Thakeham Preschool

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About Thakeham Preschool

Name Thakeham Preschool
Ofsted Inspections
Address 35 Abingworth Crescent, Thakeham, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 3GW
Type Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Sessional day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority WestSussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is outstanding

Children arrive excited and eager to play at the exceptionally nurturing and safe pre-school. They form extremely strong bonds with staff who welcome them with smiles and cuddles.

Children flourish in the loving and child-centred environment and they gain secure and successful skills for their future learning.Children's behaviour is exemplary. They learn what makes them unique and special and they begin to accept and adapt to the needs of others.

Children devise sophisticated 'rules' during their own highly creative and imaginative games as they listen and negotiate with one another. They demonstrate social conf...idence and high self-esteem and they form respectful and secure friendships.Children are highly motivated, engaged, focused and keen to learn.

For example, they demonstrate their curiosity as active 'researchers' when they spontaneously look for information in books. Children are inspired to experiment and try out their ideas. They demonstrate excellent attention and concentration, such as when they paint dinosaurs or use tongs and paintbrushes to find pretend fossils in the sand.

Children develop a deep love of the outdoors. They enjoy regular and inspirational gardening and forest school activities, where they learn to compost, care for plants and harvest their crop. Under close supervision, children have exciting experiences, such as cooking over a real fire.

This helps children develop an excellent awareness of the natural world and how to be safe and responsible within it.

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

The manager is a highly dedicated and ambitious leader. Her vision and ethos for the pre-school is extremely well defined and communicated to staff, parents and children.

Staff work as a strong and supportive team. They ensure all children, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those for whom English is an additional language, receive consistently high standards of care and quality of education.Staff plan an extremely clear and well-sequenced curriculum.

They pay meticulous attention to the development, learning styles and interests of the children. This ensures there is always an excellent balance between achievable and challenging activities to help children develop their skills to the highest level. Any gaps in children's learning are recognised early and swift interventions are put in place to close them.

Staff support children's communication and language skills exceptionally well. They precisely understand the levels of support individual children need to make progress. This ranges from one-to-one, focused language activities, to extending children's conversations during routine tasks.

Children build an extensive vocabulary and express themselves fluently.Children develop a deep love and understanding of books. Following a very well-read story, staff dress up and take on the role of a character from the book.

Children ask them inquiring questions, such as 'what is it like to live in the bear cave?' to find out more. This builds on children's knowledge, as they listen carefully and demonstrate very high levels of thinking and processing.Staff are excellent at using spontaneous opportunities to extend children's learning, particularly in mathematics.

For instance, children know they need a 'two' and a 'one' to make '21' when they count one another. Outside, children count the clicks on a measuring wheel and compare the size of the space with one another, demonstrating their knowledge of how numbers are ordered. Children develop excellent mathematical awareness.

Children improve their physical skills in the inspirational outdoor space. They experience an extremely wide range of activities to develop their coordination, movement and strength. Children confidently explore their interests as they water the vegetable beds, paint the shed with mud and water and dig for 'fossils' in the sand.

They demonstrate exceptional fine motor skills as they develop their skills for writing and drawing.Staff are excellent role models for children's learning, curiosity and inquisitiveness. For example, staff pretend they do not know what a fossil is and ask children to help them find out.

This means they share in the learning that is created as children demonstrate awe and wonder in new ideas and possibilities. Children begin to use their prior learning, such as an interest in dinosaurs, to understand new concepts.The manager and staff develop excellent partnerships with parents.

They share regular and meaningful information with parents to support the children's learning and development. Parents cannot praise staff highly enough for the support they receive to continue their children's learning at home.The manager plans frequent meetings and supervision to discuss staff well-being, workload and professional development.

Staff say they love working in the pre-school and recognise how the manager has their best interests at heart.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.The manager and staff understand their responsibility for keeping children safe.

They have robust recruitment procedures in place to ensure the suitability of all staff looking after children. Staff know what to do if they are concerned about the welfare and safety of children. They know how to refer their concerns, including if any allegations were made about staff.

They receive training to increase their knowledge of wider safeguarding issues, such as the 'Prevent' duty guidance and how to keep children safe when they are online. Staff create a culture of open communication, where children are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings. This helps children gain the skills they need to keep themselves safe.