A pre-school in Fordingbridge where children are “happy, confident and settled” has been rated good in their recent Ofsted inspection.

Stepping Stones Pre-school, on Shaftesbury Street, was inspected on February 22, 2024 having previously been rated good in their last inspection in 2018.

Lead practitioner Sam Lealman said: “I’m very proud of all the staff at Stepping Stones for securing a "good" result from Ofsted.

“We have worked extremely hard to maintain our good rating and we are delighted to receive such a strong report.”

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The setting currently looks after 23 children between the ages of two and four.

The report commended that staff are attentive to children’s needs, stating that: “children demonstrate that they are happy to attend the pre-school. They initiate conversation with staff and hug them warmly.”

Children are said to be building a range of vocabulary and have knowledge and understanding of the local community, such as emergency services, as part of a “well-thought out curriculum.”

Salisbury Journal: Stepping Stones pre-school receives a good Ofsted rating

Ofsted inspector, Loretta Murphy, said: “Staff are attentive to children’s needs. They sensitively guide children to follow routines, such as self-registering attendance, and to participate in the activities that have been set up for them.

“They know what they want children to learn and be able to do. They understand the importance of sequencing children’s learning to help them to make good progress.”

The report added that “staff support children to be independent. They encourage children to wash and dry their hands, use the toilet, and get their own belongings.”

Children with special educational needs and disabilities are supported “well,” and leaders are said to work closely with other professionals to support children in meeting their targets.

Physical development is also noted in the report, with the pre-school recognised for their offering of regular opportunities to access fresh air and exercise.

Salisbury Journal: Stepping Stones pre-school receives a good Ofsted rating

Debbie Millard from Fordingbridge community garden said: “It was our pleasure to welcome the children from Stepping Stones Pre School back to the Fordingbridge Community Garden and we hope this will be the start of many more visits by the Stepping Stones pre-school and other community related groups .

“We all extend our congratulations to the staff and children at Stepping Stones Pre -School for their Good Ofsted rating.”