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Upcoming Ofsted/QI


missdoofus
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Hello again! Long Post on the approach! Sorry in advance.

We have been on quite a journey over the last few months in regards to the changes we have made and what has been happening on the business side of things (getting more children). We have been through more horrific staff changes, long term illness of a key member of staff etc. But we seem to have come out the other side of it. We now have a full staff team, everyone is generally happy, children are progressing, paperwork is sorted and flowing well, parents are happy, we have more children. Everything should be rosy.

We are now waiting for Ofsted to return and make their judgement and we have to get off this requires improvement.

HOWEVER we were invited to an Ofsted Seminar at the weekend and it's brought a load of concerns with it for me in regards to the success of our work so far and how we are going to keep moving forward with the people we have. There is a high likelihood this is mainly in my head but I am not sure.

I have a Deputy who is Room Leader in Preschool and a Room Leader for the Babies and Toddlers - and they don't get on. I have made my message clear and am working on getting them to work together. In the long run I am happy to make changes but right now I don't want either of them to go.

They are very set in their ways, they will listen to instructions and follow them BUT they don't seem to have a grasp on the subtle changes to the Early Years and what Ofsted want to see as well. So I can say: "You must put out open ended resources by the water and sand tray". They will do but not come up with these things on their own at all. I want them to be independent and be able to critically reflect and they are both struggling with that.

The Room Leader in Pre-school believes very firmly in play but there is purposeful play and then running around. The children are all making good progress, their maths and literacy skills are great as well, development in prime areas is solid for all children BUT I feel there is a little something lacking.

For example they are planning to talk about Growing Things and have one focus activity per day. Then it's play - I feel like it is a half-hearted attempt at teaching children something. OR is it just me being negative because I would do it differently? [i also believe in play but I believe in having lots of small activities.]

The Room Leader in Babies and Toddlers used to be an outstanding childminder and her standard answer is "well that's what I used to do and I got outstanding". Since she has last been inspected though the early years have changed and she doesn't seem to clock on. Again I will give isntructions and she will do BUT again she cant listen to others. If the Advisory Teacher says something to her she says that its all a load of rubbish. BUT what we spoke about at the Ofsted Seminar is exactly the same info as the advisory teacher give us and she will just in her face disagree with her.

Well rambling over... How do you get over these situations? We want to move on and not get stuck in a rut. I will hold a leadership meeting to get my aims across BUT how do I really get them to "get it"?

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This sounds exactley like a member of my staff. I have found that actually showing them pictures of what I mean or finding video clips on line really helps. They see it and say Oh I see. When I visit other settings I also take pictures so they can see it. I use the iters and ecers also.

 

I'm due to attend an Ofsted seminar later this week. Is it the one aimed at satisfactory setting?

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I Inform my area leaders they are apart of the management structure and even if they don't agree with things they should bring it to me but as far as the staff team know it's a united front supporting all staff under the leadership team, I had one area leader who was doing what one of yours was and I used capability procedures to drive it home.

You need to explain clearly to them your concerns including if they need to work on listening skills, as if it's not clear you can not expect them to just get it through round a bout discussions.

Get each room leader to do wow moments on each other's rooms to build a positive attitude of others, ie went in children engaged in lovely activity environment was very positive etc etc.

A problem is people do get stuck in their ways and think they don't have to develop unfortunately Ofsted are always changing the goal posts so we always have to move forward, can they have a job monthly sifting through Ofsted reports of other settings highlighting positive notes, I do this through watchsted and I love it, I get so much from reading others as you can get a feel of what they are looking at.

Also try having an aspirations meeting, where on a one to one or leadership meeting put it into their hands so they talk about their vision and aspirations for the room, staff and children you keep the conversation going without putting any opinions in but reaffirming your listening by repeating parts and asking what it looks like to enable you to see their visions. If they don't have this ability then visits to other outstanding settings is a good tool.

Hope something might help, it's hard work managing adults more than children lol x

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Perhaps you could organise some visits to other settings? discuss what you like and dont like evaluate it and see if they can make some changes based on it?

I have asked our advisory teacher if she can put us in contact with settings that are still considered good/outstanding but in my LA there isn't too many. I will try and research some recently inspected ones myself and see if I can link up. Whether they will get any benefit from that, I am not so sure, but I always think it's worth the try.

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This sounds exactley like a member of my staff. I have found that actually showing them pictures of what I mean or finding video clips on line really helps. They see it and say Oh I see. When I visit other settings I also take pictures so they can see it. I use the iters and ecers also.

 

I'm due to attend an Ofsted seminar later this week. Is it the one aimed at satisfactory setting?

Yes, that's what we have done, but then the only thing they can seem to focus on is resources. Where is the creative thinking? We have a lot of the things we are looking at but they seem to get stuck on the one thing we HAVENT got.

I mean the room leader in babies is constantly moaning about wanting a new sand/water table cause the one they have is rubbish. I know it's rubbish BUT we have one and a new one right not is going to be around £160 and with that money we could be buying other things.

Yes, the seminar I went to is the one for RI settings. It was informative but also a very short time, so we didn't cover all of the things either. Whereabouts are you based?

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I Inform my area leaders they are apart of the management structure and even if they don't agree with things they should bring it to me but as far as the staff team know it's a united front supporting all staff under the leadership team, I had one area leader who was doing what one of yours was and I used capability procedures to drive it home.

You need to explain clearly to them your concerns including if they need to work on listening skills, as if it's not clear you can not expect them to just get it through round a bout discussions.

Get each room leader to do wow moments on each other's rooms to build a positive attitude of others, ie went in children engaged in lovely activity environment was very positive etc etc.

A problem is people do get stuck in their ways and think they don't have to develop unfortunately Ofsted are always changing the goal posts so we always have to move forward, can they have a job monthly sifting through Ofsted reports of other settings highlighting positive notes, I do this through watchsted and I love it, I get so much from reading others as you can get a feel of what they are looking at.

Also try having an aspirations meeting, where on a one to one or leadership meeting put it into their hands so they talk about their vision and aspirations for the room, staff and children you keep the conversation going without putting any opinions in but reaffirming your listening by repeating parts and asking what it looks like to enable you to see their visions. If they don't have this ability then visits to other outstanding settings is a good tool.

Hope something might help, it's hard work managing adults more than children lol x

That's exactly it. We are a small setting but there is now some sort of competition breaking out, and it's all coming from the room leaders not the practitioners.

I will organise a leadership meeting together with the owner where we go through the bits from the ofsted presentation and the work book. I want a supportive environment not one where people can't see past each others differences.

I have bought each room a diary and will diarise when their action plans will be due to be shown to me so they finally accept responsibility that their job is not just playing with children and monitoring what we are already doing but also be part of the self-evaluation process and forward planning.

Will definitely ask for their visions as well along the lines. Was going to do that tomorrow but someone is sick now and I will be spending the day with babies as far as I can see... As usual things do not go as planned.

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A problem is people do get stuck in their ways and think they don't have to develop unfortunately Ofsted are always changing the goal posts so we always have to move forward, can they have a job monthly sifting through Ofsted reports of other settings highlighting positive notes, I do this through watchsted and I love it, I get so much from reading others as you can get a feel of what they are looking at. x

I like to do this too, but have you noticed just how small the reports are these days, there's not much that you can glean from them anymore.

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Just gonna make a point here and say running around is learning, lots of PSED skills, creative , language and pd.

 

You need to observe the runners to know what it is they are doing,

 

My children need to run for the first 20 mins or so then they mostly settle.

 

Haven't read the whole post but just felt that this is important as children need to run some more than others and some for longer than others

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I have asked our advisory teacher if she can put us in contact with settings that are still considered good/outstanding but in my LA there isn't too many. I will try and research some recently inspected ones myself and see if I can link up. Whether they will get any benefit from that, I am not so sure, but I always think it's worth the try.

Are you n/s/e/or w london?

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Yup running around is learning. Friday it happened that 2 of our 4 1/2 year olds that are starting school in a few months spent around 2 1/2 hours in the garden riding bikes without any invitation to join any other activity or add maths or literacy to the mix. I am all for play - and the boys practiced turn-taking and deciding who is first in the race. For more than 2 hours? Well..

 

Are you n/s/e/or w london?

We are north east london

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I have just noticed that there are 2 outstanding settings in our entire LA only. And the advisory teacher doesn't reckon them to be truly oustanding and "inspirational" and doesnt suggest i take my girls there as what happens on a daily basis is not really that amazing.

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Yes, the seminar I went to is the one for RI settings. It was informative but also a very short time, so we didn't cover all of the things either. Whereabouts are you based?

 

I'm in Birmingham. I have been asked to take action plans etc so I need to get them up to date this week.

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Yup running around is learning. Friday it happened that 2 of our 4 1/2 year olds that are starting school in a few months spent around 2 1/2 hours in the garden riding bikes without any invitation to join any other activity or add maths or literacy to the mix. I am all for play - and the boys practiced turn-taking and deciding who is first in the race. For more than 2 hours?

 

Sorry dont know what happened there in my attempt to quote?!?!

 

Just wanted to say that yes, thats exactly what four year old boys WANT to do! AND they are getting soooo much from it! However we do all feel the pressure to churn out Amazing Wow moments each session!! Especially with school looming.... : /. We also find trying to interest and engage our transition kiddies in adult led activities very difficult. Hey, they are 4, they know all they need to know!! : )

We try to provide great CP. lots of opps to use their own chosen props and resources, lots of deconstruction-construction and fill the gaps with small communication groups, circle time, story and movement!! If you look at their whole session - they've had a pretty full day - and no pressure - for them or us! Well thats our theory..... and sadly it will all change for them in September.....

Edited by Rafa
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I'm in Birmingham. I have been asked to take action plans etc so I need to get them up to date this week.

They did actually give us plenty of resources to show us how to get everyone involved in action planning. it was still very clear though you are talking to a HMI and they were asking questions. It's funny how they sounds like they are trying to make conversational chat and it still sounds like an interrogation :)

The session was full on with activities they provided, but there was a chance to ask the HMIs questions.

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They did actually give us plenty of resources to show us how to get everyone involved in action planning. it was still very clear though you are talking to a HMI and they were asking questions. It's funny how they sounds like they are trying to make conversational chat and it still sounds like an interrogation :)

The session was full on with activities they provided, but there was a chance to ask the HMIs questions.

Its sounds useful. I'll let you know how I get on. I just hope Ofsted don't knock before then.

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By when are you due?

 

I had meeting with my deputy and set out how its going to work. She doesn't really see the point in all of this but i told her its part of her job - i dont really like it either, but we've got to do it.

 

My other room leader is off with Glandular Fever..

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By when are you due?

 

I had meeting with my deputy and set out how its going to work. She doesn't really see the point in all of this but i told her its part of her job - i dont really like it either, but we've got to do it.

 

My other room leader is off with Glandular Fever..

We were told that they were doing all satisfactory setting by September under the new schedule. although we actually shouldn't be due until 2016.

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