Martenscroft Nursery School, Teaching School Alliance and Teach Manchester have been awarded a grant from the DfE to support early years settings in Manchester. The project began in April 2015 and finishes in December 2016. We have worked with 26 settings, eight SLE’s from primary schools with Foundation Stage departments and Collyhurst Nursery School. The project enables a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) based in a Primary school or a leader in an early years setting to work directly with a setting to support them to reflect and improve their setting. The project team have worked closely with the Local Authority to support them to identify settings that were happy to trial this approach.
The project team are also developing a reflective toolkit, which will be available soon as a website. The website will contain a toolkit of ideas to support settings and teachers to try out the tools and techniques used during the project. It will offer links to case studies, reflective tools to support reflection, reflective models, links to videos of good practice, examples of our reflective journeys.
The impact of the project has been measured through a variety of ways; reflective journals, self-evaluation, The Leavers involvement scales and measureable outcomes such as Ofsted. The project has encouraged providers to document a journey of change to support reflection. Project files have evidenced change and this has provided settings with a model of a reflective way of working which can be applied to future developments. The project work with settings has often employed the use of creative reflective techniques, for example, video to enable joint observation and discussion of practice. Settings have commented that this has been a useful method for reflecting and that they will employ this technique in the future. SLE’s in schools have had the opportunity to broaden and develop their knowledge of Private, Voluntary and independent settings (PVI) provision and their understanding of the development and needs of younger children for example, through schema training they have learned more about the development of Two year olds. This has been particularly supportive to schools that are extending provision to two year old children.
Ofsted Inspections on the settings involved in the project so far reflect the success of the project. Two new settings have achieved good at first inspection, one setting has moved to outstanding and two have moved from Requires Improvement to good. One report comments on the impact of the project ‘The nursery is part of a number of initiatives which develop staff knowledge to incorporate new teaching techniques. There is an ongoing commitment to continued professional development. This has an extremely positive impact on children’s learning and development.’ Kidspiration Ofsted report, May 2015.
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We offer bespoke packages of support to schools and settings using our team of Specialist Leaders of Education. If you would like to discuss the support available, please contact Rachel Eppy or 0161 226 1773. You can explore our team here.