A WHITCHURCH pre-school has been rated ‘good’ in its first inspection when children were seen to “flourish”.

Whitchurch Montessori was visited by Ofsted in November and has received a ‘good’ rating in all areas bar one in its subsequent report, being rated as ‘outstanding’ for personal development, behaviour and welfare.

The report about the school, based in Testbourne Community School, read: “Staff provide exciting and innovative experiences outdoors that support children’s physical health very well and help them to take risks and attempt new challenges in their play.

“For example, children delight in climbing trees and they enjoy using tools, such as saws, with great care and skill to support their physical skills.”

It added children have excellent first-hand opportunities to learn about their community and the lives of others.

Staff were also seen by the inspector to ignite children’s love for learning, and provided a rich and diverse range of activities.

For example, the inspector reported they saw older children build a den with wooden pallets and sticks, and mould and shape seeds around pine cones to hang up in the trees for the birds.

The Ofsted report said children access a well-resourced environment, adding: “Young children settle quickly and form strong bonds with kind and caring staff who tend exceptionally well to their emotional needs.

“All children develop a very strong sense of belonging and self-worth.”

Parents praised staff, speaking highly of them and the care their children received.

Of the school’s manager, the inspector said they were wellqualified, experienced and passionate. In outcomes for children, the report read: “Children have positive attitudes to learning and are confident and active learners.

“They flourish in confidence, show high levels of self-esteem and behave exceptionally well.”

The pre-school only had one recommendation to help it improve further.

The inspector said it should give children time to follow their ideas or to finish the activity they are engaged with at their own pace.