Stepping Stones Nursery School

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About Stepping Stones Nursery School

Name Stepping Stones Nursery School
Ofsted Inspections
Address Granchester House, 5 Hinchley Way, Esher, KT10 0BD
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Surrey
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is outstanding

Children thrive in this exceptionally supportive and inclusive environment. They demonstrate that they feel extremely safe and cared for by fully engaging with all activities, adults and their peers.

Huge smiles, squeals of glee and shouts of wonder can be seen and heard from children throughout the day. Staff support children to develop an excellent understanding of rules and boundaries. Children show extremely high levels of self-regulation and build strong relationships.

For example, all children share resources, have excellent manners and behave exceptionally well. Children learn new vocabulary through focused interactions planned by staff. For example, as children explore worms in the soil, staff introduce words such as 'segment,' 'saddle' and 'minerals'.

Children develop a love of reading through staff's inspiring and engaging storytelling and skilled use of props. Children rub their hands together in excitement of another story. Children have high levels of self-esteem and confidence.

Staff offer praise and encourage children skilfully. Children show extremely high levels of concentration and mathematical knowledge. For example, during a group activity, all children are engaged and measure pretend spaghetti worms with rulers.

Children excitedly order worms from shortest to longest and read and write numbers.Children receive superb support to develop their balance and coordination skills. They explore the garden on trikes and build obstacle courses.

They enjoy moving in new ways through exciting dance and action sessions. All children, including those with with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and children who speak English as an additional language, make rapid progress from their starting points. They are extremely well prepared for their next stage in learning, such as school.

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

The leadership and management are exceptional. Staff receive incredible support. Leaders expertly tailor training to meet the needs of children.

Staff speak passionately about training they have undertaken and how they have used this to improve their practice. This ensures children receive the best possible teaching and learning.Staff provide an ambitious curriculum that keeps children wonderfully engaged and enthusiastic in their play.

Interactions with children are of a consistently high quality. As a result, children make exemplary progress in all areas.Children with SEND are incredibly well supported.

The special educational needs coordinator works closely with children's parents, staff and external agencies to ensure children get the support they need. Funding is sharply focused to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged children and ensure they are exceedingly well prepared for school.The setting has exceptionally strong partnerships for sharing information with parents.

Parents say that staff are 'incredible' and that they treat children as though they 'are part of their family'. Staff communicate with parents in a range of ways, including through parents' evenings, newsletters, video calls and reports. They provide information for parents to extend children's learning at home.

Robust systems are in place to help staff get to know children when they join the setting. There is a highly effective key-person system. Therefore, staff identify children's starting points extremely well and any gaps in learning are swiftly noted and acted upon.

Staff work exceptionally hard to actively encourage and embed rules, such as 'kindness' and 'sharing', in practice. Staff are remarkably focused on supporting children to recognise and communicate their feelings. As a result, children demonstrate very high levels of respect for others and can manage their own behaviour extremely well.

Children flourish in their communication and language skills and they are constantly introduced to new vocabulary. For example, children understand and use the word 'germination' in their play. Older children practise their language skills during imaginative play, where they act out and narrate made-up stories during their own puppet shows.

Children learn all about eating healthy and nutritious food. They tell visitors about the vegetables they have grown at the nursery. Children have the opportunity to help chop vegetables up ready for their snack.

Children display high levels of involvement in exploring outdoors. They move confidently in the outdoor area, exploring a vast range of opportunities. Children manage risks exceptionally well.

They help each other to move the slide, explaining that they need to look on the ground before placing it down so they do not 'squash their toes'.Children have wonderful opportunities to learn about the diverse world they live in. Staff help children to learn about festivals and events that are important to them and their friends.

Staff learn key words in children's home language as they play games and sing songs together. Parents come in to speak with the children about different cultures and festivals, including weddings and Eid. Children gain an excellent understanding of the differences and similarities in people's ideas and beliefs.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.The manager and staff have a detailed knowledge of safeguarding. All staff complete safeguarding training regularly throughout the year to ensure their knowledge is kept updated.

The manager regularly asks staff safeguarding questions as part of everyday practice to check their knowledge and identify any gaps in their understanding. Staff have a clear understanding of the signs and symptoms of abuse. They know who to report their concerns to and would have no hesitation in doing so.

Robust recruitment practices ensure staff are suitable to work with children. Risk assessments are detailed and thorough. Children are given plenty of opportunities to learn about their own personal safety and to risk assess activities for themselves.

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