It’s been a while since our last Ofsted report but we thought we’d highlight the truly excellent feedback received from Ofsted within that most recent report. After all, many parents will be interested to know what the independent UK body thinks of a nursery or childcare setting before committing their child to a place. This post should therefore be useful to parents/carers as a good, impartial view of the nursery, from totally independent professionals.
Good Early Years Provision – it’s official!
The most recent (2017) Ofsted report was full of positive comments from the inspectors — and nothing negative whatsoever. The provision was seen as good, in every single aspect of what we do at the setting. This should be very reassuring for parents. In short, the Ofsted inspector stated …
- • “The staff team have energy and are enthusiastic about children’s learning. They provide an inspiring range of resources … to motivate children’s learning.”
- • “Staff work closely with parents and confidently use the observation and assessment system in place to identify any gaps in children’s learning. This strong partnership working with parents contributes to children making good progress.”
- • “Staff place a strong focus on promoting children’s personal, social and emotional development. Children are supported well to be confident and independent learners.”
- • “Staff place a clear emphasis on building children’s communication and language skills [… and …] support children who speak English as an additional language well.”
- • “Keeping children safe is given good regard.”
The Ofsted Inspection
An Ofsted inspection is immersive and thorough — exactly as parents would hope. The inspector carefully observes the quality of teaching, assessing its impact on the children’s learning. She (in the case of the last report) speaks with staff, children and parents and takes consideration of their views. She also undertakes a joint observation of the setting, in action, with the nursery manager, additionally meeting with the deputy and area managers. Appropriate documents are checked, including those which evidence the suitability of staff employed at the nursery.
The inspector’s aim overall is to ensure the nursery’s childcare provision complies with the statutory framework for children’s learning, development and care (the ‘EYFS’). Leaps & Bounds passed with flying colours — on all counts!
Leaps & Bounds passed with flying colours — on all counts!
More detailed analysis from the Ofsted Report follows …
Good, Effective Leadership & Management
The Ofsted inspector said: “Arrangements for safeguarding are effective” and “safeguarding is given top priority. Staff carry out a daily risk assessment to ensure all areas used by children are safe. All staff are suitably trained in child protection issues and know the procedures to follow if they have any concerns about a child. Leaders and staff work effectively with other professionals working with the children to share information and secure their welfare and promote their learning. Staff recruitment and vetting systems help ensure the staff employed are suitable and are clear about their roles and responsibilities.” And, despite the nursery already scoring very well against every benchmark, “There is a clear improvement plan in place to help staff build further on the good quality of provision already achieved.”
Good Teaching, Learning & Assessment Quality
Our nursery staff use an observation and assessment approach to establish precise, challenging steps within each child’s learning plan. This was recognised by Ofsted, who reported: “Consequently, activities have a clear learning intention and children make good progress. Staff use the outdoor area well to engage children in learning. For example, staff encourage children to consider how the water will flow as they use the pipes and guttering and challenge them to solve problems” then later commented: “Staff are good play partners and quickly get involved in children’s imaginary play.”
They went on to comment on the good approach to speaking, vocabulary and language at the nursery: “Staff use practical and enjoyable experiences to help introduce new words and ideas and to encourage children to speak … They skilfully let children lead their own play and talk about their ideas” and later commenting: “Bilingual staff often communicate with the younger children in both their home language and English. This helps to reassure and encourage them and helps them make good progress in developing their speaking skills.”
Good Personal Development, Behaviour & Welfare Approach
The Ofsted Report also had glowing comments about the nursery’s approach to personal development, behaviour and welfare: “Staff place a clear focus on children talking about their emotions and feelings as they greet each other during group time. Staff teach children how to manage their feelings and how their behaviour impacts on others. For example, children consider how the characters in their favourite books feel and why.”
And, for babies, they said: “Staff caring for babies are attentive to their care and health needs and know their individual personalities well. Staff ensure babies receive close contact and they often sing and communicate with them.”
In regard to healthy food and lifestyles, the Ofsted Report commented: “The nursery is kept clean and children benefit from a varied range of nutritious meals and snacks. Children enjoy physical activity and learn about the benefits of leading healthy lives.”
Good Outcomes for Children
The Ofsted inspector also reported that all children “make good progress from their starting points” and children with special educational needs and/or disabilities “also make good progress considering their starting points.”
More generally, the Ofsted Report found that “Children show a real interest in learning and enjoy making marks and writing during their play. They show a fondness for numbers and counting as they play with the many natural resources, which they sort and make patterns with. Children thoroughly enjoy exploring sound and rhythm as they use the metal and plastic bins and containers as instruments. Children show good levels of enjoyment in their learning and develop the key skills required in preparation for school.”
The importance of having a good record for child outcomes and readiness for school cannot be over-emphasised, of course. Both are critically important and a measure of a high quality nursery like Leaps & Bounds Day Nursery, Birmingham.
Going Forwards to the Next Ofsted Report
Ofsted reports come around approximately every four years, so Leaps & Bounds may be due another inspection soon. We have not been resting on our laurels, though, and our aim is to make Leaps and Bounds even better. Indeed, our aim of continual improvement was recognised by the last inspector who stated that we intend to “build further on the good quality of provision already achieved.” So, watch this space!
A Nursery Place in Birmingham for your Baby or Child
If you would like to explore the idea of a place for your baby or child at an independently proven nursery like Leaps & Bounds, please do get in touch. We’ll be very happy to discuss it further with you. Our nursery is located in Gillott Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham, close to Harborne, Ladywood, Bearwood and Smethwick. Call 0121 246 4922 for more details or contact us/book a visit here.