The school was inspected in March and the report confirmed the Nursery received the top rating of ‘Outstanding’ in every one of the key areas: overall effectiveness, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare and effectiveness of leadership and management.
Since opening their doors in 2011, our Nursery and Pre-School have led the way in lighting up the young minds of children aged 0-4 years. Classes are led by qualified Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) teachers and children in both the Nursery and Pre-School have their own specially-designed facilities and enhanced spaces for play, exploration and learning.
Mr Keith Morrow, Headmaster of The Elms, said: “One of the report’s key comments was that all of our EYFS children make excellent progress from their starting points and are very well prepared for the transition to the next stage in their education.
“This doesn’t happen by accident, it is a result of the commitment of all our EYFS staff to ensuring that our Nursery and Pre-School are happy, caring environments, where children learn through play and exploration, being active and creative and the early nurturing of critical thinking, both indoors and outside.
“Toddlers’ brains form connections at double the rate of adults so this is a critical time for the development of key skills such as speech and language. But there has to be the right balance between structured adult-led sessions and ‘free play’. We are very proud to have achieved this balance.”
The statutory EYFS play-based curriculum is centred on seven learning and development focus areas, with communication and language, physical development, and personal, social and emotional development the three key ones.
To nurture the sense of familiarity that makes our school special, children see the same teachers, in addition to specialists in Dance and Drama, Music and Modern Foreign Languages, in the same rooms from Pre-School to Reception. All children take part in outdoor Forest School once a week, enjoying the woodland and open spaces in the safety of our school’s large campus.
As well as the clean sweep of ‘outstanding’ ratings in all areas of our nursery, The Elms was also fully compliant with all 400+ ISI required regulations, including education quality, pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and welfare, health and safety.
Mr Morrow added: “It’s so pleasing to receive a report that emphasises our very strong commitment to developing warm and caring relationships between staff and children, and how, through meticulous planning, staff have high expectations of what each child can achieve in relation to age and development stage. With parents, the foundations are laid for each child to achieve their personal best.
“We have grown and invested in The Elms as more parents recognise the quality of education we provide and demand for our places has continued to grow. I’m proud of my team and the quality of education and care that they offer and welcome parents and children to visit the school to experience The Elms for themselves.”