Sheffield Woodland Kindergarten: 'Inadequate' nursery fails to improve in second visit from Ofsted

A Sheffield nursery has failed to impress inspectors after being given four months improve following a scathing report earlier this year.

Monday, 27th June 2022, 2:07 pm

Sheffield Woodland Kindergarten, off Clarkewood Road, was downgraded from ‘good’ to ‘inadequate’ in all areas in March following a highly-critical visit by the education watchdog in February.

Even though children were observed as ‘happy and relaxed’, inspectors found the pre-school’s ability to teach and develop skills was lacking, and placed it in special measures.

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Stock image by Edmond Terakopian/PA. Sheffield Woodland Kindergarten has been scolded by inspectors for failing to improve on a critical report from four months ago.

Now, a new report based on a visit in May says things have not improved, and the nursery remains ‘Inadequate’.

“The provider has an unrealistic view of the provision and continues to demonstrate a poor capacity to meet all of the legal requirements of the early years foundation stage,” the report reads.

"Staff do not plan challenging activities and experiences to build upon children's learning. As a result, children's learning and development are poor.

"Many young children spend long periods of time without being spoken to. They often stand or sit quietly, and make no attempt to play. When younger children show an interest in a glitter activity, they are told the activity is not for them and they wander away.”

Many of the major weaknesses were found in the nursery’s management and its ability to develop younger children’s learning. During the visit, there was no regular manager and no plan in place in case the deputy manager also wasn’t available.

Issues raised at the last inspection had reportedly still not been addressed, including measures to support staff wellbeing and making sure all children are supervised.

Meanwhile, staff deployment, training and the ability to supervise children were repeatedly criticised. Staff had reportedly not had specific training on how to care for children under two.

"Children are not always supervised appropriately. This means accidents happen,” the report reads.

"For example, during the inspection, more than one child fell from a sling, causing them to hurt themselves. This action has not been addressed from the last inspection.”

Provision for children with SEND was also lacking. During a reading exercise, rather than working to meet SEND children’s needs, they were ‘ignored as they ran aimlessly round the area and jumped on a table top’.

Against these criticisms and breaches in the early years foundation stage, inspectors noted that older children were ‘relaxed and happy’. Children were greeted at the gate by staff with smiles and hugs, and ‘generally behave well’.

However, the Sheffield Woodlands Kindergarten has again been issued with a list of actions to take and given six months to improve.

Prior to the inspection in February, the nursery had been rated ‘good’ following Ofsted’s last visit in 2019.

The nursery has been contacted for a comment.

In March, a spokesperson said the rating was the result of struggles to recruit staff.

In a statement at the time, the nursery said: “Staff recruitment has been a big issue for us. We’ve struggled to recruit a manager and to recruit other staff. Like many other nurseries, we have had to rely on agency staff, which doesn’t lead to the most effective running of a nursery.

“We didn’t have a manager in place for six months and although we have one now it’s come a little too late.”