There were big celebrations at a top-class pre-school this week after education inspectors awarded them their highest accolade.
Stepping Stones Pre-School in Church Road, Leverington, held a tea party for children on Monday following an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted.
The government watchdog praised the pre-school for having the highest standards in every aspect of early years education following a visit from inspectors last month.
The ‘outstanding’ rating comes five years after the provision was rated as ‘good’.
A glowing report from inspector Carly Mooney said children “flourish” as they learn useful social skills, and make “excellent progress” in their learning.
It said: “Children are highly motivated and keen to learn in this inclusive and very welcoming setting. Staff provide exceptional care and support to all children and their families.”
Ms Mooney also praised the pre-school’s “consistently high quality” teaching methods, and said staff provide “a rich, varied and imaginative educational programme”.
She continued: “The manager, committee and all staff demonstrate an outstanding vision and dedication to providing children with high-quality care and education.
“Children benefit from a highly stimulating and continually evolving provision.”
Pre-school manager Sadie Knowles said: “As a manager I am so proud of all the staff; their hard work and dedication has finally been officially recognised.
“We have a long-standing team who have worked together for a few years now, and over this time we have seen many changes to early years education and built up a strong team of knowledgeable staff who all share the same vision for our setting.
“It really is wonderful to know that other people can see the ‘outstanding’ work that goes into our pre-school everyday. And it’s a great way to begin the Christmas holidays!”
Mrs Knowles thanked the committee, particularly chairperson Natasha Layde, for its support and commitment.
“Without their fundraising activities we would not be able to provide the children with all the wonderful experiences we offer,” she said.
The pre-school won’t be resting on its laurels, though, as planned for 2016 is a new Forest School, where children can climb trees, build base camps and learn about nature.