‘Outstanding’ St Michael’s Pre-School joins Tenterden Schools Trust

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News - 21 July

OFSTED outstanding-rated St Michael’s Pre-School has joined the Trust.

The highly regarded pre-school has been purchased by the Trusts’ subsidiary Home Farm Children’s Nursery Ltd and becomes the seventh member of the five-year old multi-academy trust.

The pre-school will retain its name, staff and much-praised educational approach and ethos. It was rated Outstanding for all four OFSTED inspection measures – leadership; teaching & learning; personal development, behaviour & welfare, and outcomes for children - following an inspection in September 2016. The report particularly singled out the relationship between staff and pupils which was described as “inspirational” with the children experiencing an “an exceptional level of consistency” in their learning, including “exceptional” early reading and writing skills, and receiving “highly stimulating activities that support their understanding of the world around them”.

The purchase follows the decision of owner Brigitte Watkins to retire after 22 years leading the pre-school and building its strong reputation. Deputy manager Tracey Pooleman (pictured left) will take over day-to-day running, reporting to St Michael’s CofE Primary School Head Sara Williamson (pictured right).

“We are delighted to welcome St Michael’s Pre-school into the Trust as we continue to fulfil our aim of providing a seamless 0-19 educational journey for the students in our care and for the benefit of the whole local community, “said TST CEO Sally Lees. “It has an excellent track record in its own right and as part of the Trust will now benefit from additional support and investment in terms of both training and resources.”

Parents have already been informed of the ownership change which will take effect in September.

St Michael’s Pre-School was founded in the late 1960s when it operated from St Michael’s village hall. Ms Watkins was its third owner, taking over in 1999 and overseeing the move to the current site of St Michael’s C of E Primary School. Whilst building on strong links with St Michael’s Primary School does not exclude children who will be applying to other schools in the Tenterden area, and each year it successfully supports transitions to a range of local primaries.