NURSERY REVIEW 2013-2014
HOW WELL THE EARLY YEARS PROVISION MEETS THE NEEDS OF THE RANGE OF CHILDREN WHO ATTEND: GOOD
THE PROVISION IS GOOD BECAUSE:
- The educational programmes have depth and breadth across the seven areas of learning. They provide interesting and challenging experiences that meet the needs of all children.
The activities on offer at the Nursery, in both the indoor and outdoor environment, have depth and breadth across the seven areas of learning. Weekly planners show provision for the Prime and Specific areas of learning and targets are set in all areas for all children. They provide interesting and challenging experiences that meet the needs of all children. This is reflected in the planning and learning journeys which are quality assured by the Nursery SLT through reviews and learning walks.
Each room sends home a Theme Planner of up and coming topics, this allows parents to engage with the child’s learning at home. There has been a number of Stay and Play sessions which a number of parents attended. We have also extended this offer to wider family members in order to support parents who are working during the day.
- Practice is commonly based on a secure knowledge and understanding of how to promote the learning and development of young children and what they can achieve. The quality of teaching is consistently good and some may be outstanding.
- All practitioners have high expectations of all children based on accurate assessment of children’s prior skills, knowledge and understanding on entry to the setting. Practitioners complete regular and precise assessments of children and use these effectively to plan suitably challenging activities. They regularly listen perceptively to, carefully observe, and skilfully question children during activities in order to re-shape tasks and explanations to improve learning.
Teaching at the Nursery is Good, staff observations at the Nursery have shown that the teaching sessions at the Nursery continue to be at least 80% Good with 20% of the observations rated at Outstanding. This high standard of teaching reflects the dedication of the Nursery team. In the sessions which were graded as Good or better high quality questioning which challenged understanding and facilitated learning was observed. In the best sessions, staff support children in taking next steps in their learning rather than supervising learning and encourage learning development.
The parental survey supports this view of the teaching and learning within the Nursery.
Continuous staff training has supported the high level of teaching in the Nursery. In the past year one member of staff has completed a foundation degree; and has now enrolled at university to complete a BA honour’s degree. Three members of staff have carried out level 4 qualifications. Two members of the staff have completed level three qualifications. One of the Nursery apprentices the Nursery has employed has successfully completed a level 2 qualification and is currently undertaking level 3.
- Practitioners can demonstrate that all children, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those learning English as an additional language, are progressing well towards the early learning goals over time, given their starting points. Children are interested and keen learners who display the characteristics of effective learning.
- Children are supported in the acquisition of communication and language skills and in their physical, personal, social and emotional development so that children of all ages and abilities make good progress in their learning.
Attainment at the Nursery is Good as the children at the Nursery make good or better progress achieving age expectation or above by the end of each year phase (baby, younger toddler, older toddler and pre-school). This judgement is supported by the tracking information the Nursery uses to monitor the progress the children are making at the Nursery. Practitioners can demonstrate that all children are progressing well towards the Early Learning Goals over time, given their starting points.
The Rutland Early Years Tool also shows that majority of the children are working within the required age ranges, and in some cases above the required age range. All children are generally working comfortably within the typical range of development expected for their age. Progress in the prime areas of learning ensures that almost without expectation they have the key skills needed for the next steps in their learning, which in the Pre School means to be ready for Primary school. The children are monitored quarterly over the course of the year. The children’s progress is shared with parents through termly targets and the 2 year progress check. The children’s tracking also show individual targets and their next steps of learning.
The parental survey supports this view of progress within the Nursery.
- All children are generally working comfortably within the typical range of development expected for their age, taking account of any whose starting points are higher or any special educational needs and/or disabilities. Where children’s starting points are below those of other children of their age, assessment shows they are improving consistently over a sustained period and the gap is closing. Children’s progress in the prime areas of learning ensures that almost without exception they have the key skills needed for the next steps in their learning, including school where appropriate.
The results from a recent parental survey regarding the progress that children make were extremely positive. When asked if their child was making progress at the Nursery the results showed that 100% of the parents agreed with the statement.
“It is lovely to see my daughter learn and the week after a topic she is happy to talk at home about it.”
The Nursery sends home a copy of the EYFS theme planner so parents are more engaged in the weekly activities that are going to be carrying out. All planning is shared via a planning wall so that any adult within the setting can access what activities are on offer for that day. This reflects the balance of adult led, child led and child initiated activities which should be offered in the Early Years.
The parental survey shows how positively parents feel the Nursery helps them in order to support their child to make good progress.
- The key person system supports engagement with all parents, including those who may be more reluctant to contribute. Parents contribute to initial assessments of children’s starting points on entry and they are kept well informed about their children’s progress. Parents are encouraged to support and share information about their children’s learning and development at home. The key person system ensures all practitioners use effective, targeted strategies and interventions to support learning that match most children’s individual needs.
Since the last Nursery review and the relocation of the Preschool, children the toddler room has separated it’s planning in to two age ranges: 1½-2½ and 2½-3½. This has made it easier for the planning to provide differentiation for the more able and less able children in both age ranges. All members of staff are key workers and work tightly with their nominated children to ensure that Learning Journeys are up to date with next steps for learning. These next steps are then included in daily planning to ensure that activities meet the developmental needs of the children.
The Nursery welcomes parents’ input in their children’s wow books, through an observation tree and parental assessment forms. These parent assessment forms help to complete initial assessments for children and are an on-going form of communication to celebrate children’s achievements.
The Nursery is always looking to further improve, actively seeking feedback in order to develop further. For example feedback was given regarding more “photos on face book”. An action taken was to create weekly updates so parents are able to see a snap shot of activities in the Nursery. Another parent suggested “It would be nice to have a personal comment in the reports.” The Nursery has added a paragraph into the reports stating what the individual child has achieved and enjoyed through the last term.
THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE EARLY YEARS PROVISION TO CHILDREN’S WELL-BEING: GOOD
THE PROVISION IS GOOD BECAUSE:
- A well-established key person system helps children form secure attachments and promotes their well-being and independence.
The behaviour at the Nursery is Good as the majority of the children come in to the Nursery settled and enjoy their time in our setting. The key person system supports this as each child establishes a positive relationship with a key person as quickly. Key workers ensure that children develop their independence in relation to their age ranges; for example a baby beginning to self-feed, a younger toddler learning to put on their own hat, and older toddler learning to use the toilet.
Assessments show that the children in our care are learning to manage feelings and behaviour well, and are working within required age ranges. This is supported by the learning walks and observations that senior staff carry out to quality assure the provision; a calm, happy and purposeful setting is the norm at Catmose.
- Practitioners are good role models. They are deployed well, apply agreed strategies consistently and provide clear guidance for children about what is acceptable behaviour. Relationships are strong at all levels and children are learning to respect and tolerate each other’s differences. Children are gaining an understanding of risk through activities that encourage them to explore their environment.
Observations and learning walks show that practitioners are good role models. This judgement is very much supported by the parents of the nursery who are encouraged each day to give informal feedback and through an annual survey of the provision more detailed one. One parent commented, “I could not ask for a better provision for my child. He enjoys his days and has lots of fun whilst stimulated and challenged.” Another parent said, “I cannot fault the setting or staff at the Nursery. Incredible, caring and compassionate. I couldn’t wish for a better Nursery”.
Observations show that key workers encourage children to take risks through their play; experiencing a range of learning opportunities. This can be as simple as tasting a new food or experiencing ice play for the first time.
- Practitioners are fully aware of, and sensitive to, potential and actual harm to children. They are able to demonstrate that they have thought through how they would deal with safeguarding issues and take appropriate action to protect and support the children in their care. Children’s behaviour shows that they feel safe in the setting. They are able to share concerns with their key person or other adults at the setting. Practitioners give clear messages to children to ensure they are developing a good understanding of why it is important to have a healthy diet and gain an understanding of the need for physical exercise. Practitioners help children to learn to be independent and encourage them to manage their own personal needs. Children are competent at managing their personal needs relative to their ages.
All staff are trained annually in safeguarding and whistleblowing policies and procedures. They are able to clearly explain what would constitute as a safeguarding issue and take appropriate actions. Staff support children in making healthy choices and share why this is important. Children enjoy the outdoor environment at the nursery which encourages Gross and Fine Motor Skill development. The Nursery also uses the sports hall at both the College and Primary to further extend this physical development. The children at the Nursery have taken part in many charity events which encourage healthy eating and activity as our Facebook page reflects.
- There is a stimulating, well-resourced and welcoming environment, both in and outdoors, which supports children’s all-round development and emotional well-being, and provides a range of experiences that develop children’s independence and cooperation.
The Nursery has undergone a refurbishment, which has created a baby, younger toddler and older toddler room. All areas have been carpeted and painted with new furniture. The setting looks clean, fresh and inviting for the children. Resources are at child height and enables children to make own choices during their play. The rooms have been zoned which enable children to understand what is expected of them, good routines within the Nursery supports this.
The Preschool is a new building which has been organised into zones which support children in making their own learning choices. Resources are at child height and are accessible during learning sessions.
Both settings have outdoor areas enabling children to continue their learning in the outdoor environment. Displays in both setting reflect current learning and celebrate the children’s achievements.
The Nursery carried out a recent children’s survey and found the results of this to be very positive. 32 Preschool children were asked what they liked and disliked about their Nursery day.
- Children are emotionally well prepared for the next stage in their learning because practitioners provide good support to prepare them for their transitions, both within the setting and to other settings and school.
The tracking within the Nursery shows that children make good progress from their starting points and that Preschool children are ready to being school. The staff have a strong knowledge of the EYFS curriculum, they are aware of the targets the children should be meeting at which age ranges and use this to inform their planning to ensure that each child’s needs are met. Weekly learning walks quality assure this.
Transition support for children is in place to support children in their move to school. The Preschool is situated on site at Catmose Primary and Preschool children use the school’s facilities on a daily basis. This sharing of resources such as the playground, school hall, library etc enables Preschool children to experience school life prior to starting school. Visits to Stay and Play sessions at the Primary during the summer term enable children to begin making a good relationships with the Primary staff. String handover system for sharing information from the Preschool to the Primary and from the Nursery to the Preschool ensures that children make a smooth transition from one setting to another.
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT OF THE EARLY PROVISION: GOOD
THE PROVISION IS GOOD BECAUSE:
- Educational programmes ensure a broad range of experiences help children make progress to the early learning goals. This is a result of a good, secure understanding of the areas of learning and how children learn, and accurate monitoring.
- Monitoring ensures that planning and assessment are consistent, precise, and display an accurate understanding of all children’s skills, abilities and progress. As a result, individual children or groups of children with identified needs are targeted, their progress rigorously monitored so that appropriate interventions are sought and gaps are closing.
- The safeguarding and welfare, and learning and development requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage are understood by leaders and managers and are fully met. Recruitment, supervision and training have a very strong focus on safeguarding and child protection, and policies and procedures are implemented consistently. Safeguarding and child protection practice are reviewed regularly, clearly evaluated and inform the provider’s plans for improvement. Planned actions to overcome weaknesses have been concerted and effective. The drive for improvement is demonstrated by a clear and successful improvement plan that supports children’s achievements over time. Strengths and weaknesses are effectively identified through thorough and accurate self-evaluation which takes into account the views of staff, children and their parents and careful monitoring, analysis and self-challenge.
- An effective and well-established programme of professional development is helping practitioners to improve their knowledge, understanding and practice. There are effective systems for performance management, practitioners are monitored and under-performance is tackled swiftly. Management and accountability arrangements are understood and consistently applied.
- Partnerships with parents, external agencies and other providers are well established and make a strong contribution to meeting children’s needs. Appropriate interventions are secured so that children receive the support they need.
The Leadership Team.
The leadership at the Nursery is Good. The Nursery has good SLT links within the Federation. This includes financial and curricular support. The Nursery leadership team include the Nursery Manager, and two Deputies.
Natalie Ray, Chief Finance Officer, oversees the Nursery and Preschool finances and resources. The Nursery is strong financially strong, this stability has helped to revamp the old facility and enable the building of the second facility. The two site setting offers greater provision for the children, enabling the settings to be designed to meet the specific needs of each age range.
Kelly Jackson, Vice Principal at Catmose Primary, supports the Nursery in terms of planning and assessment. Staff training and advice on EYFS matters in the Nursery has also been offered by the Vice Principal. Kelly Jackson created the child and parent questionnaires that were recently completed. This has helped us to look at the service that we provide and act on any feedback that we received.
Sarah Hatherley, Reception Teacher at Catmose Primary, supports the development of the Pre-School staff with their numeracy and phonics sessions. The Preschool staff and children have found this beneficial and this Early Years phase team ensures good transition for children from Preschool to Primary. Three of the staff (two of which are Preschool staff) have recently enrolled on a teaching assistant course to help with the links and transition between the Preschool and the Primary.
The Nursery has had an annual visit from Sally Hickman who the Early Years Advisor at Rutland County Council, grading the Nursery as Good. The changes to the building were positively reported and evidenced through a learning walk. “The children were moving freely between the inside and outdoors, applying the skills they had been taught in their independent play.” “The children’s learning journeys contained observed evidence in the form of annotated photographs, children’s work which showed clear progression.” “The setting has judged their EYFS provision to be “Good” I would have no hesitation in agreeing with their judgement following the evidence observed during the annual visit.”
The staff team at the Nursery has remained the same over the past 12 months. The Nursery is looking to recruit new staff but this is due to our expanding over the two settings rather than replacing staff.
Clear communication with our stakeholders is provided through our Facebook page and newsletter ‘Engage’. These reflect the activities at the Nursery and the Preschool settings. These updates have a small write up about the children’s week and activities they have participated in and a range of photos showing the children participating in these. This helps the parents feel included in their children’s day and it gives them something to share and talk about at the end of their day apart.
- Continue to ensure that the setting have a strong financial basis.
- Teaching continues is 90% good or better within the Nursery/Preschool during new staff probationary periods and new apprentices in training.
- Parental satisfaction survey for both sites is 80% good or better.
- Preschool team teaching sessions and use of the primary facilities for links with the primary school.
- 30-40% of observations show the split sites have outstanding sessions.
- Continue with children’s 2 year checks when they reach the set age bracket.
- Provide GLD percentage for the beginning and end of the academic year to compare progress and inform provision.
- Improve sharing information with parents.
- Provide more equal opportunities resources.
To view the most recent Transformation Plan, please click here
This details the activities which will be carries out each term in order to work towards the end of year targets.