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Standards, Quality and Improvement Plan for

Stanwell Nursery School

Stanwell Nursery School is committed to providing high quality early learning and childcare in a safe, caring and inclusive environment. We work together with parents/carers and the wider community to help our children thrive and go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.

Standards and Quality Report for session: 2016-2017

Improvement Plan for session: 2017-2018

Context of the Setting

Include some or all of the following: centre vision, value and aims; local contextual issues; factors affecting children’s achievements

(e.g. staffing changes/issues)

Locality: North East

Cluster: Leith Academy

Level of teacher input: 0.5, plus HT

Total number of children 3-5 102 (Some of these

access paid additional hours)

Total number of children 0-3


No. of Eligible 2’s 0

Stanwell Nursery in Leith opened in 1936. Part of the pioneering early 20th century nursery school movement inspired by such influential figures

as Froebel, Margaret McMillan and Motessori, it was the second purpose-built nursery created by the City of Edinburgh Council. Until 1973, it was housed in an annexe of Bonnington School in Stanwell Street, and from the beginning promoted learning through play and provided an integrated service to a vulnerable and diverse community. It is now located in an historic stone building, formerly part of Dr Bell’s Primary School, a significant Leith landmark. Most of our families come from the immediate Leith community, which includes some of the most deprived areas in Scotland. More than half of the children have English as an additional language or are bilingual. We work hard to create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, and offer a wide range of activities and events for parent/carers. We also work in close partnership with a number of local community organisations.

In session 2016-2017 there were 60 am and 60 pm places in the nursery, all for 3-5 year olds. The accommodation consists of 2 large classrooms

and an additional multi-purpose room, with attractively developed garden areas to the front and rear of the building. During the session, the staffing

has consisted of a head teacher, a full time senior early years officer, a 0.5 FTE teacher, 5 FTE early years practitioners, 2 part time secretaries, 4 pupil support assistants and a part time caretaker. There is an active parents’ council.

Significant factors specifically affecting children’s achievement in 2016-2017:

Introduction of additional paid hours, and flexibility for families within 600 hours

Over 50% children are bilingual or have English as an additional language

Continued upgrades to outdoor area, particularly sand kitchen, loose parts

Range of parenting supports offered to families – Triple P (PoPP), Peep, RCWC, cooking classes, Family Learning, Stay and Play

Success of Bedtime Stories, storysacks and storytelling sessions

Two extended staff absences

Closer tracking of children’s progress through trackers, fortnightly team meetings focusing on “shocks and surprises”, monitoring of ejournals

Successful expressive arts project – Starcatchers

Large number of children with additional support needs

Standards and Quality Report

Leadership and Management


1.1 Self-evaluation for self-improvement

1.2 Leadership of learning

1.3 Leadership of change

1.4 Leadership and management of staff

1.5 Management of resources to promote equity

Other related HGIOELC QI’s/Themes


3.1 Ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion

National Improvement Framework (NIF) Priorities

1. Improvement in attainment, particularly in literacy and numeracy.

2. Closing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children and young people.

3. Improvement in children and young people’s health and wellbeing.

4. Improvement in employability skills and sustained, positive school leaver destinations for all young people

NIF Drivers

How good is our leadership and approach to improvement?

The nursery, at all levels, is very committed to continuous improvement and has a positive attitude to change. We have a clear vision and aims (updated this year in consultation with stakeholders), which are rooted directly in our aspiration to deliver the highest quality education and childcare, together with the most relevant and effective supports for families. The head teacher has a collegiate style which encourages suggestion and comment; stakeholders at all levels contribute to the development of this shared vision, ensuring its relevance to the needs of the local community. All staff show a high level of commitment to the vision, and to the ethos of mutual support and respect which characterises our setting. The nursery has a high local profile; it has close links with many partner organisations and is well known for its warm, welcoming and supportive ethos.

Several members of staff, including the head teacher and SEYO, are proactive in engaging with current research around pedagogy, and consistently share the insights gained with the wider staff team. Together with local and national initiatives, these insights inform our priorities for change.

The multi-purpose space in Room 3 has allowed the nursery to take a lead in hosting wider events for professional colleagues, such as CPD sessions, Forum and cluster meetings. This gives us insights into the roles of other professionals and broader community issues, which impacts positively on outcomes for children and families. The head teacher has encouraged all staff to take on leadership roles (identified through PRD) and they have very successfully planned, implemented and evaluated a wide range of initiatives. It is as a result of this distributed leadership that we are able to offer such a broad based service, with consequent benefits for families and children’s learning.

The wellbeing of our children is at the heart of our work. GIRFEC principles and practice, and the wellbeing indicators are embedded in all we do. We have successfully supported a number of children with a wide range of additional support needs, and have received positive feedback about their progress from many other professionals.

We take account of the NIF priorities and drivers. There is a consistent focus on improving literacy and numeracy – we have introduced creative ways of supporting their development, for example using SEAL maths, bedtime stories, storysacks and parents’ storytelling sessions, all of which have impacted positively on children’s progress. The nursery is close to some of the most deprived areas in Scotland and we work extensively with families (for example, through PoPP, Peep and Family Learning) to encourage home learning and to close the poverty-related attainment gap. We prioritise the development of self-regulated learning, promoting such skills as cooperation, focus and attention, problem-solving and creativity which underpin the development of skills for learning, life and work.

All staff are committed to constantly reflecting on and evaluating practice to identify meaningful and relevant improvements. The head teacher creates regular opportunities for collegiate discussion – all participate in identifying and taking forward ways of improving practice. The head teacher and SEYO encourage innovative practice and model it in their own work. They effectively manage the pace and intensity of change, providing an appropriate balance between challenge/inspiration and support/consolidation. The head teacher has worked hard to promote a positive attitude to change, and has successfully engendered an open and positive attitude in the nursery community towards the approaching transformation in early years services.

We have successfully implemented the priorities relevant to Leadership and Management from the improvement plan for 2016-17. Additional paid hours were introduced and were enthusiastically taken up by a number of families. This allowed increased access for families to work/training and provided stability and security for the children. This will also provide a useful starting point for the coming introduction of full time hours. We also offer families considerable flexibility in how they use their 600 hours.

The head teacher had an inspirational visit to Mayfield Nursery, followed by interesting input from the Early Education annual conference, on themes around improving practice. This will inform new learning and teaching priorities (focussing on observations and interactions) for the coming session.

Next Steps: (these will link to what goes into your Improvement Plan for 2017-18)

· Use SSTEW scale to evaluate and improve staff-child interactions

· CPD for staff on observation

· Consult with parents about service changes

· Implement any changes to service

· Develop new staffing structure

· Improve use of data – SIMD, 27-30 month reviews- to evaluate improvements

· Collegiate work with other nursery HTs around planning, learning and teaching

Learning Provision


2.1 Safeguarding and child protection

2.2 Curriculum

2.3 Learning, teaching and assessment

2.4 Personalised support

2.5 Family learning

2.6 Transitions

2.7 Partnerships

Other related HGIOELC QI’s/Themes


3.3 Developing creativity and skills for life and learning

National Improvement Framework (NIF) Priorities

1. Imp