|Name||Northfleet Nursery School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Outstanding|
|Inspection Date||10 September 2013|
|Address||140 London Road, Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent, DA11 9JS|
|Number of Pupils||115|
Information about this school
The nursery is smaller than other nurseries nationally. Most children join the school in term 1. Any spaces that become available are filled by three-year-olds who are on the waiting list. Children join the school at different times over the year. They attend either in the morning or the afternoon, and have the opportunity to attend the optional lunch club or after-school activities approximately two fifths of the children speak English as an additional language. A few are at an early stage of English language acquisition. The proportion of disabled children and those with special educational needs who are supported through Early Years Action is below that found in most schools. The proportion supported at Early Years Action Plus or who have a statement of special educational needs is also below that that found in schools nationally. One third of the children start with speech and language difficulties. The nursery is an accredited ‘High Scope Centre’. It is used by the local authority as an exemplar of exceptional practice. The headteacher is a Local Leader of Education and two members of staff are Specialist Leaders in Education. They provide support to schools, private nurseries and pre-school groups. Since the previous inspection, the admission arrangements for children entering primary schools have changed. This means very few children stay at the nursery for more than a year. Most start when they are just three years of age, and leave at the age of four.
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school. Highly skilled and well-qualified leaders, managers and staff are uncompromising in their drive to pursue excellence in all of the school’s activities. They have been extremely successful in raising children’s achievements and personal development to a high level for their age. All who work in the school have an in-depth understanding of the ways that children of this age learn effectively. They continually review and adapt the way they work and meet each child’s individual needs extremely well. Consequently, children make an excellent start to their school life and are prepared very well for their entry to the Reception Year. Regardless of their ability, background or if they speak English as an additional language, children make excellent progress, especially in their ability to communicate with adults and one another. All teaching is consistently outstanding. High- quality questioning enables children to think through their ideas. Teachers use creative and innovative methods to capture children’s interests so they sustain their thirst for learning for long periods of time. Children’s behaviour is exemplary. Those new to the nursery settle in quickly, often supported by others who attended last year. Children become absorbed in activities led by adults and those they choose for themselves. Excellent resources and a superbly designed garden area support a vibrant curriculum indoors and outdoors that promotes strongly children’s imagination and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The tree house where children can observe the expanse of the river, the boats and docks, and visits out to the seaside, National Gallery and places of local interest, add much to children’s awe and wonder, and their understanding of the wider world. The partnership with parents and carers is particularly strong. There are many opportunities for them to take part in practical workshops to learn alongside their children and also to help them at home. Staff are meticulous in ensuring that children are kept safe while in the nursery and out on trips. Children know how to use craft tools safely and play with outdoor resources sensibly. Inspirational leaders, staff and governors work closely together determined to make children’s learning even better. Their work with other schools, sharing of expertise, frequent evaluation of children’s learning, staff appraisal and training has brought about sustained high- quality teaching and learning.