Good things are happening at St Joseph's pre-school

December 22 2018
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A FISHPONDS pre-school has been told its provision is good by Ofsted.

The education watchdog said children at St Joseph’s Pre-School in Forest Road were “emotionally well prepared for their next steps in learning” and formed “strong bonds with friendly and approachable staff”.

It also praised the way staff at the pre-school, which has more than 50 children on its roll, engage with parents and its “stimulating, well-resourced learning environment”.

The positive verdict from the regulator comes just months after an earlier report said the pre-school at St Joseph’s Church Hall, which has 13 staff, was inadequate.

The failings Ofsted had highlighted in June centred mainly on safeguarding procedures and accident recording, and centre manager Cathy Williamson said staff had worked hard as a team and undergone training to ensure this area was now rated good.

In the latest report, made after a visit in October, Ofsted inspector Rachael Williams said: “Leaders and managers have worked hard to make improvements since the last inspection. They have effectively increased staff's understanding of safeguarding to ensure they protect children from harm.

“Staff focus well on engaging with parents, especially to support disabled children. Staff keep parents well informed of children's progress and actively encourage them to share their children's learning at home. Staff provide parents with ideas for learning at home, such as borrowing book bags or attending workshops.”

The inspector also praised the effective use of home visits to ensure children settled well when they arrived at the pre-school, which has been providing sessions for two to four-year-olds since 1975.

Ofsted rates pre-schools in four areas: leadership and management; teaching and learning quality; children’s development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for children. St Joseph’s is now rated good in all four areas.

Cathy said she was pleased that the latest report had reaffirmed the good work the pre-school had been doing all along, and praised the teamwork of staff.

She said: “I’m pleased that Ofsted have noticed the positive things we do to support the children in all aspects, particularly the good relationship we have with the parents – they really backed us up after the last report.

“Ofsted saw that the children are well-prepared for school, how well the staff know the children and focus on engaging with them.

“They picked up that it was a well-resourced, happy environment for the children and the bond the children have with the staff.

“Staff have worked really hard and have really pulled together.”

“Even the things we have got down for improvement are making more of the opportunities we give the children.

“The report confirms what we knew already, that we are a good setting and good work is being done.”