Oliver Thomas Nursery School, East Ham in London has achieved the Inclusive School Award for the first time.
Oliver Thomas Nursery School is an exceptional example of a child-centred inclusive establishment. It was a real pleasure for me to visit and see it in action. Everyone I met made me feel welcome and the children go on with their learning through play. The organisation of the classrooms and playground to make them central resources to deliver the Nursery curriculum is impressive. Nothing has been left to chance and everyone who works and attends Nursery has been involved in the decision-making process.
Very Supportive Unit
Every child is truly valued and every child really matters. Their uniqueness is celebrated. Families also matter and the Nursery goes out of its way to support parents. Family support is exceptional. They work with a range of professionals and agencies to ensure all needs are met. Children with a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are welcomed and celebrated and there is an amazing range of provisions to help meet their needs. The SENDCo is part of the senior team and she has excellent knowledge and understanding of which strategies and approaches are used in the Nursery.
The Co-Headship was an innovative way of ensuring succession planning was in place when the substantive Head retires this year. The two Co-Heads work brilliantly together. They provide determined and passionate leadership. They are clear about their priorities and their vision has been communicated to all staff and all stakeholders. The inclusive ethos permeates every aspect of the Nursery and is reflected in Nursery policies and practices.
Staff Go The Extra Mile
The Nursery is well organised with excellent systems in place. Staff is very clear about their roles and responsibilities, even during Covid restrictions (which are still in place) when the Nursery is no longer free-flowing and bubbles have been introduced. The playground appears to be equally busy but is calm and settled at the same time.
The curriculum is personalised and is based on children’s interests and everything about the environment is designed to improve learning. Staff are experts in the field of Early Years Education. They are experienced and outward facing and are solution focused. They obviously love their jobs and thrive alongside the children they support.
A Nursery is only as good as its staff and the well-being and development of staff at all levels are a priority. Training and supervision are provided and the individual needs of staff are carefully considered and implemented. This approach ensures that staff is willing to go the extra mile for children and families.
Collegiality and partnership are central to the vision of Oliver Thomas Nursery. They make sure they harness the very best resources and expertise to support children and the Nursery is highly regarded in the local area.
Parents feel lucky and thrilled to have secured a place at this Nursery. They are fully supportive of the Nursery and really appreciate what they do for their child and their family.