Smarties kids in Calderdale celebrate top Ofsted rating

Smarties Nursery in Rastrick has been rated outstanding by Ofsted
Smarties Nursery in Rastrick has been rated outstanding by Ofsted

Staff and children at a Rastrick nursery school are celebrating after they were rated “outstanding” by educational standards body, Ofsted.

Smarties Nursery, which is a wholly owned subsidiary company of Rastrick High School, has achieved the “outstanding” classification across all four areas of assessment.

These include the effectiveness of the nursery’s leadership and management team, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, the personal development, behaviour and welfare of children, and child outcomes.

The report found that staff at Smarties “support children’s emotional wellbeing exceptionally well”, while children “thrive and build extremely secure emotional attachments to their key persons.”

It also noted that staff “provide activities that are highly appealing” and “precisely meet the learning needs and preferences of individual children”.

Relationships with other local schools were also commended in the report, which noted that an “integrated approach offers a wealth of learning opportunities” for children at the nursery.

Commenting on the success, Smarties’ finance director, Karen Petrillo, said: “To achieve outstanding across all areas in our first Ofsted inspection since opening Smarties in 2015 is, quite literally now, outstanding.

“We have worked extremely hard to provide an exceptional and stimulating learning environment for our children and focused on enabling staff to establish highly effective relationships with parents.

She continued: “Smarties was established as part of our own initiative to create additional revenue streams in support of Rastrick High School at a time when school funding was being drastically reduced year on year.

“As a forward-thinking school, we pitched the idea for a new nursery to the school governors along with a full business plan, projected forecasts and extensive research into the demand for the nursery and the other local offers.”

Steve Evans, head teacher at Rastrick High School, added: “Establishing Smarties has enabled us to not only create an Ofsted outstanding nursery provision for parents and children in the area, but also helped to fund the continuous provision of excellent learning opportunities.”

Clare Gibson, manager at Smarties, added: “We are thrilled to bits that all our hard work and dedication has been formally recognised. The team has worked tirelessly building this business from scratch and this recognition is testament to that.”

At its Ofsted inspection in April 2018, Rastrick High School maintained a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating. The school was commended for its “strong culture of ambition and high expectations among staff and pupils”, “high level of collaboration between pupils and teachers” and “increasingly effective” middle leaders.