The Outdoor Pre-School

What is this page?

We are, a schools information website. This page is one of our school directory pages. This is not the website of The Outdoor Pre-School.

What is Locrating?

Locrating is the UK's most popular and trusted school guide; it allows you to view inspection reports, admissions data, exam results, catchment areas, league tables, school reviews, neighbourhood information, carry out school comparisons and much more. Below is some useful summary information regarding The Outdoor Pre-School.

To see all our data you need to click the blue button at the bottom of this page to view The Outdoor Pre-School on our interactive map.

About The Outdoor Pre-School

Name The Outdoor Pre-School
Ofsted Inspections
Address On The Site Of Abbey County Infant School, Cleveland Terrace, Darlington, Durham, DL3 8JA
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Sessional day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Darlington
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is outstanding

Children thrive and flourish in the outdoor pre-school. They show high levels of independence, self-esteem and have excellent social skills.

For instance, young children verbally communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings to others. They work together in small groups and pairs with minimal support. Staff have very high expectations of every child.

They help them to make the best possible progress and prepare for their future learning. Children consistently show happiness, engagement and excitement through their play and experiences. They are enthusiastic learners and are keen to join in with everything, their hands up to take part.

For example, they demonstrate excellent early writing skills as they use tally charts for bird spotting activities. Other children easily count beyond 10 as they collect things from the wooded area and staff extend this to ask about 'one more, most, and less than'.Despite the impact of the pandemic, children show they feel safe and are confident to come to the pre-school.

Staff have worked hard to rebuild children's personal, social and emotional skills. They have carefully considered ways to help children settle in and created individual strategies to help and support families. This is now an area of strength in children's development.

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

The curriculum is exciting, challenging and consistently stimulating for children. Staff have a clear vision of what they want individual children to learn and why this is important for their development. All children make exceptional progress, including any children whose starting points are lower than typical.

Staff quickly assess children's development and use information from parents to help them make plans for learning. Gaps close swiftly and children begin to excel in all areas.Staff provide an excellent outdoor learning environment for children.

Children access experiences with confidence, excitement and determination. For instance, older children show interest in reading and writing. Staff extend this and challenge them to write small words and learn phonics.

Other children sit together and accurately count out 16 acorns without support from staff. They know how to hold their pen and clearly write the numeral to represent their findings.Children are exceptionally well prepared for the next stage in their learning.

The manager has developed highly effective partnerships with schools to find out what children need to know before they start. Staff begin to prepare children from an early age and build secure foundations throughout their development. For example, young children show the highest levels of concentration and focus on activities for extended lengths of time.

They use clear, extensive vocabulary in sentences and have excellent listening skills.A significant strength of the pre-school is children's behaviour and their personal, social and emotional development. Young children know and understand a wide range of emotions as they choose the corresponding wooden spoons and make their clay 'mud monster' face.

Other children who have previously struggled with emotions benefit from equine therapy sessions held at pre-school. They talk confidently to adults and show pride as they lead their pony around the field.Staff have excellent relationships with children and their families.

They gather ongoing detailed information, which enables them to meet children's individual care needs effectively. Parents are highly complimentary about the pre-school. They say children make 'rapid social development, exploring nature in a safe and educative way' and that 'management is of the highest standard'.

Children have an exceptional understanding of how to keep themselves safe and healthy. Toddlers talk clearly about the importance of watering their planted vegetables and know they can make food once it grows. Older children tell staff about safety around the campfire and talk to their parents about safety when using fires in their home.

The manager is highly organised, focused and dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of care and learning for children. She inspires staff and encourages them to continually develop their skills. For example, staff have become Mathematics Champions and children excel in this area of their learning.

Staff complete detailed peer observations to reflect on the impact of their practice for children. This helps them to consistently drive improvements forward. Morale is very high and staff say they feel respected, valued and supported.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.The pre-school owner and manager work together closely to ensure children and staff's safety are prioritised. Staff say they feel their 'mental health and safety is a top priority'.

Staff are highly vigilant and alert to any differences in children and their families. They have an excellent understanding of the local safeguarding partnership procedures and monitor absences, accidents and behaviours. This helps them to swiftly identify any issues and provide the right support to families.

The manager has robust procedures to help her recruit new staff safely. For instance, they contact referees and have a lengthy interview and induction process. Children's understanding of their own safety is outstanding.

Young children know how to use tools and equipment safely and talk to others in the group about why this is important. Regular safety information is also shared with parents to help them identify potential risks and access support. For example, for those who may be worried about domestic violence or online safety.

Also at this postcode
Abbey Infants’ School

  Compare to
nearby nurseries