Outstanding Early Years Provision at The Mead
Two members of staff have been designated as Specialist Leaders of Education in Early Years at The Mead Teaching School. An area of the Early Year’s learning environment has been re-designed to include the ‘Hub’ – an area purely for engagement in independent and child initiated learning. Research carried out as a result is continually used to inform practice and provision. The Early Year’s Team have formed a research Learning Sett, which has set its own brief to consider the impact of ‘The Hub’ on progress and learning. The Mead continues to develop its enhanced partnership with Bath Spa University supporting an innovative approach to school based ITE, with our own Early Years staff leading seminars and workshops for ITE students.
The Early Years Team at The Mead provide an outstanding and innovative environment that has its foundation in child initiated learning. The practice within our Early Years department has been recognised as being outstanding by Ofsted during three Outstanding Practice Visits (2007, 2011 and 2014) and during two HMI visits in 2013. These judgements have again been validated and footage of our practice is now used in Ofsted training.
I had the pleasure of visiting your fantastic school along with the South Gloucestershire group of schools on Friday 13th June. Firstly, many thanks for a truly inspiring day. The welcome from you and the team and your willingness to share practice and engage in professional dialogue was refreshing and certainly helped my colleagues understand that CPD is not just going on a course. We are really looking forward to working with the group of schools to develop our practice and the visit has helped remind me of the value of the research. I will be using the ‘spiral’ approach at my school.
Last week we had the inspectors in and being able to articulate our vision for EYFS, along with the changes we have made following our visit to you, really helped us get the outcome we hoped we would get. It has given us the launch pad, and now time, to really commit to the model of improving practice you shared.
I know that anyone visiting you cannot fail to be inspired but I would like to assure you that I will not just magpie a few ideas. I was incredibly impressed with the detail and rigour behind the practice and provision, and, as the group of schools meet to develop our ‘project’, it will be my mission to ensure everyone remembers the importance of it.
What we saw and heard has already had an impact at my school and will continue to do so going forward.
Thank you so much to you and the team .Conrad Hutton
Ofsted have made these videos of our Foundation Stage Unit as part of a suite of films showing good practice in the Early Years. The first video focuses on Early Years practice within The Mead Community Primary School and the second is based on assessment in the Foundation Stage which features some of our practice.