A NURSERY previously rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted three times in a row has been downgraded to ‘requires improvement’ after its latest inspection.

Hindpool Nursery School in Barrow was told it ‘requires improvement’ following an Ofsted inspection which took place on March 29 and 30.

The report, published online on June 21, states that the behaviour and attitudes and personal development are ‘good’ but the quality of education and leadership and management at the nursery ‘requires improvement’.

The school, which has 90 pupils on roll aged between two and four years old, was previously rated outstanding in 2011, 2014 and in October 2019.

The report states that children enjoy coming to nursery and children ‘develop confidence and independence’ and ‘show kindness and concern’ to each other.

“Children know that they can turn to adults in nursery if they need comfort or reassurance,” the Ofsted report reads.

“Leaders have made the curriculum for early reading a priority.

“Staff use their expertise well to provide activities that help children to recognise sounds in the environment and in familiar words, such as their names. This prepares children well for their future learning and phonics.

“Adults understand how children develop. They use this knowledge to provide activities that are appropriate to children's stages of development.

“These activities help children to develop important learning and characteristics, such as concentration, perseverance and curiosity.”

However, inspectors raise concerns over the Governors’ understanding of leaders’ work to improve the curriculum.

This prevents them from holding leaders to account for improvements at the nursery, the report states.

In areas to improve, inspectors say that leaders have not identified the most important knowledge that they want children to learn, or the order in which they need to learn it.

Leaders must ensure that they identify the most important learning for children, and the sequence in which it should be taught, so that adults can make sure that children can build up this knowledge securely, the report reads.

Inspectors state that some of the staff who lead areas of learning have had little training to help them carry out their roles.

This has limited the extent to which they can support and advise their colleagues in relation to their areas of learning, the report continues.

Inspectors urge leaders to ensure that staff who lead particular areas of learning have opportunities to develop their own knowledge further, so that they are well equipped to support staff in their delivery of the curriculum.

Liane Thompson, headteacher of Hindpool Nursery School, said she is pleased that a large proportion of the report recognises the school’s ‘good practice’.

She said: “We know that we are a safe and happy school, much loved by our children, parents, staff and community. Our children learn well and thrive with the help of a dedicated, skilled and well-experienced team of staff.

“We are pleased that a large proportion of the report recognises our good practice

“We’d been busy developing our curriculum ready for the new Early Years Foundation Stage before and through Covid.

“Progress has had to be balanced with keeping the nursery open for children and families through the pandemic and significant staff absences.

“As always, we choose to put our children and families first. As things are getting back to somewhere near normal, we’re back on track with curriculum work continuing as our improvement focus.”