St Albans early years setting declared ‘outstanding’

Children are given a memory bear when they leave the 'outstanding' Old London Road Pre-school. Pictu

Children are given a memory bear when they leave the 'outstanding' Old London Road Pre-school. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

An early years setting in St Albans has been recognised as being ‘outstanding’ by education watchdog Ofsted.

Old London Road Pre-school meets in a scout hut on Riverside Road and was inspected just before everything went into lockdown.

The setting was highly praised for behaviour and activities.

The report said: “Children take delight in the magical atmosphere of the extensive garden which is filled with beautiful plants and trees.

“They make music on chiming hollow pipes or hanging pots and pans.

“They gleefully pretend to mow the lawn or work out how to empty and fill the ball pool.”

Inspectors recognised older children helping younger children playing ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’.

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Ofsted said children at the setting grow in confidence and described staff as “highly skilled” and “dedicated”.

Behaviour was said to be “exemplary” and inspectors saw children listening attentively for their names, which signaled their turn to use the washbasins, before going inside.

Pre-school leader Janet Audley-Charles said: “We were due for an inspection. It was a roller coaster week of emotion, with the inspection on the Monday and the developments over the week which ended with us having to put a notice up that we were closed until further notice.

“On the evening of the inspection the announcement came through that all inspections had been postponed.”

Chair of the committee at Old London Road Pre-school Rachel Dill said: “I am absolutely delighted that Ofsted has recognised what a special, nurturing environment the pre-school is.

“Janet and all the staff are so enthusiastic and welcoming and work closely with parents to support the children.

“The range of creative activities on offer means the children are engaged and enthusiastic to learn and both my children have absolutely loved their time there.”

Children sing a range of songs that Janet has created over the years such as ‘Jimmy Germ’ which is loved by many St Albans families and was written over 20 years ago. It helps them to understand basic hygiene.

Staff are hoping to have a party in September when the pre-school will celebrate its 21st birthday.