The Orchard

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About The Orchard

Name The Orchard
Ofsted Inspections
Address Thame Road, Little Milton, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX44 7PZ
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children settle quickly and eagerly start to play as soon as they arrive at the pre-school. The pre-school provides a colourful, stimulating and motivating learning environment for children to learn and develop.

Children from a young age are encouraged to develop a real interest in books. Staff make books available for children to take home and enjoy with their family, cultivating children's early love of reading.Children benefit greatly from the close attention they receive from staff.

They talk constantly to children and listen carefully to what children have to say. Children become competent at preparing fruit for t...heir snack. They use knives with care, placing the fruit on large plates.

Children pour their own drinks and use small tongs to help themselves to fruit.Staff have high expectations for children and provide activities that build on what they can already do. Children use their hand-to-eye coordination and small muscles well.

This is evident, as children use brushes to paint or try to pick up large dinosaurs with tongs. Children enjoy pretend play in the imaginative kitchen area. The well-planned range of highly enjoyable activities and experiences sustains children's interests and keeps them engaged.

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

The pre-school manager is a committed and thoughtful leader. She involves the committee, staff, parents and children in the ongoing reflection and planning of future improvements to the pre-school. The manager and staff provide a curriculum that follows children's interests, and supports the development of the skills they will need for future learning.

They assess children's abilities and use the information to provide activities and opportunities to enhance their learning.Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities are supported effectively. Staff use appropriate strategies, which help improve outcomes for children.

They are proactive in seeking early help for children when needed. Staff work closely with other professionals to ensure children make the best possible progress from their individual starting points. For example, they use a picture-exchange system to aid communication.

Parents speak very positively about the setting. They warmly describe the friendliness and professionalism of the staff team and how happy their children are to attend. Staff gather information to plan familiar care routines for children.

There is a wealth of opportunity for parents to be involved in their children's learning, including face-to-face meetings and an online system to share information. However, staff do not always liaise effectively with other providers of settings children attend, to ensure consistency.A range of stimulating activities help children to develop their early writing skills.

This also strengthens the small muscles in their hands. For example, children become increasingly confident as they draw and paint. Children follow a pictorial recipe to add ingredients to make their own play dough.

They make shapes with the dough and imaginatively cook their cakes in the oven. However, staff do not make the most of opportunities to further extend children's learning in mathematics, for example by extending their understanding of capacity.Staff are good role models.

They help children to understand about taking turns and sharing resources. Staff recognise and praise children's efforts and achievements. As a result, children grow in confidence and feel emotionally secure.

A consistent approach to managing behaviour ensures that children feel safe and listened to. Children behave well and have good attitudes to learning. For example, they listen attentively to instructions when they enthusiastically dance to familiar music.

Children learn to be independent from an early age. Transition arrangements are particularly strong. The Tuesday's 'big club' specifically targets activities for older children to prepare them for school.

For example, they learn to write their names and get changed for physical education.Staff support children's emerging language skills well. They use books and songs, along with talking to children about what they are doing.

Staff provide an environment where children hear spoken language clearly and fluently. This helps to promote children's correct pronunciation of words, and helps them to understand how to put words together to form sentences. As a result, children are confident communicators.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.The manager and staff have good knowledge of safeguarding and child protection. They are aware of the different types of abuse and what signs and symptoms might indicate a child is at risk of harm.

All staff know the procedures they must follow in the event of concerns about a child, or where an allegation is made against a member of staff. Risk assessments are completed regularly and help to keep children safe. Staff teach children about keeping safe and offer gentle reminders about potential hazards, such as not running indoors.

This helps to prevent accidents and helps children to begin to manage their own risks. The recruitment and induction of staff is thorough, and ensures that all new staff are suitable to work with children.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: develop the sharing of information about children's care and learning with other settings that children attend, to strengthen the consistency in the support children receive provide frequent and varied opportunities to improve opportunities for children to gain a deep understanding of numbers and other mathematical concepts, to support their overall development.

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