Ashfield Nursery School
101 Elswick Road
Tyne and Wear
Headteacher: Mrs Anne Stoker
93 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||108427|
|Local Authority||Newcastle Upon Tyne|
|Inspection dates||25–26 February 2010|
|Reporting inspector||Linda Buller|
|Type of school||Nursery|
|Age range of pupils||3–4|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||104|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mrs Alison Priestley|
|Headteacher||Mrs Anne Stoker|
|Date of previous school inspection||Not previously inspected|
|School address||101 Elswick Road|
|Tyne and Wear NE4 6JR|
|Telephone number||0191 273 5587|
|Fax number||0191 273 4022|
|Inspection dates||25–26 February 2010|
The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children's social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It rates council children's services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by two additional inspectors. The inspectors observed four teachers, visited six lessons and spent around 55% of time directly observing children's learning. They held meetings with governors and staff and spoke informally with many children. They observed the school's work, and looked at documentation relating to the leadership and management of the school and children's learning and progress, including teachers' planning and records of children's 'learning journeys'. The inspectors also took into account the views expressed in the questionnaires completed by 15 staff and 77 parents and carers.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
The nursery school offers full-time education for children once they have passed their third birthday. They spend between three and five terms at the school before transferring to Reception classes in local primary schools. Over half of the children are from a wide range of minority ethnic backgrounds. One quarter of children speak little or no English on entry to the school. A small proportion of children are identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities. Fifty per cent of children are eligible for free school meals. The school has achieved a number of awards in recent years, including Healthy Schools, Investors in Children and the Basic Skills Quality Mark.
Since May 2009 the school has shared its building with a private day-care facility. This provision did not form part of this inspection but the report can be found on the Ofsted website.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
This outstanding school provides an excellent quality of education. Its success centres on the early identification of the individual needs of children and highly effective partnerships with parents and carers. These begin with home visits which ensure that children get off to an excellent start on their learning journey when they begin Nursery.
Children join the Nursery with skills at levels that are well below those expected for their age. Outstanding levels of care, skilful teaching and an exciting, vibrant curriculum provide each child with equal opportunity to succeed. The school constantly seeks ways to improve provision even further, for example devising exciting ways to improve children's problem-solving, reasoning and numeracy skills; a relative weakness identified at the last inspection. As a result, children's skills develop rapidly with the majority of children attaining levels broadly in line with expectations for their age in most areas of their learning by the time they move onto their next school. Those children who enter the Nursery speaking little or no English make outstanding progress due to high-quality innovative provision, for example, the use of Makaton signing which provides an effective means of communication. Staff use skilled observation of children's learning to assess how well each child is doing. They use this information well to plan activities and to set individual targets for children. Staff are adept at intuitively capitalising on opportunities for learning and in challenging children to reach higher standards. However, this level of challenge is dependent on the skill of staff and is not always fully reflected in the targets set for individuals or in teachers' planning.
Leaders and managers have a shared ambition to maintain the best possible provision for the children in their care. Children and their families demonstrate total confidence in the ability of staff to ensure that children remain happy, safe and secure. Excellent relationships and a total commitment of all staff to create a cohesive community lead to children's excellent personal development. Rigorous systems of self-evaluation ensure that every opportunity is taken to promote children's knowledge and understanding, including the celebration of their wide range of backgrounds and cultures. Consequently, children become independent and imaginative learners who delight in each other's company, accepting differences and valuing each other as individuals. The school has sustained and built further on the outstanding quality of education identified at the previous inspection and has an outstanding capacity for sustained improvement.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of children
Children really enjoy their learning. From the moment they arrive each morning they are fully engaged in activities which capture their imagination. They sustain high levels of concentration and perseverance because activities take full account of their interests and needs. They are able to follow instructions exceptionally well and their faces shine with pride in their good achievement. Children, whatever their starting points or abilities, make excellent progress in all areas of their learning. This is particularly evident in their personal, social and emotional development which, together with much improved basic literacy and numeracy skills, ensures that they are well prepared for their next stage of education.
Children's behaviour is excellent because staff have consistently high expectations of them to which they respond readily. Attendance is broadly average. Children quickly develop an understanding of the difference between right and wrong, and relationships between them are outstanding. They demonstrate knowledge of how to keep themselves safe which belies their years. For example, in the outdoor area they are able to take on board the safety warnings issued by staff and use this information in their engagement in adventurous play, amending their actions and the risks they take to make sure they stay safe. Children make an excellent contribution to the school community and eagerly take responsibility for putting things away, tidying up and supporting one another to access all that the school provides. They know that fruit and vegetables are good for them and make sensible independent choices of snacks and at lunchtimes. Children delight in being active and whatever the weather are keen to experience exercise and fresh air, which they know will help them grow strong.
These are the grades for children's outcomes
|Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage||1|
|Children's achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of children's learning and their progress
The quality of learning for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which children feel safe||1|
|The extent to which children adopt healthy lifestyles||1|
|The extent to which children contribute to the school and wider community||1|
|The extent to which children develop skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of children's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||1|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
Highly experienced staff, with an excellent knowledge of how young children learn, are a key feature of the school's provision. There are plenty of opportunities for children to work and play with adults and each other or to pursue interests and learning on their own. Skilled interaction by staff, for example in role play, is a major contribution to children's excellent progress in their language development. Classrooms are rich in language and numeracy displays which are used well to support children's learning. Ongoing assessments of children's learning build into a comprehensive picture of each child's development in different strands of learning. Each child is set individual targets for learning which are reflected in teachers' planning. Occasionally these targets are not adjusted often enough to reflect the rapid progress which children have made. On these few occasions opportunities are missed to adjust plans for children's next steps in learning.
A rich and creative mix of activities both indoors and out provide children with memorable experiences and a thirst for learning. Increased opportunities to practise numeracy skills, such as making sandwich shapes, number rhymes and dice games, help children to reach levels similar to those in other areas of their learning. Lunchtimes are expertly managed to be sociable learning occasions where children develop good manners and make sensible healthy eating choices. Group and circle times contribute greatly to children's social and emotional development. They also provide excellent opportunities for children to review what they have learnt and how they can develop their learning further.
Outstanding levels of care are provided for children in every respect to ensure their well-being. The school's support for children whose circumstances have made them vulnerable is excellent. Staff excel at getting to know each child in their care as an individual. Early identification of specific needs and very close working with parents and carers, as well as agencies such as the behaviour support service, mean that children receive first-rate support to help them thrive.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage||1|
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets children's needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||1|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||1|
The headteacher effectively leads a team of staff who share her high aspirations to provide the best early years education. Involvement of all staff in the monitoring and evaluation of the school's work ensures that a close check is kept on all aspects of provision and the impact this has on outcomes for children. Safeguarding procedures are good. Staff and volunteers are carefully vetted to check their suitability for working with children. Regular training and clear procedures ensure that all staff have a good understanding of how to safeguard children from harm. Staff promote equality of opportunity extremely well, ensuring that all children, whatever their background or needs, make rapid progress. The school's excellent focus on home visits and links with groups of parents and carers whose children are due to start school are of great benefit. They help children to settle well and assist parents and carers in developing a real involvement in their children's learning. Children's 'learning journey' records give parents and carers a clear idea of how well their children are doing, with photographs used exceptionally well to allow them to share those magic moments when children recognise they have learnt something new.
The work of the school to promote community cohesion is good overall and outstanding within the school and local area. Plans and actions are firmly based on a thorough understanding of the diverse religious, cultural and social context of the local area. Plans are in place to extend the outstanding school and local provision to areas beyond the school and to involve the school once again in the International School Award. The governing body provides good support to the school. Despite the quick turnover of parent and carer members due to the short time their children are in the school, the governing body successfully ensures statutory requirements are met and provides appropriate challenge to the school's leadership.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in the Early Years Foundation Stage||1|
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||1|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||1|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||1|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||1|
Parents and carers who spoke to inspectors and the large number who returned the inspection questionnaires were wholly positive about the education provided for their children. Additional comments reflected their high levels of satisfaction regarding the levels of care that the school provides, how happy their children are and how quickly they learn. Inspectors fully agree with parents and carers' positive views of the provision.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Ashfield Nursery School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.
The inspection team received 77 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 104 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||66||86||11||14||0||0||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||63||82||13||17||0||0||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||47||61||30||39||0||0||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||54||70||23||30||0||0||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||62||81||15||19||0||0||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||57||74||20||26||0||0||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||54||70||22||29||0||0||0||0|
|The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)||49||64||25||32||0||0||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||52||68||23||30||0||0||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||53||69||24||31||0||0||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||49||64||25||32||0||0||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||59||77||17||22||0||0||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||66||86||11||14||0||0||0||0|
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its children's needs.|
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its children well.|
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its children.|
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its children. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.|
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a child in their learning and development.
in other phases of school, for example primary schools, attainment is the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons. However, there is no national average for three- and four-year-olds. Therefore, in inspections of nursery schools, inspectors take account of expectations in the age-related bands of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
|Capacity to improve:|
the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.
|Leadership and management:|
the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.
how well children acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.
the rate at which children are learning in nursery sessions and over longer periods of time.
2 March 2010
Inspection of Ashfield Nursery School, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE4 6JR
Thank you for letting me spend a few days at your nursery school and for sharing with me all the wonderful activities which help you learn so well. I agree with your parents and carers that Ashfield is an outstanding school and I can understand why you are all so happy there.
You are especially good at doing things for yourselves and at playing very nicely with each other. You look after each other very well and this helps to make sure everybody enjoys their time in school and learns lots of exciting new things. You have lots of places to run around and explore in your outside area, which you clearly enjoy even when the weather means you need to cover up in your wellingtons and waterproofs.
All of the adults in school care about you very much and make sure you are safe. When they come to visit you at home before you begin at Nursery they find out exactly how to help you learn. Those of you who cannot speak English quickly learn new words because everyone gives you such a lot of help and support.
Even though your school is outstanding, your headteacher and the other adults want it to get even better so they are going to make sure that everything they plan for you to do helps you to take the next steps in your learning.
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|