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«Inspection date 13/03/2013 Previous inspection date Not Applicable This inspection: 1 The quality and standards of the early years provision Previous ...»

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Merry Go Round @ Green Croft

Green Croft Children's Centre, Green Croft, HEREFORD, HR2 7NT

Inspection date 13/03/2013

Previous inspection date Not Applicable

This inspection: 1

The quality and standards of the

early years provision Previous inspection: Not Applicable

How well the early years provision meets the needs of the range of children who 1


The contribution of the early years provision to the well-being of children 1 The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the early years provision 1 The quality and standards of the early years provision This provision is outstanding  The provider and staff skilfully combine the ethos of Reggio Emilia with the learning and development requirements to provide all children with exceptional learning experiences. They confidently assess children's interests, abilities and next steps, and expertly match these to rewarding activities and resources which help children to make excellent progress.

 Babies and children thrive and thoroughly enjoy being at nursery. They are inspired to learn and to do well by the highly skilled and motivated provider and staff. A stimulating environment where children's ideas and interests are given priority encourages each child to be confident, imaginative and resourceful.

 Very positive and effective relationships with parents, the school, children's centre and other agencies ensure children's needs are clearly understood and exceptionally well met. Vulnerable children are fully and consistently safeguarded, and every child and his or her family is well prepared for the next stage in their learning, including starting school.

Inspection report: Merry Go Round @ Green Croft, 13/03/2013 2 of 10 Information about this inspection

Inspections of registered early years provision are:

 scheduled at least once in every inspection cycle – the current cycle ends on 31 July  scheduled more frequently where Ofsted identifies a need to do so, for example where provision was previously judged inadequate  brought forward in the inspection cycle where Ofsted has received information that suggests the provision may not be meeting the legal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage or where assessment of the provision identifies a need for early inspection  prioritised where we have received information that the provision is not meeting the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and which suggests children may not be safe  scheduled at the completion of an investigation into failure to comply with the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Inspection activities The inspector observed activities in the five indoor play areas and the outside  learning environment.

The inspector held meetings with the provider and talked to room supervisors, key  persons and children.

 The inspector looked at children's assessment records and planning documentation.

The inspector checked evidence of suitability and qualifications of staff working with  children.

The inspector read and discussed the provider's self-evaluation form and  improvement plan.

The inspector took account of the views of parents and carers spoken to on the day  and spoke to senior staff from the children's centre.

–  –  –

Full Report Information about the setting Merry Go Round @ Green Croft re-registered as a privately owned nursery in 2012 on the Early Years Register. It is one of two nurseries owned by the provider and is located in a mobile classroom and a designated area of the Green Croft Children's Centre in the South Wye area of Hereford. The nursery serves the local area and is accessible to all children. It has strong links with the adjacent school and the children's centre. There are fully enclosed areas available for outdoor play.

The nursery employs 17 members of childcare staff, including the provider and deputy manager, who work at both nurseries. All staff hold appropriate early years qualifications to at least level 2 or 3, including the provider and a colleague who have Early Years Professional Status and the deputy manager, who has an early years foundation degree.

Two members of staff are working towards level 3 qualifications. The nursery also employs an administrator.

The nursery opens Monday to Friday for 50 weeks of the year. It is closed for Bank Holidays, a week at Christmas and at Easter and for two staff training days. Sessions are from 8am until 5pm. Children attend for a variety of sessions. There are currently 131 children on roll who are in the early years age group. The nursery provides funded early education for two-, three- and four-year-olds. It supports children who speak English as an additional language and children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. The nursery is a member of the Pre-school Learning Alliance.

What the setting needs to do to improve further

To further improve the quality of the early years provision the provider should:

 enrich two- and three-year-old children's learning by further developing the layout and organisation of their outdoor learning area.

Inspection judgements How well the early years provision meets the needs of the range of children who attend Babies and children have a wonderful time at the nursery. They are eager to learn and are enthusiastic and focused during rewarding discussions and exciting activities and experiences. Staff positively interact with every baby and child, and carefully and consistently observe how they are playing and learning. In addition, their very effective information sharing with parents and other providers and professionals working with some children ensures they have an in-depth knowledge of each child's characteristics, skills and interests. Rigorous assessment ensures each child's starting points, development and next Inspection report: Merry Go Round @ Green Croft, 13/03/2013 4 of 10 steps are precisely identified and clearly understood by staff. They accurately plan rich, varied activities and resources which help children to move forward in their learning in all areas and, overall, to make excellent progress in relation to their starting points.

Provision for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities or those who speak English as an additional language is exemplary. Key persons work closely with families and other professionals, such as family support workers, the children's centre teacher and speech and language therapists, to ensure children's additional needs are precisely assessed and activities, resources and teaching are adapted to cater for these. This includes the nursery's very effective educational programme for two-year-olds, including those in funded places, and the use of specific strategies to address children's communication difficulties.

Babies and children are very well prepared for the next stage in their learning. From an early age, staff encourage and motivate them to enjoy learning. The strong emphasis on promoting their ideas and interests gives children the confidence to be creative, inquisitive and resourceful. For example, three- and four-year-olds have responded enthusiastically to the latest project focusing on their interest in dinosaurs. They have collected and imaginatively used a range of natural, construction and craft materials to make places for dinosaurs to live, such as an 'island' and various 'caves'. A large piece of physical and role play equipment has been draped in camouflage netting and converted into the home for a large model Tyrannosaurus Rex donated by a child's family. During discussions, the staff inform and enthuse the children, who knowledgeably describe the habits, diet and characteristics of a range of plant and meat eating dinosaurs. Children are captivated by the large dinosaur egg they find in a big nest and which they regularly check to see if anything changes. On the day of the inspection, the discovery of a long open crack in the egg prompts much speculation about where the baby dinosaur might be, including the possibility he or she could be 'at the shops'. Children and staff then embark on a concerted search in the garden for food for the baby. All children are busy and animated as they cut grass, dig soil, find leaves and talk about the reasons for their choices.

Babies and children are very effectively supported to develop their speaking and listening.

For instance, babies and young toddlers are captivated by a well-told popular story. All staff sit with them to help them to concentrate and then to join in. The room supervisor uses props to bring the story alive, which the children then enjoy using while the staff help them to recall and act out aspects of the story. Throughout the nursery there is a consistent buzz of conversation as staff and children socialise and talk about what they are making or have been doing. During group discussions, such as 'chatterbox' sessions or individual conversations, staff expertly encourage children to use new words and language to recall or describe or for thinking. They carefully monitor children's listening skills, speech and language and levels of understanding. Their precise assessments and very good links with other professionals ensure children who have speech and language delay, or who speak English as an additional language, have very good support and make significant improvements. Staff from the nursery and adjacent primary school have also successfully implemented effective teaching of phonics so that by the time children move on to school, they eagerly and skilfully recognise and use a range of letters and sounds.

Babies and children are physically confident and competent. They all relish being active Inspection report: Merry Go Round @ Green Croft, 13/03/2013 5 of 10 and being outside. Babies have their own garden area where they build up confidence in moving and balancing, as well as taking part in creative, sensory and discovery play. They also use the more challenging equipment in the nursery's other outside areas. Here all children become increasingly confident and coordinated as they use structures and obstacle courses they make from equipment, such as crates, tyres, planks and various construction toys. Two- and three-year-olds have recently moved to their own classroom.

The provider and staff are developing their outdoor learning area because it is not yet as stimulating as the other spaces. However, two- and three-year-olds relish being active and confidently use wheeled toys and climbing and balancing equipment here and in the nursery's other outside areas.

The contribution of the early years provision to the well-being of children

Babies and children feel valued and have a real sense of belonging. They are delighted that their ideas and interests are welcomed by staff who are as eager as they are to join in and have fun. As a result, there is a real buzz of energy and purpose throughout the nursery. Staff are also sensitive and skilled at helping each child to form secure emotional attachments, and they prioritise forming trusting relationships with every child's parents and carers. For example, key persons work closely with parents and other colleagues to organise tailored settling-in programmes for children who are new or who are moving to another part of the nursery. Children who are going to school are also very well prepared emotionally for this next step. They and their families have opportunities to meet teachers at the nursery, as well as visiting their new school. Often a child's key person will go on school visits, and additional visits are arranged if needed. Staff organise activities and displays focusing on different aspects of school life and routines to help children to become familiar with their new situations and surroundings. Parents are encouraged to follow up activities at home, including reading the books their children borrow from nursery.

Children become increasingly confident and independent in managing their personal care and coping in different social situations. Key persons and parents successfully work together to help children to become independent and confident about managing their personal hygiene and toileting. Staff plan regular opportunities for babies and children to interact and socialise with their peers, for example, at snack and meal times and during circle time discussions. Children are welcoming and kind. They greet each other as they sing their welcome song at the start of a session and like to help staff, for instance, by putting away books and toys. Staff ensure children know what is happening next and what is expected of them, so that they are reassured and behave well. Key aspects of positive behaviour are consistently and effectively reinforced so that children wait their turn, share, sit still and listen to each other.

Children also develop a sound understanding of how to look after their own and others' good health and to keep themselves safe. For example, they often talk about the importance of eating good food and drinking plenty of water. They grow fruit and vegetables in the nursery allotment and make healthy choices about what to eat and drink during snack and meal times. Children are energetic and physically competent and also show they know how to safely use equipment and tools. Therefore, when pretending to be Inspection report: Merry Go Round @ Green Croft, 13/03/2013 6 of 10 dinosaurs jumping off a mound in the garden, the member of staff and each child carefully look around and check if it is safe before they jump. During their very rewarding and wellmanaged construction play and woodwork activities, children check for hazards and wear protective gear.

The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the early yearsprovision

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