My Ofsted Inspection
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  1. #1
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    Default My Ofsted Inspection

    It is 5 years, next month, since my last inspection. I got inspected last week. The inspector phoned the Friday afternoon before and we agreed on the following Monday or Wednesday. If she wasn't with me on the Monday by 10am then she would definitely see me on the Wednesday. I found it very stressful waiting and then realising that she wasn't coming that Monday morning. So 2 more evenings of stress till the Wednesday. Nothing else gained as I was ready for the Monday.
    I stuck a post-it note to the inside of my front door. It read 'inspector's name, ID, phone, visitor's book' as I knew I would forget something when I opened the door. I kept the post-it note scrunched in my hand till I had done everything on the list. I had 2 lo's. The 3rd child was ill that day. Both children are 3 & a half. She sat in her car outside my house, as I saw her when I was returning from the school run. She was reading. She knocked on my door at 9.15 and left at 12.30pm.
    She liked the children introducing themselves and showing her around. The children showed her where they hang their coats and they 'read' all the other lo's names for her. I then showed her the table with all my paperwork on it and suggested she could sit on 'this' chair so that she could see everything going on. What a mistake that was as she said she wouldn't be sitting but be following me and observing me. So we began. The children started playing with the phone and keyboard that I had sat on the little table with notebooks and pens. One went and got the doctor's kit and this involved 10 minutes of playing hospitals with me asking lots of questions and her standing behind me, leaning on my kitchen worktop, typing away. I remember asking one of the lo's to point out letters on the keyboard and to say/repeat their sounds which she did and then asked her to read from her notes and she listed the shopping she needed, meanwhile the other lo is taking a 'thorn' out of my arm with plyers from the play tool kit. Then suddenly, as with children, the game is over. I suggested they help tidy up which they did and then they moved on to the table with threading on it. I followed and we had discussions on numbers, comparing sizes, colours etc. She is still standing, arms length away, typing. She asked the children a few questions which made me panic slightly as I thought 'am I not extending their learning enough' but I think she was testing them to see if they had the confidence to speak to a strange visitor as she has since wrote a comment on this confidence in my report. The children then went off and played with the dolls and tea set and it was then that she went and sat at the table. (It feels strange as I can't recall bits of what went on - maybe I was moving about in a silent panic). Moments/minutes/half hour later I suggested I'll read a book and then everything was dropped and the children disappeared. She got up and followed them and found them each sitting on a cushion on the floor. Backs stiff with their little legs crossed waiting for me to sit, on the sofa, in front of them. I commented about how 'beautifully they were sitting all ready for stories at school' and she said ' yes and I think I'll join them'. So my inspector took her boots off and sat, cross-legged, on the floor beside my lo's. I thought this was lovely until it dawned on my I was now reading to an audience of 3 and one of them was an Ofsted Inspector! I read 3 books. All the books have been read many times before. 'Green Eggs and Ham', the lo's shouted the last rhyming word of every sentence in this book. My second choice of book was about a little lemur going out to play for the first time and being afraid. We read this twice. The first time right through, the second we chatted about feelings etc on each page and my third choice was a fun pop-up book that always makes them laugh. The children played for a bit as I put the books away and she just followed them. I suggested we then had snack. A lo announced 'ok then I'll go and wash my hands then' without being prompted and she commented on how she like this. They washed the table for me, got the little chairs, plates etc. All the while I'm testing them 'so how many plates do we need today? Why do we need to wash the table etc?' She is standing watching. We have toast, cheese sticks and grapes. I made both of us a cup of coffee as by this stage I was gasping. Handing her the cup I babbled on about it being safe as I had no babies/toddler and she smiled and said 'thank you'. The children buttered their own toast with me asking 'why should we be careful with knives?' etc. I spoke to them a lot during snack asking open ended questions about how they keep healthy, about germs, about healthy food, about different shapes of toast, who had more grapes? how many more grapes would one need to be the same as the other one etc. It was exhausting. Then we cleared up. The children stood on their little chairs and washed and dried their own dishes at the kitchen sink with me standing behind them as I knew today was probably the day they would fall backwards. Fortunately they didn't. This involved more questions on food waste, germs, the weather, even farm animals. We talked about going outside but I wasn't sure so a lo said 'well just look at the weather on the ipad then' and she started typing again. So we spent the next 10 minutes discussing about our warm clothes and putting them on and why we put on our winter coats, gloves, wellies etc and then the lo's and I went outdoors. The inspector was sitting at the table.
    I have a very small garden. I love my flower beds, my pot plants, my swing bench, my family table and chairs etc and then in the middle I have a lot of plastic little tikes toys. All other outdoor resources come from indoors. I had already put out the magnetic letters/numbers in a basket. I stuck some on the edge of my metal table so the lo's would follow my lead. The lo's ignored this. I have 2 small plastic tables. On one I had placed a shallow tray with coloured sand in it for mark making and on the other I had little clip boards with pencils attached. On each clipboard was a sheet with 4 basic shapes and the lo's were meant to look for similarities in the back garden to these shapes. They ignored both tables. I also had a large bucket, full of compost with little trowels and rakes so they could find the stones I had hidden in the soil. Each stone had either a letter or number written on it in permanent ink. The children choose to ignore this also. My final resource was a large foam number jigsaw. The one that the numbers pop out of the middle. I had an idea in my head we would build the jigsaw together and then I would ask them to throw a small bean bag onto various chosen numbers. They weren't having any of it. They were on the wooden balance bikes, whizzing around the obstacles of slides and plastic pirate ship etc. Expertly whizzing I should add. I noticed the inspector had disappeared from my view indoors and I assumed she had gone to get her coat. I tried really hard to get the 2 lo's to come and help make the number jigsaw but they just laughed and kept whizzing past. I began to panic as she opened the back door. So I made it myself chatting away to them as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Eventually they came closer but didn't get off the blasted bikes. So I suggested 'who can show me number 9?' and one of them rode the bike across that number but also across my lovely jigsaw!! Well I swallowed and smiled and continued this game for a while longer then gave up and stood back. I saw her watching me and I mumbled something like 'oh it's time for me to stand back. It's child lead play time'. I thought it was going all wrong. But she saw it differently as she wrote in my report 'children demonstrate a love of being physically active outdoors'. She then said to me that she was going indoors and in about 10 minutes she would be ready to speak to me. I said 'but I've not done my planned activity yet' and she said something like 'oh no need for that as I've seen nothing but teaching from the moment you closed the front door'. And that gave me some confidence back.
    She said she liked my 'all about me forms' - I thought they were quite basic.
    She said my next steps were 'spot on'
    She said it was evident that I had worked hard to keep up contact with local settings and parents.
    When she was chatting to me at the end she said she wasn't going to ask me about Prevent or safeguarding as I had covered both numerous times in my sef and I had a thorough understanding of both.
    She said she wasn't going to ask me about British Values as 'I lived and breathed it in everything I said and done today'.
    She said my sef was too long.
    I asked about going paperless and she said it was very likely the future and she would be very happy to look at Lj's etc online.
    And then she said I was keeping my grade. Phew.

    I hope this isn't too long. Apologises for babbling on and on but I didn't know how else to report it. Please ask any questions if there is anything else to ask.
    I hope it helps some who are still waiting as I know I was very grateful for all the feedback I read on here. And thank you to everyone for posting and posting and posting all your questions and comments as I read and took it all in and it has really helped me keep my grade. Thank you everybody! xx

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  3. #2
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    Default

    That's fantastic feedback, thank you.

    Well done on a great inspection. You obviously really impressed her

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  5. #3
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    Well done you. Sounds like you showed her exactly what childmindings all about

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  7. #4
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    Default

    Funny isn't it how you start doubting yourself when someone is watching over you lol

    Well done and lovely feedback x

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  9. #5
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    Wow you sound amazing. You really didn't miss an opportunity to teach. Well done.

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  11. #6
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    Wonderful, well done you xx

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  13. #7
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    Wow well done and thank you so much for such a detailed account of the day, I'm assuming you were and still are outstanding from reading that!
    Loved your activity ideas, will be trying the stones hidden in compost, I have lots of 3 year olds all love digging and recognising letters around us so that sounds like a great idea, and I have a massive bucket of stones I collected at the beach last year...!
    May I ask what your planned activity was? Sounds like you had lots of planned things out, but let them choose, I worry I don't do so much 'activity planning' and let them lead more, although saying that usually have something on the tuff tray each week as soon as our garden is less boggy, just haven't ventured into the mud this year to wash down the tray...that'll be an activity for the kids when things dry out a little!

  14. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex__17 View Post
    Wow well done and thank you so much for such a detailed account of the day, I'm assuming you were and still are outstanding from reading that!
    Loved your activity ideas, will be trying the stones hidden in compost, I have lots of 3 year olds all love digging and recognising letters around us so that sounds like a great idea, and I have a massive bucket of stones I collected at the beach last year...!
    May I ask what your planned activity was? Sounds like you had lots of planned things out, but let them choose, I worry I don't do so much 'activity planning' and let them lead more, although saying that usually have something on the tuff tray each week as soon as our garden is less boggy, just haven't ventured into the mud this year to wash down the tray...that'll be an activity for the kids when things dry out a little!
    I had planned 2 activities. Both have been done many times before but I always try to extend it a little every time. First was a matching pairs card game caledl Opposites. Very simple. I have one half of every card and share the other half amongst the number of children. Amongst some things it also extends language and encourages listening skills and also teaching the children how to sit and wait their turn. The second was a number activity involving small plastic counting teddies and I was planning to do something like 'who has the most?' 'how many more do you need to make 5?' etc. She asked me if anything 'was new today?' and I thought it was a trick question so wasn't sure how to answer it so I told the truth and said 'no'. She said good as sometimes settings try different things on inspection day thinking the children will be interested but a lot of the times they aren't. Plus 'we always know because the children let us know'.

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  16. #9
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    Well done you!! Congratulations ... brilliant feedback

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  18. #10
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    Congratulations! You must be so relieved. You made me laugh when you said you thought 'it was a trick question' - why do have the power to make us doubt ourselves and second guess the simplest of things! x

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  20. #11
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    Wow well done... fab feedback, thank you for sharing

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  22. #12
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    Brilliant news!
    Thankyou for giving us an insight into your day, it sounds like a great place for children to be.

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  24. #13
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    Well Done you!

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