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St Augustine’s Hall, Johnstone Road, Thorpe Bay, Southend On Sea, Essex, SS1 3NG
Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises
Highlights from Latest Inspection
What is it like to attend this early years setting?
The provision is good
Children enjoy attending this supportive setting. They settle quickly and make friendships with others. Children develop close bonds with staff.
Staff are warm and encouraging, supporting children to develop independence and confidence. Children enjoy the large indoor and outdoor spaces with stimulating resources for all age ranges. They have regular opportunities to choose the activities they enjoy best, learning alongside others.
Behaviour is good. The manager sets high expectations for behaviour and has clear rules and expectations that she role models throughout the day. Older children are taught to respect younger... children, being careful and considerate around them.
As a result, younger children are well supported to access the same activities and opportunities in a safe environment.Children develop independence skills from a young age. They quickly learn to navigate spaces, access resources and activities and to take care of their own personal-care needs.
Children are taught the importance of hygiene. They learn to wash their hands to keep germs away throughout the day. Children enjoy the frequent praise from staff for their efforts at being independent.
This spurs them on to become even more independent.
What does the early years setting do well and what does it need to do better?
The manager equips the setting with stimulating and educational resources. The indoor space is well designed, with activities across all areas of learning.
The outdoor space is large, with lots of physical challenge. From climbing frames, hoops and balls, to ramps for construction, children enjoy their time in the garden. They can also extend their imagination in the playhouses.
Staff get to know each child well. They carefully plan activities based on children's interests and developmental needs. Staff are well trained in the curriculum.
As a result, they are able to extend teaching so that children develop deeper knowledge.Children who speak English as an additional language are well supported. Staff work closely with families to ensure both of their languages are celebrated.
This results in children becoming proud of their linguistic skills. They make pleasing progress in learning, especially in their communication and language development.Staff quickly recognise concerns in children's development.
They share information with the proactive special educational needs coordinator. She then works with families to create support plans. This includes speech and language support or aid in particular social skills.
As a result, all children have access to activities and opportunities to make progress.The manager ensures that children often go on community visits. Children enjoy trips to the local beach, park and shops, such as the library and hairdressers.
Staff then plan activities based on these experiences to take learning further. Children love talking about these events and happily share what they have learned.The manager provides healthy and balanced snacks for children.
Children self-serve foods of their choice while talking to friends at the table. Staff sit with children and engage in meaningful conversations. This makes these occasions fun and social.
Children also feed themselves from a young age and enjoy trying new foods.Parent partnerships are good. Parents praise the setting for the consistency in staff and how they create a 'family feeling'.
They state that the setting has a 'great range of activities' for children. Parents recommend the setting to others. During the pandemic, the manager delivered resources to families staying at home.
This helped families develop confidence in returning to the setting.The manager prioritises staff welfare, and this shows in the feedback from her staff. Staff report feeling highly supported and valued.
The manager regularly 'checks in' with them, offering support and guidance. Staff stay at the setting long term, as they feel settled and appreciated. They state that there are regular personal development and training opportunities available.
Staff follow routines throughout the day. On some occasions these are managed effectively and run smoothly. At other times transitions between activities can be muddled, with unclear instructions to children.
As a result, children are unaware of the expectations for their behaviour and what is happening next. This can result in some undesirable behaviour and raised noise levels.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
All staff, including management, have clear knowledge and understanding of the safeguarding principles and responsibilities to keep children safe. Staff are confident in recording and reporting concerns. They know how to report further than the setting if necessary.
All staff are highly trained in the wider safeguarding aspects, such as the risk of being drawn into the transportation of drugs. They recognise the importance of early reporting. Staff follow stringent risk assessments for all aspects of provision.
They are aware of any possible risks that need carefully monitoring each day. Staff are clear on fire evacuation procedures and carry out regular drills so that children are too.
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 plan transitions between activities to allow children time to prepare for what happens next and to help them understand and follow routines and expectations more effectively.
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