Sombornes Preschool is making steady progress upwards with its Ofsted ratings.

The pre-school, founded in 2011, has moved up from “satisfactory” to “good”.

Supervisor Becky Hunt said the result of the latest inspection, carried out in July, was very good news for everyone in the village. “This is excellent news for us. We have come along leaps and bounds and have done really well since the last Ofsted inspection.

“A good rating means we can now get Government funding for two year old children in the village. Children who qualify will be able to get free preschool sessions,” said a delighted Becky who has two young sons herself that attend the village primary school.

Becky added: “We now want to build on this to get an outstanding Ofsted report in three years time when the next inspection is due.”

The Sombornes Preschool has 16 children on its books and is open every weekday morning, except Mondays, and is also open on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

In her assessment, Ofsted inspector Margaret Dobbs said: “Staff have a good understanding of the learning and development requirements of the early years’ foundation stage. They provide a range of stimulating activities to promote children’s learning and development.

She also praises staff for allowing children to choose activities they want to do. “For example, children pretend that their dollies are cold and go to find blankets to wrap them in,” commented the inspector adding: “Children benefit from a circle of time where they learn to greet each other and they enthusiastically take part in favourite songs and learn new ones. Staff speak respectfully and listen sensitively to children and as a result children become confident speakers.” Heaping further praise on the staff, the inspector said they present children with “challenges and support them” in achieving new skills.

“Staff are enthusiastic, reassuring and praise good effort so children respond positively and try hard. Children’s records and planning documents show that all areas of learning are planned for and children are receiving a wide range of opportunities for learning and development,” adds the inspector’s report which also applauds the children’s behaviour at the preschool and the partnership the early years provider has with nearby King’s Somborne Primary School.

Turning to leadership, the inspector described it as “good” and noted that there is what she described as a “strong drive and vision” for continuous improvement.

“Staff are deployed to oversee different activities and the manager is aware of individual strengths of the team and staff have regular meetings and opportunities to discuss areas for development through their own reflection and professional training,” said the inspector.

The only area where the preschool has been advised to improve to gain outstanding status is to teach children more about personal safety.

“Staff do not always use consistent messages to help children learn about their own safety and that of others while playing indoors,” concluded the inspector.