Praise for ‘hidden gem’ pre-school
AN INSPECTOR has praised the “warm, safe and welcoming environment” at a Staple Hill pre-school.
Children and staff at Little Sheep pre-school in Staple Hill have plenty to smile about - their setting has had a glowing report from Ofsted.
Report: Page 5
Little Sheep Pre-School is based at Staple Hill Methodist Church on the High Street and has been described as a “hidden gem” by parents.
The pre-school, which is about to celebrate its fifth birthday, has 16 children and three staff.
It was visited by an inspector from education watchdog Ofsted in March and the report has just been published. Ofsted rates pre-schools in in four areas: leadership and management, teaching and learning quality, outcomes for children and their development, behaviour and welfare. Little Sheep was rated good in all four areas.
Ofsted inspector Shahnaz Scully said: “Staff create a warm, safe and welcoming environment for children and their families.
“All children develop good communication skills, including those with special educational needs.
“Staff know how to use a range of teaching aids, such as visual timetables and picture cards, to communicate effectively with all children and ensure they feel included.”
The inspector said children made good progress from their starting points in the “inviting and stimulating environment” provided by staff.
She added: “Children receive regular praise and encouragement from staff. This helps to build their confidence and self-esteem. Children learn about the importance of regular exercise and healthy eating through everyday routines.”
Little Sheep manager Philippa Powell said the inspector had made a fair judgment of the pre-school, which was set up in an unused room at the church and has since developed to include an outdoor play area in the garden.
It is run by a committee of church members and youngsters also take part in extra-curricular activities, including the Calmer Llama art trail currently on display around Broadmead, organised by the Methodist circuit’s Ark Project.
Mrs Powell said that although the pre-school was small, the three staff have more than 60 years of childcare experience between them.
She said: “Our unique selling point is that we like to make it feel like a home from home, like the children are playing in their front room.
“The children can have really unique bonds with us, which they wouldn’t get at a big nursery.
“One of our parents said our pre-school was a hidden gem – but we don’t want to be hidden!”