Natural Explorers @ Simmondley Primary School

About Natural Explorers @ Simmondley Primary School Browse Features

Natural Explorers @ Simmondley Primary School

Name Natural Explorers @ Simmondley Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 11 November 2019
Address Simmondley Primary School, Pennine Road, Glossop, SK13 6NN
Phone Number 01457 852694
Type Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Sessional day care
Gender Mixed
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is outstanding

Children are at the very heart of the pre-school. At the start of a session, children cannot wait to find out what is on offer and immediately select their chosen activity. Children’s imaginative skills and creativity are highly valued. The resources offered to children, such as wooden blocks, fabrics of different shapes, sizes and textures, and wooden and metal objects, are the catalyst for children’s learning. Children use these to create outfits of their own design, make meals in the role-play area and enclosures for animals in the construction area. Children are happy, inquisitive and independent as they explore and find out about the world around them and follow their interests. They are treated with respect by staff, who know and understand what children are capable of achieving. Children have excellent support and guidance to encourage them to keep trying and to succeed. Children thrive in the safe and secure environment. They learn how to assess risks themselves. For example, when they play outdoors, they learn about how to move about on the slippery surface in the mud-kitchen area. Children also begin to learn about online safety through listening to age-appropriate stories about characters who expose themselves to danger. Children are considerate and manage their feelings and behaviour very well. They remind each other about sharing and tell each other clearly when they are not sharing properly.

What does the early years setting do well and what does it need to do better?

nStaff have an exceptional understanding of how children learn and develop. Children play and learn in an environment that is rich in opportunities to develop their interests and skills in reading, writing and mathematics. The role-play area is a strong example of this. Children have socks to play with, which they sort into pairs, look for patterns in, and organise into size order on the washing line. They tidy the area by matching the shape of household items, such as plates, pans and cutlery, to shapes on the storage units. Children manipulate play dough and strengthen their hands, wrists and fingers to develop control for writing.nThe manager has very detailed knowledge of the staff and children. Consequently, staff access training that is well matched to their needs. For example, after attending training, staff sensitively seize opportunities that arise in play to develop children’s skills, knowledge or understanding. They use teaching techniques that they know the children will respond to. This works exceptionally well. Children eagerly learn new things as they benefit from staff’s excellent knowledge base. For example, a staff member used a book with a group of children to research dinosaur names. When they could not find thename of one dinosaur in the book, the staff member suggested they use the internet to look for it. On a child-friendly website, children became engrossed in looking for the missing dinosaur name, while also learning facts about the dinosaurs they already knew.nStaff take care to get to know and understand the children. Their knowledge of children’s personal experiences is excellent. For example, children who consistently choose indoor play are tempted outdoors as they see the other children having fun climbing on tyres, balancing on planks and rolling large cylinders across the ground.nChildren’s physical and emotional well-being are a high priority. Staff use carefully chosen words to help children to understand how they are feeling. They acknowledge when children are upset and say, ’I can see that you feel sad; tell me what is making you sad?’ Great care is taken in how staff phrase questions. Children consider and reply without fear of giving the wrong answer. After only a few weeks of attending, children are highly competent and confident learners.nChildren’s large- and small-scale physical development are given equal attention. Staff know that children need to continue to practise and secure what they can do. The thoughtful organisation of the environment aids this. For example, outdoors, a child rolled a tyre around the play area. He later painted a picture using large sweeping brush strokes. In another activity, he used a pen to write on a postcard, peel a stamp and stick it on. The range of activities offered supports children’s developing physical skills extremely well.nThe manager has an excellent understanding of how to deliver a well-balanced curriculum. Everything on offer is carefully planned to build on or consolidate children’s learning. For example, at the start of the year, children have access to ready mixed paints. By the end of the year, children are able to use powder paints to mix with water and experiment with mixing colours.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.All staff have a very good understanding of the pre-school’s safeguarding policy and procedure. Without hesitation, they speak about the signs and symptoms of child abuse. Staff know what action to take if they have any concerns about a child. There is a strict policy restricting the use of any devices, such as mobile phones, in the setting. The setting is open plan and staff are never left unsupervised. When intimate care such as changing a child’s clothes takes place, staff are visible to their colleagues, while still protecting children’s privacy. Recruitment procedures are robust.