Wick playgroup’s improvement praised by Ofsted

Playgroup deputy Jenny Tillman with Leela-Rose Slade, Theo Taylor-Butterworth and Lexi Chamber-Heartt
Playgroup deputy Jenny Tillman with Leela-Rose Slade, Theo Taylor-Butterworth and Lexi Chamber-Heartt

A WICK nursery school which five years ago was rated as ‘satisfactory’ by Ofsted has now been hailed ‘good’ in its latest inspection.

The Roundabout Play-group, based at Wick Hall, in Wick Street, was praised by the education watchdog for its marked improvement.

The latest report highlighted the staff’s key role in providing a safe, nurturing environment for the small band of children and toddlers at the site.

Lynda Vallance, who has been part of the playgroup, in various guises, since 1969 said she was thrilled the most recent Ofsted findings.

She said: “We were very, very pleased with it. The last time Ofsted visited there were renovation works taking place at the hall.

“It was all a bit of a nightmare really.

“It wasn’t easy. But we have changed quite a bit since then.”

Inspector Hannah Barter said that staff listen to children’s interests and provided a range of activities which helped to keep the youngsters engaged

In her report, she said: “Staff skilfully incorporate mathematics into children’s play and make learning enjoyable. This supports children’s future learning.”

She also praised the ‘secure relationships’ children built with staff.

“They are happy and demonstrate good levels of confidence during play. This means that they feel safe and secure.”

The inspector said that regular feedback to staff from the manager helped to develop their skills and commended the strong lines of communication staff had forged with parents.

As well as encouraging the children to play, staff also help the youngsters understand how to respect one another and how to live a healthy lifestyle.

However, in spite of the many positives highlighted by Ofsted, the inspector did offer areas of improvement.

In order for the playgroup to attain the highest grade – outstanding – it needed to provide more opportunities in its outdoor area for children to develop their early writing skills as well focusing on improving the children’s early literacy development more.

Lynda added she was confident she would be able to raise standards even more and said she would work towards implementing the advice from Ofsted.