Top team receives top marks from Ofsted

Browns Lane preschool, Storrington, has been rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted. Picture by Steve Robards
Browns Lane preschool, Storrington, has been rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted. Picture by Steve Robards

‘Inspirational’ managers have helped a pre-school retain its ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating.

Browns Lane Pre-School, in Storrington, was visited by inspector Susan McCourt on May 6 and her findings were published on Friday (May 27).

Giving owner Maria Meldrum and her team the highest rating in all areas, Ms McCourt said: “Managers are inspirational and highly effective in establishing the highest standards for children’s care and development.”

Browns Lane, which operates out of Ravenscroft Guide and Community Centre, was last inspected in 2011 – and standards have not been allowed to slip since then.

Ms McCourt said children were “extremely well-prepared” for their step up to primary school and added: “Children make outstanding progress in all aspects of their development. They are highly motivated to play, explore and rapidly build new skills.”

They were seen to behave “exceptionally well”, learning to share, take turns and consider each other’s feelings and ideas. As such, Ms McCourt said: “Children build extremely close friendships during their play.”

The way the pre-school staff worked with parents was described as “exemplary”, with information about the children’s progress, interests and abilities frequently exchanged, allowing them to plan activities.

Mrs Meldrum opened Browns Lane 20 years ago and said she was very proud to have another ‘outstanding’ report.

She added: “So much hard work goes in by everyone and I’d personally like to thank all of the staff and the parents who the inspector spoke to and who gave very good comments.

“The inspector said the planning was ‘meticulous’ with strong focus on the immediate learning of children, and also said the children were settled with good self esteem and built exceptional relationships with staff which we were very pleased about because we like our children to be happy.

“We’re just so pleased, I really couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

When it came to opportunities to further improve the pre-school, the message from Ms McCourt was essentially ‘more of the same, please’.

She told Mrs Meldrum to “strengthen even further the opportunities for new and younger children to make independent choices in their play”.

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