Acorns Community Pre-School

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About Acorns Community Pre-School

Name Acorns Community Pre-School
Ofsted Inspections
Address Hanover Hall, Jennings Road, Totton, Southampton, Hampshire, SO40 3BA
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Hampshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

This small and well-qualified staff team has many long-standing members who are completely dedicated towards the opportunities and experiences they provide for the children in their care.

New members of staff benefit from coaching and mentoring to learn from their wealth of experience. Staff invest in building strong and successful partnerships with parents. These links are integral to the ethos and commitment of the pre-school for the future progress of each and every child.

Parents receive constant updates and reports of their children's development and help to set the next steps for their future learning. Parents ar...e very complimentary of the team and the opportunities and experiences they provide for their children. The leadership team has a clear and ambitious outlook and an evolving curriculum that changes in line with the characteristics and changing interests of the children.

There are high expectations for all children from dedicated key persons and a whole-team approach. Staff are patient, kind and knowledgeable. They help children to settle quickly into the daily routines and to build a strong sense of belonging.

Children display close and strong bonds with all staff members. They behave well, receiving consistent guidance and explanations.

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

The manager, who is also the nominated individual, makes effective use of the self-evaluation process.

She values the views and comments of parents, children and the staff to help identify areas for improvement. There are firm plans in place to renovate parts of the garden area. For example, a sheltered area is being developed to support the children's enthusiasm for outdoor play.

Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and those who receive additional funding, make steady progress. There is a targeted approach towards their future learning. Strong professional partnerships and good information sharing with other agencies support these children to reach their full potential.

Staff receive professional development opportunities that help them to improve their knowledge and understanding. Recent training on managing children's behaviour has helped staff to support children further in gaining important social skills. The leadership team has made changes to the way they supervise and observe staff practice.

This has already had a significant impact on how they reflect on their own teaching practice.Children have many opportunities to play outdoors and to be physically active. They are learning to balance and negotiate large equipment and have a growing awareness of their own abilities.

Children take part in sensory activities in the garden. For example, they become excited as they search for 'treasure' in shaving foam and swirl glittery water around to make patterns.Staff encourage and support the increasing communication and language development of children.

Younger children are learning new and more challenging words and older children are given time to answer questions, to give their own views and suggestions. However, staff do not make the most of the wide variety of books available by helping children to have easier independent access. This inhibits the way children use books to help them to find out facts and additional information as they play and learn.

Children are learning to take calculated risks in their play. For instance, children use real woodwork tools to cut and drill. They persevere and follow instructions well as they use a small hacksaw to cut pieces of wood.

Although children are engaged and willing participants, most-able children are not given further levels of challenge to help them to build on the skills they are developing.Staff closely track and monitor the progress that children are making. They swiftly identify potential gaps in children's learning to provide additional support if required.

Staff use the changing interests and likes of the children to precisely plan for more experiences in their play.Children are using early mathematics in their play and are given time to solve problems together. For example, they use large shapes that they rotate around until they fit together.

Children enjoy weighing ingredients as they make pretend cupcakes and are learning about volume and capacity as they make wheels spin when pouring water.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.There is a culture of vigilance amongst the staff.

They have a good understanding of how to identify potential signs and symptoms of abuse and the procedures they would use to report any concerns. This helps to support the welfare of children. The manager uses robust recruitment processes, which helps to guarantee the suitability of staff who work directly with the children.

Staff receive opportunities to update their knowledge of wider and changing safeguarding issues, such as protecting children from radicalisation and how to gain an awareness of using early technology. Staff use thorough risk assessments to keep children safe and secure at all times when playing outdoors.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: review planned activities to add more challenge to fully support the learning of most-able children nenable children to see and use books more freely and independently to help support their learning.

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