Praise for ‘warm and nurturing’ preschool

CHILDREN “flourish” at a Downend preschool with caring staff and inclusive curriculum, says an inspector.

Ofsted says St Augustine of Canterbury Preschool is ‘good’ in all areas – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, leadership and management, and personal development – retaining the rating it received at its last inspection in 2017.

Inspector Stella Orfanidou said: “Children flourish in this warm and nurturing pre-school.

“Caring, attentive and friendly staff members give them a warm welcome. Children demonstrate they feel safe.

“The manager and staff collaborate to organise an ambitious and highly inclusive curriculum for all children under their care, particularly for those with special educational needs or disabilities.”

The inspector said the staff tailored activities to “stimulate curiosity and foster development”, recognising each child’s interests and abilities, adding: “This adaptive and attentive approach ensures that all children make substantial progress in their learning and development.”

Ofsted visited the preschool in Boscombe Crescent, which has 21 children aged from two to four on its roll, in May.

The regulator’s report, published in June, highlighted several areas including work to develop children’s communication and language skills through stories, phonic activities, talking and listening.

The inspector said the preschool “brims with opportunities” for drawing, and its garden enabled children to improve their physical skills and enjoy sensory play with sand and water.

She said: “The manager and staff nurture children’s problem-solving skills and independence, preparing them for future learning opportunities.”

“Parents highly praise the staff and setting, maintaining familiarity with their child’s key person for easy communication.”

The inspector said manager Kelly Breslin “passionately embraces her role, demonstrating dedication and commitment to providing children with exceptional learning opportunities”, adding: “Her contagious enthusiasm positively supports the professional growth and well-being of the staff.”

To improve further the inspector recommended that the committee-run preschool, which first opened in 1978, work with parents to ensure packed lunches  fit the healthy eating teaching.

Kelly said she was particularly pleased the inspector had picked up on the preschool’s “warm and nurturing” nature, the work on the curriculum, and the relations with parents.

She said: “The staff and preschool committee are delighted by our recent Ofsted report.”