St. Thomas More Montessori Pre School

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About St. Thomas More Montessori Pre School

Name St. Thomas More Montessori Pre School
Ofsted Inspections
Address St. Thomas More Catholic Primary School, South Road, SAFFRON WALDEN, Essex, CB11 3DW
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Essex
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children arrive happy and eager to enter the nursery. They understand the daily routines. On arrival, they choose what they would like to have for lunch and find their name card.

Children of all ages enjoy playing outdoors together. This helps younger children to make a smooth move into the pre-school room when the time comes. All children develop good physical skills.

Younger children successfully negotiate space, and older children assess their own risks as they balance on raised lengths of wood. Children understand what is expected of them. They confidently select their chosen activity from the rich range of and know to return it when they have finished.

Older children make visitors feel welcome as they draw pictures for them.Younger children smile with delight as they explore the texture of dried cereal with their hands. They push toy vehicles through the cereal and are fascinated by the crunching sound.

Older children have vivid imaginations. They pretend to cook lunch for their favourite superhero, using real vegetables., and work out how to defrost frozen peas by holding them in their warm hands.

Staff's effective use of questioning motivates children to talk about previous experiences and use descriptive language. Younger children eagerly choose a song spoon. They join in with some words and actions to their favourite songs.

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

Staff provide a broad curriculum which follows children's interests and builds on what they already know and can do. This enables them to make good progress. Staff conduct regular assessments and ensure that any gaps in children's learning are swiftly identified and addressed.

They consider children's prior learning as they interact with them in positive ways during their play. Staff encourage children to compare the difference between the roots of a runner bean plant that they nurtured from seed several weeks ago, and young cucumber plants. Children learn what these plants need to thrive as they re-pot them into a larger container outdoors.

The manager provides staff with a very good level of support to build on their knowledge and skills. Regular supervision meetings help to identify and support staff practice. Staff complete regular training.

There is a strong focus on sharing new knowledge with the whole team. Key points are displayed on the knowledge wall for easy reference. Recent training has had a positive impact on children's engagement in storytelling outdoors.

Staff support older children to be well prepared for the move on to school and their future learning. Children are highly independent. They confidently change into their outdoor footwear, apply sun protection cream, and know to wear their sun hat before playing outdoors on sunny days.

Children prepare their own snack and serve themselves nutritious meals. They clear away their china plate and glass when they have finished. Children talk about the importance of handling these items safely.

They explain that if they accidently smash a plate or glass, they step away and politely ask a member of staff to clear it up.Staff manage children's minor disagreements calmly. They talk to children about the importance of taking turns.

Some older children are beginning to regulate their own behaviour.Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities are well supported. The special educational needs coordinator is knowledgeable in her role.

She works in partnership with parents and outside agencies to agree specific strategies to support children's progress. Staff place a high priority on providing an inclusive environment to ensure all children can access the activities.Staff provide children with opportunities to learn about similarities and differences between themselves and others.

These reflect the cultural backgrounds of children attending. However, they do not fully support children who speak English as an additional language to use their home language during their play, to enhance their speaking skills.Staff work in partnership with parents to gather information about their children's home life and experiences.

They keep parents informed of their child's progress in a variety of ways and provide ideas to further support their learning at home. Parents comment that staff have a natural affinity with children. Staff work in partnership with most staff at other settings that children attend.

However, they are not yet successful in developing working partnerships with all other settings to support all children's continuity in learning effectively.


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

Staff complete regular training to continue to strengthen their knowledge of child protection. They have a broad understanding of safeguarding issues. Staff know how to report any concerns they have about children's welfare, including to agencies outside of their organisation.

Additionally, they know what to do if they have a concern about a colleague's conduct. The manager follows robust recruitment procedures to ensure that those they employ to work with children are suitable.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: nenhance opportunities for children to hear and use their home language develop partnerships with all other settings that children attend, to promote continuity in children's learning and development.

Also at this postcode
St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, Saffron Walden

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