Saved pre-school rated ‘good’ by Ofsted

A pre-school saved in the 11th hour after it was faced with closure when it was told it would have to find new premises has been rated as ‘good’ in its latest Ofsted report.

For 18 years Squirrel’s Pre-School, which is now based at Bewbush Pavilion in The Green, operated at Trinity United Reform Church in Ifield, but it was given notice by the church owners that it would have to find new premises. The pre-school was given a year’s notice but it struggled to find a suitable venue. At the last hour supervisor Katie Turner and fellow staff visited the cricket pavilion and as luck would have it Crawley Borough Council agreed to let the pre-school move in.

Now, in its first Ofsted report since moving to the pavilion in October last year, inspectors have rated the pre-school as ‘good’. Ms Turner said: “We are really pleased. It is a really positive report and we are thrilled to have been rated good.”

Inspectors who visited the pre-school in December said they found staff to be ‘motivated and caring and work well as a team’. The report said ‘their friendly, enthusiastic and interactive teaching methods clearly meet the needs of the children who join in eagerly’.

The report said children were enthusiastic in their learning and willingly took part in activities. Inspectors said children were encouraged to be ‘independent, caring and respectful of others’ and ‘in the main, children’s behaviour is good’.

Parents said they were kept well informed and their children were happy and settled.

Inspectors noted that staff provided healthy snacks and children were given regular access to fresh air and physical exercise.

It said the school was not yet outstanding because ‘occasionally some child initiated activities lack focus, and these are not successfully evaluated to make improvements’.