The Ambleside Centre

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About The Ambleside Centre

Name The Ambleside Centre
Ofsted Inspections
Address Ambleside Close, Woodley, Reading, Berkshire, RG5 4JJ
Phase Nursery
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 122
Local Authority Wokingham
Highlights from Latest Inspection


The Ambleside Centre continues to be an outstanding school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Children love their time in this happy, welcoming and inclusive school. Children move eagerly and confidently from one high-quality activity to the next.

They behave exceptionally well because they are engrossed in what they are doing. The nursery is a hive of activity. It hums with the gentle sound of children playing, talking and learning.

Children are very safe in the school's nurturing and well-organised environment. The warm and trusting relationships they develop with adults help them to feel valued and secure. Staff take good care of children and are alert to their wel...l-being.

Concerns about bullying hardly ever arise, but leaders respond seriously and sensitively when they do.

The nursery prepares all children exceptionally well for the next stage of their schooling. Adults have the highest expectations of all children.

They combine these with a deep understanding of each child's needs. Skilful teaching, combined with caring and sensitive support, mean that all children make exceptional progress in their learning and development. Staff expertise in teaching children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) means that these children learn just as well as other children.

Their progress is impressive. Children with SEND play a full and active part in all aspects of nursery life.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders have established a carefully constructed and well-sequenced curriculum.

This, and adults' thorough knowledge of how to teach young children, ensure that children learn exceptionally well across all areas of learning. Adults use every opportunity to support children's development with great skill. For example, during the inspection, an adult capitalised on a child's enthusiasm for the playhouse to develop language skills, encouraging him to repeat phrases such as 'knock-knock', 'come in' and 'bye-bye'.

Adults continuously assess children's learning. They know exactly how to support each child's development.

Children thrive in the nursery's positive and nurturing atmosphere.

Adults' success in settling children into routines is startling. Children respond exceptionally well to adults' high expectations. They quickly learn the importance of 'good sitting', 'good looking' and 'good listening'.

The setting is highly effective in helping children to develop independence skills. At lunchtime, for example, children confidently serve themselves while seated at tables. During the inspection, they happily helped themselves to potatoes, carrots, shepherd's pie and a drink of water without fuss.

Adults are always on hand to provide help wherever needed.

The school gives the development of children's language and vocabulary a very high priority. Children are routinely encouraged to talk about what they are doing and to express opinions and ideas.

They learn to do this confidently because they know that adults will value what they have to say.

The nursery supports the development of early reading extremely well. It provides a wide range of appealing books that are displayed throughout.

Children learn how to hold a book, turn the pages and talk about the story. They love listening to adults reading them stories. Adults use discussions with children skilfully to develop reading skills.

For example, during the inspection, an adult used 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' to ask children about what they could see in the pictures, and what they thought might happen next in the story.

Children have plenty of opportunities to explore early mathematics throughout the nursery and learn very well. For example, activities with modelling clay are used to develop children's understanding of 'more than' and 'less than', bead games are used to practise counting to five, and shape games are used to develop understanding of the names and properties of shapes.

The nursery usually provides children with lots of activities to learn about the world, from collecting leaves to posting letters. Speakers visit to talk to children about different cultures and faiths, and children learn about festivals, such as Diwali and Christmas. The nursery is looking forward to reinstating visits, visitors and special events as pandemic restrictions begin to ease.

Leaders provide a strong steer for their staff team. They make sure that adults are well qualified and knowledgeable about the early years curriculum. Staff feel well supported.

They say that leaders prioritise their welfare.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders give children's safety an appropriately high priority.

Adults are alert to any signs that may cause concern. They report any worries promptly following the school's well-established reporting procedures. Leaders monitor records carefully.

They work closely with agencies, such as children's services, to ensure that children and their families receive the help they need.

Children are taught that their views matter. They learn that they can say 'no' if they would rather not hold another's hand, for example.

The nursery is well organised. Children can move safely freely between activities.


When we have judged a school to be outstanding, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains outstanding.

This is called a section 8 inspection of a good or outstanding school, because it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the section 8 inspection a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in December 2021.

Also at this postcode
Beechwood Primary School Ambleside Centre

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