Photo: Waterloo Road under 5’s Preschool parents and staff celebrating recent judgement from Ofsted as “Outstanding”


Southport’s Waterloo Road under 5’s Preschool warded “Outstanding” by Ofsted 

Staff and parents at Waterloo Road under 5’s Preschool which is situated in the Carlton Tennis club on Dunkirk Road Birkdale are celebrating after being awarded Outstanding at the most recent Ofsted inspection.

Summary of key findings for parents

This provision is outstanding

  The highly qualified and extremely dedicated staff team works remarkably well together. They share their expertise and extensive range of skills with each other. Staff are tremendously passionate about their roles and are highly committed to their work. The enthusiasm and motivation they display are astounding.

  Leaders and managers use precise monitoring systems to accurately review the progress made by individual and groups of children. Any identified gaps in achievement are very swiftly addressed. Additional funding is used highly effectively to offer unique individualised support for those who need it. All children make outstanding progress from their individual starting points.

  There is a remarkable commitment to help children acquire the skills that prepare them exceptionally well for school. Staff work incredibly well with the local schools to superbly support children with their transitions. Teachers visit the pre-school to meet children and lead activities. Staff take children to their future school for a taster day.

  Parents are wholly included as true partners in their child’s development. They are provided with excellent strategies to help continue their child’s learning at home. For example, children take home maths, words and letters activities and story sacks. Exciting activities that children participate in during the day are shared with parents at home.

  Children absolutely relish their time spent in this inspirational pre-school. They whoop and squeal with utter joy and delight in the extremely exciting activities and experiences provided. For example, children jump, hop and twizzle as they participate in physical exercise outdoors. They animatedly wave their scarves and enthusiastically move their bodies in a variety of ways.

What the setting needs to do to improve further

To further improve the quality of the early years provision the provider should: evaluate the impact of professional development on the quality of teaching and learning and target future training to maintain the outstanding practice.

Inspection activities

  The inspector observed the quality of teaching during activities indoors and outdoors and assessed the impact this has on children’s learning.

  The inspector completed a joint observation with the pre-school’s deputy manager.

  The inspector held a meeting with the pre-school’s deputy manager and provider. She looked at relevant documentation, such as the pre-school’s self-evaluation and evidence of the suitability of staff working in the pre-school.

  The inspector spoke to some parents during the inspection and took account of their views.

Inspection findings

Effectiveness of the leadership and management is outstanding

Leaders and managers have extremely high expectations of staff. They very regularly monitor staff’s performance to ensure that the quality of teaching is consistently very strong. There is a highly robust programme of training. Leaders are aware of the importance of continuing to monitor the impact this has on the quality of teaching. Very effective procedures for recruiting and mentoring new staff are in place. Regular practice observations are made and staff set their own targets for improvement. Arrangements for safeguarding are effective. Children’s safety is of the utmost priority. Staff have a first- class knowledge of how to identify and report concerns regarding the welfare of a child. Leaders scrupulously consider the views of staff, parents and children when deciding how to further develop the pre-school.

Quality of teaching, learning and assessment is outstanding

Very rigorous assessment of children’s progress is precise and their interests are central to every decision. Planning is meticulous and very specifically tailored to meet children’s individual needs and promote their future learning. Parents are extremely well informed about their children’s development. Children very excitedly explore volume and capacity in the water tray outside. They eagerly take turns to investigate how much water they can fit into various sized containers. Children develop their sensory skills. For example, they enthusiastically squeeze oranges, lemons and limes into the water and smell the different aromas. Children learn new words, such as pith and pips. They show extremely positive attitudes to learning and a keenness to participate.

Personal development, behaviour and welfare are outstanding

Children form outstanding and incredibly secure emotional bonds with staff and they settle exceptionally well. Children use impeccable manners and behaviour is exemplary. Parents speak extremely positively and describe the significant impact the pre-school has had on their children’s learning and well-being. They rate the pre-school highly and describe it as a marvellous home-from-home environment helps their children to thrive. Children learn about the wider world. For example, they experience highly stimulating trips in the community. Children thoroughly enjoy listening walks and visit the local woodland. They very eagerly share experiences from home with staff. Each child’s unique background is celebrated and highly valued.

Outcomes for children are outstanding

Children practise their excellent speaking and language skills and are very confident communicators. They highly enthusiastically join in with action songs and laugh heartily and chanting. They are very actively involved in self-care practices and are highly independent. For example, children expertly pour their own drinks and clear away their plates when they have finished eating. Children keep themselves very safe. For example, they know not to pass the red flags positioned as boundaries in the outdoor area. Children very skilfully recognise letters from their name on street signs. They effortlessly identify numbers written on doors when they go out for walks. Children are extremely well prepared for their eventual move on to school.


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