Having opened in September 2017, and with a new Ofsted inspection framework coming into force in September 2019, Molescroft Farm Children’s Nursery in Yorkshire is preparing for its first inspection. To ensure the setting has the best chance of scoring as highly as possible, manager Stephanie Hiden-Pearce (pictured) attended a training day entitled Preparing for the New Early Years Inspection Framework, delivered by Hopscotch Consultancy.
Throughout May, the training company held the roundtable event in four cities. Ms Hiden-Pearce travelled to Manchester for the 10am start. Seated at an oval table, she listened as Hopscotch founder and CEO Laura Hoyland and her husband delivered a presentation on the new framework, broken up by discussion activities with the 13 other participants.
The course covered changes from the current framework, understanding the benchmarking inspectors use, how staff can implement changes in their everyday practice and documentation, and giving staff the confidence to manage an inspection.
‘Sometimes Ofsted’s wording can come across as quite vague, so it’s about how you actually put it into practice,’ says Ms Hiden-Pearce. She says activities, such as discussing how to include more areas of learning, were especially useful parts of the training. ‘Ofsted has a big push on communication and storytelling, literacy and immersions in the new framework,’ she says. ‘It’s nice for us to think about how you could make one activity outstanding.’
As a result, Ms Hiden-Pearce and her staff are already doing more peer-to-peer observation. They are also trying to cut down on paperwork by recording observations in real time using iPads. ‘This way staff spend quality time with the children,’ she says. ‘If you’re actually there you can put down what the children are saying and doing in the moment, rather than reflecting on it later on.’