Children’s nursery told to improve by Ofsted inspectors over concerns

Brentry and Henbury Children’s Centre was found to require improvement across all four assessed areas

A children’s centre nursery has been told to improve by inspectors who found children ‘do not learn’ about different cultures within their community and are ‘not fully supported’ when English is not their first language.

Brentry and Henbury Children’s Centre has been given a ‘Requires Improvement’ mark following an inspection in November 2021 - down from being rated ‘Good’ in February 2020.

Published on December 2, the report by Ofsted said the nursery requires improvement in all four assessed areas: quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management.

The report highlighted that children were ‘welcomed by friendly and attentive staff’ and arrived ‘eager for their day to begin’ at the Brentry Lane nursery, while showing ‘high levels of confidence’ and ‘close relationships’ with staff.

But inspectors Terri Breakwell and Karen Allen also noted that teaching levels were ‘inconsistent within the nursery’ and that as a result ‘some children became disengaged in their learning and wander around’.

The entrance to Brentry and Henbury Children’s Centre, Bristol.

Staff also ‘failed to spot all potential hazards’ to children when completing daily checks on the indoor and outdoor environments within the site.

The report adds: “Staff do not always embed management’s aspirations for the curriculum into practice.

“For instance, while staff teach children about some cultural festivals throughout the year, children do not learn and develop a rich understanding of the diverse cultures within their community.

“In addition, staff do not always use effective strategies to fully support those children whose home language is not English to value and use their home languages, to help them understand what makes them unique.”

But the report also found that managers and staff were ‘extremely dedicated’ to supporting children and their families and ‘work hard’ to ensure families receive support to help them with any issues they might be facing.

Parents speak highly about the level of support they receive from the nursery,” the report adds.

Response from the children’s centre

The children’s centre highlighted that it was one of the first nurseries inspected since the start of the pandemic - and said new Ofsted criteria for early years ‘was always going to be difficult’.

Roxane Twining, director at Brentry and Henbury Children’s Centre said: “Whilst we are disappointed with the overall result, we are fully committed to listening, learning and to improving our services.

“Being one of the first nurseries to be assessed following the pandemic and the very recent introduction of the new Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Ofsted criteria was always going to be difficult.

“However, we are positive and dedicated to using the feedback as we continuously improve.

“We have taken on board the Ofsted recommendations and have already made good progress on the three improvement actions highlighted.

“We are also pleased that Ofsted were able to see lots of the amazing things that happen at the centre.

“The Inspectors noted our friendly and attentive staff, the high levels of confidence within the children and the support given to children’s communication, language and literacy skills.

“They also noted the healthy, home-cooked meals, the outside space and working closely with families to support children to settle and feel secure.”

You can read the full report here