Whitchurch pre-school receives Ofsted’s lowest rating

The Hive Pre-School in Whitchurch has been rated as Inadequate and ordered to take action to deal with the issues raised following an Ofsted inspection.

The pre-school is based at the 21st Bristol Scout Hut in Bamfield and has 46 children on the roll. At the previous visit in July 2022, the pre-school was told it needed to make improvements. The latest report, published following a visit earlier this summer, highlights that the rating for all categories has now sunk to the lowest grade.

The inspector’s report says that weaknesses in risk assessment compromise children’s safety. Staff do not notice when children have gone inside from the garden without supervision and are able to access the kitchen, where medication, chemicals and knives are stored.  The children are not able to sit safely to eat their snacks and lunch because the tables are too high for them.

Some children’s behaviour compromises their own safety; for example, they run around with scissors and hide. Staff do not know how to respond and do not provide children with the support they need to understand why such behaviour is not appropriate or safe.

The inspector said that poor behaviour is ignored, allowing children to continue to use inappropriate language in front of other youngsters. However, she noted that leaders are able to identify the signs of abuse and know the procedures to follow if they have safeguarding concerns.

Although leaders have been developing the curriculum and have clear ideas about what they want children to learn, they are not learning key skills, such as how to cut with scissors, as staff do this for them unnecessarily rather than giving them the opportunity to try for themselves.

The report found that staff do not ensure that all parents are aware of how they can support their children’s learning at home. and youngsters with special educational needs/disabilities (SEND) don’t receive additional support to help them progress in their learning.

The report highlighted that leaders and staff are welcoming and form warm relationships with the children, but don’t use the information they gather about individual youngsters to target the curriculum effectively.

The pre-school, which was first registered in 2019, has nine members of staff.

This week the partnership which runs the pre-school said: “All points raised in our inspection have been addressed, with many issues having been resolved immediately.

“For those that require a longer timeframe of focus, such as our curriculum delivery and training, we have solid plans and targets in place to ensure improvements continue to be made. We have been working with Bristol City Council’s Early Years team who have been immensely supportive in helping us navigate a reflective time for our setting.

“As a team we are saddened by the outcome but look forward to welcoming another inspection within the next six months.”