A Tilehurst nursery school has been judged ‘Outstanding’ following a recent Ofsted inspection. Norcot Early Years Centre has maintained the outstanding quality of education since the first Ofsted inspection in 2005.

Inspectors commented that the school in Lyndhurst Road has continued to provide an exciting and stimulating curriculum alongside the exceptional care that was identified in the previous inspection report in 2014. As a result, children love learning and make outstanding progress from their starting points.

The Ofsted letter to Head of Centre Diana Heath says: “Leaders, including the governing body, have continued to improve quality of education and care. You have refined the school’s monitoring and support systems to ensure that children’s skills, knowledge and understanding develop well in every area of the curriculum. Consequently, children, including children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), make rapid progress from starting points that are below those typical at this age.”

Governors are also praised for having a breadth of educational and social-care expertise which they utilise to challenge and support the school in equal measure.

The report adds: “Children behave extremely well at Norcot. They are attentive, kind and empathetic. Children play very well together and share their toys and books happily. Children also respond very well to instructions and attentively follow the school rules.”

Inspectors found that safeguarding at the nursery school was effective and leaders were highly vigilant and alert to the importance of ensuring strong safeguarding arrangements were in place.

One parent echoed the view of many when they said: “Norcot provides us with the best, safest and most inspiring environment for our children.”

Leaders and staff are said to provide exceptional care for families that goes beyond their statutory duty and the family worker also provides support regarding housing, finance and medical issues.

The inspector said: “This helps to ensure that children are well cared for both at school and at home. Many parents told me how the school had transformed their lives and the lives of their children through this additional care and support.”

The nursery school was also praised for providing effective activities for children at lunchtime and establishing a ‘learning through nature approach’ which includes regular visits to local parks and woods.

Other positives were that the nursery ensures children acquire and develop strong language skills, activities extend children’s physical and emotional engagement and individual pupil’s strengths and weaknesses are identified with precision.

Antony Kildare, Managing Director of Brighter Futures for Children, said: “We are thrilled with the ‘Outstanding’ judgement for Norcot Early Years Centre and congratulate all leaders and staff at the nursery school. It is heart-warming to read the comments of the inspector but also of the parents who use the centre. Everybody involved in Norcot Nursery should be very proud of their achievements and with the glowing feedback from the inspector, parents and children.”

Cllr Ashley Pearce, Lead Councillor for Education, said: “Norcot Early Years Centre has a long track record of delivering outstanding education to young children. I congratulate everyone involved in achieving their latest Ofsted judgement.”

Full Report

The full Ofsted report, following the Inspector’s visit on 12th December 2018, can be found at: https://files.api.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50048449