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  • Stagecoach Montessori School

    Stagecoach Theatre Arts Ltd, The Courthouse, Elm Grove, Hersham Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. KT12 1LZ

    Inspection date Previous inspection date

    8 September 2016 19 May 2016

    The quality and standards of the early years provision

    This inspection: Inadequate 4

    Previous inspection: Inadequate 4

    Effectiveness of the leadership and management Inadequate 4

    Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Inadequate 4

    Personal development, behaviour and welfare Inadequate 4

    Outcomes for children Inadequate 4

    Summary of key findings for parents

    This provision is inadequate

    A recent high turnover of long term, experienced staff has significantly affected the quality of provision. Staff that remain lack confidence in planning for children's learning and monitoring their development.

    Poor quality teaching hinders the progress children make. Staff do not plan activities which challenge children and engage their interest in learning.

    Staff fail to support children's language and communication skills, and mathematical awareness sufficiently well during routine activities.

    The settling-in arrangements for new children, and those returning after the summer holidays, do not meet their needs. Children are not always familiar with the staff looking after them.

    The nursery routine does not support children's learning needs sufficiently well. There are too many disruptions and poorly organised group times. Children who prefer to learn outside have fewer opportunities to engage in activities they particularly enjoy.

    It has the following strengths

    Concerted action has been taken to improve childrens safety within the nursery. New procedures mean children are supervised better when moving from inside to outside.

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    What the setting needs to do to improve further To meet the requirements of the early years foundation stage the provider must:

    Due Date

    improve staff's understanding of how to plan for every child's learning needs and monitor their progress accurately and precisely


    make better use of accurate planning and precise assessment to provide activities for children which build on their knowledge, interest them and help them to make good or better progress in their learning


    improve the quality of teaching to a consistently good or better standard and ensure that all children are fully engaged and challenged in their learning


    improve the provision for children, especially those who are quieter, or those who speak English as an additional language, to develop their speaking and listening skills


    improve the range of activities available to support children's awareness of mathematical concepts


    improve the organisation of group times to take account of all children's learning needs and to make sure that every child is engaged and interested


    make better provision for children who prefer to learn outside 31/10/2016

    develop the role of the key person system to make sure children settle in quickly and are cared for by familiar adults.


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    Inspection activities

    The inspector observed the quality of teaching and the support for children's learning, both inside and outside.

    The inspector talked to staff at convenient times during the day to assess how well they plan for children's individual learning needs and keep children safe in the nursery.

    The inspector carried out four joint observations with the principal to evaluate how well senior staff monitor the quality of teaching.

    The inspector looked at a range of documentation, including staff files, confirmation of staff training, suitability checks, recruitment procedures and records of children's learning.

    The inspector talked to a small number of parents at lunchtime and took account of their views.


    Jo Caswell, Her Majesty's Inspector

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    Inspection findings

    Effectiveness of the leadership and management is inadequate

    The recent disruption to staffing arrangements has had a negative impact on the nursery. The over-reliance on supply teachers slows the progress the principal can make in addressing the poor quality teaching. Accurate monitoring arrangements mean she knows where practice is not yet good enough. Although the principal is trying to divide her time between management duties and role modelling effective practice to staff, this has not yet had the required impact. Too many staff lack a secure understanding of how to support children's learning. Consequently, children's progress cannot be monitored precisely. Since the last inspection, the principal has worked closely with parents to involve them more in their children's learning. Parents confirmed they receive far more information about what their children are learning. Safeguarding is effective. Head office staff carry out relevant checks to make sure nursery staff and supply teachers are suitable to work with children. A good number of improvements have been made since the last inspection to keep children safe. Staff are more vigilant in supervising children. They have completed relevant training and know what to do if they have any concerns about a child's welfare. Detailed safety policies mean all adults working on the premises understand they cannot use cameras or mobile phones around children.

    Quality of teaching, learning and assessment is inadequate

    Although staff hold relevant early years qualifications, and some are trained Montessori teachers, they have a poor understanding of how to support children's learning. Inaccurate assessments mean staff do not have a clear awareness of what each child can already do. This means activities are not always planned that will challenge children and help them to make faster progress. Staff fail to use opportunities to develop children's language and communication skills. For example, as children play, staff ask limited questions and do not encourage detailed conversation. They do not introduce children to new words. Not enough time is given for children to think things through, as staff respond too quickly. This is particularly evident for the quieter children, or those who speak English as an additional language. Opportunities to encourage children to work out problems are missed. For example, during an activity rolling cars down a pipe onto a number line, children were disappointed when the cars did not reach the higher numbers at the furthest end. Staff failed to use the activity to help children work out that by changing the angle of the pipe, the cars would move faster and reach the higher numbers. Planned activities are not used well enough to engage children in learning. For example, a hand painting activity was not managed well. Although some children enjoyed the experience of painting their hands, staff failed to see the learning potential of this. Instead, staff repeatedly stopped children and told them to wash their hands before returning to the activity. This disrupted children's learning and enjoyment of the process and led to confusion about why they were having to wash their hands.

    Personal development, behaviour and welfare are inadequate

    The weaknesses in teaching mean children quickly become bored and they lose interest in activities. This has a negative impact on some children's behaviour as they are not fully engaged and challenged in their learning. On the day of inspection, some children were

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    seen rolling around aimlessly on beanbags refusing to engage in activities with staff. At times, staff have to intervene to stop children squabbling and fighting, rather than supporting their learning in a positive way. The significant change in staffing means some children have lost the familiar staff members who looked after them before the summer holidays. Although leaders have attempted to manage this disruption as best they can, it has made some children very unsettled. This situation is made worse with the high numbers of new children who are also settling in. On the day of inspection, many children were seen to be distressed and in need of constant comfort and reassurance. Although staff managed this as well as they could, it did mean that, on some occasions, other children's needs were overlooked. For example, there were long periods of waiting for group activities to start because staff had to spend time comforting upset children. Children have many opportunities for physical play. The nursery garden is very well resourced and provides an exciting space for children to play and learn. However, the rigid structure of the daily routine means children who prefer to learn outside have less opportunity to really engage in activities they enjoy.

    Outcomes for children are inadequate

    Weak teaching means that children do not always gain the skills they need for future learning. They do not have enough opportunities to really concentrate in their learning. Staff often move children on too quickly, and as soon as the activity is finished, children are told to tidy away. This restricts children's opportunities to find their own ways of doing things, or to practise developing the new skills they have learnt. These weaknesses impact negatively on the level of progress children make. There are some opportunities within the daily routine for children to choose their own activities and develop their independence.

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    Setting details

    Unique reference number 122471

    Local authority Surrey

    Inspection number 1068130

    Type of provision Full-time provision

    Day care type Childcare - Non-Domestic

    Registers Early Years Register, Compulsory Childcare Register, Voluntary Childcare Register

    Age range of children 2 - 4

    Total number of places 56

    Number of children on roll 73

    Name of registered person Stagecoach Theatre Arts Limited

    Registered person unique reference number


    Date of previous inspection 19 May 2016

    Telephone number 01932 256214

    Stagecoach Montessori School registered in 2001. It is located Walton-on-Thames in Surrey and is open from 8am to 6pm each weekday, all year round. A team of seven staff work directly with children. The nursery aims to follow the Montessori principles. Funding is accepted for the provision of free early education for children aged three and four years. The principal holds early years professional status.

    This inspection was carried out by Ofsted under sections 49 and 50 of the Childcare Act 2006 on the quality and standards of provision that is registered on the Early Years Register. The registered person must ensure that this provision complies with the statutory framework for childrens learning, development and care, known as the early years foundation stage.

    Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance Complaints procedure: raising concerns and making complaints about Ofsted, which is available from Ofsteds website: If you would like Ofsted to send you a

    copy of the guidance, please telephone 0300 123 4234, or email

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    The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to

    achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children's social care, and inspects the Children and Family

    Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure

    establishments. It assesses council childrens services, and inspects services for looked after children,

    safeguarding and child protection.

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