St Marys Wootton (Bedford) Preschool

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About St Marys Wootton (Bedford) Preschool

Name St Marys Wootton (Bedford) Preschool
Ofsted Inspections
Address St Marys Church Hall, St Marys Road, Wootton, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK43 9HB
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Sessional day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Bedford
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children are warmly welcomed at the pre-school door and happily leave their parents with support from friendly staff. They settle quickly and enjoy exploring a wide range of activities that are freely available, inside and out. Children's emotional needs are supported by staff who give them reassurance and time to settle in.

Children behave well, as staff constantly demonstrate positive behaviours through good role modelling. Children learn to concentrate and focus as they play alongside staff and their peers. For example, they become engrossed for long periods of time in the home corner.

They use household items that ...engage them in imaginative cooking as they prepare cakes and pizzas. Children develop their interest in books as they help run the weekly library and take turns to choose a book to take home. Books are available around the setting and are used alongside activity tables to support children's learning.

Children love their outdoor play. They develop their physical skills as they choose from a variety of resources, such as bicycles and a mud kitchen. Children negotiate the challenging equipment available, including a balance rope and hammock.

Children learn to safely use tools, such as stick whittling, during forest school activities.

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

Managers recognise the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children's development, specifically behaviour and communication development. During periods of the pandemic lockdown, the manager provided home learning tasks for children and their families to participate in.

Videocalls and doorstep visits were used to check on the children's and their family's well-being.Staff plan the curriculum around children's current interests and the seven areas of learning. Staff feel able to make suggestions and focus on children's interests to engage them in activities.

They spend time evaluating activities and assessing what changes can be made. However, at times, staff are not clear how the activities support children's individual learning needs. This means they do not always consistently challenge and extend children's development.

Additional funding is used to broaden children's learning experiences. For example, children have visits to a local farm with their families. New resources have been purchased to support children during small group activities.

Funding is also used to support staff's knowledge when working with children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.The well-established key-person system is effective. Children are emotionally supported as they prepare for school.

Staff use children's current interests to help engage them during their settling-in period. Staff actively engage with children during play and encourage back and forth conversations. They ask questions and allow the children time to think and respond.

Staff speak calmly and kindly to children and regularly remind them of the rules, such as walking inside. Staff explain to children why they have the rules and how they help to keep everyone safe and prevent injury and harm.The manager spends time assessing the staff team and prioritises their mental well-being.

Staff report they feel emotionally supported by management. They have yearly appraisals to monitor their performance and training. However, staff are not provided with regular opportunities for individual supervisions to discuss any challenges or issues they may have.

Parents speak positively about the pre-school and comment that their children are happy attending and that the communication between staff and parents is good. For example, the setting uses a confidential online system to share photos and information effectively. Parents report that their children are well supported in their move to school and feel they are well prepared.

Daily routine activities such as snack time provide some opportunities for children to develop their independence. However, staff do not consistently encourage children to try and practise independence skills, such as putting on their own coats and outdoor boots or pouring their own drink at snack time.Staff regularly use an established language programme.

Children enjoy taking part in sessions that encourage their communication and language development, including turn taking by rolling a ball while singing.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Staff have a good understanding of their safeguarding roles.

They know the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect, including the impact of extreme beliefs and behaviours. Staff know the procedures to follow and are confident to talk to the safeguarding leaders if they feel a child is at risk of harm. Staff are aware of how to contact the local agencies that they can refer concerns to.

Management regularly train staff in safeguarding, using online training sessions, inductions, and questionnaires. Established recruitment processes help ensure staff are suitable to 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: nenhance staff knowledge of curriculum planning to sharply focus on learning intentions for each child support all staff to consistently teach and challenge children to develop independence skills norganise regular supervision times for all staff.

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