McMillan Nursery School

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About McMillan Nursery School

Name McMillan Nursery School
Ofsted Inspections
Address Railway Street, Nelson, Lancashire, BB9 9AG
Phase Nursery
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 65
Local Authority Lancashire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Children eagerly run into McMillan Nursery School each morning. Parents, carers and children are welcomed with a warm and friendly smile.

Children feel safe and settle quickly in a supportive learning environment. Staff have their best interests and welfare at heart. Children benefit from the nurturing relationships that the staff provide.

They trust the staff to care for them when they need comfort or reassurance.

Leaders expect all children to do well. This includes children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Children love to play and learn in the well-equipped classrooms and the inviting outside space. By the time that they... leave the nursery, children are well prepared for their next steps in education.

Staff have high expectations of children's behaviour.

Children learn how to be kind, considerate and well mannered. Adults will step in quickly if children need help and guidance. Any signs of bullying or unkindness are dealt with quickly.

Staff offer children a wide range of experiences and seek to create moments that children will never forget. At the time of the inspection, children and parents alike beamed with amazement when the Easter bunny arrived at their Easter egg hunt activity day.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Since the last inspection, McMillan Nursery School has been through a time of upheaval and change.

However, the school has been turned around rapidly. The current leadership team has had a tremendous impact on improving the school swiftly and effectively.

Leaders have created an ambitious curriculum for all children.

They are committed to ensuring that every child, including children with SEND, is provided with a strong foundation for their future education.

The curriculum is well designed. Leaders have thought carefully about what they want children to learn and in which order.

The key knowledge that staff must teach to children is clearly set out in each area of learning. Children achieve well.

Teachers are knowledgeable about most areas of learning that they teach.

Where delivery is strongest, adults deliver the curriculum consistently well. Occasionally, some adults are not as confident as others at teaching a few areas of learning. Where adults are not as confident, children do not learn as much as they could.

Teachers offer plenty of opportunities for children to revisit and recap important learning in adult-led activities and in free play. Children develop their confidence to try out new and challenging activities. Adults successfully use assessment to establish how well children are learning the curriculum.

Two-year-old children are well catered for in the provision. Staff build strong, trusting relationships with children, many of whom have SEND. Well-thought-out activities enable all children in this age group to get off to a positive start.

Staff successfully encourage the youngest children to count, to play, to explore their environment and to enjoy the stories that they hear.

Leaders have established a strong thread of communication and language throughout the curriculum. For many children, English is not their first language.

Adults encourage children to respond in words and sentences that are appropriate to their age and stage of development.

The sharing of stories and rhymes and the singing of songs are popular and prominent parts of the day. Children can successfully retell a story with props and play the parts of the characters in a book.

This helps them to remember the events and order of the stories they read and practise newly acquired vocabulary. Older children begin to learn the initial phonetic sounds of words, such as in their names, and how to orally blend simple sounds to make words.

The provision for children with SEND at McMillan Nursery School is a growing strength.

Staff are particularly effective at quickly identifying children with SEND. They use their knowledge of each child well to put just the right strategies in place to make sure that children and families get the support that they need. Children with SEND succeed alongside their peers and participate fully in the same exciting curriculum.

Children behave and play together well. They are happy to share and take turns. They love to collect pebbles in a jar for being spotted demonstrating the school's values and behaviours.

When the jar is full, children and adults delight in celebrating by singing and dancing to 'Agadoo'.

Leaders, governors and staff are passionate about their school. They have particularly supportive and strong relationships with parents.

Governors hold leaders fully to account for their work to improve the curriculum. Staff feel well supported with their workload and well-being and are proud to work at the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders make sure that everyone working in school understands the important part they play in keeping children safe. Leaders and staff are well trained in safeguarding procedures. Staff are effective advocates for children and are confident to report their concerns.

They are vigilant in looking for indications that children could be at risk of harm.

When safeguarding needs are identified, leaders engage well with external agencies to get timely support for children and their families.

Leaders ensure that children learn about different risks in a way that is appropriate for their age and their developmental understanding.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Occasionally, a small number of adults are not as confident as others at teaching a few areas of learning. Where this is the case, some children do not learn as well as they could. Leaders should continue to deliver training to adults so that they have the knowledge and confidence to deliver all areas of learning equally well.

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