Village pre-school's children are 'eager to learn'
AN inspector has praised a pre-school at a village near Thornbury for its targeted learning and strong relationships.
Stepping Stones pre-school in Elberton has achieved a good rating in all areas following a recent visit from Ofsted. The preschool is based in the village hall and takes children aged two to four years old during term times. It has 20 spaces and 20 children attending.
The education watchdog examined the setting against criteria in four categories: quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management.
Inspector Victoria Nicholson noted that children arrive "happily" for the start of their day, and because the staff know them well, it enables them to feel "settled and secure". The strong relationship between staff and children also enabled the staff to plan activities that are both interesting and challenging, she found.
The inspector added: “Children are keen and eager to learn because staff target teaching well to meet their individual needs. Staff have high expectations of what children can achieve and this ensures that children make good progress in their learning.”
The inspector also praised the outdoor learning in her report, highlighting that the children "eagerly talk" about their forest school sessions, and she wrote that staff invest a lot of time making sure the outdoor area meets children’s needs, with items to climb on, and the opportunity to grow and dig up vegetables.
The report commented that the management team was effective at identifying any gaps in learning, and all children, including those with additional funding, made good progress.
Leaders and staff successfully evaluated their own performance; staff observe each other and give feedback on the quality of teaching and activities, and parents are also invited to have a say.
Pre-school manager Gill Powell said: “We are extremely pleased with the outcome, especially as it was under the new framework and you can only get a ‘good’ if all staff show high levels of teaching.
"I am very proud of the staff team.”
Parent Sally Birch said: “Best childcare ever. I would recommend to any parent and do regularly.”
Picture: Preschool managers Gill Powell (top right) and Rianna Kilford (bottom right), practitioner Kate and children Rufus Denno, Casey Kilford, Maddie Smith, Avery Fowkes, Jacob Moss, Alfie Beard, Tori Sibley, Althea Chapman and Ellie Gasbarri.