Forches First Steps opening

New unit for nursery and reception children has official opening.

THE youngest children at Forches Cross School in Barnstaple look set to receive the best possible start following the official opening of the new First Steps Foundation Stage Unit.

The project, which supports children’s ‘first steps’ into school aged three, has been up and running for some time but has just undergone its official ‘badging’ ceremony with Councillor Jerry Brook, chairman of Devon County Council.

In association with Sure Start the school has created an early years facility which has seen the relocation of nursery aged children back into the main building.

An all weather outdoor play area, purpose built toilets and new equipment are all features of the new facility for three to five-year-olds.


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The unit has already received a ‘good with outstanding features’ report from Ofsted inspectors and more recently was awarded one of the highest ECERs (Early Childhood Environmental Rating) scores in Devon.

After touring the First Steps building and meeting some of the youngsters, Cllr Brook said: “It’s a wonderful facility giving the children and absolutely brilliant start.

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“Apart from the learning experience, it is wonderful fun for them here, which is a learning experience in itself.”

Forches deputy headteacher and early years leader Doug Campbell said the amalgamation of the nursery and reception into one building had seen standards improve due to the changes made.

Early years governor Drusilla Gibson praised Mr Campbell and his team for all the hard work they had put in to the unit.

Although filling up fast, First Steps still has some vacancies for September, with interested parents invited to contact the school on 01271 343214.

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