Spotlight on…Kim Coombs


Nursery manager, Woodhams Farm Day Nursery in Winchester

Kim Coombs
Kim Coombs

HOW DID YOU FEEL ON JOINING WOODHAMS FARM IN 2007?

I was excited to be part of a brand new nursery, in a beautiful rural location. From that day I worked my way up to room-based deputy manager, then I was offered the role of nursery manager in 2014. I was a little apprehensive about leaving the baby room but knew deep down it was the right time for me to challenge myself. The nursery director and I shared the same vision and she recognised I was ready to take the next step.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES OF YOUR NEW ROLE?

Working in a busy nursery, the challenges I face as a manager are time and juggling. I need to try to prioritise what needs to be done first, but, with an open-door policy, no day is ever the same. I enjoy the spontaneity, but couldn’t be without my ‘to do’ lists to keep me on track!

HOW DID IT FEEL TO GUIDE THE SETTING TO ITS THIRD OUTSTANDING RATING FROM OFSTED?

I am unbelievably proud. I work with such a fabulous team of staff, who work so hard, listen, take on board and adapt where needed. The feedback from Ofsted was fantastic and really moving to hear. Receiving the Outstanding has given me and the team recognition for the work we do, and I want to maintain this standard in the future with positive role modelling and continuous learning and reflecting on our practice to keep the passion going for all the little people we look after.

HOW DID YOU FIND ADAPTING TO THE NEW EDUCATION INSPECTION FRAMEWORK?

I have embraced the changes and really like what it has brought. It has made us as a setting look at what we are already doing and adapt our way of thinking slightly, without massively changing our practice. I love the fact there is less emphasis on paperwork for my staff and more about engagement. We are a setting that is passionate about the importance of learning through play and an environment that’s rich in language. I believe the inspection framework supports this.

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