A nursery school has been praised for setting high expectations for children, parents and staff after it was rated Good by Ofsted.

Inspector Heather Simpson visited Phoenix Nursery School in Blakenhall last month and found that Executive Headteacher Susan Lacey, her leadership team and governors "share a clear and ambitious vision" for their school.

Mrs Lacey managed the federation with Ashmore Park Nursery School "seamlessly and without disruption to children or staff", and has used the successful practice at Ashmore Park Nursery to further develop the quality of teaching and raise outcomes for children at Phoenix.

The steps the leadership team have taken have "made a positive difference", accelerating the pace of development and continuing to build on the school's strengths.

The learning environment has been improved with the refurbishment of the main classroom and the creation of additional space, while the quality of teaching has been improved through high quality training. The governors are "very supportive" and have "invested heavily in improving facilities and teaching".

Teamwork is a strength and morale is high, with staff "proud to work at Phoenix". Children are "happy, safe and well cared for" and enjoy "excellent relationships" with their key workers.

Activities are "well planned and purposeful", and the "very good" ratio of adults to children ensures that all children receive "high levels of nurture and support", meaning they "thrive and get off to a good start in their education". Parents have very positive views of the school and have a good understanding of how well their children are doing.

Ofsted noted that Phoenix Nursery recognises the importance of "high quality professional development" and strongly promotes this in a number of ways, including forming an international network between four schools in the West Midlands and 5 pre schools in Sweden. The school is also taking part in a research project looking at the use of digital technology by young children, which is having a "strong impact" on their skills.

Inspectors also found a strong safeguarding culture within the nursery, with robust procedures in place.

Mrs Lacey said: "I am very proud of the team at Phoenix Nursery School and how the school has been transformed in the three years since the last inspection, both in terms of the environment and the quality of teaching and learning.

"The school is now involved in a further Erasmus research project which will enable the team to work with schools in Romania, Spain and Sweden which we hope will continue to improve the quality of education on offer at Phoenix Nursery School."

 Councillor Claire Darke, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, said: "I would like to congratulate Susan Lacey and her team on this very positive report which demonstrates the good progress that Phoenix Nursery School is making, and the benefits that its federation with Ashmore Park Nursery is delivering to both schools.

"Good early years' education is so crucial to the development of our children, and it's fantastic to read that Phoenix Nursery School is providing just that."

More schools in Wolverhampton are now rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted than ever before. To find out more about education in the City, please visit Type=articles;Articleid=435;Title=Education and Schools;.

  • released: Tuesday 16 January, 2018