Inspection report: St Matthew's Church Preschool, 26 April 2018


Summary of key findings for parents

This provision is Good

  • Children are confident, secure and settled in the friendly and welcoming setting. They behave well and form strong emotional bonds with staff.

  • Staff form strong partnerships with parents that contribute to children's welfare and learning. They take considerable effort to meet the needs of the whole family.

  • Staff give high priority to providing an inclusive and caring environment for children who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities. They communicate and work effectively with external agencies to identify what is necessary for each child to achieve. All children make good progress from their starting points in learning.

  • Staff get to know children well and make good use of their interests when planning further learning experiences.

  • Staff skilfully extend children's communication and language skills. They also help older children develop a good awareness of letter sounds.

  • The manager closely monitors all children's progress and successfully identifies and narrows any emerging gaps in learning and teaching.


    It is not yet outstanding because:

  • Staff do not consistently make the most of all opportunities to challenge and build on children's large-muscle physical skills to extend these further.


  • Sometimes staff do not make the most of opportunities to fully encourage and extend children's mathematical knowledge.




Inspection findings


Effectiveness of the leadership and management is Good


Safeguarding is effective. There are thorough recruitment and induction procedures that help ensure staff are suitable to work with children. Staff fully understand their responsibility if they have a child protection concern. They have completed training and have an up-to-date knowledge of how to protect children from harm and extreme views. The manager successfully monitors, supervises and coaches staff. They continue to increase their skills, for example, by doing further training. Staff recently attended training and enhanced their understanding of how to build on children's communication skills. For instance, all staff now successfully use pictures to aid communication with children, including those who speak English as an additional language. Staff have increased their awareness of how to build children's vocabulary. The manager and staff make good use of ongoing evaluation to reflect on and improve children's experiences.


Quality of teaching, learning and assessment is Good


Staff carefully observe and assess children's progress. They plan activities that meet children's learning needs and help them achieve. Staff provide a wide variety of interesting learning experiences that children enjoy, such as a camping area with tents and a pretend fire. Staff interact well with children and extend their thinking and imagination further. For example, they ask questions that encourage children to share their ideas. Staff build on children's awareness of the natural world. For instance, they provide a wide selection of toy bugs and insects for children to explore using magnifiers.


Personal development, behaviour and welfare are Good


Staff are good role models who help children feel at ease and ready to learn. Children form good relationships with staff and their special key person. Staff successfully teach children how to manage their feelings in an acceptable way. Children listen and respond well to instructions. Staff help children develop a good awareness of how to stay safe. For example, when acting out campfire cooking they talked about the hazards and how to stay safe. Staff actively encourage healthy lifestyles and teach children the importance of eating well. They provide plenty of opportunities for children to play and exercise in the fresh air. Additional funding is being used well to improve children's experiences. For example, staff bought a variety of outdoor clothing to enable all children to play outside in all weathers.


Outcomes for children are Good


Children develop well in the skills they need to secure future learning. They readily join in activities and show a curiosity in their world. Children have strong social skills and good manners. They sit and listen well during group times. Children play happily with others and learn to be kind and respectful. They have good levels of independence and make decisions about their play. Children readily engage adults in conversation and play. They learn to manage their personal care needs well.