An East London nursery has been slammed by Ofsted inspectors over poor teaching as kids were left to play with dry pasta. Teachers couldn’t explain what they wanted kids to learn from playing with dry pasta, the watchdog found.
The education watchdog said Chestnut Nursery School in Newham would have to improve significantly and gave it a “requires improvement” rating in a new report – the second-lowest grade on the scale. Inspectors said that while children were happy and enjoyed being at the nursery, more would have to be done to make sure they were learning properly.
In a report published in January, inspectors said that in all four Ofsted categories for schools and nurseries – quality of education, behaviour and attitude, personal development, and leadership and management – Chestnut Nursery would have to improve. Officials did complement staff at the nursery for being warm and caring, and for teaching children independence.
However, they criticised the inconsistency of teaching and games for the kids. Inspectors said: “The manager has a good understanding of what children need to know at the different ages and stages of development.
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“There are times when staff have thought carefully about how to deliver this programme of learning and what the purpose of an activity is. For example, when children make play dough together and learn to take turns by passing the mixing bowl around a small group.
“However, some staff do not plan activities with a clear purpose to help children make progress in their learning. For example, when children play with dry pasta, staff are unable to explain what they would like them to learn from this activity. Therefore, the quality of teaching is inconsistent.”
The inspectors added issues arose from teaching not being properly planned, including children being left on the floor listening to a story or singing. This led to them being restless and distracted, and not getting the most out of their time at the nursery.
The inspectors did add that the children were well-cared for and that they enjoyed going to the nursery. They said: “Children are safe and happy at the nursery. They come to nursery with big smiles on their faces and go in excited about the day ahead.” Chestnut Nursery School was approached for comment.