Children ‘excited’ to attend Northampton pre-school graded ‘good’ in all areas, says Ofsted

When children get upset, staff “readily offer cuddles and reassurance,” the report said

Friday, 29th July 2022, 8:30 am

A Northampton pre-school has been rated ‘good’ in all areas by Ofsted in its latest inspection.

Daisy Chain Pre-School, based at the Southfields Community Centre in Farmhill Road, was visited by Ofsted inspectors in June.

During inspections, Ofsted considers the quality of education, behaviours and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and early years provision. The Daisy Chain Pre-School was rated ‘good’ in all categories in a report published this week.

A Northampton pre-school has been graded 'good' by Ofsted. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

The report said: “Children are excited to attend the setting. Overall, they settle well. On occasions when children are upset, they seek comfort from staff, who are sensitive to this and readily offer cuddles and reassurance.”

Ofsted commended staff for building on children’s imagination during play - for instance, when they used chairs to create an ‘aeroplane’ so that children could pretend they are flying to Disneyland in America. They then used their creativity to take on roles such as pilot and passenger, which inspectors found made them more confident with self expression and communicating ideas.

The report praised staff for acknowledging that some families do not have access to gardens so provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.

Inspectors found children to be “well behaved” and “inquisitive” - for example, older children would approach visitors and enquire about their presence at the setting whilst younger children would smile and show visitors what they are playing with.

The report also noted that children have positive and respectful relationships with staff and are always keen to share personal experiences with them, such as losing a tooth and being visited by the ‘tooth fairy’ and staff listen with interest.

Ofsted additionally commended staff for working closely with parents to identify key information about their children - such as their interests and development - so they can tailor the curriculum to their needs. They do this by getting parents to complete ‘all about me’ sheets.

With regards to children’s learning, staff model language to support children to learn new words and use simple sign language to further support verbal communication, according to the report.

Inspectors found, however, that staff - on occasion - ask children too many questions in quick succession without giving them enough time to think and respond.

The report additionally noted that staff are not always familiar with the next steps in learning for other children they provide care for so they are not fully able to support these children’s individual learning needs.

Ofsted found that staff are well supported by the leadership and management team at the Daisy Chain Pre-School with training aimed at addressing children’s needs following the coronavirus pandemic. Staff then used this new knowledge to share vocabulary with parents so they can further support their children at home.

The last inspection of the Daisy Chain Pre-School took place in December 2015, when it was rated as ‘outstanding’ in all areas - the best possible grade. This means that the pre-school has dropped a grade in each category.