'You must do better,' council nursery told

THE Children’s Nursery in the Civic Offices, set up to provide childcare for council employees, has been told to improve by the schools inspectorate.

The nursery opened its doors to the wider community in 1992, and took over the neighbouring pre-school two years ago, which significantly increased the number of children attending.

While an action plan is in place for improvement, certain requests from Ofsted following their last visit have still not been fulfilled.

“Children enjoy coming to nursery and settle quickly to play with their friends,” the report says. “Some of the rooms benefit from more age-appropriate and varied resources than others, but most rooms have reasonable opportunities for children to initiate their own learning.”

But a number of inconsistencies need to be ironed out, according to inspectors.

“Not all staff fully understand how to meet children’s individual needs successfully, including how to support children with communication and language difficulties,” the report continues.

“There are inconsistencies in how staff interact with children and in the observation, assessment and planning processes to help ensure all children are able to reach their goals.

“Teaching strategies staff use to support children’s learning are not always consistent across the nursery. Some staff also pre-empt the children’s answers, which reduces children’s time to form their responses. Therefore, opportunities to stimulate children’s thinking and effectively promote their communication and language are overlooked.

“Staff over prepare for some activities, such as sharing out the paint to children or pre-buttering the bread for snack. This results in children missing some opportunities to develop their independent learning.

“Children have access to the outdoors each day but lack and variety of equipment results in missed opportunities for learning. This was a recommendation from the previous inspection and has not been fully addressed.”

However, relationships between staff and pupils was praised.

“Children benefit from good relationships between themselves and the staff,” the report said. “They show secure attachments to their key person and move around the nursery with confidence.

“Children behave well because staff have a consistent approach to behaviour management.”

Swindon Borough Council was unavailable for comment at the time of going to print.

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