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What makes a preschool outstanding?(15 Posts)
I currently work in a pre school and I am looking for new ideas and things that make it stand out from the rest
Does your child go to a nursery that you think goes above and beyond? That does anything special or extra that makes it the best?
Are you a nursery practitioner willing to share ideas?
Need help please xx
An inspector I knew said for Outstanding you need to have some areas that make them go "Wow". What do you have that could be your "Wow"? Do you have a particularly big garden? A short walk from a wood/common? A wall that you could have a kick bottom murial on? Are any of you staff talented in a certain area? Something that other nurseries don't have.
Forest school would make it outstanding for me, as a parent.
This is a really interesting question. My first DD went to an ofsted outstanding nursery, while my second DD went to one which was rated ‘inadequate’ for a while and then (after they ticked a few boxes) was ‘good’.
From my perspective, the second nursery was the outstanding one for the following reasons:
- lots of time spent outside, both in the nursery garden and in the woodland beyond - the back door was always open allowing free movement between inside and out
- huge emphasis on good manners/healthy eating/socialising
- lots of opportunity for arts and crafts/singing/music sessions
- exposure to a wide range of experiences (eg. Gutting a fish, watching bees make honey, spinning fleece on a wheel, glazing pottery)
- parents invited in frequently to do activities with the children (either because of their jobs - eg. Fireman, or just to read stories to the children)
At the ‘outstanding’ nursery, the children spent a lot more time indoors. Time spent outdoors was at rigid times and didn’t allow the children to simply explore for themselves. Children started learning phonics in the top room (3-5 year olds). The children just seemed to have a lot less fun. No activities led by parents.
It's mostly down to the quality of the teaching
Have you see the inspection schedule ad the grade descriptors?
Do you mean Ofsted outstanding or real life outstanding? 😁
Agree with forest school/lots of outdoor learning.
Our urban preschool has an allotment.
Look for ways to make life easier for parents eg. Breakfast club, family support worker.
Staff interactions with the children, do they understand and extend schemas, do they engage in sustained shared thinking, are children highly involved and have high wellbeing.
As someone else just put it 'real life ' outstanding for me would be staff with a surficient level of literacy and numeracy, and the skill to teach these to give the children a sound foundation in both. Along with not being so focused on the children 'developing independence' that they are left to cry/ denied comfort. I've observed this in the preschool rooms of several settings including the Ofsted Outstanding one my DC attend.
Goldenbug - any inspector who make a judgement on the look of a place or the money spent is talking shit and not good enough to be an inspector a pretty wall or display done by adults is not outstanding but just done to impress adults and get them to part with money. Its the quality of interactions and activities that should make a setting Outstanding.
Our DCs nursery is outstanding. I love it. It has a great outdoor space, the staff are fabulous, the food is great. They deal really well with my DD's allergy. They communicate everything well to parents and I love that I know they're in such safe hands when I'm at work. They also do a lot of activities - football, dance/drama, French and Spanish.
Jannier, the look of the place matters. Is the nursery decoration calming or full of clashing colours that take the eye away from children's work on the walls? Is it clean or dirty? That tells you about hygiene. Is it well lit? Or far too bright? Does the air feel fresh? etc.
I didn't comment on money. . I've worked in places without it that were lovely. You can acquire things for a building area for the garden for nothing. That could be a "wow" area for little or no cost. Money helps but I've also worked in 'rich' nurseries that were terrible.
I mentioned murials. That could be a wall of donated left over paint in an 'Elmer' patchwork style. Maybe it could be a murial of faces drawn by the children but copied faithfully by adults. My local health centre has one of nursery rhyme scenes with local building dotted around in them. That'll be in the EYFS about links to the community.
It's the quality of everything that counts, but some real noticeable features that say "hey, we really know what we're doing!" will show your standard in a very obvious way.
My dcs nursery is real life outstanding. Mainly because the staff love the kids and it shows. Secondly the setting is amazing, on a farm, tons of outside space they use all the time. Climbing trees and feeding sheep, watching the blacksmith, picking blackberries, tractors going past all day. Personally for a preschool setting I couldn't care less about numeracy and literacy, my little ones have the time of their lives there!
Goldenbug - Of course look is important but it can look fab and not be a good place for children it is the quality that should determine grades not décor or toys in isolation. If anyone judges by what it looks like when they walk through the door before seeing what it is really like for children they are not doing their job properly.
When an inspector gives outstanding they have to contact their line manager and justify why they are awarding the grading
I cant see any inspector trying to justify an outstanding grade because of wall displays
Really knowing every child and valuing them. I love that the nursery my children makes sure that the children go outside whatever the weather and they also have a smal farm where the children learn about animals x.
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