At Ducklings we believe that the group’s activities should be open to all children, families and all adults committed to their learning and development. We see inclusivity as a constantly evolving process, a ‘journey’ not a ‘destination’. We are committed to this concept of inclusion and recognise that truly inclusive settings are those “in which the teaching and learning achievements of every young person matter”. (As identified in The Special Needs (provision of Information by Local Authorities) (England) Regulations 2001)


Ducklings Playgroup is an independent Playgroup operating from the children’s centre, community house in Ripon and has been running since February 2006. Playgroup sessions cater for 22 children and are run by four experienced members of staff all with appropriate qualifications.  The Playgroup is not profitable so we rely on fundraising, through photo’s and school link book club to buy new resources.



Jayne Allinson is our Manager. She has a Certificate of higher education level 4 and has worked at playgroup since 2006.


Louise Riddler has a level 3 qualification for advanced teaching assistant, currently working on the NVQ level 4 Children’s Care Learning and Development. Louise has also been working at the playgroup since 2006.

Playgroup Assistants

We also have Yvonne (currently working on level 4 Children’s Care Learning and Development) and Katrina (level 2 Children’s Care and Education). We have a dedicated team of staff, half of them are trained First Aiders and attend numerous training courses to ensure the best care and provision for our children.

Who can attend?

Playgroup is open to any child between the ages of 2 years and five years old.  We welcome all members of the community and always try to accommodate any child with special circumstances or special educational needs.  

How is Ducklings Playgroup judged?

The playgroup is inspected by Ofsted. A copy of the report is available at Playgroup, on our website and also on Ofsted’s website.  Ofsted inspect on a regular basis, checking building structure, safety provision, policies and activities that have all, to date, exceeded requirements.  

 How will my child benefit?    

During each playgroup session we aim to offer the children a range of activities and experiences which are appropriate to their age and stage of development. We try to achieve a balance between free play and child-led activities, and activities which are adult led. Information on the activities we plan is always on display in the setting. Ducklings will comply with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The EYFS is a single quality framework to support children’s learning and development from birth to five years. Each child has their own learning journey which will travel with them until they reach the end of reception year at school. The framework recognises that there is a development continuum for children and this is reflected in the development and learning grids. The EYFS brings together documents practitioners are currently working with to ensure good practise across the range. This means that from September 2008 all providers offering care and education to children 0-5 outside of the family home will be working towards the same framework and standards.


The Framework is based on 4 themes and principles and supported by 16 commitments. It recognises children as individuals and competent learners. The EYFS is delivered through a well planned play based approach to learning and development.


For all children learning begins at birth. The EYFS will help practitioners provide appropriate play experience to enable your child to develop in all areas. It will enable practitioners to recognise your child’s strengths and areas they need support to develop new skills. For young children it is important that they are made to feel safe and secure in their surroundings, this is aided by having a ‘key person’ within the setting who gets to know your child well and builds a positive relationship with you both.

The EYFS means that wherever your child is being cared for between the age of 0-5 years they will be following the same set of principles, they will be offered a ‘principled play based approach to learning and development’. Young children learn best through play and Early Years Practitioners will be able to provide your child with appropriate play and learning experiences for their stage of development and help them develop new skills. The activities that are provided for young children will underpin the skills they need to work towards the Early Learning Goals in the following at the end of their reception year at school.


·         Communication, language and literacy

·         Personal, social and emotional development

·         Problem solving and reasoning

·         Creative development

·         Physical development

·         Knowledge and understanding of the world


All areas are of equal importance and many activities will cover many of the areas. Each area is divided up into stages of development and practitioners are able to identify resources and learning opportunities for individual children dependent on their development needs.

The EYFS also encourages practitioners, parents and carers to work together to help children develop to their full potential. For you this means, the opportunity for you to input information about your child’s development and work together to provide a cohesive care package for you and your child.

If your child has a Special Educational Need/s or disability additional information is embedded in the EYFS to enable practitioners to target work specifically and help your child progress.


What are the Playgroup policies?

We are continually reviewing and updating our policies. A copy of all the policies we have adopted is available at Playgroup and also on our website

Our morning


Children arrive. Hang coats on pegs with their nametags provided. Each child collects their name card, posts it in the box and is greeted by a member of staff. Time for free play and talking until everyone has arrived.


Free play and activity of the day at the ‘messy table’

Various stimulating activities are available during the session:

  • Creative Play - colouring pencils, painting, stencilling, cutting, sticking, gluing, sewing, play dough, sandpit, clay, water play
  • Role and Imaginative Play - Dressing-up, kitchen, workbench, shop, play-food, farm, train-set, dolls house, fort, garage, zoo, castle
  • Manipulative Play - Jigsaws, threading, bricks, lego, duplo, construction type toys
  • Pre-Writing Activities – chalk board, white board, aqua draw
  • Reading - We have a large stock of Playgroup
  • Outdoor- free-flow outdoor play from 9.30- 11.20 (weather permitting) range of ride-ons, balls, slides, prams, hoops, skipping ropes, outdoor games like the parachute
  • free snack- water is available all session, a free snack table is available until 10.15

10.20 group snack, milk and a wide variety of healthy snacks are offered and rotated daily including fresh fruit, vegetables, cereal or crackers, vegetable dips and bread sticks etc

11.30 Story time and songs, including lively action songs and dancing

11.45 Collection




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