Hove nursery rated good by official watchdog

Posted On 28 Jun 2021 at 12:01 am

A Hove nursery has been rated by good by the official watchdog Ofsted in a newly published inspection report.

A government inspector praised the Mini Adventurers Pre-School, which is based at St Helen’s Church Hall, Hangleton Way, Hove, after visiting last month.

The nursery, run by Natalie Dawson, looks after 36 children from two to four years old.

The nursery’s Ofsted report said: “The provision is good. Children enter the pre-school happily, leaving their parents outside. Parents and staff say this change due to the covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic restrictions has helped the children to be more independent.

“The manager and staff are passionate about developing children’s understanding of the natural world and supporting them to learn outdoors.

“Children enjoy exciting activities, which sparks their curiosity in the large and carefully planned garden.

“Indoors, children find inviting quiet spaces to look at a book or create a picture. Children write and sound initial letters and proudly show that they can write their name.

“The manager and staff consistently promote children’s wellbeing. Staff set good examples and offer clear explanations and prompts to support children’s good behaviour.

“Children behave very well and show kindness and respect to one another. They share and take turns.

“Children remind each other of the rules, such as the need to take off their boots when coming indoors.

“The knowledgeable and talented manager leads an enthusiastic and positive staff team. She supports their well-being and works alongside them to share her inspiring practice.

“Together they create a purposeful atmosphere where children thrive. Children show that they feel safe and secure.

“Staff are attentive and know the children well. They talk confidently about children’s interests and use these well to motivate children to learn.

“This helps children to become absorbed in play and learning. Staff understand clearly what children need to learn next and support them to achieve across all areas of learning.

“Staff successfully encourage children to enjoy books and stories. Children demonstrate good listening and attention skills as staff read to them in a large group.

“They remember previous learning and answer questions about what happens next. Staff use songs and rhymes to help develop vocabulary and counting. Children gain the skills they need for future success, including the move to school.

“Children show positive attitudes to learning as they practise skills and try new activities. However, occasionally, staff do not ensure the activity is matched to the abilities of the younger children, who lose interest as a result.

“At times, staff ask too many questions and overly direct children’s activities. This does not give children time to process their thinking and follow their own ideas.

“The manager and staff forge successful partnerships with parents. Staff share continual information about the children’s activities and progress.

“Parents are very complimentary about the pre-school. They praise the caring staff and wonderful garden.

“They feel that the manager is ‘always available’ to support them, particularly with ideas to use at home, such as how to help children’s speech, books to read or help with potty training.

“The manager and staff monitor all children’s progress carefully, and quickly identify any gaps in learning. They work closely with other professionals, such as speech therapists, and with children’s families to give children the support they need to catch up.

“The manager has an accurate understanding of the pre-school’s strengths and weaknesses. She is committed to continuous improvements focused on the needs of the children.

“She uses the ideas from staff and parents. For example, children are keen to use the new mathematical learning activities that were set up following feedback.

“To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should help staff develop their teaching skills further so that they consistently support the younger children to engage in learning (and) give children sufficient time to explore their own ideas, answer questions and solve problems.

“The pre-school is open Monday to Thursday from 8.30am to 3.30pm and on Friday from 8.30am to 12.30pm during term time only. The pre-school receives funding for children aged two, three and four years.

“There are seven staff, four of whom hold recognised early years qualifications at level 3. The manager holds a relevant early years qualification at level 6.”

To read the full report, click here.

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