Nurseries SHOULD Be Attached To Schools!

It’s not very often I have something good to say about ofsted. Living with a parent who was a teacher before taking early retirement has taught me to eye them as the devil and with good reason. The inspectors are full of people who have never even taught a class in their lives mixed with others who have failed at doing so. Indeed, I have heard from my Mum of one head teacher she knows of who went off with stress only to come back as an inspector a few years later… Sorry mate, but if you couldn’t hack it in the classroom then how do you think you can judge anyone else?

However, Ofsted’s Cheif Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw wants more nurseries attached to schools and I simply HAVE to agree! As the mother of a child at a school attached nursery, it all sounds like good thinking to me. I’m not getting into the two year old’s literacy and numeracy hours debate, although for lots of children whose parents can’t educate them at home through lack of skills themselves, I’m on board with that too. This is about nurseries being a part of school life, preparing children for what’s to come and starting as we mean to go on.

Florence has thrived from having a qualified teaching staff. I don’t mean a load of girl’s with an NVQ in ‘play’ (although I’m sure they’re very ‘nice’) and no one with any real education in charge, but fully qualified teachers in the classroom which runs like a mini school classroom. Our children need to learn properly and being dumped in a sandpit for a dumbing down session of castle building would never have satisfied her. Of course the children who don’t have the necessary skills or desires to learn or to read more have other options but the facilities are there for those who want to progress.

At Florence’s school, which we call school because it basically is one, they wear a uniform, they have school lunches and they do lots of things with the ‘big’ school. Social activities, sports days and school plays. Florence is a part of that school already and when September comes it won’t be a big transition at all…

And then there’s the fact that at the end of the day, bottom of the line and the long and the short of it is this… Private nurseries are there to make a profit. School attached nurseries are not. I know which priorities I’d like the qualified teaching staff looking after MY children to have!

I think it’s good for children, good for parents and good for schools! Ofsted… For once, you’ve said something I can get on board with.


We took a little break last week and spent a few days at my Mum’s. Jonny had to do some uni work and having us out of the way gives him time to get on really well for a bit and because it was Mother’s day weekend it was the perfect time to visit!

We didn’t do much other than see my lovely heavily pregnant friend and chit chat… I did go and look at a house for sale but we’re now thinking about perhaps moving to Chelmsford instead of Norwich so that Jonny can keep his job… We shall see!

The children had loads of fun in the garden on the new trampoline my Mum bought for them and played together really nicely!

Flobo and Jimbob Sofa Post

Florence and Jimmy at my Mum’s last week all snuggled under a blanket on the sofa!

And then we came back for the last week of term at school before Easter! Florence has also started Girl’s Brigade which her teacher helps to run on a Thursday Evening so we had to come back for the last session of that not to mention ballet before the Easter holidays too! Blimey that girl is busy!

Well, happy Easter Holidays to everyone, I’ll  be back next week but in the mean time please do follow me on Twitter @rocknrollerbabyfollow.

12 thoughts on “Nurseries SHOULD Be Attached To Schools!

  1. ooh I’m going to disagree! I think children learn best through play and I don’t want to see pre schoolers in uniforms teaching them to be autocratic workers spending long hours being teacher led. Childhood is disappearing enough and hot housing doesn’t work. I love the Scandinavian approach in fact there whole family policy is better than ours! But that’s just my view! Nice to see this from a different perspective though.

    1. I think the thing is though that play IS at the basis of all this ‘education’ but a school nursery cannot get away with doing a bad job whereas private nurseries, who are there to make money primarily, cannot. The school nurseries have the resources to cater to lots of different talents, needs, skills and help nurture what each child needs. A lot of nurseries just play and that’s it but do they bother to play in an engaging way? I have seen local ones to me in the park playing on the swings themselves and ignoring the children they’re looking after. We, most of us as parents, teach our children every day through everything we do but some people don’t have those skills and end up not doing a very good job as a parent. Children turn up at school without being able to do basic tasks within their capabilities so school nurseries can encourage those skills for those parents who can’t…

  2. I can see your point with some of this but I don’t agree with it all. Having experience of both private nurseries and school run nurseries, I feel I have to stick up for the girls (and ladies and men) who work in private establishments. They do have qualifications, in childcare, child development and early years education. They take babies from 6 months of age and they care for these babies right up to school age. They plan for their individual needs, interests and personalities. They nourish the children intellectually and emotionally and they follow all of the government guidelines that are required. They do not make a profit- the nursery owners perhaps do, but the girls themselves are not paid enough for what they do. A bit like teachers are not paid enough either. Nurseries in a school setting are different because they are in a school setting but that doesn’t make them better. They only take children from the age of 3 and are only available term time so not an option for many working parents. And they have the same guidelines to stick by from the government.
    Personally I do not believe in the proposed testing for 2 year olds and I strongly believe that early education should be child led and play based as that has been proven to be the best way young children learn. It is up to the staff at each setting to make activities creative and stimulating so that the needs of the child are met and they are progressing to the next level. I am sure that anyone working in a nursery wants this for all children, no matter where they are based.
    I do agree that there needs to be more nurseries attached to schools though as there are too many children missing out on early education who cannot afford to attend private nurseries. But I also think that each nursery- private or not- is only as good as the staff working there and the level of the qualification doesn’t always mean the staff are better.
    Sorry for the rambling comment! All of children are/ or have attended private nurseries and we are confident this was the right thing for them 🙂
    x x x

    1. And I see your point too but I just feel that there is so much scope for private nurseries to not do a good job whereas school nurseries can’t get away with being bad. As a stay at home Mum I see the private nursery staff out and about and watching the private nurseries in this area I honest and truthfully haven’t seen a group at a rhyme time, the play ground or supermarket (as they seem to take them?) with any laughter or chat just young girls looking pissed off pushing bored looking children in massive buggies before ignoring them. I love school attached nurseries because they have fully qualified teachers and follow similar structures to the big schools. They also encourage reading and writing with structure but of course there’s masses of play too. I would never send mine to a private nursery round here because of what I’ve seen but I don’t doubt there are good ones. I know the girls don’t get paid much but the philosophy of work must be entirely different when you have a private owner boss…

  3. Neither of mine are in nursery age so this is all new and interesting to me and I have a feeling that what will suit one of my children is very different to what will work for the other. Dylan wants to learn and at 2.5 his favourite thing to do is to sit down and practice his reading. He wants a school environment and structure whereas archie wants to play and he is a much more physical learner.

    1. Mine are very different learners too but they do cater to individual children, this is something school nurseries can cater for with ease as they have support and people with the right skills. Private nurseries CAN be very rubbish and get away with it whereas school nurseries just can’t! 🙂

  4. In a selfish way I don’t send mine to the school nursery as it is expected that they attend 5 days a week. As he is still little I want to take him out on day trips, so he does his 5 sessions over 2 and half days. Having said that it is attached to a school but a private one that he wont be going to.

  5. I am another that pretty much completely disagrees although I would like to see more nurseries attached to schools but only to create more affordable places for those that need them. Cian attends a nursery attached to the school and I see the advantages of being part of a school based setting BUT I don’t think it is in any way superior to the private ones the older two have attended.
    I also don’t like the discussion the words ‘formal learning’, ‘school readiness’, targets, goals etc etc because I don’t feel any of it is necessary until MUCH later. There would be little issue of children not being ready if they stopped imposing expectations upon them.
    Like Emma I’d prefer to see a Finnish style system adopted although am aware that this is an idealist approach because our society can’t support it.

  6. I agree with all the people that posted responses to this article. Play-based is a brilliant way for children to learn,emphasis on the word children.Finnish edu.system is brilliant too.

  7. Aaron’s in a children’s centre nursery and it is all about play…….. the feedback I get everyday when I collect him is “he had fun in the construction area”. It got to the stage where I stopped waiting to hear the feedback when I collected him. He has started doing letters late, drawing late… I know he would benefit from a pre-school style nursery. It’s now got me on a mission to do a lot of learning at home, as I have realised too late that it is not happening there. I have to say I agree with you, although I also agree with the European style where they start school style learning as late as 5-6, which there is a lot of evidence works. The only reason I would have liked Aaron to have more structured learning is because he is drawn to letters and numbers and seems to have a desire to grow academically. I know he needs to be stimulated, and soon I am going to do a lot lot more at home xx

  8. This is really close to home for me at the moment as C is due to start at a school nursery after Easter. She will be 2 years and 2 months. I have wrestled with my conscious for ages as to whether it is the right thing to do. It will only be for 2 mornings a week. I am not expecting her to do any formal learning. She’s only 2! But I did really like the small scale and the structure of the school nursery compared to our local village playgroup which I just found it a bit too manic! I guess we lead quite a quiet life at home 🙂
    I am totally against private day nurseries. I am not entirely sure why. The fact they are set up for all day care does not suit ours needs but also I think I feel that a school has a vested interest in the long term emotional/social/educational well being of the children . I don’t see private nurseries as having the same interest. They are just providing day to day childcare…. something that I can do myself at home. I guess I want more from a nursery. Not educational at this stage, but constructive.
    Ideally she would be totally at home with me for another year but I do feel that, now baby B has arrived, she needs just that little bit more than I have the time and energy to give. It will also give me some valuable 1 on 1 time with baby B which he is totally lacking at the moment.
    As much as I go over and over this in my mind, I will only really know whether it will work for us by giving it a try. If after a term (or maybe even less) it is obviously not working then I am more the happy to take her out. She may thrive though, and I have been advised it might also really help her speech. We will see….

  9. I think children need a mix of the two. Certainly the link between nurseries, pre-schools and schools is good from a continuity point of view, but you don’t need to be a qualified teacher to play games which involve learning.

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