Glowing Ofsted result for ‘turn-around’ Taunton nursery

Popsy (3), Natasha (4), Olivia (3), Sklya (2) and Riley (2) playing in a den they made at nursery

Popsy (3), Natasha (4), Olivia (3), Sklya (2) and Riley (2) playing in a den they made at nursery

A Taunton nursery has been given a ‘Good’ rating by Ofsted just six months after “inspirational” staff began work to turn it around.

Somerset County Council’s Circles Nursery, based in the Halcon area, has been commended by Ofsted following its March inspection.

The result is a fantastic turn-around for Circles Nursery, which received an ‘inadequate’ result from Ofsted in September 2014. Circles is also set to benefit from £10,000 of extra funding from the Department for Education to make even more improvements.

The highlights identified by inspectors included an ‘inspirational’ manager, knowledge of safeguarding and work to promote early maths and communications skills.

Lorraine Davey, Service Manager Early Years Commissioning, said: “The nursery deserves a huge amount of praise for achieving this ‘Good’ result from Ofsted. Staff have worked incredibly hard and really pulled together to turn weaknesses into strengths over the last sixth months, and the families of Halcon are benefiting because of it.

“Significant strides have been made, and we are now looking forward to the next phase for Circles Nursery.”

Other positives identified by inspectors included:

• Staff developing an accurate action plan to improve achievement for all children, providing targeted support for children to help them thrive
• The nursery’s success in preparing children for primary school, with children making a smooth transition, thanks to staff working closely with professionals, parents and the feeder school
• Children being happy and settled, forming strong attachments with staff
• Interacting positively with parents to assess their children’s progress, identifying gaps in learning and using routines, such as snack time, to support their learning
• Staff planning an exciting range of experiences which help children make good progress

The Department for Education has awarded £10,000 to Somerset County Council to fund activities aimed at further improving outcomes for young children at Circles Nursery. The nursery is teaming up with ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted-rated private nursery, Stepping Stones, to produce this programme.

Ofsted has advised Circles Nursery to focus on making more using of visual reminders and props during group activities, and broaden the range of activities and play experiences it offers.