Go Ape in the forest
OUTSTANDING Staff and children at Southborough Pre-school
Outstanding pre-school have happy and engaged children Ofsted report Southborough ranks top overall and in all areas CHILDREN at Southborough Pre-school are ‘happy, engaged and stimulated throughout’ according to Ofsted, which ranked it outstanding in all areas. Inspectors praised teaching, planning and safeguarding in their report, which was published last month. Debbie Smith, who took over the management of the school 18 months ago, was delighted. She said: “It’s such a thrill. “I was lucky enough to be left a wonderful preschool by my predecessor. Our committee changed at the same time and their fundraising has been fantastic. It’s enabled us to bring in new resources.” This includes new furniture, which has allowed the school to be flexible in using its space, in the Southborough community centre. Mrs Smith said: “We have different areas for maths and ICT, and we can move things around in a way that best suits the children. If there’s a shy child who doesn’t like entering a large room, they can go to an area with a den and sit in peace till they’re ready to come out.” Ofsted identified ‘highly effective staff engagement’, and an ‘extensive range of inspirational and innovative activities’ among the factors responsible for the ranking, an improvement on the ‘good’ awarded when the school was last inspected, in 2011. But Mrs Smith thinks the quality of teachers and the school’s ‘free-flow’ play policy are among its best assets. She said: “It’s easy to see children as a class. We look at them as individuals, and ask, what does that individual need? “We sometimes have more staff than the required
YOUNGSTERS from the age of four were joined by adults to swing through the trees in fancy dress for a good cause. Goudhurst Village Pre-school held a sponsored fancy dress event in Go Ape, Bedgebury Forest, on May 17, to raise funds for staff iPads. Participants spent the afternoon in the treetops or at a ‘cheeky monkey’ tea party, in a decorated forest shelter. A spokesman for the pre-school said: “It was a resounding success, raising funds to provide their preschool staff with iPads that will allow them to more easily document the children’s progress and development and free up more of their time for play and essential interaction.” The school, a registered charity, opened in January 2014
IN THE TREETOPS A youngster prepares to try the zip wire
and has since been rated good in all areas by Ofsted. Chairman Alison Clarke said the event raised £1,400, which will be match-funded by the investment bank employer of one of the parents.
On a Friday evening I’m a Florist -tied bouquet!
al the girls love
ratio, but we just feel it offers better care. “When children come in they can choose whether they play indoors or outdoors, and they can move between the two. Sometimes what children really need is to run around.” But it’s the combination of factors which makes Southborough Pre-School ‘outstanding’. “It’s just wonderful to get that recognition,” said Mrs Smith.
She added: “Everyone made such an effort with their costumes and sponsorship. Thanks to Go Ape for allowing us to bring so many people of all ages together for a day of fun in such a beautiful setting.”
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fully supports the individual needs of the children. � The comprehensive observation, assessment and planning systems enable staff to extend all children’s progress significantly in relation to their starting points. � The staff team demonstrates an excellent understanding of safeguarding, and the extensive policies and procedures fully enhance children’s safety and wellbeing. � Partnerships with parents, carers and other settings delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage are outstanding and greatly enhance consistency in learning. � Children are extremely well prepared for their next stages in learning and their move on to school is promoted thoroughly by the staff in consultation with parents and Reception teachers at local schools.
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Wednesday 27th May 2015