Cranfield University Pre-School

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About Cranfield University Pre-School

Name Cranfield University Pre-School
Ofsted Inspections
Address Cranfield University, College Road, Cranfield, BEDFORD, MK43 0AL
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Sessional 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 thoroughly enjoy their time at this friendly pre-school. They are excited to arrive and rush to greet the enthusiastic and nurturing staff. Children display high levels of confidence.

They engage exceptionally well with staff and visitors and welcome them into their play. Children are excited to show off their water play area. They proudly demonstrate how to turn the taps on and off and how they collect rainwater to feed their plants.

Children have a strong understanding about different cultures and beliefs. Families and staff form incredibly close relationships and demonstrate high levels of respect for one a...nother. Staff facilitate wonderful learning opportunities, which enhance children's knowledge of other cultures in a truly exceptional way.

For example, to celebrate various festivals, families and children prepare meals to share in the pre-school and wider community.The pre-school engages exceptionally well with their diverse local community. Children have a rich set of experiences, which supports their understanding and respect of the unique environment they live in.

For example, they cheer on sports teams at the various community matches. Children also enjoy visits to the campus runway to watch the aeroplanes.

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

Staff provide numerous, well-planned learning opportunities, both indoors and in the exciting outdoor area.

They engage well with children, using their in-depth knowledge to support their learning. However, staff do not always encourage children to explore learning opportunities beyond what has been planned.The highly qualified staff adapt activities well to meet the needs of all children in the pre-school.

They interact well with children and support them in meeting their next steps. For example, children explore various lentils and grains. Younger children count the number of scoops needed to fill containers.

Older children use scales to identify numbers and weigh out quantities of grains.The manager and staff are passionate about their role in supporting children's development. They form exceptionally close relationships with families from the start.

Staff are aware of children's early experiences. This enables them to provide learning opportunities children may otherwise not receive.Despite all children speaking English as an additional language, they progress well in this area.

Staff are highly skilled at creating a language rich environment. They role model excellent language skills and use new and descriptive words at every opportunity. Children engage exceptionally well in regular story sessions, both indoors and in the outdoor story tent.

Children are kind and well mannered towards one another. Staff support these behaviours by always modelling good manners and respect. For example, when children are collected early, staff and their friends all stop their play to say goodbye.

Children behave well in the pre-school. Staff implement strategies to support them to resolve conflict independently. For example, when there are disputes over toys, staff encourage children to use egg timers, so that they know when to pass the toys on to others.

This supports children's understanding of the need to take turns.Staff support children's confidence exceptionally well. They create an environment where children are proud to share their knowledge and talents.

For example, children explore the features of various sea creatures. Staff encourage them to talk about the unusual facts they know with the group. Staff and children show genuine interest and are eager to hear more.

Staff are highly skilled at teaching children how to manage risks. They use age-appropriate methods to support children's understanding of how to stay safe. During story time, children explain why they must take water and hats on their 'Bear Hunt' in the sun.

Staff also use the story to explore issues such as safety around water.The manager reflects well on the running of the pre-school. She seeks feedback from parents and other professionals to improve practice.

For example, she has introduced an online system to assess children's development and communicate this to parents. This supports parents to continue children's learning at home.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The manager and staff understand their responsibilities to keep children safe in the pre-school. They recognise the signs and symptoms that could indicate a child is at risk of harm. The manager and staff have a strong understanding of the process to follow if they have concerns about the welfare of a child.

Staff supervise children well in the setting. They conduct regular risk assessments to ensure children are safe during their time at the pre-school.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: support children to develop and use their own ideas in planned, adult-led activities.

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