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There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of outstanding as a result of this initial (section 8) inspection. However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a full inspection were carried out now. The next inspection will therefore be a full (section 5) inspection.
What is it like to attend this school?
Children enjoy coming to Fairfield Nursery School. There are very few tears as children leave their parents and carers. This is because there is so much for them to do and to explore, both indoors and outdoors.
Children especially enjoy visiting the woodland area. They put on their wellington boots and waterproof coats as q...uickly as they can because they cannot wait to get there.
Leaders and staff expect the best for children.
They have made sure that classrooms have plenty of exciting resources to capture children's interests. Children learn well in most areas of learning. This includes children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Occasionally, children learn less well. This is because some aspects of the curriculum are not finalised.
Children behave well.
They are kind to each other. Children learn to share toys and resources and to take turns in their games. Bullying is not tolerated.
Adults help children to resolve any squabbles. Adults are quick to act if children are unkind to each other. This helps to make the nursery a happy place for everyone.
Relationships between children and staff are strong. This ensures that children feel safe and secure. Parents appreciate the information that they receive about their children's learning.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The curriculum that leaders have designed is broad, exciting and ambitious. Most children learn this curriculum well, including those with SEND.
Leaders ensure that children are well prepared for the next stage of their education.
Staff are clear about what they most want children to know and to be able to do by the time they leave the nursery.
In most areas of learning, staff are confident about the small elements of knowledge that children need to learn and how to build up this learning in the right order. For example, in expressive art and design, staff teach children how to mix paint using powder and water.
When children know how to do this, staff introduce them to more colours and then to brushes of different sizes. This helps to build up children's learning securely. However, in a small number of areas of learning, staff are less confident about the knowledge that children need to learn and when this should be introduced.
This is because leaders are still finalising the curriculum for these areas of learning.
Children love listening to stories. Staff are experts at making story times special.
Leaders and staff have thought carefully about the books that they read to children. Some of these books introduce children to a wide range of new words, sounds and rhymes. Other books provide opportunities for children to count or to think about the world around them.
Children become familiar with these books. They love to join in with their favourite parts or to spot which words the adults may have deliberately missed out. These activities help all children, including those children with SEND, to develop an enthusiasm for reading.
Staff make sure that children develop an awareness of sounds. For example, they listen carefully for the quiet sounds that they hear outdoors, such as leaves crunching or birds singing. Children listen for the sounds at the beginning of each other's names at register time.
These activities prepare them well for future learning about phonics.
Adults are highly knowledgeable about young children's learning and development. This helps them to provide extra help for any children who might need it.
Leaders and staff work together to quickly identify children who may have SEND. They communicate well with parents and with other professionals. This helps them to make sure that these children receive the support that they need promptly.
Children with SEND learn as well as their classmates.
Children learn to follow the simple rules and routines in the nursery. They listen carefully to adults, for example, at story time.
They do not disrupt each other's learning.
Leaders provide a wide range of activities for children in addition to the curriculum. For example, children go on train trips to other towns.
They also visit the seaside and the local park. Children enjoy seeing their artwork displayed in the local community. They learn about differences in families and about other cultures through stories or through celebrations of festivals.
Children learn to take responsibility for their own needs. For instance, they put on their own coats and boots and learn to wash their hands. These experiences help children to gain independence and develop perseverance.
Governors ask leaders a range of questions to make sure that the nursery is running well. They are considerate of staff's workload in the decisions that they make about the school. Staff appreciate the support that they receive from governors and leaders.
In discussion with the headteacher, the inspectors agreed that mathematics and communication and language may usefully serve as a focus for the next inspection.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders ensure that staff receive regular safeguarding training.
Staff know how to recognise the signs of abuse and neglect. They report any concerns that they might have about the welfare of a child swiftly.
Leaders work well with a range of other professionals, such as the local authority and the police.
This enables leaders to secure timely help for those children and their families who need it.
Children have simple rules and routines to follow in the nursery so that they stay safe. For example, they learn that they must only go outside with an adult.
They learn how to handle small tools safely, such as scissors and cutlery.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In a small number of areas of learning, leaders have not finalised the smaller components of knowledge that children need to learn, or the sequence in which these components must be taught. This makes it difficult for staff to ensure that children learn everything that they need to progress through the curriculum.
Leaders should ensure that the curriculum provides staff with enough information. This will help children to learn all of the important knowledge that they need to be ready for the next stage in their education.
When we have judged a school 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 as a section 5 inspection immediately.
This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in December 2012.