Bray pre-school celebrates 'outstanding' Ofsted rating

BRAY 134702-1

An outdoor pre-school in Bray has been rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted, which called called staff 'superb' and praised children for their motivation following a recent inspection.

Little Muddy Me, based in Monkey Island Lane, was visited by the education watchdog on June 20, with a report published on Wednesday last week (July 27).

It operates from a secure woodland area situated within Bray Lake Water Sports complex, with this being the first routine inspection of the pre-school since it opened. 

It said that children arrive 'eager and motivated' for a day of 'exciting and stimulating activities' at the outdoor-based pre-school.

They are 'greeted warmly and enthusiastically' by the 'extremely nurturing staff', Ofsted added, with behaviour described by inspectors as 'exemplary' and children 'rapidly growing in confidence'.

Literacy development is a strength at the pre-school, it noted, with youngsters seen reading with adults and sharing books. 

"Staff read with superb expression to children and take time to talk to them about the books they read," the watchdog said in its report. 

Meanwhile, children are 'consistently engrossed in exciting and challenging activities', with staff creating an 'ethos of awe and wonder for the children in the woods'.

"Children benefit from rich experiences that help them to learn about the world around them. For example, they use a range of real tools with ease. They use Japanese saws, knowing they need to saw 'back and forth' to cut through the wood," Ofsted said.

Staff at Little Muddy Me are said to be performing to their 'full potential', who say they feel 'exceptionally valued' at the pre-school.

"Staff are especially caring towards the children, creating an extremely nurturing environment," Ofsted said.

"New children settle remarkably quickly. This is supported by exceptional information obtained ahead of children starting. In addition, staff undertake home visits to meet the children and their families.

"Staff receive rigorous safeguarding training, including ongoing discussions and staff meetings on child protection."

Support for children with special educational needs and disabilities is also outstanding, Ofsted noted.

Vicki Egarr, founder and owner of Little Muddy Me, said: "We are all so happy with the results and the comments that were made by the inspector in her report, it's better than we could have ever imagined.

"We are a solely outdoor pre-school based at Bray lake with no indoor space, no running water and no electricity. We are outside in all weathers which means that we are constantly having to think outside the box time and time again.

She added that staff have 'fully embraced' working in the outdoors and have helped create 'the most magical and nurturing setting'. 

"Working in our setting every day, we see the huge benefits in action but having the Ofsted report really does make it even more special," Vicki said. 

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