A NURSERY was awarded its fifth consecutive outstanding Ofsted rating — with inspectors praising the “exceptional” start to school life given to children.
Arnold Nursery School and Children’s Centre has not failed to make the top grade since outstanding was introduced for schools 15 years ago.
Ofsted visited in March — just before the lockdown left staff and parents waiting longer than usual for the result.
Lead inspector Kate Rowley said: “The start to school life children get at Arnold Nursery School is exceptional.
“Leaders plan a curriculum that helps children to be the best they can be. Their expectations of what children can achieve are high.
“Parents and carers have very positive views about the school. Many say that staff give support to their whole families, not just their children.”
The school, which has 212 pupils on roll at Goldsmith Road, was praised for visits to places like the post office and library, giving children a good knowledge of the world. Youngsters also grow, cook and eat their own vegetables.
Mrs Rowley said: “Children cannot wait for the school doors to open. They are never sure what exciting experiences await them.
“The adults create special places to learn and play, such as a Gruffalo reading cave. They make stories come alive by dressing up and using animated voices for different characters.
“Children learn from this great example. They act out their own stories enthusiastically in classrooms and outdoors.”
The latest inspection was the school’s first under Ofsted’s new framework introduced in September last year.
Executive headteacher Peter Gerrard said: “The inspection was the most rigorous I have ever experienced, with inspectors in the classroom with teachers and frontline staff, scrutinising every step of how staff teach and how children learn, for 80 per cent of the time.
“The focus was very much child-centred and holistic, which for me made for a much more authentic and legitimate assessment of our performance ...no smoke and mirrors, just great teachers, doing an outstanding job and children loving every minute of their time at school. I’m so utterly proud of them all.”
The school is part of Rawmarsh and Arnold Nursery Schools Federation and has remained open throughout the coronavirus crisis to support key workers and vulnerable children and families.
Chairman of governors Cllr Bob Bird expressed his thanks to staff for their hard work, passion and dedication.