St Nicolas Pre-School and Playgroup

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About St Nicolas Pre-School and Playgroup

Name St Nicolas Pre-School and Playgroup
Ofsted Inspections
Address St. Nicolas C of E Primary School, Boxhill Walk, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1HB
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children arrive very happy and excited for their day at pre-school. They settle quickly and are warmly greeted by staff and their friends.

Children confidently introduce themselves to visitors and are proud to show their pictures and independent writing. They engage enthusiastically with the activities staff provide for them that are based on their interests and what they need to learn next. The manager and staff organise a broad curriculum for children to motivate their play and learning.

Children are keen to learn and concentrate well in activities. For instance, they enjoy using their imagination with their friends navigate the castle in the garden and avoid the 'lava' floor. They encourage each other to join in and have a go and congratulate each other when they are successful.

Children feel secure and develop a sense of belonging. They understand the routines of the setting. For example, they know that when the triangle rings they must finish their activity and move to find their named space on the carpet.

Children behave well and are kind and considerate towards their friends. When necessary, staff gently remind children of the expectations of behaviour.

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

The manager, supported by the committee and staff team, has made effective improvements since the last inspection to support children's learning.

They are much clearer about the intent for the curriculum and how best to implement it. Information is shared more swiftly after children first start, to enable staff to begin to support their learning sooner. The manager monitors staff practice effectively to support further improvements.

The manager has an ambitious vision for the setting and a clear picture of what skills and knowledge she wants children to learn at the setting. She has developed a strong curriculum for all children and ensures this is adapted to meet the learning needs of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The manager also makes good use of pupil premium funding to meet children's individual needs.

Consequently, all children make good progress and are well supported in the setting.Children's physical development is particularly well supported and they are very active. Staff support children to develop a wide range of physical skills.

Children learn to climb, run, ride wheeled vehicles, jump, mark make and use tools and equipment.Partnerships with parents are strong. Parents speak very highly of the setting.

They value the support given to their children and their families and especially to those children with SEND. The setting provides effective ideas and suggestions for home learning to support children's development even further. Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, parents are unable to enter the pre-school building.

Staff utilise electronic communications to ensure information is shared effectively with parents. Therefore, this has had no impact on children's learning and development.There is a sharp focus on supporting children's communication and language development.

Children enjoy listening to stories and choose to read books independently. Staff help children who speak English as an additional language to develop early communication and language skills and also those children for whom communication is a little harder. They have made visual cards that children are able to use to share their emotions, feelings and needs.

Parents are also able to use these at home. However, staff do not always make the most of large-group activities to extend children's learning and thinking or to support their engagement fully. This results in children getting bored and losing interest.

The manager implements systems to ensure that staff's workload is managed effectively and their well-being is consistently supported. Staff are able to access regular training to keep their own knowledge and skills up to date and continue to improve their teaching and support children in the best possible way.Children's independence is not as well supported as it could be.

Staff do not make use of all opportunities available to them to promote and encourage independence, such as involving children fully at group times or at snack times.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Staff make good use of risk assessments to provide children with a safe and secure environment.

They support children to feel safe and secure. The manager follows robust recruitment procedures to ensure that those caring for children are suitable for their role. Staff have a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities to keep children safe.

The manager ensures that staff keep their child protection knowledge up to date through regular training. All staff have a good knowledge and understanding of the procedures to follow if they have a concern about a child or an allegation is made against an adult caring for children.

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 enhance the planning and organisation of large-group activities to maximise the engagement and learning of all children develop staff's understanding of how they can consistently promote children's independence skills.

Also at this postcode
Junior Adventures Group @ St Nicolas OX14 St Nicolas Church of England Primary School, Abingdon

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