Hillside Pre-School and Early Learning Group

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About Hillside Pre-School and Early Learning Group

Name Hillside Pre-School and Early Learning Group
Ofsted Inspections
Address Hillside Road, Verwood, Dorset, BH31 7HE
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 happily arrive at the pre-school and staff are readily available to welcome them. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parents do not enter the setting in the usual way. Children have adapted well to the new routines.

For example, they leave their parents at the gate with great ease.Children access a well-planned environment that is rich in learning opportunities and experiences. They take part in activities that staff target to enable each child to gain new skills they require for their next stage of learning.

Children enjoy messy play and using their senses. They explore real fruit and herbs with their hands, creat...e mixtures and smell the juice. Children develop their speaking skills and begin to understand mathematical concepts.

For instance, when a staff member cuts an orange into two, older children comment that it has been cut into half. Children benefit from outdoor play. Staff provide effective supervision to enable children to take risks in safe surroundings.

Children learn to climb on a wide variety of equipment, and staff are always on hand to offer support and words of guidance. This enables children to think through their actions and to assess risks.

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

The manager and her deputy have a clear understanding of how to plan an effective curriculum across all areas of learning.

They plan an interesting curriculum based on children's interests and individual needs. For example, younger children develop an awareness of emotions. They engage with staff during planned activities, exploring facial expressions and learning to recognise and describe their feelings.

Children's level of engagement in activities is high. Staff play alongside as role models. They provide a narrative for their interactions and introduce new words, such as 'squish', 'squeeze' and 'slimy'.

However, occasionally, some staff interactions with the children are not focused on extending and challenging all children's learning to a higher level.Staff have high expectations for children's behaviour and conduct. They have embedded the rules of the setting, and children play well together, sharing resources and toys.

Children learn how to manage and self-regulate their behaviour. For instance, younger children use large sand timers so that everyone takes turns to use a specific scooter outside. This helps children to understand that they must wait until all the sand has fallen through before it is their turn.

Children learn to be independent and manage their personal care needs. They select what they would like to eat for snack, pour their own drinks and put their plate and cup away when they have finished. Staff are close by to offer support and encourage children to try different foods.

Children learn to be respectful of, and interested in, the differences between themselves and others. The cultures and experiences of children are fully embraced by staff. Children learn about food from other countries and about different festivals and celebration days.

They gain an understanding of the community where they live.The pre-school has served the community for many years. Generations of children have attended the setting.

Many staff have worked in the pre-school for years. This helps to support continuity for the families that attend. Parents make comments such as, 'Staff are so invested in the children, which makes the environment positive and exciting' and, 'Staff always have time to listen'.

They appreciate the ways in which staff keep them updated on their children's learning and development.The manager is passionate about her role and strives for improvement. Since the last inspection, staff now make the most of the wide variety of technology equipment.

The manager encourages staff to improve their practice. Staff have a good understanding of their improvement plans and are already taking steps to achieve their goals. They make good use of research and training to develop the pre-school's curriculum to meet the needs of all children.

The committee and staff team work together effectively. The committee shares staff's dedication and commitment to providing each child with the support they need. The chairperson makes regular visits to the pre-school.

She monitors the performance of the manager's practice and the implementation of the curriculum.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.The manager and staff understand their responsibility to keep children safe and protect their welfare.

They are aware of the possible signs and symptoms that may indicate a child is at risk of harm. Regular training and staff meetings help to keep the staff's knowledge of legal requirements up to date. The premises are safe and secure.

Staff complete daily checks of their rooms and outdoor areas to identify and remove any hazards, so the children can play in a safe environment. The committee and the manager have secure procedures in place for recruitment and suitability checks.

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 further develop the quality of interactions to extend and challenge all children's learning to a higher level.

Also at this postcode
Hillside Community First School

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