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So pleased!

green hippo

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Hi there,

I've been dying to tell everyone for 2 weeks that we got Outstanding in our recent OFSTED. Both the school and EARLY YEARS.

While we were being 'done', I jotted down the things we were asked or needed to show. Thought it might help you all?!

1. Where are they on-entry generally speaking? - e.g. mostly average, full ability range, mostly below average etc. And then they want to see the data to back this up. Tables with colours seem to go down well!

2. What are your weakest areas? What are your strengths? (again with data) and what are you doing to improve the weak areas?

3. How do you set targets for children - when and what do you do with the next steps?

4. How do you get parents involved - how? when?

5. Do you have any parent helpers? (They were happy with our answer that we have them as trainee TAs)

6. If there is an area that is not 'closing the gap' as quickly as others they will ask for an explanation and what you are doing about it.

7. Have you been moderated - both reception and Nursery (for Nursery they want you to get together with other schools for moderation if there isn't any official moderation in your LA)

8. I'm a boy in Reception, tell me about my day?

9. I'm a summer born boy who wants to be outside all the time and not really getting phonics - what are you doing for me?

10, They asked for a walk round the classrooms, looking at provision, displays

11. Are next steps communicated to parents? When and how?

12. How does the provision of the outdoors work (just to put some of your minds at rest, our reception class can not have free-flow because of where the door is and staffing. The reception teacher explained how the best is made out of the outdoor provision and they were happy with this.

13. Transition between Nursery and Reception, how this differs for SEN

14. If and how N & R work together

15. Any interventions that you do.

16. The impact of training on standards

Generally speaking, I would say KNOW YOUR DATA: weak areas, areas of strength, % making more than average progress, % boys and girls differences in achievement - any significant differences, how you are dealing with anything that your data as thrown up.

They hardly looked at my planning!

As a final note: be prepared and not frightened to justify why you work in a certain way and be specific about why!

Hope this helps and doesn't put the fear into everyone. I know every team is different but it might point you all in the right direction!

Green Hippo xxx



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Many congratulations from all of us here at the FSF HQ! Really well done and how nice of you to share that information. If you would like your setting to be in our 'Ofsted outstanding box' on the front page, just let me know the name of your school. Why not tell the world? :D

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What do you use for your baseline assessment in nursery? Clearly you cannot assess against all the DM statements; so, do you assess all areas of learning or concentrate on the prime areas when children start at 3 years? We use Pupil Tracker and add data termly, but unfortunately not all members of staff give me the information to input on a regular basis. We do a basic baseline within 4 weeks of children starting, but this is my own 'baseline'. I would appreciate your advice.

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Hi DevonMaid,

We assess the children when they first come into Nursery (we only have 1 September intake) and decide which age band they are working within and decide whether they are emerging or securing in this age band. (We are starting to use 'working within' as a judgement as well as emerging and securing). We do it for all aspects. We have never used the statements as a ticklist but as a guidance as to what we are looking for. I always look to the ELG and consider where the children are in relation to this.

Currently, we assess on-entry, February and end-of-year but are consider doing December and March instead of just February to show the steps more closely.

Expected progress is from the level in one age and stage to the same level in the next age and stage with more than expected to be making 1 or 2 steps more.

I think as long as the data clearly represents who is below, expected and exceeding then they are happy. I thought our old LA system where we just used emerging and securing was too crude and they might not be happy with it. But we could still use it to demonstrate who was where.

Hope that helps,

Green Hippo x

Hope this helps.

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In view of the importance of on-entry data, I for one, am really concerned as I use my own 'baseline' assessment. I don't think that this will be adequate :( so would like to know what others do! I am going to start a separate thread if anyone can help with this or would like to offer their thoughts! ;)

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