Integrated Inspection by the Care Commission and HM Inspectorate of Education of

Integrated Inspection by the
Care Commission and
HM Inspectorate of Education of
St Andrew’s Developmental Nursery
Aberdeenshire Council
15 February 2006
St Andrew’s Developmental Nursery
St Andrew’s Gardens
AB51 3XT
The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act, 2001, requires that the Care Commission
inspect all care services covered by the Act every year to monitor the quality of care
provided. In accordance with the Act, the Care Commission and HM Inspectorate of
Education carry out integrated inspections of the quality of care and education. In
doing this, inspection teams take account of National Care Standards, Early
Education and Childcare up to the age of 16, and The Child at the Centre. The
following standards and related quality indicators were used in the recent inspection.
National Care Standard
Child at the Centre Quality Indicator
Standard 2 – A Safe Environment
Standard 4 – Engaging with Children
Development and learning through play
Standard 5 – Quality of Experience
Children’s development and learning
Support for children and families
Standard 6 – Support and Development
Standard 14 – Well-managed Service
Management, Leadership and Quality
Evaluations made using HMIE quality indicators use the following scale, and these
words are used in the report to describe the team’s judgements:
Very good
major strengths
strengths outweigh weaknesses
some important weaknesses
major weaknesses
Reports contain Recommendations which are intended to support improvements in
the quality of service.
Any Requirements refer to actions which must be taken by service providers to ensure
that regulations are met and there is compliance with relevant legislation. In these
cases the regulation(s) to which requirements refer will be noted clearly and
timescales given.
If you would like an additional copy of this report
Copies of this report have been sent to the headteacher, staff and
the education authority. Copies are also available on the Care
Commission website: and HMIE website:
If you wish to comment about integrated pre-school inspections
Should you wish to comment on any aspect of integrated pre-school
inspections, you should write in the first instance to Kenneth Muir,
HMCI, at HM Inspectorate of Education, Denholm House,
Almondvale Business Park, Almondvale Way, Livingston EH54 6GA.
Our complaints procedure
If you have a concern about this report, you should write in the first
instance to either:
Complaints Coordinator
Care Commission
Compass House
Riverside Drive
Hazel Dewart
HM Inspectorate of Education
Denholm House
Almondvale Business Park
Almondvale Way
EH54 6GA
If you are not satisfied with the action we have taken at the end of
our complaints procedure, you can raise your complaint with the
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. The Scottish Public Services
Ombudsman is fully independent and has powers to investigate
complaints about Government departments and agencies. You can
write to The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, 4-6 Melville
Street, Edinburgh EH3 7NS. You can also telephone 0870 011 5378
or e-mail [email protected] More information
about the Ombudsman’s office can be obtained from the website:
A copy of the HMIE complaints procedure is available from the HMIE
website at or by telephoning 01506 600 258.
Crown Copyright 2006
Care Commission
HM Inspectorate of Education
This report may be reproduced in whole or in part, except for
commercial purposes or in connection with a prospectus or
advertisement, provided that the source and date thereof are stated.
Integrated Inspection by the
Care Commission and
HM Inspectorate of Education of
St Andrew’s Developmental Nursery
Aberdeenshire Council
St Andrew’s Developmental Nursery was inspected in
October 2005 as part of the integrated inspection programme by
the Care Commission and HM Inspectorate of Education. HMIE
carried out this inspection on behalf of both organisations and
consulted the Care Commission about its findings. The nursery
catered for pre-school children aged three to five years. It was
registered for ten children attending at any one session. At the
time of the inspection the total roll was ten.
The environment
Standard 2
The nursery was accommodated within a classroom in
St Andrew’s School. The building was in a good state of
decoration and repair and the playroom was bright and well
ventilated. The nursery had effective procedures in place to
ensure that children were safe and secure. Staff carried out
useful risk assessments. They ensured that premises were very
clean and hygienic. Staff implemented appropriate guidance to
control the spread of infection. They ensured that toys and
equipment were well maintained.
Staff had organised the layout of the playroom effectively to allow
children to move around and play on their own and come together
for small group activities. They displayed children’s art work
attractively to celebrate their achievements. Children had access
to a ball pool, soft play area and a sensory area. They had
regular use of the school swimming pool. The nursery also used
the large, attractive and well-equipped garden area for outdoor
Quality of children’s experience
Standard 4 & 5
Staff were very caring towards children and made very good use
of praise to encourage children’s confidence and self esteem.
They interacted very positively with children during play
experiences. They had carefully chosen activities and resources
to meet children’s individual needs. Activities were carefully
structured and adult-led. Staff systematically built up children’s
confidence to enable them to make choices and access activities
and resources. Children played by themselves with the support
of an individual member of staff or member of the child
development team. They enjoyed coming together for a story
and to sing.
Staff had very good procedures for planning children’s learning.
They carried out regular observations and kept detailed records
on individual children to monitor their progress. Parents were
kept well informed about their children’s wellbeing on a daily
basis through the use of a diary.
Features of the programmes for children included the following.
The programme for emotional, personal and social
development was very good. Children were settling into the
nursery and becoming familiar with the routine. They played
happily on their own and were interacting with staff who
responded appropriately and sensitively to their individual
needs. Staff encouraged children to complete tasks to
improve their concentration and celebrate their
achievements. Children were making very good progress.
They were becoming independent in hand washing before
snack. They responded very well to the happy, purposeful
learning environment created by the staff.
The programme for communication and language was very
good. Staff were very sensitive to the communication and
language needs of individual children. They worked very
closely with speech and language specialists to meet
children’s needs. Children were making very good progress
in using the pictorial, exchange communication system. They
were identifying musical sounds and using vocal sounds to
activate lights in the sensory area. Staff provided a wide
range of experiences for children. They made good use of
puppets and sensory materials and books. A few children
used the wall-mounted drawing board well to scribble and
make marks. Children were beginning to identify objects and
name them. They were making very good progress in
following simple instructions.
The programme for knowledge and understanding of the
world was very good. Children’s progress was good and they
responded well to the sensory curriculum provided by staff.
They enjoyed sand and water play. They were taking an
interest in everyday objects and explored how they could be
used. Staff had appropriately planned to bring visitors into
the nursery and to take children out in the local area to
enhance their experiences. They used information and
communications technology (ICT) well to support children’s
learning. A few children appropriately used the touch screen
on the computer to look at patterns and shapes. Children
used an area in the garden for digging and planting bulbs.
Staff used the outdoor area very well to provide opportunities
for children to enjoy the natural environment.
The programme for expressive and aesthetic development
was very good. Staff organised a range of experiences that
met individual children’s needs. A few children were using
paint to express themselves. Others were enjoying musical
instruments. A few engaged enthusiastically in role-play in
the home corner. Staff carefully planned activities which
encouraged children to create collages, use glue and finger
paint. Children accessed a range of different materials. They
enjoyed singing in a group. Staff used puppets very
effectively to engage with children.
The programme for physical development and movement
was very good. Staff planned a range of activities indoors
and outside that were appropriate to children’s physical
needs. Children enjoyed climbing and sliding on the climbing
frame. They enjoyed riding on the roundabouts in the garden
with the support of staff. They had regular opportunities to
use the ball pool. Staff supported children very well in the
swimming pool and provided opportunities for them to
experience movement in water. Staff used the hall
appropriately to support children to use wheeled toys and
play ball games. They were becoming aware of what their
bodies were able to do, and gaining confidence. Staff
provided a broad range of materials to help children develop
finger and hand control. Staff encouraged healthy eating at
snack time to promote fitness.
Support for children and families
Standard 6
All children in the nursery required additional support with their
learning. Staff knew children very well and provided highly
effective support for them and their families. Parents who
responded to the pre-inspection questionnaire were very satisfied
with all aspects of provision. Staff communicated very well with
parents. They consistently made effective, daily use of a home
diary to inform them of their children’s progress and their
achievements. Staff had very good arrangements to support
children’s transition to primary school. Nursery staff shared
records of children’s development and progress with the receiving
primary teacher to ensure appropriate targets were set.
Staff effectively implemented a range of learning and teaching
strategies to assist children with additional support needs. In
close consultation with parents and support agencies, staff
prepared very well structured individualised educational
programmes with clear and appropriate learning targets. They
held regular, review meetings to discuss children’s progress and
to plan for their future needs. The school had made suitable
progress to ensure the requirements of the recent changes in
legislation relating to children with additional support needs would
be addressed.
The school was very well served by a suitable range of specialists
in meeting the specific needs of individual children. Specialists,
including speech and language therapists, worked very effectively
alongside staff, providing direct support to children. They also
provided staff with clear guidance on how best to support
individuals. Where necessary, children received appropriately
coordinated support from a range of specialists. Overall, they
made a significant contribution to the work of the nursery and to
children’s progress and development.
Standard 14
The headteacher provided very effective leadership. She had
provided a clear vision and direction in successfully establishing
the nursery as an integral part of the school. She had suitably
delegated the management of the nursery to the depute
headteacher who carried out her remit very well. The class
teacher, who had responsibility for the day-to-day running of the
nursery, worked very effectively with the nursery nurse and
auxiliary in providing a high-quality provision. All staff involved
with the nursery were enthusiastic, dedicated and motivated.
There were appropriate procedures in place for staff appraisals
and reviews, that were carried out by the manager. Staff were
very well supported, and the information from the reviews was
used effectively to identify staff training and development needs.
All staff had undertaken training in child protection and were
aware of their role and responsibilities for protecting children.
They followed local and national guidance appropriately. Staff
were familiar with the Scottish Social Services Council Codes of
Practice and the implications for their practice registration
The school had established clear procedures for the systematic
evaluation of all aspects of the nursery’s work. The headteacher,
along with staff, systematically monitored the quality of children’s
learning experiences in the nursery classroom on a regular basis.
All staff had been involved in evaluating the quality of the
provision against national standards of quality and in identifying
priorities to further improve children’s learning and development.
An appropriate development plan was in place and priorities were
being successfully implemented.
Key strengths
Children’s individual needs were very well met.
High quality of staff/child interaction.
Happy children who were settling into the nursery routine.
Five, very good, quality programmes, particularly in
emotional, personal and social development and
communication and language.
Effective support for children and families from a range of
support agencies.
Leadership of the headteacher and depute and the strong
team approach of the nursery staff.
Recommendations for improvement
Continue to take forward the priorities as identified in the
nursery development plan.
Care Commission Officers and HM Inspectors have asked the
pre-school centre and education authority to prepare an action
plan indicating how they will address the main findings of the
report. Where requirements are made, the action plan should
include timescales to deal with these. The plan will be available
to parents and carers. In liaison with the pre-school centre and
education authority, Care Commission Officers and
HM Inspectors will monitor progress to ensure improvements are
in line with the main findings of the report.
Hilary Long
HM Inspectorate of Education