Acorn Pre-School & The Mighty Oaks

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About Acorn Pre-School & The Mighty Oaks

Name Acorn Pre-School & The Mighty Oaks
Ofsted Inspections
Address School Lane, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5XA
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority CentralBedfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children are happy and excited to attend the setting and are welcomed warmly by the manager and staff team. They understand the routines of the day and eagerly join the circle time activity.

Children find their own name cards to self-register and join in with songs and action rhymes. They access resources independently and enjoy the freedom to explore the garden environment, where they run and climb or sit together in quiet spaces to share a story. Children create an obstacle course using wooden resources and take turns to manoeuvre safely across.

Staff sensitively support children to manage risks when using the equipment, helping children to feel safe and secure in experimenting with different ladders and balance beams. This supports their developing problem-solving and coordination skills. Children's behaviour is good.

They play cooperatively and share resources when making cakes in the mud kitchen or digging for bugs in the soil. Staff provide opportunities for children to explore and create using different materials and textures. Children make musical shakers from oats and recycled tubs and are proud of their achievements.

Children also enjoy making play dough. They follow staff instructions, listening intently and using mathematical concepts as they measure ingredients and mix the dough. Staff encourage children to describe the texture, colour and scent and children self-select craft items to personalise their creations.

What does the early years setting do well and what does it need to do better?

The leadership of the setting is strong and staff report that they find the manager very supportive. The manager has a good understanding of the provision and an in-depth knowledge of the children attending the setting. The staff team are kind and caring and team working is effective.

The manager understands the strengths of the staff team and offers professional development opportunities to enhance their knowledge and develop teaching practice.Parents and carers talk positively about the setting and are happy with the service provided. They enjoy receiving feedback about their children's learning and progress and have formed good relationships with their children's key person and buddy.

Parents and carers are pleased with the high level of support that children with special educational needs and/or disabilities receive. Staff conduct home visits on enrolment and this enables the key person to support children's transitions into the setting. This means that children settle in quickly.

Children are learning to be independent at lunchtime and manage their self-care needs. They pour their own drinks and are supported to open packets and choose the foods in their lunch boxes. Children clear away their plates and cups and wash their hands independently before and after food.

Children's behaviour is very good and their emotional development is well supported by staff. They help children to understand the 'golden rules' and learn the routines and boundaries. There is a strong focus on kindness and caring for each other.

Children settle quickly to playful experiences because they feel secure and safe in the setting.Children's transitions to school are handled positively. There are strong links with the local primary school and the schools in the surrounding villages.

Reception class teachers visit the setting and children have good opportunities to prepare for school. For example, they dress up in school uniform and visit the local school to watch special events.Children regularly visit the local park and shops.

They enjoy visiting the residents of the local care home and have opportunities to participate in forest school. The staff team broaden the children's knowledge of the local community and of cultures that are different to their own.Staff follow children's interests and build on their knowledge.

For example, children enjoy listening to a story about dinosaurs and excitedly shout, 'Let's look for a dinosaur'. They then undertake a dinosaur hunt and staff model expressive language as they search around the garden, under the trees and in the mud, for the dinosaur.The manager has a clear vision for teaching and learning and shares the intent of the curriculum with staff.

However, staff do not always understand how to implement the curriculum consistently.Children's communication and language is a focus. The manager recognises the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on children's speech development and is implementing a local authority language programme.

Staff interactions support most children's development needs. However, occasionally, staff do not recognise when children need help to engage in purposeful play so that they can fully participate in all the rich learning experiences on offer.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The manager has an excellent knowledge of safeguarding and child protection procedures. The staff team have received training in safeguarding and understand how to report concerns. They are confident to discuss the signs and symptoms of abuse and understand who to contact at the local authority to escalate concerns.

Staff understand their responsibility to report concerns of safeguarding issues, such as a child being exposed to extremist views. The recruitment process is robust and the provider understands their responsibility to safeguard children and to ensure the suitability of those working with children in the setting.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: support staff to develop their understanding of the curriculum and guide them to implement it more consistently coach staff in recognising when children need help to engage in purposeful play so they can fully participate in learning experiences.

Also at this postcode
Shefford Lower School Shefford Dawn Until Dusk Acorn Pre-School & The Mighty Oaks

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