Inspection date 11/11/2014
Previous inspection date Not applicable


The quality and standards of the early years provision This inspection: 1
Previous inspection: Not Applicable
How well the early years provision meets the needs of the range of children who attend 1
The contribution of the early years provision to the well-being of children 1
The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the early years provision 1

The quality and standards of the early years provision

 This provision is outstanding

  • The highly effective key-person system enables all children to settle quickly in a caring and enriching environment that consistently meets their needs. Staff are extremely respectful of children as they talk them and meet their care needs.
  • Key persons know their children exceptionally well. They use this knowledge effectively to plan stimulating activities, which prepare children exceedingly well for their next stages in learning. This is particularly evident in the outstanding progress children make in their communication and language. This includes, highly effective support for children learning English as an additional language.
  • The leadership and management of the nursery is exemplary. They contribute significantly to children’s sustained high levels of achievement through efficient tracking and monitoring of children’s progress.
  • Highly skilled staff receive excellent support, guidance and training from management. This means they continue their already first rate delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage requirements through a targeted and astute programme of professional development.
  • Partnership working at all levels is highly effective. This means that staff promptly identify children’s individual needs and secure relevant support where needed.

 Information about this inspection

Inspections of registered early years provision are:

  • scheduled at least once in every inspection cycle – the current cycle ends on 31 July 2016
  • scheduled more frequently where Ofsted identifies a need to do so, for example where provision was previously judged inadequate
  • brought forward in the inspection cycle where Ofsted has received information that suggests the provision may not be meeting the legal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage or where assessment of the provision identifies a need for early inspection
  • prioritised where we have received information that the provision is not meeting the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and which suggests children may not be safe
  • scheduled at the completion of an investigation into failure to comply with the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The provision is also registered on the voluntary and compulsory parts of the Childcare Register. This report includes a judgment about compliance with the requirements of that register.

Inspection activities

  • The inspector observed children, aged from birth to under three-years-old, playing inside and outdoors.
  • The inspector observed staff interactions with children and spoke with them about children’s progress.
  • The inspector completed two joint observations with the head teacher and the deputy head teacher.
  • The inspector spoke with children, parents, staff and the management team at convenient times during the inspection.
  • The inspector sampled a range of documentation including learning diaries, policies and procedures.

Rachael Williams

Full report

Information about the setting

St Paul’s Nursery School and Children’s Centre is run by the governing body of the school and led by the head teacher. It opened in 2008 in the St Paul’s area of Bristol close to local amenities. There is a baby room, with a sensory area, and sleeping facilities for children aged under two and a large room for two-year-olds. The setting also provides wrap around care for eight children who attend the school nursery. All children have access to a large play area; babies also have a separate smaller, enclosed space for outdoor play. The setting is registered on the Early Years Register and the compulsory and voluntary parts of the Childcare Register. It opens five days a week all year round from 8am to 6pm. It receives funding for free early education for two-year-old children with the nursery school providing the funding for three and four-year-old children. The setting supports children who are learning English as an additional language and children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. There are 16 members of staff working with the children; all of whom have early years qualifications at level 3 or above. This includes four Early Years Professionals; two of whom have Qualified Teacher Status, and four staff with early years degrees.

What the setting needs to do to improve further

 To further improve the quality of the early years provision the provider should:

  • extend children’s access to and use of technology toys and resources to develop their understanding of how it operates.

Inspection judgements

How well the early years provision meets the needs of the range of children who attend

Children make outstanding progress in their learning and development because staff plan an exceptional, inclusive educational programme across all areas of learning. They fully involve parents from the onset in their children’s learning. For example, parents and staff share valuable information during the home visit, settling in visits and the completion of introduction to me forms. This helps staff plan initial activities that engage and stimulate children as they settle at the nursery. Staff complete extensive observations of children’s engagement in activities. They use this information effectively to identify children’s next steps in learning in order to develop individual planning to support their development. Staff carefully monitor and evaluate this to make improvements and assess children’s progress accurately.

The quality of teaching is of a consistently high standard as staff, in particular the children’s key person, have exceptional understanding of the children and how they learn. They constantly reflect on their practice, building on children’s achievements so that planning, deployment of staff, organisation of the environments and accessibility of resources provides a highly stimulating range of challenging activities.

Children make outstanding progress in their communication and language because staff provide a language rich environment. This includes the excellent support and response provided by bilingual staff for children learning English as an additional language. There is a key focus on promoting children’s learning in their home language through challenging activities, as well as supporting them to learn English, in partnership with parents and other professionals involved with the child.

Children are actively involved in their learning. For example, children helped staff collect props when they spontaneously chose to share a traditional story. Staff blended children’s interests and learning objectives exceptionally well within the activities, such as to explore comparative size language. Children were incredibly responsive, answering the questions posed by staff, who linked their answers very well to children’s home experiences. Staff were very receptive to children’s language and respected their alternative words, such as describing the ‘big bear’ as a ‘daddy bear’. Children were very keen to contribute to the story, such as explaining how they had porridge with jam for their breakfast. Children confidently participated in the story, repeating familiar words and phrases and predicting what might happen. Staff sensitively intervened to help children solve problems independently. For example, they gave clear instruction to children when they could not find a place to sit and encouraged them to use their words to ask their friends to help in their quest. Children learned expectations as staff consistently reinforced these. For example, staff commented that everyone is standing up and asked children if they still wanted to read the story. Children responded ‘I’m sitting down nicely’ showing good awareness of the expectations when reading the story.

Staff used group times very well to encompass children’s learning. They were the right length of time to provide various learning opportunities so that children are actively involved and effectively supported. For example, staff used visual aids effectively to focus children, reminding them this is a time to think and listen. Staff used a lively voice, with appropriate pitch and tone to engage children. They anticipated children’s reactions effectively to move the learning on. Children clapped in time to a rhyme, as they looked for the hidden the tiger. Staff modelled the words and actions very well. This helped children gain confidence, meaning they participated enthusiastically as they begun to make connections. Children followed instructions well as they lifted material up and down in time to the rhyme and counted how many times the fox jumped before it fell off. Staff used lots of repetitive language and actions to consolidate children’s learning.

The baby room is well organised to encourage children to explore. For example, children loved choosing their own books to share with staff. They cuddled close as they looked in the mirror together. Staff helped children affirm their identity, pointing out facial features and encouraging children to point to their own, which they do so competently. Staff helped younger children share books; for example, demonstrating how they can both hold the book and consolidating this with appropriate language. Children move in time to the repetitive language in familiar books, such as swaying from side to side, like the window wipers on the bus. Children handle books carefully as they lift the flap and explore pop up books. Staff were excellent at providing children with a narrative so they link words to their actions, such as the sound and movement of the rain maker and reinforcing number names as they build with the blocks. Staff were excellent at acknowledging what children are doing. For example, when younger children become fascinated with shoes trying various ones on, staff commented ‘I can see your persevering to put that shoe on’, which consolidates children’s understanding of their actions.

Children used open-ended resources, such as guttering, exceptionally well to explore and experiment. There are fewer opportunities for older children to access technology to use in their play. Children confidently initiated their own play and staff interacted very well to develop their ideas. For example, staff questioned children well to consolidate their understanding, such as asking them to explain what they are doing and to show them how it works. Children explained well, demonstrating very good language skills and understanding of mathematical concepts to describe position, volume and amounts. Children go on to solve problems independently, such as rearranging the balls so they are not stuck behind the ‘fat’ ball. Children test their ideas well with effective support and encouragement from staff.

The contribution of the early years provision to the well-being of children

Inspirational and receptive staff place an exceptionally strong focus on the key-person system, which is highly effective at meeting children’s needs and planning future learning. Children thrive in the exceptionally close and nurturing relationships they have with their key person. Parents comment favourably about the key-person system, the excellent sharing of information during the home visit and the ethos of ‘mutual respect’. Staff are extremely respectful towards the children; in particular with young babies. For example, staff consistently inform the children of their intentions and ask permission to wipe their noses or to change their nappies.

There are excellent transition arrangements between rooms to support children’s emotional well-being exceptionally well. For example, the key person will visit with the child and help them choose a new key person with whom they feel secure. Staff are excellent at helping children understand how they feel and to express themselves. For example, staff put a name to how children were feeling, commenting on how they looked unhappy, and asking them to explain what is wrong so that they can support them effectively. Staff commented that they like the way children are prowling and showing their teeth, but that it is affecting other children. Staff helped children explain to their friends how they are feeling in words rather actions. This means that children gain the skills to express themselves and to develop positive relationships for their future learning and move to the nursery class.

Staff carefully consider the learning environment so that it is rich in challenges and encourages children’s consistent involvement in their learning. For example, there is an abundant range of high quality toys and resources readily available so that children can make independent choices about their play. The baby room is spacious and light and is exceptionally well organised to encourage the younger children’s exploration, such as the sensory area. Staff use displays exceptionally well in the baby room to help children settle so they develop a strong sense of belonging, such as photographs of family members. Staff provide excellent reassurance to new children when they ask when they are going home. This helps them to identify what will happen next so that they begin to understand the routines.

Staff are exemplary role models helping children learn hygienic and safe practices. Staff are very respectful as they change children’s nappies. Staff follow hygienic procedures, such as wearing disposable gloves and sterilising the changing mat after each use. Staff consistently talk to children. They explain what they are doing and engage them in songs and rhymes, acknowledging this is a valuable time to develop strong bonds on a one-to-one basis. When new children identify they are hungry, staff clearly explain the expectation for them to wash their hands before they go to the snack table. They wash their hands with the children to demonstrate effective hygienic practices to support children’s learning. Children benefit greatly from the healthy and nutritious snacks and homemade meals prepared at the nursery in a scrupulously clean kitchen. All staff have an excellent knowledge of children’s special dietary requirements, including those related to culture, to ensure their needs are routinely met. Children develop good independent skills. For example, younger children are encouraged to feed themselves and older children serve their lunch and pour their own drinks. As children finish their meals, staff engage younger children very well with songs and rhymes until all have finished, so they become familiar with routines. Staff consistently help children to understand about keeping themselves safe. For example, they explain the importance of walking inside when they do not have their shoes on, so that they do not slip on the wooden floor.

The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the early years provision

All staff have an excellent knowledge of the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. There are exceptional induction arrangements and monitoring of practices to ensure staff fully understand and consistently implement the nursery’s policies and procedures. This includes highly effective safeguarding practices, which secures children’s well-being and welfare. There is excellent partnership working with other agencies to safeguard children, with key staff attending regular reviews to enable consistent practice. All staff regularly attend child protection training and, therefore, have an excellent understanding of child protection issues and their responsibility to report any concerns. Children benefit greatly from staff vigilance to ensure their free movement within a safe and secure environment. Staff regularly complete risk assessments of the rooms and outdoor environment. The leadership and management team meticulously monitor these to ensure their effectiveness.

The inspirational leadership of the nursery ensures consistently high standards of practice within a highly motivated and extremely knowledgeable staff team. This significantly contributes to the sustained high levels of achievement for all children because they monitor children’s progress effectively. This means individual children or groups of children receive targeted support with precise intervention. All leadership, management and staff fully embed highly reflective self-evaluation arrangements. For example, the current target is to improve the outside environment so children can grow their own vegetables to develop children’s understanding of healthy eating. This shows how targets focus on children’s learning and development and demonstrates the nursery’s uncompromising drive for improvement and ongoing success.

There are exemplary arrangements in place to ensure the suitability of staff through effective recruitment and induction arrangements. Highly skilled staff receive excellent support, guidance and training. This builds on their already first rate delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage requirements through a targeted and astute programme for professional development. This includes regular supervisions, observations of their teaching, one-to-one mentoring support and sharing curriculum practice at staff meetings. The management team use this information exceptionally well to identify and monitor staff training needs.

Partnership working at all levels is highly effective. This enables staff to identify children’s individual needs promptly so they secure relevant guidance and support to maintain continuity in children’s care, learning and development. There is excellent communication with parents The key person keeps parents fully informed of their children’s achievements and daily routines. Parents are actively involved in children’s learning, providing important information to the key person, in various ways, on their children’s achievements at home to influence future planning of exciting activities. For example, staff include parents’ ideas in their planning, such as to develop den building. Staff actively involve parents in children’s learning at home, such as involving them in sharing books.

The Childcare Register

The requirements for the compulsory part of the Childcare Register are Met
The requirements for the voluntary part of the Childcare Register are Met

What inspection judgements mean

Registered early years provision
Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding Outstanding provision is highly effective in meeting the needs of all children exceptionally well. This ensures that children are very well prepared for the next stage of their learning.
Grade 2 Good Good provision is effective in delivering provision that meets the needs of all children well. This ensures children are ready for the next stage of their learning.
Grade 3 Requires improvement The provision is not giving children a good standard of early years education and/or there are minor breaches of the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. We re-inspect nurseries and pre-schools judged as requires improvement within 12 months of the date of inspection.
Grade 4 Inadequate Provision that is inadequate requires significant improvement and/or enforcement action. The provision is failing to give children an acceptable standard of early years education and/or is not meeting the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. It will be monitored and inspected again within six months of the date of this inspection.
Met There were no children present at the time of the inspection. The inspection judgement is that the provider continues to meet the requirements for registration.
Not Met There were no children present at the time of the inspection. The inspection judgement is that the provider does not meet the requirements for registration.


This inspection was carried out by Ofsted under sections 49 and 50 of the Childcare Act 2006 on the quality and standards of provision that is registered on the Early Years Register. The registered person must ensure that this provision complies with the statutory framework for children’s learning, development and care, known as the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Unique reference number EY364275
Local authority Bristol City
Inspection number 827793
Type of provision
Registration category Childcare – Non-Domestic
Age range of children 0 – 3
Total number of places 45
Number of children on roll 59
Name of provider St Paul’s Nursery School & Children’s Centre Governing Body
Date of previous inspection not applicable
Telephone number 0117 377 2278

Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance ‘Complaints procedure: raising concerns and making complaints about Ofsted’, which is available from Ofsted’s website: If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 0300 123 4234, or email

Type of provision

For the purposes of this inspection the following definitions apply:

Full-time provision is that which operates for more than three hours. These are usually known as nurseries, nursery schools and pre-schools and must deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage. They are registered on the Early Years Register and pay the higher fee for registration.

Sessional provision operates for more than two hours but does not exceed three hours in any one day. These are usually known as pre-schools, kindergartens or nursery schools and must deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage. They are registered on the Early Years Register and pay the lower fee for registration.

Childminders care for one or more children where individual children attend for a period of more than two hours in any one day. They operate from domestic premises, which are usually the childminder’s own home. They are registered on the Early Years Register and must deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Out of school provision may be sessional or full-time provision and is delivered before or after school and/or in the summer holidays. They are registered on the Early Years Register and must deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage. Where children receive their Early Years Foundation Stage in school these providers do not have to deliver the learning and development requirements in full but should complement the experiences children receive in school.

The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children’s social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.
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