A PRESCHOOL near Andover has received the highest-possible rating by Ofsted in its first inspection by the regulator.

Launchpad Appleshaw Preschool was praised and described by inspectors as an outstanding nursery in all areas where “children receive the best possible start to their learning” and “develop highly detailed understanding across all seven areas of learning”.

The preschool first opened in 2019 and is part of the Launchpad group of early years settings in Hampshire.

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Linked with the Diocese of Winchester, Launchpad preschools have a broad Christian ethos similar to church schools and are open to children of all faiths and none.

The report said: “The preschool's values of 'joy, care and friendship' are embedded consistently and relationships between staff, children and parents are exceptional.”

The report continued: “At the heart of the curriculum is a focus on language and literacy and high priority is made to offer children opportunities that support them in gaining skills that prepare them for their next stages of learning.”

The Right Reverend Debbie Sellin, Bishop of Southampton, and chair of the Launchpads board, added: “This outstanding report is down to the hard work of Appleshaw’s dedicated staff and the wider Launchpads team. I am delighted to see Ofsted recognise our commitment to provide children with a friendly and stimulating environment where they can explore, play, and learn with the support of caring and dedicated staff. I would like to thank the whole team for their hard work.”

Gemma Cosgrave, manager of Appleshaw Preschool said she was proud of what they have achieved and said the report is “testament to the team’s commitment” to ensuring that all the children in their care have the best start to their educational journey.

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The Revd Canon Nick Ralph, executive director of Launchpads, added: “I am thrilled to see another of our early years settings receive such an outstanding report from Ofsted. It has been a challenging couple of years for education providers everywhere, and especially for young children. It is great that our children continue to receive such excellent education, in a space where they can have fun with others and play.”

Appleshaw Preschool opened in 2019 and is one of 12 preschools and nurseries operated by Launchpad Social Enterprise. Through its links with the Diocese of Winchester, Launchpads benefits from the backing and support of the Diocese’s Education Team, which has responsibility for over 150 church schools across Hampshire and East Dorset.

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