Our outstanding XUK report in summer 2008

Our outstanding XUK report in summer 2008

In Summer 2008 we were inspected by OFSTED at our residential camp. A full days inspections took place on our premises, office, activities, staff, equipment and all other aspects of XUK. A very rare grade was given to us... OUTSTANDING!! And folllowing is the text version of it so you can see the report for yourself.
Unique Reference Number EY250503
Inspection date 21 July 2008
Inspector Tessa Margaret Betts
Setting Address New Eccles School, Quidenham, Eccles, Norwich, Norfolk, NR16 2NZ
Telephone number 02083719686
E-mail summerxuk@hotmail.com
Registered person XKEYS Ltd
Type of inspection Childcare
Type of care Out of School care

About this inspection

The purpose of this inspection is to assure government, parents and the public of the quality of childcare and, if applicable, of nursery education. The inspection was carried out under Part XA Children Act 1989 as introduced by the Care Standards Act 2000 and, where nursery education is provided, under Schedule 26 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.

The key inspection judgements and what they mean

this aspect of the provision is of exceptionally high quality
this aspect of the provision is strong
this aspect of the provision is sound
this aspect of the provision is not good enough


On the basis of the evidence collected on this inspection: The quality and standards of the care are outstanding. The registered person meets the National Standards for under 8s day care and childminding.


XUK is a residential summer camp for children from this country and abroad which is privately run by a company based in London. The company has been operating since 1983 in the London area, however they have been based at Quidenham in Norfolk since 2002. The scheme operates from facilities within New Eccles Hall School and is open for four weeks of the school summer holiday period. A maximum of 120 children may attend at any one time. There are currently 107 children aged between 7 years and 17 years on roll, however only one child is under 8 years at the time of the inspection. The summer camp employs 29 members of staff who all hold relevant qualifications and experience in either child care, nursing or sports related fields. Eight staff members hold current first aid certificates in addition to the medical staff.


Helping children to be healthy

The provision is outstanding. Children's health is rigorously promoted as staff effectively implement a range of positive practises to ensure the nutritional, health and physical needs of the children are met. Children benefit from being cared for in a clean environment where support staff are employed to maintain good hygiene standards whilst the summer camp is operating. Children themselves are actively encouraged under the supervision of a group leader to attend to their personal needs and keep their rooms tidy on a daily basis. This supports and extends the younger children's independence when away from home. Children with particular health needs are well catered for. Information is gathered from parents in a variety of ways to accommodate children attending from both this country and abroad. This information is then shared effectively within the large staff group and specialist instructors who provide particular activities. This is particularly important where children's health needs may have an impact on the planned activity. When children take part in scuba diving in the school pool all children wear swimming hats. Those children who need closer supervision, such as a child with asthma or those less confident in the water wear a different coloured hat. Robust systems for administering medications and attending to accidents are in place. Children have direct access to qualified medical staff who are able to respond at any time during the day and night. This ensures that their health needs are addressed quickly and effectively. Arrangements are in place with the local doctor should any medical matters prove more serious. Children's dietary needs are extremely well catered for. Staff take into account the need for substantial meals and snacks. These accommodate children's growing appetites following many physical activities during the day. Children are able to choose from a range of breakfast options which include both a cooked breakfast, a continental style breakfast, cereals, fresh fruit and toast. Hot home cooked meals using fresh ingredients are provided by the school kitchen at both lunch time and in the evening. Menus are well planned in advance to accommodate children's likes and dislikes and cultural dietary needs. All meals provide children with healthy options, such as a pasta bar, salads and the constant availability of fresh fruit. Younger children are supported and encouraged by their group leader to make healthy choices. This ensures children eat regularly and that their diet is balanced and nutritious. Children are able to help themselves to regular drinks throughout the day. When participating in strenuous outdoor activities, additional staff are available to bring fresh drinking water to them on request. Food is hygienically prepared by the catering staff who hold current food hygiene certificates. This ensures they are aware of, and are able to comply with, regulations relating to food safety and hygiene. This further promotes children's good health as the risk of cross-contamination is greatly minimised. Children thrive in this environment where their physical development is constantly challenged through a range of outstanding activities. Children's personal fitness is significantly improved as they take part in climbing activities, team games, field sports such as football, volleyball, cricket, hockey, martial arts, archery and lacrosse on a daily basis. Indoor activities include scuba diving, water polo, water basketball and swimming. Wet weather activities are well planned in advance so that children continue to burn off excessive energy using the school premises when necessary.

Protecting children from harm or neglect and helping them stay safe

The provision is outstanding. Children's risk of accidental injury is robustly minimised as a result of thorough and secure risk assessments. The staff group pay close attention to every aspect of children's safety and well-being. Well-thought-out procedures ensure children arriving from abroad are met from the airport by welcoming and friendly staff supporting their emotional security. Children are very well cared for in an environment which is set up to meet their needs. The premises are safe, secure and suitable for their purpose. Children are able to make maximum use of the well-maintained school facilities during the summer holidays. A daily morning meeting with the caretaker ensures that all maintenance issues are quickly picked up and rectified. Children sleep in dormitories which are organised in advance to account for age and gender, however adjustments can be made where necessary. Children have facilities close by to support their well-being and independence such as toilets, washbasins and baths. There are designated areas identified for the different age groups so that children can rest and relax during periods of free time. Whilst children are encouraged to keep their rooms clean and tidy, cleaning staff are employed to ensure that the large communal areas remain clean and safe. Careful planning on the part of the management team ensures children have the necessary equipment on site to make full use of all the activities on offer. Parents are provided with a list of clothes and equipment needed prior to attending. Detailed explanations given by staff help children to understand why safety equipment must be used correctly at all times to ensure both the safety of themselves and others. Suitable storage is available both indoors and outside to house equipment. All equipment is checked daily by qualified instructors prior to being used and then locked away when not in use to ensure children's safety. Children's safety is of paramount importance to the manager and his staff. The attention paid to detail is exemplary. This includes taking all positive steps within the school to anticipate and minimise hazards. Effective systems are in place so that all visitors are accounted for and supervised whilst on the premises. Careful consideration is given to identifying and assessing the degree of risk for each activity. Staff grade the severity of risk and identify what measures need to be in place so that children can take part safely in exciting and challenging activities. These measures are then constantly monitored and evaluated on a daily basis to ensure they continue to be robust at all times. All high risk activities, such as using the zip wires, quad bikes, clay pigeon shooting for older children, scuba diving, driving lessons and using the climbing walls are led by qualified and experienced instructors. Time is taken to explain to the children what the safety implications are for each activity. As a result children know for example, why they need to wear certain types of clothing when using the quad bikes to minimise any minor injury and the relevance of accurately following all safety instructions to ensure their safety and that of others around them. Children are closely supervised at all times. Staff are fully familiar with the extensive timetable and what activity they are leading. Children are grouped effectively and quickly so that time is not wasted on organisational issues. Staff anticipate areas which children are likely to use in periods of free time. After lunch designated staff sit on the field or in the common rooms ready to supervise any child who wishes to play sport, read a book, play a table top game or just relax in the sunshine with friends. Children are familiar with what to do in the event of a fire. Weekly fire drills are carried out and all equipment is checked to ensure it is maintained in full working order. Staff are vigilant in ensuring fire doors are not blocked. Children enjoy many outings away from the school during the week. All aspects of safety have been addressed through the robust risk assessment to ensure cars and coaches used are safe and suitable with valid insurance. Children's welfare is securely safeguarded because all staff are familiar with the child protection procedures through their induction process or their work in other childcare settings. Clear written procedures, including local contact details are accessible and understood by all staff. This supports their understanding of the signs and symptoms of child abuse and what action they need to take. Documentary evidence seen from Norfolk Children's Services and other Local Authorities in the past few years comment on how effectively child protection concerns were handled by staff and that systems in place were robust in protecting and safeguarding children.

Helping children achieve well and enjoy what they do

The provision is outstanding. Children are happy, motivated and very settled in a highly supportive and caring environment where relationships between children and staff are excellent. From the point of arrival and throughout their stay children form firm and meaningful friendships with both staff and their peers. Many children return every year to build on previous experiences, some becoming staff members themselves. All children are encouraged to be independent and take responsibility for their actions, particularly around routine activities, however staff are always on hand to support the needs of younger children. Children benefit enormously from the motivation of the staff group who are extremely enthusiastic. This has a highly positive impact on the children. Through constant praise and encouragement children quickly develop a 'can do' attitude as they attempt a wide range of challenging new activities, many for the first time. Healthy competition encourages children to 'go the extra mile' when attempting to beat their personal best in sporting activities with their peers. Activities are extremely varied to appeal to children of all ages and abilities. Whilst there is a high emphasis on adventure and sports activities, less active pursuits are also available and incorporated into the daily timetable. Children are keen to use their creative talents as they make masks and friendship bracelets and enjoy cookery sessions where recipes are chosen appropriate to the ages and competency of the children. Younger children are excited at the thought of making waffles. Together they identify what ingredients they need, use scales to measure out how much is needed, take turns at mixing in the large bowl and then wait for them to cook. Younger children's interest is well sustained throughout this session as they talk about what they have done and plan the exciting next step of deciding what to put on their cooked waffles. Children quickly become fully familiar with the daily routine which contributes to a sense of security and belonging. The needs of younger children are extremely well considered in all aspects of daily life. Mealtimes are impressively organised so that younger children have access to the dining room first. This ensures sufficient time is allowed to make choices about what they would like and there is adequate space for them to sit with their friends to chat about their experiences. Children are able to relax in the evening as they enjoy for example, cinema nights, quiz nights, fancy dress nights and karaoke parties.

Helping children make a positive contribution

The provision is outstanding. All children are treated with equal concern, their individuality respected and valued by staff. Younger children coming away from home for the first time are warmly welcomed and supported throughout the settling process. Children with English as an additional language are fully included as information is presented in a variety of ways to meet their needs. Whilst learning English may be part of a child's learning experience, staff recognise that at times it may be hard for a child to communicate their feelings fully. They may not be able to fully grasp the safety instructions given, or that they are upset, feeling unwell or homesick. As a result information is written in many languages and some staff are recruited with additional language skills to support the communication process. This ensures all children can communicate effectively and that the appropriate course of action taken. There are no children currently attending with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. However children with additional needs would be warmly welcomed. Where necessary adaptations would be made to appropriate activities to ensure all children can take part to the best of their ability. Children are very well behaved and polite. They respect clearly laid down ground rules which are consistently applied by staff to ensure all children have a happy and fulfilling experience. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own behaviour. Each dormitory has a set of ground rules drawn up and agreed between themselves and their designated staff member. These positive statements support the inclusion of all and emphasise the importance of showing respect and care for others. Staff encourage an open dialogue at all times so that issues of negative behaviour can be addressed promptly and effectively. Staff have high expectations for children's behaviour and value the progress individual children make. This is rewarded appropriately and used to promote children's self-confidence and esteem. As a result children are grasping an excellent understanding of right and wrong and how their behaviour has an impact on others. An effective partnership with parents contributes significantly to the children's well being. Parent's views about their children's health and care needs are actively sought at the point of inquiry and on arrival at the camp before children attend. Parents receive high quality information and they, alongside the children themselves are asked to complete questionnaires to enable the summer camp to review its practice. Parents feel able to comment on all aspects of the service and speak very positively, particularly about the quality activities their children enjoy and the attentiveness of staff. The feedback from parents is closely evaluated by the management team to ensure all issues can be addressed in preparation for the following year.


The organisation is outstanding. Children's care is significantly enhanced by dynamic organisation and the outstanding commitment and dedication of the manager and staff team. Robust systems in place ensure those working directly with the children are safe and suitable. Over half of the staff group hold relevant childcare qualifications alongside valuable working experience. This is further enhanced by other staff holding recognised sports qualifications. Children's needs are given the highest priority within this quality provision which is constantly committed to on-going improvement of its service. Staff meetings are held each evening to discuss issues that have arisen during the day and address any organisational issues which may impact on the children's enjoyment. Children are positively supported in their care and activities as the staff team maintain excellent adult to child ratios. All staff show a respectful regard for the well-being of all children and plan their time enthusiastically with a range of thrilling experiences. Children are confident in their surroundings and have excellent facilities to ensure they can play, be active, rest and eat in comfort. All documentation is excellently maintained and accessible. Dedicated support staff ensure all information required for the smooth running of this camp is up to date at all times. All staff have strong support systems in place to ensure communication is effective at every level. Children benefit significantly from the outstanding organisation prior to the summer camp operating and the ongoing commitment and motivation of all involved. This ensures each child's experience is a rich and fulfilling one. Overall children's needs are met.

Improvements since the last inspection

not applicable

Complaints since the last inspection

Since 1 April 2004 there have been no complaints made to Ofsted that required the provider or Ofsted to take any action in order to meet the National Standards. The provider is required to keep a record of complaints made by parents, which they can see on request. The complaints record may contain complaints other than those made to Ofsted.


On the basis of the evidence collected on this inspection: The quality and standards of the care are outstanding. The registered person meets the National Standards for under 8s day care and childminding.


The quality and standards of the care

No recommendations for improvement are made because the quality and standards of care are outstanding.