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Ofsted have been!


MegaMum
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Just had our inspection (finally) following an unsubstantiated complaint and the inspector came up with an action of creating the natural world in our outdoor space which is totally wall to wall concrete with an iron fence! We were inspected 11 months ago and nothing was said on that inspection - so why now?

We can't leave anything outside as it is destroyed by the local thugs I am left pondering how we are going to do this? I have a wall of photographs showing the children outside doing various things such as collecting conkers, exploring/jumping in muddy puddles. collecting leaves etc. as we have access to a large field where we go for walks sometimes, but she obviously wasn't happy with that.

Storage is a big problem as we only have a small shed and it is crammed with sweeping brushes, bikes, football, tyres, planks, nets etc. etc.

In the past we have grown plants, grass in tyres, made a campsite area and it has all disappeared.

Any ideas?

Thanks

 

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Hiya,

I don't normally reply on here however we have recently had our Ofsted & had the exact same recommendation!

They mentioned about having a mud kitchen to us!

We find it difficult as we are based on a church premises & as others use the building and the outdoor area belongs to the church we have to be careful how and what we have out there as unless they approve it would be a no.

We are the same for storage too therefore find it even harder.

We try to cover the areas with activities out there however as you say, they want to see more of the natural environment bought into their learning experiences so any ideas would benefit us too please!

 

:rolleyes: ^_^ ;)

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[...] an action of creating the natural world in our outdoor space which is totally wall to wall concrete with an iron fence! [...]

[...] the children outside doing various things such as collecting conkers, exploring/jumping in muddy puddles. collecting leaves etc. as we have access to a large field where we go for walks sometimes, but she obviously wasn't happy with that.

[...] we only have a small shed and it is crammed with sweeping brushes, bikes, football, tyres, planks, nets etc. etc.

I don't understand. Your children get a wide variety of learning experiences from your natural environment and you have various resources to add to it. Certainly they don't think you should cover it all with concrete!? Is it so perhaps that they want you to inspire children to gain new interests and extend those that they have?

Edited by Wildflowers
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Given the statutory curriculum for UTW, "Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment", is that what the Inspector was reflecting on?

Cx

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Can you phone them and ask for reasons it wasn't an action 11 months ago? I'd also ask if the restrictions on you because of your setting are going to be held against you when it comes to future inspections. It annoys me heartily that things outside of our control can't be understood.

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Can you phone them and ask for reasons it wasn't an action 11 months ago? I'd also ask if the restrictions on you because of your setting are going to be held against you when it comes to future inspections. It annoys me heartily that things outside of our control can't be understood.

This is something our advisors have told us - Ofsted are no longer being lenient towards packaway settings

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Really?! :o

I'm betting none of us would really want leniency, just a bit of common sense, if we rent our premises and have restrictions on us, giving us action points isnt going to magic the restrictions away! I really hate the unfairness, how are we ever going to be outstanding?

Oh these things get my goat!! :angry:

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Really?! :o

I'm betting none of us would really want leniency, just a bit of common sense, if we rent our premises and have restrictions on us, giving us action points isnt going to magic the restrictions away! I really hate the unfairness, how are we ever going to be outstanding?

Oh these things get my goat!! :angry:

Personally I think that the long term goal is to get rid of us :( .

Let's face it - many of us in term time pack-aways are not really making much money for the (any!) government.

We don't really offer them value for money with regards to 'producing' full time working parents- thus not generating a tax revenue from them[parents] - and our wages are so low that many of our staff do not pay tax either......... so failing in that department too!

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In reply to your question Woodlands.... we have been inspected now twice in the past year. The inspectors are from Prospects and seem quite friendly and down to earth. However, they DO NOT sing off the same song sheet, which really cheeses me off. It seems it all comes down to what an individual inspector is hot on, eg the outdoors, or LJ's, adult led activities etc etc, hence why the last one didn't even say anything about the outdoor area. (nothing has changed) Our outdoors is full of things for the children to access all areas of learning. In fact, the inspector from the previous inspection said our planning and tracking of children was bells and whistles. This one said there wasn't enough adult let activities. Same planning format, yet again....nothing has changed only that I have added additional formats for tracking children's progress!

In terms of the joint observation, it wasn't fun for the person being observed by two people and certainly made her feel uncomfortable. Fortunately for me, my leadership skills were said to be good as my comments matched hers. (Interestingly, she focused entirely on the area of room for improvement, where I started off with all the positives.) Unfortunately, the feed back to the practitioner has knocked her confidence and she now wants to leave. Thanks OFSTED!

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I'm sorry but really what was the point in any of that then? All it seems to have done is given you all a load of grief and hassle- to say nothing of making a staff member feel totally useless. I think I would be inclined to write to Ofsted asking why you have 2 such varied comments/actions when everything is the same as last inspection just 11 months ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...

MegaMum

Please do not get too disheartened by this experience. You have all of us here to support you and get you through this difficult time.

Look at the actions Ofsted have asked for, compile your action plan which may include reasons why you cannot implement parts of it. Use you LA to help you put it together and if you have contact with other groups in your area look at what they do and how they achieve.

I think all of us in our dreams would have a lovely detached, one story building with different rooms all have accessing to a landscaped outside complete with a fairy garden. But remember this is a dream we will only go so far in achieving.

As for your member of staff, remind her that Ofsted are not in everyday, you are! and you are the inspiration she has to look too. She does not have to leave because of this incident. It is a sad fact of life that in most jobs now there is a stress level on having to prove yourself, so she is probably better staying with you.

I am sorry about your experience.

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It is a sad fact of life that in most jobs now there is a stress level on having to prove yourself, so she is probably better staying with you.

Observation by other staff though is a part of professional development isn't it...I know in schools the EYFS staff I work with get observed quite regularly by senior leaders or peers.

Cx

Edited by catma
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