Huntingdonshire pre-school goes from requires improvement to good

Buckden Pre-School Playgroup celebrate their good Ofsted, (l-r) Leo, and Kobi, in the cafe,

Buckden Pre-School Playgroup celebrate their good Ofsted, (l-r) Leo, and Kobi, in the cafe, - Credit: Archant

Staff at Buckden Pre-school Playgroup have had a “huge boost” after an Ofsted inspector upgraded it from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.

The group meets at the village hall on Burberry Road and was visited by inspector Claire Stevenson in November.

It was judged as ‘good’ across all three categories - meeting the needs of the children, its contribution to their well-being, and the effectiveness of its leadership and management. It was also given an overall rating of ‘good’ for the quality and standard of early years provision.

The inspector wrote: “The quality of teaching is good. Staff understand how children learn and provide a wide range of planned and freely chosen play opportunities to enhance children’s development.

“Staff manage children’s behaviour well. The established rules of the setting are clear and consistently implemented. As a result, children promptly follow instructions and listen to staff to help keep themselves safe.”

She also noted that the management team made good use of self-evaluation to identify strengths and weaknesses, and highlighted that plans were in place for improvements and many had already been implemented.

It was not yet ‘outstanding’ because Ofsted deemed that opportunities remained to strengthen engagement of parents in sharing information about their child’s developments and achievements from home in order to help staff support children’s learning. The inspector also drew attention to the limited ICT resources available for children to use “for a purpose” in their play.

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Michelle Nelson, manager, said: “We have worked really hard as a team to ensure that all the children get a really high standard of care and learning.

“The staff morale is really high now and we are just really pleased because we are effective in delivering the provision that meets the needs of the children.”

Some of the improvements made since she took over in February last year include changing the routine of the day and setting more boundaries for behaviour.

She added: “It was a huge boost because obviously change is always tricky. When there is a routine in place and people have been working in a certain way change is difficult, but everyone has just embraced it.”