Alveston preschool praised after first ever inspection from Ofsted

LITTLE Stars are shining in Alveston, as the preschool of that name has been praised in its first report from Ofsted.

An inspection in May highlighted the preschool’s well-planned curriculum and caring staff.

The regulator said St Helen’s Preschool Little Stars, based at St Helens C Of E Primary School in Greenhill, was ‘good’ in all areas – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management.

Inspector Rachael Williams said that children engage in a broad range of experiences, which helps them practise skills and be confident learners. 

She said: “The curriculum is well planned, and staff use their training and skills successfully to provide a range of experiences across all areas of learning.

“Staff have a good understanding of what they want children to learn next, based on accurate observations and assessments.”

There was praise for the way children thoroughly enjoyed reading books and storytelling, showing good imagination, and building of their physical skills and coordination. 

The inspector said children developed strong bonds with staff, who were genuinely interested in their well-being, developed high levels of self-esteem and made their own decisions about their play. 

The inspector praised the special educational needs coordinator for working closely with parents and others to enable children with special educational needs or disabilities to make progress.

Children’s behaviour and the close work of staff with parents, particularly when children start at the preschool, was highlighted, as well as support to help staff improve their skills.

The report said that in order to further improve, the preschool should organise group times to ensure that younger and less confident children were learning at their level of understanding, and support staff to help children understand daily routines.

It was the first time Ofsted had visited the preschool, which has 32 places for two to four year olds per session and 50 children on its roll, since it re-registered as a charitable incorporated organisation two years ago.

Committee members are all volunteer parents or carers, who give their time freely for the management of the preschool and are elected by the parents of children who attend.

Manager Lucy Long said the report was welcomed by the small charity that runs the pre-school. 

She said: “The team at preschool is incredible. 

“We all have huge passion for early years and want to continue to give the children the best start to early education.

“I personally am so proud of my team at Little Stars.”