Whitegate Nursery School

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About Whitegate Nursery School

Name Whitegate Nursery School
Website http://www.whitegate.org
Ofsted Inspections
Address Victoria Road, Padiham, Burnley, Lancashire, BB12 8TG
Phase Nursery
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 129
Local Authority Lancashire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of outstanding as a result of this ungraded (section 8) inspection. However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now. The school's next inspection will be a graded inspection.

What is it like to attend this school?

Children are thrilled to be learning and making friends at school. They are keen to get on with investigating and experimenting in classrooms and in the school's wooded garden. Children feel valued because staff treat them as important people.

They learn much new knowledge from staff who support and guide their play..../>
Children learn how to behave sensibly in the many learning activities that staff provide. For instance, two-year-olds begin to learn to share toys and cooperate with other children.

In each classroom, children learn helpful ways to manage and resolve the disagreements that they may have with others. Where needed, staff provide children with gentle reminders about the school's expectations of their conduct.

Children are happy and trust the staff.

They sit close to their key person at group time, such as to sing nursery rhymes. They tell staff their ideas and observations, as well as their worries. Staff are genuinely interested in how children feel.

This helps children to feel safe and settled at school.

Children, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), enjoy learning at school. They achieve well.

This is because the school is determined that all children gain a successful start to their education.

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

The school has set ambitious aims for its curriculum, in particular to help children to overcome challenges in their lives, such as poverty or SEND. It strives to inspire children about their education and to help every child to feel included, valued and successful.

Mostly, the school has thought carefully about the information that it wants children to learn. It has also identified the order in which children need to build their grasp of important concepts and vocabulary. In the main, children learn this information well.

However, some of the school's curriculum is more focused on the overall approach that staff will take to support learning, rather than the knowledge that children should learn. This is because of a lack of clarity in some of the school's curriculum thinking. Sometimes, this limits how well children build some of their knowledge.

Staff check if children know and remember key knowledge. They use assessment information carefully to decide what to teach children next. The school has reduced the amount of paperwork that it asks staff to collect when they make assessments of children's learning.

This has given staff more time to ensure that children learn well.

The school selects carefully which different activities or approaches to use to teach its curriculum. Staff draw on their in-depth knowledge of child development to identify the needs of children with SEND quickly.

Where needed, they adapt the way the curriculum is delivered to help children with SEND to learn successfully.

Most of the time, the school makes effective use of its curriculum to help children to learn new knowledge. Children, including two-year-olds, gain many new skills from their learning.

Nevertheless, at times, the school's intended curriculum is not used well enough in the support it provides for children's play. At these times, some children's learning of key knowledge weakens.

In each classroom, children experience a curriculum that fosters their communication and language well.

Staff model skilfully to children how to listen to other people. Children learn how to use talk to communicate their ideas and feelings. Staff select the stories and nursery rhymes carefully that they will teach to the children through repeated practice.

Children develop a love of stories and rhymes. They learn new words because staff use and explain these often.

At the centre of the school's work is a successful focus on children's personal development.

Children become keen learners, able to concentrate and explore with confidence. They learn from staff to respect differences between themselves and other people. This helps them to be ready for life in modern Britain.

Due to the gentle, skilful guidance of staff, children behave well. They learn to respond positively to other people, as well as becoming calm and self-aware. Children learn to be kind to others.

The school works with parents and carers successfully. For example, it does all that it can to help parents to understand that children's regular attendance at school is important. The school discusses with parents of children with SEND its additional support for children's learning and development.

Parents are well informed about how home and school can work together to support children's education.

The governing body uses a wide range of information to review the work of the school effectively, such as about the curriculum, finance and safeguarding. It challenges and supports the school, to aid its ongoing development.

Staff are successful in their jobs because of the support, training and encouragement that the school provides.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some of the school's curriculum is less well developed.

This means that, at times, children do not gain some of the knowledge that they need to know. The school should hone its curricular thinking further to enable children to learn even more successfully. ? Sometimes, the school does not make sure that staff teach the curriculum that it intends.

As a result, staff find it harder to build children's knowledge of some important concepts. The school should ensure that staff deliver its intended curriculum effectively.


When we have judged outstanding, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains outstanding.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in October 2012.

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