Inspector praises Winterbourne Early Years Centre

December 30 2021
Inspector praises Winterbourne Early Years Centre

AN inspector from the education watchdog has praised the "exceptionally" well-behaved children and effective staff at Winterbourne Early Years Centre.

Ofsted visited the preschool at the Greenfield Centre, Park Avenue, for an inspection in October.

Its report said children's behaviour and attitudes were 'outstanding'. The preschool was rated 'good' for quality of teaching, leadership, personal development, and overall.

Winterbourne Early Years Centre has been running as a charitable preschool for nearly 60 years, moving from a village hall to the Greenfield Centre, next to Elm Park Primary School, in 1999.

The Greenfield Centre site houses its 'Little Bears' room for two to three year olds and 'Big Bears' room for three to four year olds. There is also a Rainbow Bears room at St Michael’s C of E Primary School, catering for three to four year olds.

It was the first time the regulator had visited the Greenfield Centre site, which has 50 children on its roll and 15 staff employed by a voluntary committee, for more than six years.

Inspector Rachael Williams said: "Children behave exceptionally well. They take turns with resources, show respect for each other's ideas and play beautifully together.

"Friendly and approachable staff are highly respectful and acknowledge children's emotions to help them make good choices and improve how they feel. Children make independent choices and are motivated to learn in a stimulating learning environment."

The inspector said staff "provide a wealth of exciting and enriching experiences" for the children.

She praised how the children were able to "engage in 'risky play' enthusiastically, under the close supervision of staff", including climbing a small ladder to a tree.

They were able to "identify when an area is not safe" and use tools safely.

The inspector added: "Children show pride in their achievements and develop high levels of self-esteem."

The report said the children "feel safe and have a strong sense of belonging" and said staff "actively involve parents" in their learning.

Support for children with additional needs was also highlighted, with managers using extra funding available to "provide a broader range of experiences", including outdoor learning and aids to concentration.

Acting manager Julie-Anne Dyer said: "The outcome of 'good' in the latest Ofsted inspection of the Greenfield site has delighted us all, especially after only returning to the new school year for five weeks, settling and getting to know new children and families and having to manage COVID-19 restrictions."

She said the centre's structured Forest School activities had helped children learn about risk and safety.

Julie-Ann added: "The preschool is aided by a fantastic trustee committee, mainly made up of parents, who assist the centre and are always available to advise and guide us with any areas that need attention. They are hands-on and a visible support to the centre, frequently popping in to say hello and to offer any help when needed.

"Winterbourne Early Years Centre is a very happy setting with fabulous parent support and strong links to local schools and the wider community.

"All our families are important to us and we love to see the children thriving and developing whilst they are with us.

"It is always bittersweet when ‘our’ children leave for primary school but we feel proud of the part we play in readying them for the next step." 

For more information on the preschool email

Picture: Children at Winterbourne Early Years Centre