A PRESCHOOL in Basingstoke has been told it 'requires improvement' by the education watchdog. 

Castle Hill Preschool, in Kenilworth Road, Winklebury, is an independent, committee-run, charity preschool operating in the grounds of the Fort Hill site.

The preschool underwent an inspection from Ofsted on Wednesday, December 6, with the report being published into the visit on Tuesday, February 20.

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Despite its previous rating of 'good' following an inspection in March 2018, the preschool has now been told that it 'requires improvement'. 

The report said: "Although children enjoy their play and activities, staff's organisation sometimes means that the quality of teaching is varied, with children's play and learning not purposeful enough. Despite this, staff have a good understanding of children's individual learning needs and identify gaps in their development." 

It added that staff have 'suitable knowledge' of how activities support a child's learning, and at times they "provide good quality interactions which includes talking to children individually". This helps to close some gaps in children's learning and supports them to make appropriate progress.

The inspector found that children are happy and settled at the preschool and they have fun, adding: "Children have positive relationships with the warm, caring staff and develop friendships with each other."

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The report highlighted that while feel supported in their work and wellbeing, "monitoring and oversight of the quality of the provision and staff's practice are not fully effective in helping identify areas to develop and improve".

Ofsted deemed that there has not been "enough focus on how well the curriculum is implemented or the quality of teaching", which "does not ensure that children's learning experiences are consistently good". The watchdog said it must improve this to meet the requirements of the early years foundation stage. 

It was also found that the provider did not understand its responsibility to notify Ofsted of any significant events, as required. The preschool had issues with its premises, which have been resolved, but did not tell the watchdog. 

The report continued: "Staff do not fully consider how they organise the use of the indoor and outdoor environments. As a result, they do not always make the most of these two areas to support children's engagement in learning."

At times, the inspector wrote, "staff provide good-quality interactions and teaching", and it was noted that parents speak 'very positively' about the preschool. 

Ofsted found that safeguarding was effective and staff have "secure understanding of their child protection responsibilities". 

A preschool spokesperson said: "We have listened to Ofsted and are working closely with the Early Years Development Team in implementing any changes necessary. 

"We have already addressed the pre-school environment and refined our curriculum to make it more concise. 

"We are glad that Ofsted recognised the strong bonds we have with our children and their families, the excellent progress that our children make and our very high levels of safeguarding."