Keen to see an ‘Outstanding’ college nursery in action, the head of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman paid a visit to Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) this week. With a particular interest in the impact the nursery can make to the college curriculum and students, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector spent time meeting with, and talking to, both nursery children and the staff who have successfully achieved an ‘Outstanding’ rating for three consecutive inspections.
Hosted by BCoT Principal Anthony Bravo and meeting with Nursery Manager Rebecca Pickles and Fiona Dicks, Course Director for Health Care and Early Years, Ms Spielman said: “It’s always a pleasure to see the providers that Ofsted inspects in action, especially when, like this one, they are doing really well for their children. The enthusiasm and dedication of staff is plain to see, and it’s clear that the nursery has really high aspirations for all of its children. It also provides a hugely valuable service to the young adults attending the college, allowing them to continue their own education.”
Not only does the BCoT Nursery offer exceptional care and outcomes, it also plays a pivotal role in the Early Years and Health and Social Care curriculum. Students studying on these courses have the opportunity to do both work placements and work experience in the setting, spending time and undertaking activities with children across the nursery age range. Students from other colleges and a number of universities including the University of Reading, Kingston University and the University of Winchester, also seek to complete their placements at the nursery.
Commenting on the significance of the visit and the role the nursery plays at BCoT, Principal Anthony Bravo said: “We are very proud that Ms Spielman selected our college to explore her interest in the wider benefits an outstanding nursery can bring to both the children in its care and the students studying here at BCoT. The nursery is not a stand-alone provision on the periphery of the college, it is very much integrated within our community and the successful delivery of key aspects of our curriculum.”
Providing the perfect backdrop some Early Years lessons are held within a classroom in the nursery and there is also the opportunity for students to practice their observations and implement lesson plans with the children. Drawing on the expertise of the team running the nursery, the staff also provide practical sessions and talks. New for 2019 will be the opportunity for specialist provision students to run art classes and work with some of the able and older children.
The BCoT Nursery offers full and part-time care for children aged 3 months to pre-school. It’s open to BCoT staff and students as well as the general public with 70% of children in its care come from the local community.