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Does this appall you too?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by mermaid75, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I am an experienced nursery teacher , starting a new job soon in an ofsted graded outstanding nursery. My jaw dropped because of these things I saw in my visit to the school
    1 Each key workers area was bare walls with no number line, letters or days of the week. No photos of children anywhere in whole nursery
    2 No dispay boards in the nursery AT ALL
    3 No drinking water throughout the session. Only milk at snack time
    4 adult led activites in each area where staff was telling children what to do
    5 children not allowed to choose any resources and no sand and water AT ALL
    6 planning not based on children's interest
    It upset me so much that I couldnt sleep that night. I work in a statisfactory school where the nursery was graded good . I plan by children's interest, have resources available for children to choose, sand and water and messy play is always there . Children have water bottles.
    I really put my heart and soul and still only got a good.
    How does this nursery get away with it and still get an outstanding.
    Does this make you upset too? or am I the one who is stupid.


  2. louisea

    louisea New commenter

    We are a primary school with 2 other schools in our cluster. All 3 schools feed into the same high school. The other 2 are in a slightly more affluent area to us. I have visited both the other schools to look at their EYFS classrooms and although one was quite impressive, the other was certainly not as good as ours. Both schools get good (past 2 inspections) when they have been inspected whereas we get 'satisfactory'.
    Makes me wonder too how these schools do it.....????
  3. It is scary
  4. cheekychops

    cheekychops New commenter

    I feel i am in the same boat too. We provide a rich and stimulating environment for our children. they have access to a wide range of resources, a , bright welcoming environment where the children seem very happy. Water bottles available all day, rolling snack which encourages healthy eating. Good standards of behaviour and high expectations. A fantastic outdoor area which is used in all weathers. this has a climbing area, sand pit, mud pit, veg garden, access to the water barrel and yet in our last Ofsted we got a good. It is so disheartening to visit other schools that have achieved Outstanding and you know that they are not doing it right. The ones that pretend that they have child initiated and yet will not let the children touch the resources only the ones they have put out The ones that say they access the outdoors at all times but only for a 15 minute play or just in nice weather. I have recently been on a range of school visits to some outstanding schools and in my opinion have found the lessons in reception class (I teach in FS with a mix of nursery and reception) extremely prescriptive and boring. Using the carousel of activities linked to the main teaching objective I found the lessons extremely restrictive. In no way did they encourage the children's independence skills or imagination.
    I also think its down to the luck of the draw as to who the Ofsted inspector is, last time we got a lady who had taught D&T in a secondary school - so really didn't have a clue
    Try not to be too disheartened there are a lot of us out there who are doing a fantastic job and one day hopefully we will get the recognition we deserve!
  5. I completely agree. We were very lucky with our inspectors last time, both early years and the others in school, especially the lead inspector. They came looking for outstanding and we could show it.
    My outstanding friend, however, had a woman looking to pick holes in everything and she did just that! Her school still got 'good', because they are brilliant there in spite of the inspector's reluctance to see it.
    Be pleased when you get that recognition from the parents, who tell you they can't get over how much their child has learned, or your children, telling you how much they've enjoyed something.
    After all, isn't that who you're doing it for really anyway?
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Why did you apply?
  7. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Perhaps she assumed that "outstanding" meant that it would be even better than her current place. Just like the parents will look at the Ofsted grade and make their decisions on that basis.
  8. I have a creeping suspicion that OFSTED look at the results in the school, decide whether they are outstanding, good, adequate or inadequate, and aim to judge lessons so that the overall lesson grade corresponds with this. If results are below expectations they are not going to judge any teaching as outstanding. If they did, how could they explain the lack of progress? Unfortunately, as we are dealing with children and not robots, and as there are so many factors which affect those children and their educational progress, it is not necessarily valid to assume that less than average progress is down to teaching quality, but this seems to go unacknowledged in the inspection system.
  9. I have many creeping suspicions about Ofsted too lol.
    Unfortunately, no matter how wonderful your setting is, if your results aren't showing good value added across the school and throughout their time in FS, then Ofsted will judge accordingly. Also, if your FS leader is not able to put your case across well, then you may be more likely to get a lower grading. If your FS leader can tell the inspectors the right words at the right times and not get flustered by their very presence, then a higher grading is more likely.
    I base this opinion on talking to other settings and from having been Ofsted-ed as FS leader recently (we got a good, by the way).
    Our school is due another Ofsted imminently. They are an outstanding school where the FS provision was graded "good" last time. I've been there just over a year as FS leader and am dreading the next visit. I believe that we should be awarded "outstanding" based on what I've seen in other local settings and based on the fact that we are very good ALL of the time. We've got a succession of lesson observations and moderated work samples as well as the data which support this. We also have a list of interventions that have been put into place since that last Ofsted and their impact on the 4 themes of the EYFS. I also analysed each and every child who didn't make expected progress and listed all barriers to learning that child had had to deal with during their time in FS. It made very interesting reading. Something as simple as a new baby in the house to parental break-ups to absence of a key worker.
    Having said all that, I do hope I won't become a quivering wreck when they do come...
  10. Because it is outstanding Nursery and I didnt visit the nursery before applying.
    Plz can someone help me in how to approach the topic of making changes when I join. I am co-ordinating CLL and there are not even any phase 1 resources in this nursery
    When I asked the deputy head, are there any musical instruments children can use, she said yes but its too noisy so we dont let them use it?????
    I felt punched in my stomach.
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Is it a nursery class/school or a private nursery?
  12. Thank goodness that you did apply and get the job! I'm sure you will be a breath of fresh air to those children. At the end of the day you will be the teacher and so you should stand by your convictions and implement all that you need to!
    I too think that which OFSTED inspector you get is a total lottery! I also think that there are very few Early Years teachers who are inspoectors and now that EYFS is so different to ks1 and 2, they don't have as much experience of good practice in Early Years!
    Good luck, I'm sure you'll transform the teaching and learning in your new school.
  13. fulloffun

    fulloffun New commenter

    good answer josephabigail you have seen what needs to be done and hopefully will have a while before Ofsted re appear. Good luck in your new job.
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Honestly ... I don't think you have a hope. The school is rated outstanding I assume parents are happy with the way things are? so they are unlikely to want to change or to feel they need to.
  15. hi
    Its a state nursery school . The head is an ofsted inspector!!!!
    I think you are right msz. The staff seemed very set in their ways and the deputy head and other senior teacher seemed too uptight in their approach.
    The head said to me after I got the job and that we are impressed with your subject knowledge and we would like you to make CLL in this nursery "way ahead of its time"
    I dont know to laugh or cry?

  16. Thank you fulloffun! sigh
  17. Thank you for your comment. Your so right about what you said about ofsted.
  18. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I work in an outstanding school in an outstanding nursery, but our newish head post ofsted, doesnt really get EY. We are to be sent to two other local outstanding schools to "share" practice. (Meaning in this case I dont think you are doing it right, so go and watch them.) Both these schools are very formal, still have 2 year rolling progs of topics, dont do continuous provision, dont have outside access continually despite one of them having a newly done outside area with access etc etc. In fact most things that are frowned on they still do.
    I am dreading visiting as, a) it will be a waste of time and b) I will be suggesting to the head that they come to us to learn from us. One school openly admits they dont follow EYFS properly but just says that as long as you can justify it to ofsted and you still get the results you are ok. This is in a much leafier catchment to our very deprived area, so while I dont doubt they get the results, I would be interested to see how much progress they make. Ours come in at 16-26m or lower and are at national attainment by EYP and exceed it in PSED.
    These schools didnt have an EY ofsted, both had secondary leads, we however had an EY specialist, with lots of experience in deprived areas and working with vulnerable children, so whilst I dont put much store by ofsted, I think I can safely say ours was more accurate.
    As to your predicament, I think you will find it hard and ultimately have to move on. A friend of mine was in a similar situation. She had a horrible first year of trying to change things and telling people that they would get slated by ofsted. When ofsted came she was honest with the inspector about things that needed changing. Ofsted rated the school good and any critisisms were word for word what she had critisised. She thought it was barely satisfactory. Definately another middleclass coasting school. Good luck, you may find the ordinary teachers and TAs more ready for change. Try and get in an advisor asap to back you up. This proved invaluable with one particular sticking point with our head.
  19. Brenden

    Brenden New commenter

    Well there's your answer.

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