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Town preschool declared 'outstanding' in third consecutive Ofsted report

PUBLISHED: 14:58 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:58 17 December 2019

Uplands preschool, a packaway setting in the Uplands Community Centre, Lowestoft, was seen as outstanding in all areas  for its third consecutive Ofsted report. Photo: Uplands

Uplands preschool, a packaway setting in the Uplands Community Centre, Lowestoft, was seen as outstanding in all areas for its third consecutive Ofsted report. Photo: Uplands

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A preschool is reaping the rewards of its success after being awarded its third consecutive 'outstanding' Ofsted report.

Uplands preschool, a packaway setting in the Uplands Community Centre, Lowestoft, was seen as outstanding in all areas  for its third consecutive Ofsted report. Photo: UplandsUplands preschool, a packaway setting in the Uplands Community Centre, Lowestoft, was seen as outstanding in all areas for its third consecutive Ofsted report. Photo: Uplands

Uplands Preschool, a packaway setting in the Uplands Community Centre, Lowestoft, was seen as outstanding in all areas of the report.

The preschool has 47 children between the ages of two-and-a-half and five years old.

The school's manager, Sam Howlett, said: "I've been here 23 years, and we've got a lot of families who keep coming back - the only shame is we can't get all the children on the waiting list in.

"But it's about quality not quantity, so we can't take more children in yet unless we lost quality."

Uplands preschool, a packaway setting in the Uplands Community Centre, Lowestoft, was seen as outstanding in all areas  for its third consecutive Ofsted report. Photo: UplandsUplands preschool, a packaway setting in the Uplands Community Centre, Lowestoft, was seen as outstanding in all areas for its third consecutive Ofsted report. Photo: Uplands

After an inspection in early November, Ofsted found the school's staff "create rich, inviting spaces indoors and outdoors where children feel safe and happy" as well as "kind and eager to be helpful".

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As a 'packaway' early years setting using a community hall, every day the staff set up and take down the preschool setting, though "things might be in the pipeline to expand", according to the nursery's manager.

"It was just so lovely to get it for a third time," Mrs Howlett said. "I was over the moon. We've worked so hard for it, we've not become complacent, it was difficult but well worth it in the end.

"We are one of the only preschools in the area to get outstanding under the new framework."

The early learning setting performed exceedingly well in safeguarding, facilities, and children-focused learning surrounding British values and cultural capital.

Its use of the outside area, where children learn and play outside, was also noted as a reason for its success.

Mrs Howlett said: "It's the first few years that will matter, if you get the first three years of childcare right you lay foundations for future development. I think our result is down to having a good team that works on their strengths.

"It's because of the team behind me, it can't be achieved by one person. It's by all the staff who have been with me a long time."

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