting and had our own indoor camp site with pots and pans and the mud kitchen outdoors for inedible pancakes. Snack time is apples, toast and sitting round the table having conversations -we all should try it.

One week was all about lifecycles, caterpillars, cocoons and moths. Spring is busting out all over so we smelt the daffodils and made our own artistic versions that were more recognisable than some of our efforts that go home. When the child says it is a sheep, it is a sheep and it is wonderful, because all it takes is imagination and the child has that by the bucketful

DUCKLINGS PRE-SCHOOL NEWS….. What have we been doing? UNDER THE SEA ‘Jules Verne met Finding Dory’ at Ducklings Pre-school in January and there was a yellow submarine somewhere under the flying blue tang fish. As usual the paint pots were out and fish were everywhere. The tray of electric blue sand with hidden shells and yet more fish was popular. Chloe particularly enjoyed the kinesthetic modelling sand. ( No, really, it is called kinetic sand!) It is a way of learning that means hands on. ‘Tell me and I will forget, involve me and I will understand’. Hands up the parents who actually looked through the painted porthole – full marks for imagination and participation!



With a bit of forward planning and with reference to the meteorological reports on the day of the great snow, the sledges were out. The next week the activity theme moved on to Eat Well, Be Well, with a smoothy bar and an easy recipe of milk, plain yogurt, honey and fruit, bread making (the smell of fresh bread – if the kids can do it……), lots of maths, pizza take away, a veg shop and more maths, and phonics.

Whatever Next? Something about having to make a rocket to visit Tim Peake. Oh, and the Christmas play included a lion. Wonderful! Extending Our Opening Times……

SUPPORT FOR WORKING PARENTS In April, Norfolk County Council is changing the funding arrangements for childcare providers. The preschool is looking at responding to the new opportunities by extending opening hours for working parents during the week and opening for some weeks during summer. This could also include primary school age children. For enquiries – Please contact

Ducklings Pre-School December 2016

DUCKLINGS PRE-SCHOOL OFFERS 30 FUNDED HOURS From September 2017, funded childcare is being increased from 15 hours to 30 hours for 3-4 year olds when working parents both earn a minimum of £115.20 a week each. This is approximately 16 hours a week. The £115.20 applies to single working parents as well. Bookings are being taken for pre-school places in 2017.

Parents need to speak to Pippa now to reserve sessions or contact .

LEST WE FORGET Ducklings Pre-school observed two minutes silence and laid a poppy wreath at the war memorial at St Mary’s Church on Friday 11th November. 

CHLOE MAKES HER MARK New deputy Manager, Chloe Dewson, has only been at the Pre-school for a few weeks but she is already developing the opportunity for learning through play activities. The children are getting creative with the new mud kitchen and the donated pots and pans. November’s project, ‘Me, Myself and I’ includes child development (when I was a baby) and art in the style of Pablo Picasso. The ‘Gingerbread Man’, a classic tale from the 1800’s was used in October as a theme to learn about numbers. ‘Not in a Box’ by Portis got the imagination and creativity going on how to use empty cardboard boxes. Can’t wait for ‘How to wash a Woolly Mammoth’…..

From the Ducklings Team


School News October 2016

School returned on September 5th and everyone is enthusiastically getting back to work. Welcome to our new children Freddie, Tori, Taylor, Ellie-Mai, Darcy, Jemima, Daniel, Ella-Grace, Lola, Jake and Luke and to our new Class 2 teacher, Mrs Mari Cross.
We wish to thank all our volunteers who work hard for us during the school year and, in particular, the ‘Garden Club’ team – Liz, Julian and Joyce. The children love taking part in the gardening, nurturing their crops and seeing them grow. We really do appreciate all the ‘Team’ do and also the support given by the village when purchasing the produce at the shop. Please see Liz Foster’s note below.
The school will be holding its Harvest Service on 6th October, 9.30 am, at the Church and we are collecting for the Mid-Norfolk Food Bank.
Thanks also go to our ‘Parents and Friends Association’ for all they do to raise additional funds for the children in the school. (see note below)
The ‘Garden Club’ would like to thank all those who bought the vegetables from the stall outside the shop and thank you to Ray for allowing us to use his forecourt.
Your generous contributions raised £32.15 and this will be used for seeds and other sup-plies for next year.

Liz Foster

PFA Fundraising
Pennies to Pounds Challenge
A big thank you to everyone in the village who supported our Pennies to Pounds Challenge. Between the bottles situated at The Dabbling Duck, The Village Shop, The Village Hall, Lings, The Surgery and all at the school you contributed a massive £276.20. This money will be used to purchase computer tablets/iPads for the children.
Many thanks from us all.

Joules, PFA Treasurer.

Great Massingham Primary School PFA Fundraising

As many of you know our school’s PFA, with the help of many, raises funds to provide extra equipment, activities & opportunities for the children.
This year we have a new fundraising idea (please see below) & are asking for your help.
Many thanks – Joules PFA Treasurer

Easy Fundraising – When you shop online, you can raise money for our school, when shopping at nearly 3,000
top retailers, at no cost to you!
Simply visit:
Click on support a good cause Enter:  Great Massingham C of E Primary School
Register your details by setting up an account.
Install ‘link button’ and start shopping!


We are fortunate that our school has all the attributes of a long-established village school and plays an important part in the rural community. Many of our existing pupils have parents and grandparents who also started their education here which means a wide cross-section of local people give their support. Great Massingham C of E Primary School draws a unique strength from its success in fostering a close knit, family atmosphere where staff, pupils, parents and governors work closely together to ensure that all our pupils have the opportunity to develop and reach their full potential.

In September 2013, Great Massingham C of E Primary School began a partnership with our neighbouring village school, Harpley C of E Primary School. The Head Teacher of Harpley became the Head Teacher of the two schools. Both schools are Church of England VC schools and both villages are very proud of this status.

Following success of the partnership, the governing bodies of both schools agreed to form a federation. After full consultation with all stakeholders during the Summer Term 2015, the federation began on 21st September 2015. It is called ‘The Great Massingham and Harpley C of E Schools Federation’.

The Federation means the two schools now have just one Governing Body or Board. By combining the two governing bodies we have been able to draw on a wider range of expertise and put everything on a firmer footing for our two village schools and their future.

The school caters for children from Foundation Stage (Reception) through to Year Six (age 11). Children then go on to the nearby Litcham High School.

The Ducklings Pre-school Playgroup is based in a mobile building onsite to the rear of the school.

The original building is traditional Victorian style, founded in 1874. The School benefits from a modern, well-equipped library that was new in 2008, a new staff building, two computer suites, colourful playground markings, adventure areas, a playing field and a school garden with raised beds where children ‘grow their own’. The School is also very much involved in the village ‘Biodiversity Project’ and has helped to clear and replant what is known as the School Pond area in Weasenham Road, in the village.

The school grounds have delightful views of the Church of St Mary’s, and rolling fields and woods beyond. The playing fields are secure and spacious and the programme of environmental improvements over the last 9 years has seen the establishment of two ‘wild’ areas, tree planting and a log trail.


As a Church of England Primary School we greatly value our close links with the local church. We feel that the school is an integral part of the village and that it is important to maintain a high level of involvement with our local community.

A partnership between Great Massingham C of E Primary School and Harpley C of E Primary School began in September 2013, under the Headship of Mrs Ann Beardall. The two schools are just a mile apart and both are Church of England schools. Many small, village primary schools are now choosing to partner with other schools as successful partnerships can bring many benefits, particularly to small schools. Governors, staff and parents at Great Massingham are excited and fully supportive of this new venture.

To get a fuller picture of school activities and events see our monthly Newsletters .



We know there is a shortage of childcare provision in the area but, at present, we are unable to offer before and after school childcare at school. The intention of this article is to try and ascertain how many people would use before and after school care if we were able to offer it. It would also be helpful to know how many people would like to use this provision in the near future ie in the next two to three years.
This is all a bit ‘chicken and egg’ – if we have enough interest we may be able to offer a breakfast and after school club but we won’t know if we can offer this until we know people want it and would be willing to pay for the service, therefore making it possible!
A breakfast club could run from 8am – 8.45am and an after school club could run from 3.20pm – 5.45 / 6.00 pm.
Costs would be dependent on the number of people using the service – the more users the lower the costs would be. We would need to be able to cover the cost of two members
of staff for one hour each morning and two and a half to three hours after school.
If you are interested in this proposal could you please complete the details below, cut along the dotted line and return to the school.
Answers will only be used to consider the viability of After School Care and will not be considered an agreement to take up childcare.

NAME ………………………………………………………………………………………
NUMBER OF CHILDREN ………………………………………………
Yes, I would want to use the care arrangements for …… children and for …… days per week.
I would be willing to pay up to …… each day for breakfast
club before school.
I would be willing to pay up to ……. per hour for an after
school club.
Include any questions here and use the back of the page if necessary.



James Amos
Dabbling Duck October
West Heath Barn
Karl Andrews
Langham Glass