St John’s Pre-School

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About St John’s Pre-School

Name St John’s Pre-School
Ofsted Inspections
Address St. John’s Church Centre, Legg Lane, WIMBORNE, Dorset, BH21 1LQ
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full 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

Staff create an extremely welcoming, calm and nurturing environment. All children, including those new to the setting, feel safe and secure.

They go about their day with great purpose, demonstrating a strong understanding of the rules and routines. Children become engaged quickly with the interesting resources that are set up to ignite their learning. Their behaviour is exemplary and their social skills are excellent.

Staff genuinely enjoy playing alongside children. Staff have high aspirations for children and value the uniqueness of each child. They work very closely with parents and other professionals to meet the i...ndividual needs of children.

Staff provide very effective and sensitive support for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those in receipt of additional funding. They support all children's language development, including children who speak English as an additional language. The manager has set a clear ethos for the provision and this is reflected throughout the pre-school.

She is very knowledgeable about how children acquire language and she shares her expert knowledge with staff. Staff provide new words to build on children's current vocabulary during story times. However, occasionally, some children, including the most able children, are not challenged as effectively as they could be.

Staff miss opportunities to build further on the children's existing skills and extend their learning.

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

Staff track children's achievements closely. This ensures that they can plan effectively for their next steps.

Children make good progress from their starting points. They are working at a level typical for their age and acquire the key skills needed for the next stage in their development and their eventual move to school.Children benefit from meaningful learning experiences that are planned according to their interests.

This is evident as staff fully engage children in developing their imaginations during role play. Children are animated and expressive when using props as they act as hairdressers and customers in the salon. They develop an understanding of mathematics as they use pretend money to pay for the service.

Staff provide children with excellent opportunities to develop a wide range of physical skills through challenging outdoor activities. Older children practise using their small muscles. They use scissors to chop herbs that they have grown and then use them to make potions.

Younger children demonstrate high levels of physical coordination as they skilfully ride tricycles and negotiate space safely.Children sit together happily at lunchtime. They have excellent social skills and are extremely kind and respectful to one another.

Children listen attentively to each other and respectfully wait for their friends to finish using resources before having their turn to pour themselves a drink of water. They clear up their cups and thank the staff before going to play.The manager and staff take pride in the pre-school.

They take effective steps to ensure children play in an extremely clean and well-maintained environment. Staff implement robust hygiene practice to help prevent the spread of infection. During group sessions, staff teach children to follow excellent personal hygiene routines.

There is a sense of shared purpose between staff and parents. This has a very positive impact on children's well-being and the quality of the provision. For instance, parents and staff work together very closely to establish exceptionally friendly and trusting relationships.

Staff have an excellent knowledge of children's backgrounds and become perceptive of their needs very quickly.The manager is committed to building strong links in the community and with the local schools. Children are very well prepared emotionally and socially as they regularly visit the local school in preparation for transitions.

The manager is focused on improving the quality of the service she provides. She is a strong leader and supervises her staff well through regular one-to-one meetings and team meetings. Staff share the manager's commitment and they work together as a team to provide high-quality care and education for all.

They find the manager approachable and supportive, and they speak positively about the working environment.Staff are keen to improve their knowledge and skills continually. For example, recent training has helped them to implement a wide range of strategies to promote communication.

Staff make good use of sign language and pictures to enhance children's understanding, particularly when children are non-verbal.


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

The manager discusses safeguarding with staff regularly and takes effective steps to ensure their knowledge remains current. All staff have a thorough understanding of the signs that a child may be at risk of harm, and they know how to share these concerns to help keep children safe. The provider and manager follow effective recruitment procedures in order to ensure the suitability of those they employ to work with children.

Comprehensive safeguarding procedures and policies are in place. These are shared with parents and are implemented effectively by the manager and the staff team.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: strengthen teaching during children's chosen play to help build on their existing skills and provide challenge, specifically for the most able children.

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