Ofsted inspector praises Crawley pre-school

An Ofsted inspector has praised the achievements of staff and children at a pre-school.

Only a couple of minor points kept the Holly Hedgehog Pre-school from being rated ‘outstanding’, according to the inspection report, which was published on Wednesday (April 15).

Holly Hedgehogs in the Baptist Church in West Green, Crawley (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150421-121823008

Holly Hedgehogs in the Baptist Church in West Green, Crawley (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150421-121823008

The pre-school, based at Crawley Baptist Church, in Crabtree Road, West Green, has now been rated ‘good’ two inspections running.

Manager Amanda Kelly has been with the school since 2004 and said her team was “absolutely thrilled” with the report – and she had been itching to tell curious parents the good news for days.

Ofsted inspector Susan McCourt visited the pre-school on March 23 where she examined documentation, watched the children play and spoke to parents.

In her report, Ms McCourt praised the way the Holly Hedgehog staff monitored each other’s performance and shared new skills learned on training courses.

She said the children, who were all aged two to four, were acquiring the skills they needed to enable them to learn well at primary school.

Her report added: “Staff work with parents when children first start in order to establish children’s current achievements. They then plan a well-balanced range of activities to engage children in play to promote their learning.”

Learning wasn’t the only area to be praised – the efforts of staff to ensure new children were not upset by their strange environment were also highlighted.

The report stated: “Staff are very effective key persons for children and tailor the settling-in process to suit each individual family. They provide a warm and comforting presence for children who may be upset which helps to calm and soothe them.”

Commenting on the improvements required for Holly Hedgehog to be rated ‘outstanding’, the report said staff needed to give parents suggestions to enable them to build on their children’s learning at home. While clear boundaries were being set for all the youngsters, staff were also told they needed to ensure children understood why those rules were in place.

Taking on board Ms McCourt’s recommendations, Amanda said: “I feel like they are so trivial – there’s nothing there were can’t put in place. It’s about writing things down rather than people just talking to us. What we will probably do is have a suggestion box where parents can write down things the children have done at the weekend.”