Explorers at Herston

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About Explorers at Herston

Name Explorers at Herston
Ofsted Inspections
Address St Marks School, High Street, Swanage, BH19 2PH
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Sessional day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Dorset
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children are joyful and quickly engage in fun, stimulating activities that promote their development.

Staff have high expectations of children's ability to learn and encourage them to express their own ideas while fostering a positive attitude towards having a go. For example, children recall the ingredients they need to make play dough and work collaboratively to measure out the flour. The staff ask thoughtful questions to guide children to decide if adjustments to the texture are necessary and allow them to make their own decisions on how to improve the consistency of the dough.

Children develop critical-thinking ski...lls and gain confidence from their accomplishments.Children enjoy reading many books and engaging in reading activities throughout the day. They listen to stories, retell them using pictures and act out scenes from traditional tales.

They love pretending to be trolls, crouching under a bridge in the woods, growling, 'Who's that trip-trapping over my bridge?'Children improve their physical skills as they navigate climbing equipment, balance on beams and hold their own weight as they swing on a rope. Staff always monitor children's play closely and interact with them as needed to ensure their safety and well-being. These enjoyable and engaging experiences help children progress in their development.

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

Leaders have developed an ambitious curriculum to help children develop a rich vocabulary, enabling them to access and participate in an exciting world of learning. They encourage staff to extend children's language, reassuring them not to be afraid of using 'big words' so that children can experience a broad range of communication.Leaders and staff provide children with a considered and sequenced curriculum.

They build on children's interests to deepen their engagement in all areas of learning. Staff teach children who enjoy playing with dinosaurs to count them, solve puzzles and read books. In the forest school area, children learn about their senses and explore the natural resources in their woodland for different sounds they can make.

However, staff do not always do enough to enable children to focus more during activities and gain a deeper engagement and understanding, for example on the differences between sounds they have invented.Leaders and staff care deeply about the children. They take the time to get to know each child individually and prioritise their emotional well-being and happiness.

Children settle quickly. If they become upset, staff comfort them with gentle reassurance and value their responses to identify the root cause and find a solution. Children begin to develop self-belief and resilience.

Staff foster children's independence by encouraging them to take responsibility for various tasks. For instance, the children prepare themselves for forest visits by dressing in all-weather overalls and boots, and they even guide visitors on where to store their shoes. They spread butter on their crumpets during snack time and take turns washing up.

They understand the importance of sharing washing equipment when waiting for their turn. Staff empower children to be self-sufficient in all aspects of the provision.Children behave well.

They are polite and play well with one another. Children respond positively to staff in the setting. However, staff do not always teach younger children the instructions and routines they need to follow, so some children become distracted and find it difficult to concentrate in the outdoor environment.

Leaders and staff effectively promote healthy lifestyle choices. Children experience lots of exercise through physical movement, particularly in the woodland area, climbing and running. Staff talk with children about foods which are healthy for our bodies.

Leaders provide clear information to parents about the kinds of foods which are appropriate for lunches. Children clean their teeth and enjoy singing songs as they learn the importance of oral hygiene.Leaders and staff have developed effective and beneficial partnerships with parents.

Parents are highly satisfied with the setting and have no hesitation in recommending them, saying, 'It really is brilliant.' They observe progress in their children's confidence, particularly in speech and language, which they attribute to the learning activities provided by the setting. Staff keep parents updated on their child's development and needs, sharing their successes and any concerns they have.

The provision lends books and resources so that children can continue their learning at home with their families.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Leaders and staff are well informed about their roles and responsibilities in ensuring the safety of children.

They have the essential knowledge to identify signs of potential abuse and take appropriate measures to protect children from harm. All staff members know the appropriate reporting procedures and have access to the necessary contact information. Staff include children in their assessment of risk in their play.

They ask children questions that help identify possible hazards and help them consider solutions that will help them keep safe. Leaders follow safe recruitment processes to ensure suitable staff work with children.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: nensure that the learning intentions for planned activities are consistently delivered to help children focus on what they need to learn so that they explore and engage with more purpose support young children to follow instructions and established routines, particularly in the outdoor environment, so they can concentrate and take part in the learning experiences that staff have prepared for them.

Also at this postcode
Swanage St Mark’s Church of England Primary School The Swanage School

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