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Church Hill Nursery School continues to be an outstanding school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Children at Church Hill Nursery get an exceptional start to their education.
They love coming to school and separate from their parents and carers quickly. Children are keen to get on and explore the exciting environment.
The nursery has an excellent local reputation.
Parents spoken to, including those who responded to Ofsted's surveys, were overwhelmingly positive about the school. They appreciate the 'safe, enabling environment' that staff provide.
Children behave impeccably.
Staff teach children to communicate their feelings and solve confl...icts positively. Bullying is extremely rare and would be dealt with swiftly, were it to occur.
Leaders have high expectations of children and focus on building their resilience and independence.
Two-year-olds have their own cosy space to start the day. They quickly settle there and later enjoy exploring the wider nursery provision both indoors and outside. They rarely need to seek adult reassurance.
Children of all ages are engrossed in activities and often remain from start to finish. They are very well prepared for Reception Year. Leaders make sure that children have the necessary knowledge, love of learning and independence to thrive.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders and staff are highly ambitious for all children, regardless of their background or educational needs. They have considered carefully what children need to learn to be ready for Reception Year and have created a broad, rich and exciting curriculum.
Staff are experts in effective early years practice.
They provide an environment, indoors and out, that fuels children's curiosity. Staff use every opportunity during children's play to build children's knowledge. For example, in mathematics, children learn to estimate in the sandpit, explore quantities when using modelling clay and to count shades of colour on the art table.
Staff skilfully adjust activities and their interactions with children to maximise learning.
Reading is prioritised by all adults. Children enjoy reading a wide variety of books.
Younger children are building their understanding of phonics through rhyme and song, while some older children are starting to blend the sounds they have learned. For example, during a phonics session, one child explained that 'p-a-t is “pat”, who also has a friend called “mat”, the word we made earlier'.
Older children have a sophisticated understanding of story structure.
This is because practitioners use a systematic teaching approach. Children enjoy using this structure to tell stories. For example, one child told the inspector, 'The lion has a problem and the fox has a solution.'
Leaders have focused on making sure that children are able to communicate and use language confidently. Staff are excellent role models when interacting with children. The very youngest children are beginning to use words and short phrases.
Older children speak in complex sentences. They enjoy sharing what they observe, for example, 'She is doing it all by herself!'.
Provision for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities is exemplary.
Staff know children and their families extremely well and build strong, trusting relationships. They are skilled at identifying children's specific needs early. They put the necessary adaptations in place to ensure that these children enjoy the same curriculum as their peers and join in with all aspects of school life.
Leaders provide a range of rich experiences beyond the curriculum. During the pandemic, leaders provided enrichment activities in children's homes through an innovative play-bag project. More recently, an art project is enabling children to work creatively with older children and young adults.
Educational visits are very well attended by parents. Staff select venues that parents can then visit independently with their children.
Staff are proud to work at the school and most have worked there for many years.
They feel well supported by leaders and appreciate the strong team ethos. Staff value the training offered and feel confident in carrying out their roles.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff know children and their families extremely well. They understand the types of risk children may face. Leaders are knowledgeable and persistent.
They work effectively with external agencies to provide the help children need.
Leaders make sure that staff receive regular training and updates. Staff are clear about their recording and reporting responsibilities.
Children are learning how to express their feelings and take safe risks. They trust staff and seek help when needed.
When we have judged a school to be outstanding, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains outstanding.
This is called a section 8 inspection of a good or outstanding school, because it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.
Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the section 8 inspection a section 5 inspection immediately.
This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in September 2016.
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