Outstanding OFSTED report at Mini Minors summer 2009

Our outstanding OFSTED report at Mini Minors in summer 2009

This Summer (2009) we were inspected by OFSTED at Mini Minors, our holiday playscheme for children aged 3 – 13. The inspection took place on our policies, EYFS, premises, office, activities, staff, equipment and all other aspects of Mini Minors.

A very rare grade was given to us… OUTSTANDING!! So, we are now an OFSTED outstanding playscheme!! Following is the text version of it so you can see the report for yourself.

Mini Minors Holiday Group

Inspection report for early years provision

Unique reference number: 147586

Inspection date: 03/08/2009

Inspector: Martyn Richards

Setting address: Brookland Infant Primary School, Hill Top, London, NW11 6EJ

Type of setting: Childcare on non-domestic premises


This inspection was carried out by Ofsted under Sections 49 and 50 of the Childcare Act 2006 on the quality and standards of the registered early years provision. ‘Early years provision’ refers to provision regulated by Ofsted for children from birth to 31 August following their fifth birthday (the early years age group). The registered person must ensure that this provision complies with the statutory framework for children’s learning, development and welfare, known as theEarly Years Foundation Stage.

The provider must provide a copy of this report to all parents with children at the setting where reasonably practicable. The provider must provide a copy of the report to any other person who asks for one, but may charge a fee for this service (The Childcare (Inspection) Regulations 2008 regulations 9 and 10).

Children only attend this setting before and/or after the school day and/or during the school holidays. The judgements in this report reflect the quality of early years provision offered to children during those periods.

The setting also makes provision for children older than the early years age group which is registered on the voluntary and/or compulsory part(s) of the Childcare Register. This report does not include an evaluation of that provision, but a comment about compliance with the requirements of the Childcare Register is included in Annex B.

Description of the setting

Mini Minors is one of three holiday play schemes run by Xkeys Ltd. It opened 20 years ago and operates from the classrooms and communal areas of Brookland Infant and Junior Schools. Children also have use of outside play spaces in the school grounds and of the school’s swimming pool. The play scheme is situated in a residential area of Hampstead Garden Suburb. It is open each weekday from 09.00 to 16.00 during some school holidays. A maximum of 280 children aged from three to eight may attend at any one time; of these, no more than 170 may be in the early years age group. At present there are 160 children on roll, 124 of whom are in the early years age group. Some older children can attend the setting. The children come from a wide catchment area. The play scheme supports some children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, and also some who speak English as an additional language. It employs 33 staff, many of whom have worked in the setting for several years. Most hold appropriate qualifications in teaching, childcare or sports coaching. The play scheme is registered on the Early Years Register and both the compulsory and voluntary parts of the Childcare Register.

Overall effectiveness of the early years provision

Overall the quality of the provision is outstanding. This is a large play scheme, highly valued by parents and enjoyed by their children. It offers a very wide range of indoor and outdoor activities for the children, and is a safe and caring environment for them to play, learn and develop. The capacity for continuing improving in the future is outstanding.

What steps need to be taken to improve provision further?

To further improve the high quality early years provision the registered person should consider:

  • further develop existing arrangements for assessing children’s progress to give a clearer picture of some of their achievements over the time they are in the play scheme
  • make processes for identifying the play scheme’s strengths and areas for development, through self-evaluation, more systematic

The leadership and management of the early years provision

The outstanding leadership of Mini Minors has resulted in a high quality play scheme. The leaders and managers are energetic, very well informed about the components of good practice in care for the young child, and take every opportunity to improve the play scheme still further. It is better than at the previous inspection, largely as a result of the thorough and imaginative implementation of new Early Years Foundation Stage requirements. This has brought about a wider range of motivating activity for the children, and further strengthened processes to ensure their safety and welfare.

Links with parents are very strong. Parents comment enthusiastically on their children’s pleasure in attending, the attention paid to the individual needs of each child, and the easy availability of staff to deal with any anxieties they may have. Asked how she felt about the setting, one parent remarked ‘One word only – marvellous.’

The staff are committed to inclusion. Many have special skills in supporting children with particular needs, children with little English or with physical difficulties. They all feel accepted and understood. Activities such as contacts with Great Ormond Street Hospital, and learning to paint without using hands help the children to a fuller appreciation of the achievements and tenacity of others.

Staff share a determination to make the play scheme even better, and are very alert to new ideas or initiatives. However, the process of self-evaluation used at present is not systematic enough to ensure that the development priorities identified are always the most important.

The leaders’ excellent teamwork, careful monitoring of the quality of daily activities, engagement with parents, and record of development since the last inspection, give confidence in their outstanding capacity to continue improvement in the future.

The quality and standards of the early years provision

Children’s safety is rightly given the highest priority in this play scheme. Applicants to work in the scheme are carefully checked, visitors are signed in and out, and the site is secure from intrusion. Risk assessments are thorough and frequent, and procedures for circumstances in which a child is not collected on time, or is collected by an unknown person, are robust.

Healthy and hygienic practices are promoted, and staff set a good example to children in this regard. Parents receive thoughtful advice about packed lunches, and children can have a drink of water whenever they wish. Due emphasis is placed on hand-washing, and equipment is cleaned regularly to limit the spread of any possible infection.

Children behave well because they are so interested in the activities provided, and because staff have a quiet confidence in managing children of this age. Children act with consideration for each other, are careful in handling tools and equipment, have learned to share or await their turn. They can make choices among available activities with a level of mature independence unusual for their age. Their pleasant demeanour, and positive attitudes, contribute strongly to the friendly and supportive ethos of the play scheme.

Children enjoy an outstanding variety of play activities, planned with skill to contribute to their learning, and encouraging choice and initiative. They love art and modelling, construction toys well matched to their stages of development, music and dancing. Parachute games, badge making, and role play excite interest and extend their language skills. Special events, such as the visit of a clown, a bouncy castle or a Teddy Bears Picnic, enrich the daily programme. Staff have begun to explore ways of recording key moments in each child’s development to give a glimpse into the progress children can make while they are in the play scheme. This is still at an early stage and staff are keen to refine the process.

The opportunities provided in the play scheme help children develop or enhance capabilities – for example, in language, in creative activity, and in personal confidence – which will stand them in good stead in the future.

Annex A: record of inspection judgements

The key inspection judgements and what they mean

  • Grade 1 is Outstanding: this aspect of the provision is of exceptionally high quality
  • Grade 2 is Good: this aspect of the provision is strong
  • Grade 3 is Satisfactory: this aspect of the provision is sound
  • Grade 4 is Inadequate: this aspect of the provision is not good enough


  • How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the Early Years Foundation Stage? 1
  • How well does the provision promote inclusive practice? 1
  • The capacity of the provision to maintain continuous improvement. 1

Leadership and management

  • How effectively is provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage led and managed? 1
  • How effective is the setting’s self-evaluation, including the steps taken to promote improvement? 2
  • How well does the setting work in partnership with parents and others? 1
  • How well are children safeguarded? 1

Quality and standards

  • How effectively are children in the Early Years Foundation Stage helped to learn and develop? 1
  • How effectively is the welfare of children in the Early Years Foundation Stage promoted? 1
  • How well are children helped to stay safe? 1
  • How well are children helped to be healthy? 1
  • How well are children helped to enjoy and achieve? 2
  • How well are children helped to make a positive contribution? 1
  • How well are children helped develop skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being? 1

Any complaints about the inspection or report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance available from Ofsted’s website: www.ofsted.gov.uk

Annex B: the Childcare Register

The provider confirms that the requirements of the compulsory part of the Childcare Register are: Met The provider confirms that the requirements of the voluntary part of the Childcare Register are: Met OFSTED outstanding playscheme