In2play Outdoor is proud to announce that they have achieved an Ofsted rating of Outstanding on their first inspection in December 2019 – to go with the Outstanding rating already awarded to In2play Creative in 2017.

In2play CIC have been working with children and families in Hastings and St Leonards since 2006. They run many different projects including after school clubs and family play sessions at Hastings Adventure Playground, street play sessions, family drop-in groups and support community events across the town.

In2play Creative preschool opened in 2015, and In2play Outdoor preschool opened two years later in 2017. The latter takes place entirely outdoors at their adventure playground site in Ore Valley, Upper Broomgrove Road.

Amongst other comments in the latest report, it states: “the staff’s captivating and innovative teaching in the outside environment is outstanding” and that the children’s “zest and motivation for learning are obvious to see”. 

It goes on to say that “Leaders have an aspirational approach towards delivering exceptional levels of early years provision” and that “the support for children’s language development is exemplary”. Well done indeed.

More down to earth from a satisfied customer: “In2play is brilliant ‘cos I love it!” and from his mother: “A wonderful community and great exposure to children of different ages for our boy. I’m a bit jealous of Arlo’s time there.”

According to In2play, outdoor learning uses a holistic approach, supporting children to explore, develop confidence and self-esteem. It stimulates their cognitive and communication development and skilled practitioners are able to build in creative and absorbing literacy, maths and science opportunities. 

Early education theorists have explained since the beginning of the last century how children learn best from real experiences and the outside environment offers practical opportunities for children to connect with the natural environment.

Hastings Councillor, Andy Batsford, says: “They and their staff have enriched so many local children’s lives and supported their parents as well, inspiring a love of creative learning and play.” 

Unfortunately having an outstanding rating wasn’t enough to save Cygnet Nursery in Bexhill, which closes later this year after their subsidy from East Sussex County Council was withdrawn following a review of Early Help services.

Link to full reports for In2play Outdoor files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50137049 and Cygnet Nursery https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50143959

For more information or to request a parent pack email [email protected] or phone 01424 432742


We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.