The inspection was carried out by an Additional Inspector.
Description of the school
Brunswick is a smaller than average school. An above average percentage of pupils speak English as an additional language but fewer are eligible for free school meals. A significant minority of the children stay in the country for less than a year while other family members visit the University, for example as part of the visiting scholar scheme. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties or disabilities and statements of special educational need is above average. Attainment on entry to the school varies year-on-year, due to the small size of the school and the fact that children come from a wide area around the town. The school currently caters for pupils across the full range of ability and generally children start school with abilities which are in line with expectations for this age-group. The school has recently been accredited with Health Promoting School status, a nationally accredited award for information and communication technology (ICT), Parent Partnership, Partners in learning, a Teacher Development Agency training school and has secured Investors in People status.
Overall effectiveness of the school
Brunswick nursery is an outstanding school. The leadership and management of the school are excellent. The head teacher has a very accurate view of the school's strengths and areas for improvement, based upon a recently developed but rigorous system of monitoring and assessment. Teachers also use this assessment information effectively when planning lessons to meet the needs of all children.
The progress made by children throughout the school is outstanding overall, due to the excellent quality of the provision. Standards children attain are above those expected for their ages by the time they leave the school and their achievement is exceptionally good. Teaching is outstanding overall. It is good in nearly all respects and is exemplary in some elements, such as the development of children's independence and the teaching of children with special educational needs and those with English as an additional language. However, there is scope to improve the way teachers teach writing skills and position themselves so that they have an appropriate overview of all of the activities in a room or area. These things have been rightly identified by the headteacher as a focus for development.
Teachers work hard and have good relationships with children and other staff. This sets a positive tone for the whole nursery. Behaviour and attendance are good and children are able to concentrate for extended periods of time. Parents are extremely pleased with the school. They are full of praise for the calm atmosphere and the stimulating activities, and say their children clamour to come to the nursery at weekends and are reluctant to leave at the end of the day. Information to parents is exceptionally good and the school takes proper note of their opinions.
The curriculum is excellent. It covers all of the required areas of learning in suitable depth and is supplemented by an excellent range of interesting and exciting opportunities, such as daily outdoor provision in the garden and trips outside. The care, guidance and welfare the school provides is exceptionally good overall. The provision for pupils to learn about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and make healthy choices is excellent. There is excellent provision for pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. There has been a good level of improvement since the previous inspection and the school has a good capacity to continue to improve, due to the determination of all involved and especially the headteacher. The school provides very good value for money.
What the school should do to improve further
- Enable children to make even more progress in developing early writing skills.
Achievement and standards
Attainment on entry varies year-on-year, but it is broadly in line with the standards expected for children's ages. Children settle well into the nursery and make overall excellent gains in their learning, due to the extremely good quality of the provision. Achievement is excellent in personal and social development, physical development, creative development, knowledge and understanding of the world and speaking, listening and early reading skills. It is good in mathematical development and early writing skills. Children with special educational needs and those with English as an additional language achieve exceptionally well and attain the challenging targets the school sets them. However, whilst school tracking has identified that children make exceptionally good progress in some areas of learning, such as personal development, progress in developing writing skills, although good, is slightly slower. As a result, the school has correctly decided that writing is to be a focus area for development in the forthcoming year.
Personal development and well-being
Children's personal development, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent. The school encourages them to make choices and to learn to take on responsibility. Children generally relate well to each other and disputes and bad feelings are rare and are dealt with speedily. Children with learning difficulties or disabilities are integrated fully in all aspects of school life. Children thoroughly enjoy being in school and attendance is good, especially considering their young age. Children have a voice in the way the school is developed through the Brunswick Think Tank and have good opportunities to become involved in the life of the community through such events as Grandparents' day. They develop a very good understanding of the need to stay safe and an excellent understanding of the value of adopting a healthy lifestyle, through such things as regular hand washing and choosing healthy food. The high level of children's interpersonal skills and basic skills places them in a particularly firm position for the next stage in their educational career.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
The quality of teaching and learning is excellent overall. All adults are hard working and have good relationships with the children and with each other. Children make a good start to their school life because of the good emphasis placed on developing their personal and social skills. Assessment is regular, accurate and forms an integral part of the school day. Teachers use the knowledge gained about all children effectively when planning activities. Evaluations at the end of each day ensure that children from all groups benefit fully from the opportunities available.
Curriculum and other activities
The curriculum is excellent. It provides a very clear structure for the teaching of each area of learning for young children. Planning ensures that children of all abilities have the opportunity to do work that is at the right level for them. This basic curriculum is supplemented effectively by an extremely wide range of interesting and exciting extra activities. For example, children have the opportunity to go on a range of visits and trips, such as the summer boat trip or walks around the neighbourhood and to experience different activities such as handling exotic animals or working alongside a local artist. A particularly good aspect of the curriculum is in the daily use of the garden area throughout the whole year for a wide range of activities including digging, planting and working with construction toys. Consequently, children develop into mature and thoughtful individuals, who enjoy learning and value the contributions of others.
Care, guidance and support
Children's happiness and safety are promoted very effectively. Provision for children with learning difficulties or disabilities is extremely good. The new systems the school has developed to monitor children's academic and social progress are rigorous. Teachers set challenging targets for children in the different learning areas and ensure they all have equal access to them. The school was awarded with the local Health Promoting School accreditation. Health is promoted extremely well and children learn to make good choices, such as in relation to their diet. Good care is also taken to ensure that children know to turn to an adult if they need help with a problem and this makes them confident and happy.
Leadership and management
Leadership and management are excellent. The headteacher has a very clear view of the school based on her regular and astute monitoring. This information is shared openly with staff and governors and used effectively to highlight areas for improvement in the development plan. The governing body are strong supporters of the school and feel confident to question and challenge the leadership. All legal requirements are met and financial management is good.