Borders pre-school centres pick up mixed inspection reports

Osito Nursery in Netherdale Ind Estate has been given a bad review.
Osito Nursery in Netherdale Ind Estate has been given a bad review.
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A PEEBLES playgroup which was previously threatened with closure has received a glowing report from inspectors.

Rosetta Playgroup in Peebles was commended by inspectors last month for the teamwork of staff and its relationship with parents.

Two years ago parents feared the nursery would shut due to a lack of enrolled kids, before a campaign saved the centre, now situated alongside Halyrude Primary School. 
Managing inspector Gordon Buchanan said that children were motivated at Rosetta, adding: “They (children) approach their activities with confidence and sustain high levels of concentration.

“They interact extremely well with each other during their play and group times.

“Children are involved in a local community project which has links with a school in Kenya. They are able to share facts about the school and country, giving them a good understanding why they plan and take part in fundraising activities for the project.

“They are involved in the work of the playgroup, for example in planning the new outdoor play area.”

Mr Buchanan also noted that the children who attended Rosetta – aged two-and-a-half to five years – were making good progress with their early language, mathematics and listening skills.

Praising staff, he said: “Staff work extremely well as a team to improve the work of the playgroup.

“They monitor identified areas of improvement ensuring that there is an impact on children’s learning. However, this needs to be more systematic and recorded appropriately.

“Staff have achieved a great deal during the past year since moving to new premises. They have developed a more appropriate and stimulating learning environment.

“The manager is effective in developing the work of the playgroup, working extremely well with the parents’ committee and board of trustees.

“Staff have a good relationship with the local authority, however, they would welcome further support in developing the curriculum and self-evaluation.”

Following an inspection at Osito Nursery in Galashiels, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIe) will work with Scottish Borders Council after the nursery was told to improve a number of aspects of its performance.

Mr Buchanan said staff had to improve their understanding of the curriculum of excellence model and provide appropriate learning experiences to meet children’s needs and interests.

He added: “As a result of our inspection findings we think that the pre-school centre needs additional support and more time to make necessary improvements.

“Along with the local authority, we will discuss the most appropriate support in order to build capacity for improvement, and will maintain contact to monitor progress.

“We will return to evaluate aspects of provision and the progress in improving provision within six months.”

Mr Buchanan says the evaluation will decide whether another inspection is needed.