A south Norfolk community pre-school is rejoicing after successfully extending its streak of ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted ratings to three in a row.
Gissing Children’s Centre, which is found at The Old School in Lower Street, stated it was “absolutely delighted” following the latest inspection report, which awarded the ‘Outstanding’ grade in all four key categories — the third time the pre-school has achieved this feat in just nine years.
Kelly Pitcher, the chair of Gissing Children’s Centre, said: “I am immensely proud of our staff team, not only at this amazing Ofsted result, but on a day to day basis when I see how much time and effort they all put into the care of the children and the support they give to all our families.”
The report highlighted the “highly skilled and sensitive” staff, the effectiveness of the partnerships with parents and the “rich and vibrant” learning environment at the school, which has run since 1982 and currently has 46 children aged between two and five.
Ofsted inspector Jemma Hudson wrote: “Staff are skilful in their interactions with children and use highly effective methods of teaching.
“As a result, children flourish and make excellent progress in their learning and development according to their starting points and capabilities.”
Centre manager Linda Nash, who also earned high praise in the report, claimed a big part of their success was being “a nurturing place”, rather than concentrating too much on getting youngsters ready for primary school.
“We go to considerable lengths to meet the different needs of the children. It’s that we go that extra mile,” she told the Diss Express.
“There’s too much emphasis on preparing for school. We are focused on the children here and now.
“We put a lot of emphasis on two particular parts of the curriculum: communication and language, and personal, social and emotional development.
“There is very special interaction between children and staff. The children respond very well to the opportunities we give them, both in activities and experience.”
Ms Nash added, however, that the continuing streak of top inspection results also brought “quite a lot of pressure” to keep standards high.
She said: “We have to find new ways to respond to changes. We have to remain responsive to that.
“We have to take ideas from others and find new and exciting ways to do things, and keep everything fresh.”
Gissing Children’s Centre is now accepting newcomers for September. For further details, call 01379 677300 or go to www.gissingchildrenscentre.co.uk