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May 24 2016.

Early Birds Pre-School, which runs in Seaford’s Baptist Church, has recently appointed a new Chairman. And her qualifications to head up this pre-school are well-matched by the “Outstanding” report that OFSTED gave it just before Christmas.

Dr. Rose Godfrey is no stranger to the world of education. After 20 years of Science teaching she worked both for Local Education Authorities and as a Lead Inspector for OFSTED. As well as qualifications including an M.A., M.Ed. and a Doctorate in Education, Rose has experience in school improvement and sharing good practice across primary, secondary and special schools. She is also vice-Chair of Governors for an Eastbourne Secondary School

Dr. Godfrey chairs the Management Committee for Early Birds which is owned and hosted by Seaford Baptist Church. The pre-school is managed by Vanessa Ayres together with her deputy Wendy Lindfield with the help of five staff and administrator/treasurer Brenda Savage. Vanessa says: “They are a very strong team. I’m very proud of them.”

Last December OFSTED gave the school a glowing report with the accolade of “Outstanding”. OFSTED inspector Helen Edwards reported: “Children thoroughly enjoy their time in this excellent and stimulating environment. They are extremely happy, settled and content. The Pre-school has an exceptionally caring ethos, and staff place a strong focus on promoting children's emotional well-being.”

OFSTED also commented: “The Manager and staff have developed exceptional partnerships with other agencies. Children who have special educational needs receive exemplary support."

A recent visitor, Andrea Hargeaves, reported: “The day I visited, children were learning, with the help of models, about the effects of polar ice on wildlife, the previous day having conducted experiments exploring the properties of ice.”

She also observed children in less formal activities: “On one side of a room two chatty small boys are playing with a straight line of chairs which has become their train.. Elsewhere two little girls are cuddling a giant fluffy toy, appropriately named Early Bird after their nursery. Another child was seated at a table eating his packed lunch.”

Early Birds sessions are between 9.00 and 12 noon, during school term-times, although the day can be extended from 08.30 until 1.30. and with a lunch club until 1.30 on Wednesdays. It's currently taking bookings for September placements and has a few vacancies which are available immediately.

As well as using a number of rooms at the Church in Belgrave Road, including the Hall, the school has a secure outside activity area. It was there that the Seaford Fire Engine arrived to give the children a hands-on demonstration.

This is typical of the approach of Early Birds staff. The children met their local firefighters, and tried on the bright yellow helmets. They took their places in the cab, and the boldest of them also used the hose to put out an imaginary fire.

As the OFSTED report noted: “Staff have an excellent knowledge of the different ways that children learn and they skillfully use this information during activities.” The report also noted that “All children, including those who have special needs, make exceptionally good progress. Children are extremely well prepared for their next stage in learning.”

Early Birds Pre-School is part of the Pre-School Learning Alliance (PLA). Anyone interested in learning more about them can look at their facebook page Early Birds Pre-school, the website: or contact them on or phone 07974 835978 between 9 a.m and 12 noon.

Pictured: The Early Birds Team