Hope Nursery and Playdays Pre-school in Coventry are the first two early years’ settings in the non-maintained sector to receive a national award for improving the progress and wellbeing of all their children.
The Quality Mark Award, developed by national education charity Achievement for All, has been presented to both settings in recognition of the impressive work being done to ensure all children are given the best possible start in life and the foundations for a smooth transition into school.
Achievement for All offers support programmes to settings and schools to help them to raise standards and improve outcomes for all children, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds or children who have a special education need or disability (SEND). The programme is delivered directly into settings by an Achievement for All coach.
A large part of the programme is about improving relationships with parents and carers and creating a strong partnership to enable continued learning from the setting to the home. This is done through Achievement for All’s ‘Taking Time for Talk’ conversations – a strategic approach to engaging with parents/carers.
Hope Nursery has been working with Achievement for All since September 2013, and with support from their coach, has developed a range of innovative approaches to encourage parental involvement. The nursery is a calm and purposeful environment, with systems in place to support the needs of children and their families, something which is not easy to achieve in a large and diverse setting – a true reflection of their hard work.
Linda Cramp, Manager at Hope Nursery, said:
‘Working with Achievement for All has been very rewarding. We have seen improvement in each child’s development and built up good relationships with parents. We used Achievement for All’s
L-R: Sue Burrows - AfA Deputy Regional Lead, Patricia Watt –
Nursery Owner, Caroline Taylor –
Nursery Deputy, Linda Cramp Nursery Manager
‘Taking Time for Talk’ model with all our parents which helped to engage them and encouraged to be part of their child’s learning. I am proud of this award as it acknowledges the hard work the staff have put in to close the gaps in the children’s learning.”
Kelly Coleman, mother of Kamran, shares one example of the positive impact of the support received through the Achievement for All programme. She said:
“I feel happier in myself and a lot more confident in tackling issues with my son. He can now pronounce words more clearly, he has more friends and he has been toilet trained helping with his readiness for school. None of this would have been possible without my key workers support. I feel they staff really understand Kamran.”
Playdays Pre-school has also been working with Achievement for All since September 2013 and is a much smaller setting. With the support of the Achievement Coach, the manager has developed her leadership skills significantly and this has had a positive impact on all aspects of the pre-school’s practice and provision.
Jill Gowing, Manager at Playdays Pre-school, said:
L-R: Sue Burrows - AfA Deputy Regional Lead, Jill Gowing -
Preschool Manager, Jean Ferraro -
AfA Achievement Coach, Leigh Tovey - Preschool Deputy
“Working with Achievement for all has had a profound impact on me and the setting. It helped us focus on a clear vision of what we want to achieve at Playdays and my confidence as a leader has increased significantly and has helped me to organise my time more effectively.
“Effective systems are now in place across the setting and this has led to a better quality of monitoring of outcomes and a clear focus on expectations. An increased number of children are now making accelerated progress across the areas of learning. As a team we are very proud to achieve the Quality Mark and it is good to be recognised for all our hard work and what we have accomplished.”
Emma Dolling, mother of Alfie, shared her experience of Achievement for All and the impact on her son. She said:
“Playdays have the perfect balance of ‘play’ and ‘work’, the staff team are easy to approach and always available to speak to parents about Alfie’s progress. I also feel more confident and Alfie is happier, talkative, looks forward to school and is more able to concentrate. I would highly recommend Playdays to others.”
Achievement for All works closely with parents, carers, practitioners and the individual child to secure the best outcome and attainment for children through personalised and specific plans to identify the next steps in their learning. The unique programmes are delivered directly to schools and settings via a highly skilled and trained team of expert coaches and specialist online support tool called The Bubble.
Early Years Settings are able to gain the Quality Mark Award through the Achieving Early Programme. The award focuses on a variety of categories such as the quality of leadership and management, the quality of teaching and learning, the effective use of interventions, community relationships and children’s progress including their health, happiness and overall wellbeing.
Sue Burrows, Deputy Regional Lead at Achievement for All, said:
“The children at both Hope Nursery and Playdays Pre-school are an absolute credit to both settings. They are happy, calm and engaged in their learning journey and are inspired to play, work and learn at the highest level. True testament to the success of the Achievement for All programme.
“The work carried out by both settings to support children and families is outstanding. Both Linda and Jill have fantastic leadership skills and a great vision of ‘children learning through play’. On behalf of all at Achievement for All, I would like to congratulate all staff, children and their families on receiving this truly deserved award.”