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Haverhill pre-school makes ‘outstanding’ progress

A Haverhill pre-school has beaten the odds and seen its rating by a national education watchdog improve from a ‘good’ rating to ‘outstanding.’

In 2009, Stepping Stones Under Fives, which is located adjacent to Coupals Primary academy in Chalkstone Way, received the good grading from Ofsted Inspectors.

But now, six years on the pre-school, which has 48 children on its roll, has upped its game and received an outstanding rating from inspectors, all against a well publicised stiffening of the standards set by Ofsted.

Stepping Stones manager, Elaine McManus, said: “The Ofsted inspector said at least twice to me, ‘you had a good and I have to say that to you that they have moved the goalposts and it’s harder to get a good’ so I thought If I get a good today I would be thrilled to bits.

“So when she said you have got an outstanding I burst into tears.”

Mrs McManus was also keen to emphasise how much Stepping Stones has benefitted from the adjacent Coupals Primary School becoming an Academy after linking into the Samuel Ward Academy Partnership Trust.

She said: “The partnership I think works both ways and the partnership we have, I think that has embedded a nice smooth transition for the children.”

Included in the Ofsted inspector’s summary of key findings were the following observations “Partnerships with parents are extremely purposeful and effective,” “Monitoring and assessment of children’s learning is rigorous and highly focused,” and “All staff demonstrate that they have an excellent understanding of how to reduce potential risks to children.’

It also said: “The high expectations of staff, along with their excellent attention to delivering consistent messages, results in children’s exemplary behaviour.”

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