Stepping Stones (Bracken Leas School)

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About Stepping Stones (Bracken Leas School)

Name Stepping Stones (Bracken Leas School)
Ofsted Inspections
Address Bracken Leas Primary School, Magdalen Meadows, Brackley, Northamptonshire, NN13 6LF
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Sessional day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority WestNorthamptonshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children are happy and safe. They thrive in this warm and friendly setting. Children clearly enjoy attending, as they confidently separate from their parents and carers on arrival after only attending for a short time.

Children are quick to settle into the activities provided and are comfortable around the staff. Children that are a little more reserved stay close to an adult and use them as a base for exploring the environment when they are comfortable to do so. Staff support children to interact with others and develop their confidence in social situations.

Children play together purposefully and show great considera...tion towards their friends. For example, children take turns to play a shopping game. They listen, waiting for their turn, and celebrate their achievements by smiling when they get something right.

Children have extensive opportunities to be active learners, both indoors and outdoors. Managers and staff have developed an outdoor environment that engages and excites children. Children learn about the natural world during regular forest-school activities.

They develop their physical skills by being able to run, climb and balance on obstacle courses that they design themselves.

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

Children's behaviour is good. Staff know children well and incorporate strategies to help support children to take turns.

When issues arise, staff calmly discuss feelings and support children to resolve issues for themselves. For instance, newer children are reminded of the rules of the setting and are encouraged to talk about how they are feeling. Staff help children to understand about keeping safe.

During morning group time, children are reminded about potential risks of talking to strangers.The staff have a good understanding of how children learn. Activities are well planned and reflect all areas of learning.

Children in the garden pretend to shop for vegetables in a greengrocers. In most of these activities, children engage well. Staff share rich vocabulary and use questions to extend children's learning, introducing paper and creating a recipe about how to make a cake using vegetables.

However, this is not consistent, and sometimes children are not given the appropriate amount of time to respond to questions during conversations. This means that opportunities are missed to develop children's speech and language skills and share their own ideas.Transitions for new children are well thought through.

Staff who previously worked with the children at the provider's other setting are able to come and visit to support them. This has a positive impact on children settling quickly. Children see their peers from the other setting during forest-school sessions.

This allows children and staff to build positive relationships. The setting also has good links with the school, which helps when older children move on. Children in the school wave to, and recognise, the staff as they walk across the grounds.

Partnerships with parents are very positive. Staff provide regular updates on children's development, including suggestions for support at home. Parents comment that their children settle well and 'come on in leaps and bounds'.

Staff talk with parents about when children might need extra help to learn. They make sure that support and teaching helps all children, including those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, to make the best progress possible.Staff say that they are highly valued and respected.

Management recognises the importance of staff well-being, ensuring that everyone is offered support. Management place a high priority on ensuring staff are listened to and that their input is valued through regular meetings across the sites. They ensure there is time built in for all staff to be able to reflect on their practice, particularly for those who are in childcare training, and encourage staff to develop their professional skills where possible.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.The manager provides regular supervision to ensure all adults working with children understand their roles and responsibilities for safeguarding children. The systems in place are extremely effective, and all adults fully understand the policies and procedures for raising concerns about a child in their care.

Staff can identify signs and symptoms of abuse, including signs that children may be at risk from extreme views or behaviours. Risk assessments are rigorous, and staff are deployed effectively to keep children safe from harm.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: nensure high-quality interactions are securely embedded across the setting and children are given opportunities to share their ideas, especially those with speech and language difficulties.

Also at this postcode
Bracken Leas Primary School

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