Little Professors Nursery Walsall has achieved the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status.
Accelerated Rate of Improvement
Little Professors is a private nursery situated on the Walsall College campus in an area of high deprivation. It provides childcare provision for students and staff and is not open to the wider community. It caters for 62 children from 6 weeks old to 5 years of age from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday. The provision is split into 3 rooms with space for 24 under 2s and 38 2 to 5 year olds. Staffing ratios meet statutory requirements at 1:8 for 3 to 5 year olds, 1:4 for 2 to 3 year olds and 1:3 for 3 months to 2 year olds.
71% of pupils are from white/British backgrounds with 29% from a number of different ethnic backgrounds.
The previous management team historically worked in isolation from the rest of the college with no apparent issues. Covid however, highlighted some areas of concern which led to change in the management team. Following the resignation of the previous leader, a new team was brought in in August of 2022 and made permanent since December. As a result, staff morale had been adversely affected and much team rebuilding work was needed. This has resulted in a renewed emphasis on staff wellbeing, training and supervision. Relationships are now excellent with high levels of trust apparent across the team. Communication is highly effective and both parents and staff value the clarity and transparency that this brings. This has led to an accelerated rate of improvement and a renewed emphasis on processes and procedures as well as quality assurance.
Richer Cultural Opportunities for Pupils
The nursery now has a strong relationship with the college, parents and the community. This has resulted in many richer cultural opportunities for pupils. As a result of the current success, the local councillor has requested that the nursery opens to the local community, which leaders are keen to do when recruitment permits.
In the last 6 months, the nursery has developed its own curriculum in association with a local early years’ specialist company. As a result, the Local Authority is using it to develop training opportunities for other nurseries in the borough. The key differential for Little Professors is that many children only attend for 3 hours in line with lecture lengths. This means that every moment has to be a learning opportunity. Additional time is offered to parents to complete assignments and work, if required.
Little Professors is situated in a high-quality purpose-built facility in the heart of the college. It has a calm and ordered environment with bright and airy well-lit rooms. Relaxing music plays in reception and high-quality resources are in evidence throughout the setting, including a large outdoor area.
Hub for Training
In 2007, the nursery was graded Good by OFSTED in all areas and Local Authority quality assurance checks are very positive. As a result, the authority wants to use the nursery as an exemplar of good practice and a hub for training.
Little Professors has a unique take on inclusion as it benefits not just the children who attend but also many of their parents who are able to access Further Education as a result of the provision. In a recent student survey, the nursery provision came out as a key strength. This is because it has allowed many young parents to continue their education. Many of these parents are very young and in need of additional support. Consequently, the outcomes for families can be life changing.
Our Assessor said they thoroughly enjoyed the visit to Little Professors. He was delighted to see how well embedded the nursery is in the life of the college and how many rich learning experiences exist for children as a result.
Find out more about the IQM Inclusive School Award
If your school is interested in obtaining the IQM Inclusive School Award or you wish to talk to a member of the IQM team please telephone:
028 7127 7857 (9.00 am to 5.00 pm)
or email: [email protected] for further details.
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