Frampton Cotterell preschool’s drive to improve is recognised by Ofsted

THE hard work of staff to improve a Frampton Cotterell pre-school has been recognised by an inspector.

Zion Community Preschool has been rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted after making “significant improvements”.

A year ago the regulator said the preschool, based at Zion Church hall in Woodend Road, needed to make changes to its quality of education.

But following an inspection in November, Ofsted has upgraded the preschool’s rating from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’ in all areas – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, leadership and management, and personal development.

Inspector Charlotte Jenkin said: “The manager and staff have made significant improvements to their practice since the last inspection.

“They have worked closely with the local authority and attended training and support sessions to improve the curriculum. 

“Staff now place a high focus on developing children’s communication and language skills and ensuring that children have access to all areas of learning.”

The report said manger Vicky Glanville and her team monitor children’s progress carefully and put in place support to help children catch up when any gaps in learning are identified, helping youngsters to gain the knowledge and skills they need for starting school.

The inspector said: “The manager is now clear about her curriculum intent and how she delivers a balanced curriculum that covers the areas of learning.

“She places a strong emphasis on promoting children’s social, communication and language skills.” 

The inspector found that the environment was “language rich”, and adults and children readily engaged in conversations. Staff were also skilled at weaving early mathematics into children’s play.

Her report said staff training has had a positive impact on children’s learning. For example, staff have introduced a sensory area for children to have some quiet time if needed. 

The inspector said: “Staff have clear areas for development in order to make improvements to practice. 

“They are all attending training on using hand signs to support all children’s communication and language consistently.”

Positive partnerships with parents

Staff regularly encourage children to talk about how they are feeling, and they offer support when they are unsettled, such as by reading their favourite story, the report found.

The inspector said: “Children’s behaviour is very good.

“Staff give them lots of praise and encouragement, and children persevere with tasks until they succeed. Children learn to share and take turns with staff, who use sand timers to support this.”

Arrangements for safeguarding were effective, the report found.

Partnerships with parents were said to be positive, with parents reporting that they know their children’s next steps and are pleased with the progress they have made, particularly in their speech and language and confidence. 

The inspector said: “Parents say that communication with staff is very good and that they are very approachable to talk to at any time.”

The inspector said the pre-school could further improve by gaining more detail from parents when there are outside agencies involved with a family, and provide more support to engage younger children in learning.

The committee-run preschool first registered in 1970 and currently has 16 children on its roll.

Vicky said staff had worked hard since Ofsted’s previous visit to make suggested changes.

She said: “I couldn’t be prouder of my team – it is brilliant to be awarded with this result.

 “Myself and the staff have worked extremely hard over the last year, attending various training courses and working closely with the Early Years team.

“I will continue to push the Pre-School forward alongside my brilliant staff.”