‘Inspirational’ preschool earns top Ofsted rating

Happytime Preschool has been rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted
Happytime Preschool has been rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted

‘Inspirational’ teaching and leadership have helped a preschool earn Ofsted’s highest rating.

Happytime Preschool, which is based at North Bersted Youth Centre was visited by inspector Clare Leake, who was so impressed with the setting that she raised its rating from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’.

In her report, Ms Leake described the preschool as “an inspiring and stimulating environment”.

She added: “The provider is an inspirational leader.

“She leads a team of highly motivated and well-qualified staff who have an impressive commitment to deliver high-quality, stimulating and innovative learning experiences.”

The youngsters were found to have developed excellent mathematical awareness skills and were seen to be “exceptionally ready” for the step up to primary school.

Ms Leake described them as “particularly thoughtful and kind towards each other” and said they were “highly motivated to learn and behave impeccably”.

As an example, she described the joy and excitement they shared – “laughing and taking turns” – while playing a game of pass the parcel during her visit.

Looking to the Happytime staff, Ms Leake praised the “excellent, warm and caring relationships” they had formed with the children, which helped the youngsters thrive.

She complemented the way the management team reviewed the children’s progress, swiftly giving support to deal with any gaps in their learning.

No areas where highlighted for further improvement, with Ms Leake simply recommending the management team continue to build on the “already excellent” teaching practices they had in place.

Owner Gayle Hamblin, who has been with the preschool for 11 years, said the rating was “fantastic news”.

She added: “It’s great that we have been recognised as an ‘outstanding’ setting, and shows that all the hard work, commitment, care and dedication that myself and my staff team do has been rewarded.

“We strive to ensure all children are learning through free flow play which enhances their learning through child-led and adult-led activities, making it fun and educational.”

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