Delight as playschool Ofsted rating improves

Singleton Playschool were delighted with their Ofsted report
Singleton Playschool were delighted with their Ofsted report

Playschool leaders said they were delighted after taking just six months to shake off an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating.

Singleton Playschool, which is based at Singleton Primary School, was visited by inspector Janet Thouless in March and her findings were published on April 13.

Rating the playschool ‘good’ in all areas, Ms Thouless described staff as “good role models” and said: “The management committee has taken effective steps to address the weaknesses from the last inspection.”

Rachel Coates, chair of the management committee, said she and her team felt “absolutely wonderful” about the rating and added: “It was testament to all the hard work that the staff and children have put in and a wonderful thing for our local community to have a solid and high performing local pre-school.

“We really feel that all of our efforts were validated.”

Ms Thouless found teaching at Singleton to be “effective” and children were seen to be developing “good skills for their future learning, such as attending school”.

Their parents told the inspector the staff created “a warm and happy atmosphere” and had helped their children to develop their confidence in the use of language and communication.

At the previous inspection, in September, one issue raised for attention was recruitment, which was described as “not fully effective” and having an “impact on staffing levels”.

Rachel explained the playschool’s manager had left the week before the September inspection and the search for a replacement had been under way.

That replacement was Ann Henson, and Rachel said her “wealth of experience and her affinity with the children made her the ideal candidate”.

When asked if she thought Singleton could achieve Ofsted’s top ‘outstanding’ rating, Rachel said: “We are constantly striving to provide a better and better service to the children in our care, that is our job as educators.

“It is our duty to give them the best possible educational start in life and if Ofsted recognises the hard work that goes into that with an ‘outstanding’ rating, then so much the better.

“I think it is absolutely achievable with the great team of staff and volunteers that we have in place.”

She added: “We would just like to thank the inspectors for making this a very pleasant and different experience to the previous one.

“They were delightful to have around and were brilliant with the children and so positive about everything, we all came out of the experience feeling like it had been very uplifting.

“Our rising fives sessions take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from midday until 3pm and all children are welcome, whether they normally attend Singleton or another playschool. The price is £11 per session and sessions are open to any child starting reception year in September 2016.”

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