Outstanding rating ‘best news ever’ for playgroup

Maidenbower Pre-school Playgroup has been rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted. Picture by Emma Herbe
Maidenbower Pre-school Playgroup has been rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted. Picture by Emma Herbe

A manager has described her playgroup’s ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating as “the best news ever”.

Maidenbower Pre-school Playgroup underwent an inspection in April and the findings were published on May 23.

Picture by Emma Herbe

Picture by Emma Herbe

In her report, inspector Sarah Taylor-Smith rated the playgroup ‘outstanding’ in all areas and praised the quality of care and teaching given by manager Janet Noad and her team.

One year ago, staff were left “devastated” after being told to improve by Ofsted.

A misunderstanding about some paperwork meant the inspector was unable to rate them higher for the first time since 2008.

That report proved particularly frustrating for Janet who was convinced the pre-school, which is based at the community centre in Harvest Road, had been on track to continue its top form.

Picture by Emma Herbe

Picture by Emma Herbe

She said: “There’s not a question or doubt in my mind that we would have got outstanding. I was devastated.

“Now we’re back to where we should be.”

Looking at the latest report, she added: “This was the best news ever. We have always been outstanding and last year happened to be a little blip.”

Ms Taylor-Smith’s report recognised that all children at the playgroup made excellent progress in learning and development and were “extremely well prepared” to start primary school.

Picture by Emma Herbe

Picture by Emma Herbe

She said: “Children are extremely settled, eager to be involved and highly engaged in their learning.

“They learn an excellent range of skills to help them to be highly motivated learners.”

As for the staff, they were seen to have an “excellent understanding” of how to keep the youngsters safe, supported their language and communication development “extremely well”, and “meticulously” monitored each child’s progress.

Janet said: “I feel very privileged and proud to have such a lovely, hardworking team working here and it’s nice to have that recognised.”

The playgroup will be holding an open day on June 26 for parents hoping to enrol their children for the September term. It will run from 9.30am-11am.

For details log on to www.maidenbowerplaygroup.org.uk .