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Mixed report for Plockton Nursery

By Gregor White

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Experiences could be improved for youngsters at Plockton nrsery inspectors have found. Picture: Stock image
Experiences could be improved for youngsters at Plockton nrsery inspectors have found. Picture: Stock image

There is room for improvement at a Wester Ross nursery according to a recent inspection.

The Care Inspectorate carried out an unannounced inspection at Plockton Primary School Nursery on April 22 and 23 this year.

While it praised “warm, caring and nurturing interactions” between staff and children and said families reported positively on their experiences with the service it also highlighted “missed opportunities” to extend children’s learning and said that observation and planning were “not yet consistently supporting children to reach their potential”.

Overall it rated the nursery as adequate in terms of care, play and learning; setting and leadership but weak for staff team.

The nursery is located within Plockton Primary School, providing care for a maximum of 15 children aged three years and up.

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Inspectors said: “Overall, children experienced warm, caring and nurturing interactions from staff which supported them to feel valued and loved.

“Children had secure attachments with the adults supporting them.

“They were confident to approach adults when they needed reassurance or physical comfort and staff responses were kind and caring.

“One parent commented: ‘My child has a brilliant relationship with the staff members and talks about them all the time at home’ and ‘Early years practitioners are great with the children. Always inviting when arriving or attending and good communication with my child.’”

However inspectors added: “Effective personal planning was not consistent across the service.

“Although most staff members knew the children well, important information and support strategies for some children were not clearly understood or documented to help them meet individual children's needs.

“This led to an inconsistency in staff understanding of how best to support a specific child.”

Elsewhere they noted: “Staff were beginning to implement responsive planning processes to support children's interests.

“However, the recording of key learning and meaningful next steps for children was not yet consistent across all planning information.

“Observations were recorded in children's individual online learning profiles. However, these observations were not always being completed regularly for all children.”

And they added: “The staff team recognised the importance of nurturing, warm, responsive attachment and interactions. However due to competing demands placed on them they could not always offer the level of support and interaction they wanted to.

“This did not ensure high quality outcomes and experiences for children.”

Inspectors have set out a number of improvements to be made including developing children’s personal plans and supporting staff to use this information effectively.

Tey have also called for improvements around snack and lunch experiences including “reviewing staff deployment to ensure there are more opportunities to promote social interactions and reduce waiting times for children”.

The full report can be read on the Care Inspectorate website.

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