A PRE-SCHOOL which had to endure an Ofsted inspection right in the middle of Nativity week has been rated ‘outstanding’.
Staff and managers at the Laugh and Learn Pre-School, in Tarring, were engrossed in organising shepherds, angels and kings when a phone call from the government’s inspectors threatened to throw a festive fly in the ointment.
Inspector Ben Parsons was warned by manager Sharon Bennett that he wouldn’t be seeing a “normal” session at the pre-school – and his report laid to rest any fears about the timing of his visit.
Mr Parsons described the quality of teaching at Laugh and Learn as “exemplary” and the children as “incredibly confident and independent”.
He praised staff’s ‘outstanding’ knowledge of the children in their care and the work done to observe and assess their progress.
He added: “All children make excellent progress in their learning in relation to their starting points. Children learn strong mathematical, communication and physical skills and socialise extremely well.
“They gain the confidence and skills needed for their next stages in learning.”
Principal Emma Doick, who also runs the Laugh and Learn Pre-School at Heene Community Centre, described her nine-strong team, including deputy manager Allison Bird, as “chuffed” by the news.
She added: “The staff have done an absolutely amazing job. I’m hoping the parents feel very proud their children go to our setting.”
Describing the inspection, which took place on December 16, she said: “We were still in Nativity mode so we literally had to switch off from one Nativity, get into focus for Ofsted and then snap back to Christmas.”
There will be no resting on their laurels for the team at Laugh and Learn – and Emma has no intention of letting the ‘outstanding’ rating slide. She said: “We will just continue to reflect on our process because obviously things change over time and evolve.”
Emma had no doubt where the credit for the pre-school’s success lay and added: “Without good staff we would never have got outstanding. You build yourself up to it so much, it makes them realise they are doing a fantastic job.
“They listen to the parents; they understand exactly what different families are going through. They are all mums themselves so can offer support and advice.”
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