Bolton’s Queensbrook Children’s Nursery has suffered a blow after it was downgraded from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted, following its latest inspection.
In the report, published on July 9, every aspect of the inspection criteria was downgraded and the report states the nursery ‘does not meet the legal requirements for early years settings’.
Inspector Emma Allison highlighted five key areas the nursery needed to address and three of these issues directly violated the nursery’s own policy on its website.
The first issue concerned the lack of knowledge by staff about child protection procedures, meaning that the ‘swiftest and most appropriate action’ is not always taken ‘to protect children’.
She said: “Some staff are unclear as to what the reporting procedure is when there is a child protection concern.
“This demonstrates a weakness in ensuring all children are safe.”
It was also noted that ‘staff have a variable understanding of how to support learning effectively. Consequently, not all children make good progress’.
This is contrary to Queensbrook’s assertion on their website that, ‘discipline is approached in a positive manner in conjunction with our behaviour and management policy’.
Ms Allison added: “Staff are not always consistent or positive in helping children to understand the expectations and boundaries of behaviour.
“Some children display challenging behaviours that staff do not act upon quickly.”
The nursery’s lack of support for self-help skills was identified as an issue, opposing the nursery’s claim that they ‘encourage all pre-school children to serve themselves at mealtimes’.
Ms Allison said it would be advantageous if staff sat with the children at meal times ‘to role model these skills’.
She added: “Children are provided with nutritious meals, and pre-school children are encouraged to set the table ready for lunchtime.
“However, children are not actively encouraged to serve themselves; consequently, opportunities to promote independence are missed.”
A lack of resources for the outdoor play area was also brought to light as one of Ms Allison’s key findings.
Despite announcing on their website they have ‘excellent facilities for outdoor playing’, the nursery’s outdoor play area was deemed to lack ‘enough equipment to provide children with opportunities to develop their creative skills’.
Ms Allison credited the ‘warm, nurturing relationships which give children the security they need to develop confidence and emotional stability’.
As well as approving of the leaders commitment to driving improvement forward.
She said: “Leaders track group and individual children’s progress to identify any gaps in learning and prepare children for their next stage learning.”
“Children are provided with a variety of activities in a well-organised indoor environment.
“Staff follow children’s interest in the role-play area by introducing hand-operated fruit peelers to allow children to explore real fruit.”
The staff with up-to-date qualifications were praised, as were the opportunities the children had to extend their learning ‘during well-planned outings’.
“Leaders plan regular outings with the children to develop their understanding of the world,” Ms Allison said.
“For example, pre-school children excitedly talk about their forthcoming trip to the zoo.”
But she did note that not all staff plan activities that accurately support the children’s level of development.
MM contacted Queensbrook Children’s Nursery but they declined to comment.