Whether you have to return to work or simply want your youngsters to integrate with other children of their own age in a bid to learn social and communication skills, finding the right pre-school is essential. Knowing that your little ones are in safe hands is of paramount importance which is why many parents and carers try to get their head around various Ofsted reports. The process can be a little overwhelming – especially considering the number of pre-schools in Folkestone – so let’s try to make sense of it all.
What is Ofsted?
Ofsted stands for the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. It is an authoritative and trustworthy government department that inspects and regulates educational institutions. Ofsted inspectors review all English state schools at least once every three years before publishing a public report that sheds light on everything from achievements and standards to pupils’ development and wellbeing. The quality of teaching and learning is carefully assessed alongside how well the curriculum is covered and taught.
Ofsted also inspects all ‘early years’ providers to show parents how well the providers are performing and to help caregivers to make informed childcare decisions.
What do inspectors look for?
During an Ofsted inspection, inspectors will look and grade multiple areas of the school and schooling based on an easy-to-interpret four-point scale. The areas they look at include:
- Effectiveness of leadership and management
- Overall effectiveness
- Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
- Personal development, behaviour and welfare
- Outcomes for children
What do the grades mean?
Each of the above points is carefully examined and given one of the following grades:
- Grade 1: outstanding
- Grade 2: good
- Grade 3: requires improvement
- Grade 4: inadequate
Example: overall effectiveness
Knowing these grades is a great place to start, but what exactly do they mean? To help you understand the difference between outstanding and inadequate, here’s a quick breakdown for the ‘overall effectiveness’ category as detailed in the ‘inspection handbook.’
Grade 1 – outstanding
This grade shows that the quality of teaching and all teaching methods used are outstanding and that there are absolutely no breaches of statutory requirements. The safeguarding of children is superb.
Grade 2 – Good
The quality of teaching is at least good and covers most key areas of the curriculum very well. Safeguarding is good and effective.
Grade 3 – Requires improvement
This shows that one or more areas of the school are not up to scratch and need to be improved. Safeguarding tends to be adequate and, where it falls down, it does not have a direct impact on the child’s safety, learning or wellbeing.
Grade 4 – Inadequate
The lowest grade of them all, inadequate is given to schools that do not have effective schooling or safeguarding measures in place. If a nursery has been given a grade 3 at two previous consecutive inspections and is still not ‘good’, at its third inspection it will be considered inadequate.
Taking into account Ofsted preschool ratings is highly important. Ofsted puts great effort into ensuring all English preschool establishments are carefully checked and monitored. At Rainbow Pre-School Folkestone, we’re delighted that our most recent Ofsted inspection rated us as “good with outstanding qualities”.
To find out more about Rainbow Pre-School Folkestone, simply contact us today on 07979 323260.