Nursery ‘inadequate’ in all areas

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The safety of children at a nursery school is being put at risk, an education watchdog has warned.

An Ofsted inspector said she saw children climbing on furniture and a two-year-old hitting out at another child with a toy, when she visited Mill Dam Ducklings in Ackworth in November.

In the inspection report published last week, the nursery, at Mill Dam School, was rated ‘inadequate’ in all areas and told to implement improvements.

The report said: “Staff’s poor engagement of children in activities puts children’s safety at risk, leads to them hurting others and has a negative impact on their learning.”

The report said leadership and management were “weak”, safeguarding was “not effective” and the quality of teaching was “poor”.

Activities were not adapted to match children’s abilities, and the youngsters were not prepared for their move to school, it added.

It said: “The provider has not taken sufficient action to improve the quality of teaching, improve observations and assessments of children’s learning or support staff to effectively manage children’s behaviour.

“This has a significant impact on children’s well-being and their progress.”

Nursery staff were praised for helping children to develop their independence, including with hand-washing and serving themselves vegetables.

But the inspector said they bombarded children with questions and did not “effectively support” their language skills and personal, social and emotional development.

While staff did assess and observe children during activities, they did not identify appropriate next steps, the inspection report said.

Despite the weaknesses, the inspector said staff knew how to recognise and record child protection concerns and set out the playroom with a range of resources for children.

Parents also commented of a “friendly” and “welcoming” staff team.