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Abc Preschool - Stratford St Mary

Pre-School Playgroup

abc Preschool opened in 2002 and operates from purpose-built premises in the grounds of the Primary School in Stratford St Mary. Stratford St Mary is a rural village in Suffolk. We are run by a committee and have recently become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.  We are currently awaiting a visit from Ofsted, so are classed as being 'not yet graded'.  However, at our last Ofsted Inspection in July 2015 we were graded as Outstanding. 

The premises have suitable access and facilities for the disabled. The setting comprises of two working classrooms (one incorporating a kitchen area), a foyer, an office and a toileting area, including nappy changing facilities. Our outside area comprises of a large garden, approximately 80ft long, which has a climbing frame (which has been recently reduced in height to be more appropriate for our children), together with many outside activities for the children. Our outside classroom is situated next to the main building.

The Preschool is registered on the Early Years Register and the compulsory and voluntary parts of Childcare Register. The Preschool can support children who have Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities and those for whom English is an additional language. We have spaces from ages two to rising five years.  The Setting is open each week day from 08:45 – 15:00. 

abc ensures it maintains good links with the community. The leader visits the Primary School on a regular basis, in particular when children are transitioning into school and always liaises regarding curriculum, provision, ensuring we are singing from the same hymn book. We also have strong links with the local Vicar Rosalind, who visits on a regular basis, chatting to the children and reading stories. Also, the local farm shop, Hall Farm, provide us with fresh produce free of charge on a weekly basis, for the children's snacks. The preschool have good links with Cherry Blossom House at East Bergholt, Suffolk who regularly visit and hold a Story and Rhyme time session.  

Children who stay for lunch can either bring a packed lunch or purchase a hot dinner from Suffolk County Council and we collect the dinners from Stratford St Mary Primary School (next-door). There is an advanced menu for parents’/carers’ perusal. 

The children at abc are able to share access to a secure enclosed outdoor play area, leading from the back of our building. They can also use and explore others of the school, including the pond and a newly created area, which includes a weather station and an Archaeological dig is to follow shortly. 

There are currently 31 children on roll and children come from the local area, surrounding villages as well as farther afield from Colchester.  The preschool employs 7 members of staff at present two at Level 6, one at Level 3 and another studying at Level 3 and a further three at Level 2.  The leader is SENCo qualified.  

Our Setting supports all children including those with additional needs and for whom English is an additional language.  We currently have two children whose families are bilingual who we support as much as possible, including books in their language, some words around the setting and celebrating their culture and festivals where possible. 

We have a wonderful outside classroom, which has seating areas, have built an additional area where children will be able to access scooters, bikes, prams etc independently, and we are awaiting a new sand table and a mud kitchen, which will benefit the children immensely.

Please contact us for further information.

Who to contact

Lauren & Evonne
Manager and Office Manager
Venue Notes

In the grounds of Stratford St Mary Primary School.

01206 322466
ABC Preschool website
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Venue Details

Stratford St Mary
Venue Email
Venue Website
Parking available
Parking details
But plenty of parking available on 'Strickmere'.

In the grounds of Stratford St Mary Primary School.

30 Hours Extended Entitlements

Registered to provide 30 Hours?


Last updated
Immediate vacancies
Maximum places
Other information
abc Preschool has places available at all sessions. Please contact them for details.

Days & times

Monday to Friday: 08:45 - 15:00

Inclusive Provisions

Wheelchair access
Yes - This setting has level access to their premises.
Cultural provisions
Yes - We have diverse resources and a policy of equal opportunities.
Individual dietary needs
Yes - Yes, we cater for individuals at snack time and can provide alternatives for hot dinners (provided by the neighbouring Primary School)
Recent experience of supporting children with additional needs


Table of costs
Table of costs
AmountCost Type
£4.50 Per hour
£27.00 Per day
£1.50 Breakfast Club
Breakfast Club operates from 8.45am to 9.00am.

Other Details

Arts and crafts, Climbing frame, Close to parks, Computer, Enclosed outdoor play area, Equipment for all ages, Garden, Healthy eating, Kitchen, Out-door play, Outdoor play equipment, Pet fish, Playroom, Sensory play equipment, Sleeping area, Slide, Village walks
Cater for over 8s
Age Range
From 2 Year(s)
To 5 Year(s)

We use a planned organised daily routine to develop a strong sense of belonging and security whilst developing self-discipline and self-esteem in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement. We treat children as individuals with their own needs and ideas then pull on their interests enabling them to flourish with their development. 
In our Setting we believe that play is an essential part of the children’s learning and development. The Setting is organised and set up so that all children can freely choose how they spend their time and what materials they use, all equipment/resources/activities are available for easy access for the children and they are clear for them to see enabling them to reach and choose. No child is forced to take part in adult led activities, staff do not intervene in the children’s play unless asked or safety issues arise. Staff do encourage interaction between the children and adults as this builds on their conversational skills and gains confidence.
Observations are done through the EYFS, children help staff to plan activities that then support the children’s learning and development. Their ideas are recorded in our future planning diary so that we can incorporate their interests into the planning. From observations and by looking at individual children holistically, as practitioners, we are then able to support them in the relevant areas of learning. Each child has their own Learning Journey in which we record achievements of their development and also contains two year old learning and development summary checks, learning and development summaries and a progress tracker. The setting is always looking at ways to improve how we plan and support children, to meet their needs. We introduced Tapestry, an online learning journey in January 2016. We plan and provide resources and activities focusing on the child’s previous and current experiences/interests in and outside of the setting, this enables staff to provide a wide range of learning possibilities. Staff also correspond with the primary school next-door and liaise with the Reception Class Teacher and mirror any areas of learning e.g. numeracy, literacy ideas in a simpler format which will help the children. This will then benefit the children when they start at school.
Our key person system is very effective, with the choice of the key person being led by the child. We believe at abc that a child needs to become familiar with an adult to make a genuine bond and this in return will offer a close and settled relationship as a key person. This in turn will enable them to feel confident and safe within the provision. The key person should meet the needs of each child in their care and respond sensitively to their feelings, ideas and behaviour, talking to parents to make sure that the child is being cared for appropriately for each family. Prior to starting at the setting we ask parents/carers to fill out a registration form, which includes an 'all about me' section and highlights the child's interests, development pattern and a general overview of them in their family. We also ask parents/carers to complete a baseline assessment form, so that we are better informed about their child's development. We also offer free sessions where parents can pop in with their child to visit as many times as they would like, to ensure a smooth transition from home to preschool is achieved. 
If there is an area of support that is needed specifically e.g. children with learning difficulties and disabilities we could then contact our Early Years Support Team at Suffolk County Council for their expertise and guidance. For children with English as a second language we would also gain support and guidance from outside agencies, providing resources, visual aids, ideas from the internet and speak to the child’s family about support. All children’s backgrounds and cultures are recognised and celebrated and we incorporate these into planned activities enabling children to feel a sense of belonging. At our setting we ensure that all children, their parents/carers, families and staff are treated fairly and equally and no less favourably, specific to their needs, including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age. Promoting equality should remove discrimination in all aforementioned areas. Bullying, harassment or victimisation are also considered as equality and diversity issues.
We aim to recognise and respect and value peoples differences to contribute and realise their full potential by promoting an inclusive culture for all children and their families and staff.

We promote equality and diversity by:-

• Treating all staff, children and their families fairly
• Creating an inclusive culture for all children and their families and staff
• Ensuring equal access to opportunities to enable all to take part
• Ensuring that the learning environment reflects a range of cultures and diverse backgrounds
• Supporting children to develop to their full potential

Our setting offers a warm welcoming service to all children and their families. 

The effectiveness of Safeguarding:
• All children’s personal details and records are kept in a locked filing cabinet within a locked office
• Staff are DBS checked
• Policies and procedures are regularly updated for staff to read and sign to say they will implement them
• Parents/carers and committee members have access to all policies and procedures 
• Policies and procedures are reviewed and updated on a rolling basis over a year
• Daily risk assessments take place
• The building and grounds are secure, we have a visitors book and regular fire drills
• Staff mobile phones are kept in the office during their worked sessions.

The effectiveness of the Setting’s self-evaluation, including steps taken to Promote Improvement. The provision is regularly evaluated by the following:-

• Staff at staff meetings and daily discussions
• We aim to be reflective practitioners and staff are currently looking at courses to develop practice
• The leader completes a reflective journal several times a week, on general practice
• Minutes are taken at meetings
• Committee and leader ensures that yearly appraisals are carried out to identify training needs
• Regular visits from Suffolk County Council Early Years Team to monitor curriculum, inclusion and special educational needs
• Ofsted – Self Evaluation form is used to identify aspects to develop and reflect on our practice to improve outcomes for children

The effectiveness of Partnerships:
We liaise with the Early Years Team to support the curriculum, inclusion, special educational needs.
The child care support and development team obtained funding for our setting and the improvements will be made to the provision early this year, this will benefit the children, staff, parents/carers and their families.
We have good links with the Primary School, the Local Vicar and Cherry Blossom the children’s centre. We share practice with other settings, to improve outcomes for the children.

The effectiveness of the Setting’s Engagement with Parents and Carers:
Our setting is run by a parents committee so parents are heavily involved. We provide a pack with a prospectus and information all about our setting which includes a booklet ‘all about me’ so we can begin to get to know the child and their family. We now offer a welcome pack which includes information about 'our day at abc', information about the EYFS and photo wallets so that children can bring in photographs from home, together with other necessary forms that need completing. We have an open door policy so parents often pop in and help. They support fundraising events and we have a good rapport both inside and outside the setting. When children first start at the setting we work with parents/carers on their child’s induction which is flexible and meets the needs of the child.
We have planned parents/carers afternoons/evenings to encourage parents/carers to come and look at their children’s ‘Learning Journeys’ and discuss further ways to support their child’s development. If the allocated dates are not suitable then we accommodate to fit in with their needs. Parents/carers have an opportunity to help out on a session e.g. cooking or bringing a musical instrument to share with the setting. We also arrange open days or fundraising events e.g. weekends this gives opportunities for working parents to be involved. There is also a comments box in the foyer this is particularly good for shy parents to contribute. At the end of each term we hold an end of term party, which is inclusive of all children and parents.

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Ofsted Information

Ofsted URN
Link to latest ofsted inspection report 

Local Offer Local Offer Record

Experience of including people with special educational needs and disabilities

We provide an environment in which all children with special educational needs (SEN) are supported to reach their full potential.


  • We have regard for the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014).
  • We have in place a clear approach for identifying, responding to, and meeting children’s SEN[1].
  • We support and involve parents (and where relevant children), actively listening to, and acting on their wishes and concerns.
  • We work in partnership with the local authority and other external agencies to ensure the best outcomes for children with SEN and their families.
  • We regularly monitor and review our policy, practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments.




  • We designate a member of staff to be the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and give his/her name to parents. Our SENCO is: Lauren Chesney
  • The SENCO works closely with other colleagues and has responsibility for the day-to-day operation of our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy and for co-ordinating provision for children with SEN.
  • We ensure that the provision for children with SEN is the responsibility of all members of the setting.
  • We ensure that our inclusive admissions practice ensures equality of access and opportunity.
  • We provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum for all children.
  • We apply SEN support to ensure early identification of children with SEN.
  • We use the graduated approach system (assess, plan, do and review) applied in increasing detail and frequency to ensure that children progress.
  • We ensure that parents are involved at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their children's special education including all decision making processes
  • We where appropriate, take into account children’s views and wishes in decisions being made about them, relevant to their level understanding.
  • We provide parents with information on local sources of support and advice e.g. Local Offer, Information, Advice and Support Service.
  • We liaise and work with other external agencies to help improve outcomes for children with SEN.
  • We have systems in place for referring children for further assessment e.g. Common Assessment Framework/Early Help Assessment and Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment.
  • We provide resources (human and financial) to implement our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy.
  • We ensure that all our staff are aware of our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy and the procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for children with SEN. We provide in-service training for parents, practitioners and volunteers.
  • We raise awareness of our special education provision via our website and or promotional materials.
  • We ensure the effectiveness of our special educational needs provision by collecting information from a range of sources e.g. action plan reviews, staff and management meetings, parental and external agency's views, inspections and complaints. This information is collated, evaluated and reviewed annually.
  • We provide a complaints procedure.
  • We monitor and review our policy annually.


[1] This includes disabled children with special educational needs

Lauren Chesney
01206 322466
Conditions Supported
Autistic spectrum conditions
Communication difficulties
Health conditions
Learning difficulties
Mental health conditions
Physical disabilities
Sensory impairments

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