Sturminster Marshall Pre-School

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About Sturminster Marshall Pre-School

Name Sturminster Marshall Pre-School
Ofsted Inspections
Address Sturminster Marshall Pre School, Rear of 78a High Street, Sturminster Marshall, WIMBORNE, Dorset, BH21 4AY
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Sessional day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Dorset
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children are happy when they arrive at the pre-school. They adapt well to the changes made due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Older children understand that their parents and carers no longer come into the pre-school, although staff welcome parents in to help their children settle at their own pace.

The warm and friendly staff greet the children. Most children leave their parents at the entrance gate and walk confidently into the pre-school.Children benefit from meaningful learning experiences and are developing knowledge and skills to help them in their future lives.

For example, they use a range of tools that support thei...r hand-to-eye coordination and develop the muscles in their hands in preparation for early writing. Older children squeeze pipettes to pick up and drop water into containers. Younger children use rolling pins and cutters to manipulate malleable dough.

Children demonstrate that they feel comfortable and safe. They behave well and have positive relationships with staff and each other. Older children show kindness as they move their chairs around at snack times so that younger children can join them and sit next to their friends.

Older children enjoy tasks, such as being 'special helper', and check the environment for any hazards before group time. This helps to give children a sense of responsibility.

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

The curriculum is ambitious throughout the pre-school.

All children enjoy learning and are keen to take part in a variety of activities. Staff plan activities that provide challenges for all children and are adapted to their interests. However, at times, staff do not focus on the key skills that children need to learn next.

For example, during a large-group activity, staff do not encourage quieter children to gain confidence and participate alongside their friends.Overall, staff interact positively with children to support their communication and language development. They give clear instructions, ask questions, and allow children plenty of time to speak and talk about their thoughts and ideas.

For example, children eagerly talk about the patterns on their socks. However, staff miss some chances to encourage children to expand their use of vocabulary, to enrich their language skills even further.Children, including children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those who learn English as an additional language, are well supported.

For instance, staff model language and speak in shorter sentences. They praise children for their efforts and achievements, building their confidence to speak for themselves. Staff work closely with other professionals and parents to ensure that children receive the best help to aid their development.

Staff support children well to develop the kinds of attitudes they need to become independent learners. They encourage children to complete age-appropriate tasks. For example, younger children wash their hands independently and older children put on their shoes and replace the paper on an easel confidently after they have finished painting.

Children become increasingly independent in their self-care and during routines. They demonstrate pride in learning how to do things for themselves.Children are well prepared for their eventual move on to school.

The provider and manager have close links with the host school. The manager works closely with the school's early years lead. Together, they identify areas of strength and areas for development to ensure that they maintain good outcomes for children.

Children enjoy physical education sessions in the school hall and story times with older children. This helps them to become familiar with the school environment and supports their smooth transitions to the next stage of their education.Parents comment that their children have grown in confidence, particularly in social situations, and have learned to be independent.

They say staff give them daily feedback about their children's day. However, not all parents know what staff are currently focusing on with their child's development so that they can continue to support their children's learning at home.The manager monitors staff performance, with an emphasis on helping their professional development and personal well-being.

As a result, staff say they feel well supported, and staff turnover is very low. The manager encourages staff to take further training relevant to their role. Some staff have taken part in training to enable them to assess children's communication and language skills.

They use this information to identify any emerging needs swiftly and provide intervention at the earliest opportunity.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.The manager, who is also the designated safeguarding lead, is clear about her role and responsibility to protect children from harm.

All staff attend regular safeguarding training to keep their knowledge up to date. They are aware of the correct procedure to follow should there be concerns about children in their care. The provider follows effective recruitment and vetting procedures to make sure that all staff are suitable.

Staff carry out daily risk assessments of the premises before children arrive and they assess all activities. This helps them to keep children safe.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: nensure that all staff can successfully support what children need to learn next through the planned activities and their interactions strengthen children's language development even further by incorporating rich and varied vocabulary during activities and conversations build on the good partnerships with parents further, to ensure that all parents are informed about their children's current learning needs so that they fully support children's learning at home.

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