Supporting and developing practitioners

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Female teacher and child work together seated at a table

The management team at Cylch Meithryn Pentre'r Eglwys understands the importance of providing effective support and development for all practitioners in order to achieve the best outcomes for the children.

Number of pupils: 54
Age range: 2-4
Date of inspection: February 2016

Information about the setting

Cylch Meithrin Pentre’r Eglwys is located in the community of Church Village, in Rhondda Cynon Taf local authority.

The setting runs morning and afternoon sessions daily for up to 26 children aged between two and four years old.  It receives education funding from the local authority for three-year-old children and includes provision for up to 10 Flying Start children.  Separate leaders run the morning and afternoon sessions, supported by six practitioners.  The setting is overseen by a not-for-profit community management company, Camau Cyntaf i Ddysgu.

The setting’s vision for children is:

  • to always put children and young people first, helping them to achieve their potential
  • to work in partnership with children and their families within the diverse community
  • to work effectively with other services to ensure the best outcomes for children and young people

Context and background to sector-leading practice

The management team understands the importance of providing effective support and development for all practitioners at the setting in order to achieve the best outcomes for the children.  To do this they:

 - use an innovative competency booklet to support staff in the development of their role

-  carry out half-termly overviews to reflect on the setting’s work and progress

-  monitor standards of teaching and learning regularly

Description of nature of strategy or activity identified as sector-leading practice

As a result of the strong processes to monitor and review practice, leaders and managers know the setting very well.  They set high expectations for all staff and have developed highly effective systems to support them in their roles.

A competency record is given to every member of staff when they join the setting.  Initially, this is used to support staff through their induction.  An experienced practitioner takes on the role of mentor, guiding new staff through the setting’s procedures.  As they become familiar with different aspects of the setting’s practices, staff log this in their competency record.  This shows that they are able to meet the setting’s expectations with regard to important practices such as following hygiene procedures and interacting appropriately with the children.  It also highlights any areas where they may need additional support or training, and provides a record to show that they have read and understood the setting’s policies, including their Child Protection Policy.  The competency records are then revisited regularly, feeding information into the six weekly supervision meetings.  This helps to ensure that staff have regular opportunities to develop their skills continually and keeps their knowledge and understanding of setting policies fully up to date.

The two session leaders complete an overview of the setting’s work every half term.  This provides a valuable opportunity to reflect on progress and any issues that have arisen.  They look through recommendations from visits such as from the local authority link teachers.  They take into account staff evaluations, which are completed weekly, and concerns that may have been shared informally.  The leaders then feed issues that need attention into the setting’s action plan, developed with the registered person.  This process is highly effective in enabling the leaders continually to reflect on and improve their practice.  For example, during a recent review, setting leaders identified that older children did not have sufficient opportunities to extend their skills.  They acted on this by developing a quiet area where older children could focus more purposefully on activities planned to challenge them effectively.

Through a regular system of observations, leaders support staff development and ensure high standards of teaching and learning.  Staff observe each other or they are observed by a leader or manager every half term.  This ensures that all staff are fully engaged in the setting’s work and receive regular feedback to help them develop in their roles.  For example, a recent peer observation identified that a member of staff was particularly skilful at working with more able children.  As a result, leaders were able to make the most of her skills by giving her opportunities to plan and lead the more challenging focus tasks. 

What impact has this work had on provision and learners’ standards?

All staff are fully aware of the setting’s policies and procedures, helping to ensure that the setting meets all national minimum standards.  Staff have regular opportunities to improve and develop their practice.  This ensures that they are fully engaged in their work, that there is a high level of trust between them, and that they work well together as a team, leading to high standards of teaching and learning.  As a result of regular reflection, the setting is able to identify issues and concerns and adapt their practice to deal with these. 

How have you shared your good practice?

This has been shared through the community face book page, and stakeholders have been sign-posted to the Estyn website.