Dunes Day Nursery & Pre-School

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About Dunes Day Nursery & Pre-School

Name Dunes Day Nursery & Pre-School
Ofsted Inspections
Address 3 Dunes Avenue, Blackpool, FY4 1PU
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Blackpool
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children are happy to leave their parents at the door as they begin their sessions.

Their interest levels and motivation for learning are high because they are able to choose which activities and routines they would like to join in with. Children demonstrate resilience and keep trying if they find something difficult, such as practising the new skill of using scissors. Children remember what they have learned previously.

For example, babies repeat stomping sounds when they see the elephant in the 'Dear Zoo' book. Pre-school children enjoy reflecting on what they have learned about endangered and extinct animals. Childr...en are frequently praised by staff for their achievements and photographs of their key milestones are displayed around the setting.

They have a good sense of belonging in the setting. The environment is calm with lots of areas of interest for the children to explore. Children benefit from a range of experiences with an emphasis on sensory play.

For example, they enjoy feeling the textures of mud, paint and water, and chopping real fruit and vegetables. Children have many opportunities to develop their physical development throughout the day. They also take part in weekly yoga and music sessions that further enhances their physical skills.

Children benefit from a range of first-hand experiences, such as visits to the beach and parks, to help them learn about the world around them.As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff identified that many children had fallen behind in their communication and literacy skills. As such, they have focused on supporting children in these areas of learning.

Children have benefited from the introduction of a wide range of new books. They also enjoy visits from the local librarian which has helped to promote their early literacy skills and a love of books.

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

The dedicated staff team has created a homely atmosphere that is welcoming for all children and their families.

Children flourish because they have secure emotional attachments with all staff.Parents are happy with how quickly their children have settled into this home-from-home setting. They recognise the progress their children have made since starting here.

Parents state that they feel well informed about their children's learning and development. They have also welcomed the introduction of parents' evenings in addition to regular updates about their children's progress.Parents recognise that their children's confidence has grown because of the first-hand experiences that are available to them.

Following a recent trip to the beach, this motivated parents to extend their children's learning opportunities at home. For example, parents have enjoyed supporting their children to research sea turtles and their habitats.Children learn about differences and diversity through a calendar of familiar events.

However, staff do not purposefully embrace the heritage and cultural backgrounds of the individual children attending the setting.Areas are well planned and separated to meet the needs of the various age groups. However, children join together for mealtimes which enables younger children to observe older role models.

This works very well in practice. For example, the younger children copy how well the older children sit during mealtimes. They also wait patiently for their food to be served and display good table manners.

Children have ample opportunities to learn about healthy choices. As a result, they confidently discuss that carrots and watermelons are good for you. Children talk about how often they should have treats and why.

This helps them to understand the benefits of making healthy lifestyle choices in the future.Leaders and staff have identified communication and literacy as an area for their curriculum focus. They have introduced more books on a wider variety of topics to encourage children's interest and motivation to read.

Children have particularly enjoyed non-fiction books and finding out facts about animals that are extinct or endangered. This has also enabled staff to introduce more vocabulary in the pre-school room. However, vocabulary is not consistently ambitious.

While some topics promote increased vocabulary, staff do not always build on the language that the children already use.Children enjoy the activities on offer and are confident to carry out solo tasks such as completing jigsaws or making pictures using craft materials. They are resilient and active learners who enjoy practising new skills such as using the scissors.

Children develop some independence from the activities on offer. For example, they enjoy chopping real fruit and vegetables with knives. However, everyday tasks do not always promote self-sufficiency.

For instance, children are not always encouraged to fasten their coats, serve snacks or pour their own drinks. This restricts their developing independence skills.Staff follow the children's interests when planning topics and activities.

They also build on children's experiences, which further enhances their learning. For example, when a child brought a baguette in from home, staff seized the opportunity to teach children how to bake their own bread.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The manager and staff team create a safe and secure environment for children. Staff demonstrate a secure understanding of safeguarding and this topic is the first item on the agenda at staff meetings. They also know what steps to take should they have concerns about children's welfare or the conduct of a colleague.

Robust recruitment procedures and established suitability checks ensure that all staff are suitable to work with children. Risk assessments are implemented well, which helps to keep children safe 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: nincrease staff awareness of children's heritage and individual backgrounds so they can extend opportunities for children to reflect on what makes them unique broaden opportunities to support children's growing independence nenhance children's communication and language skills even further by enabling them to hear and practise new vocabulary regularly.

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