Aspley Salvation Army has received an Outstanding classification from OFSTED following inspection of its After School Club in the town. First registered in 1998, the Club has gone from strength to strength, building on the success of its ‘Good’ classification in 2009 to be described as ‘inspirational’.
The team scored an Outstanding grade across all categories, with the OFSTED inspector marking out how far the children develop for particular praise. “Leadership is inspirational,” says the report. “The dedicated team create outstanding provision for children, who thrive.”
“Respectful relationships, together with detailed planning, make sure children in the Early Years Foundation Stage make outstanding progress,” it continues.
The environment, staff, working with external partners and the safeguarding of children were all marked out as exceptional areas in which the After School Club provides for its young attendees.
Aspley’s Salvation Army Officer Lieutenant Matt Elsey was delighted with the results, saying, “I am enormously proud of the dedication our staff take in representing The Salvation Army through the care given to children in our setting. They are highly motivated in serving the children’s physical, emotional and practical needs each and every day the club is open.”
He continued, “They thoroughly deserve the ‘Outstanding’ grading by OFSTED and know they will continue to maintain the very high standards set.”
It’s not just the club itself which excels at childcare provision – with its partnerships with local schools and detailed planned activities as just two areas in which it makes a difference to children’s lives – but also the excursions it arranges, from cinema to swimming trips and visits to local parks, which helps create such a well-rounded and excellent service. This ties in with The Salvation Army’s long history offering help to children and young people in the community, through programmes such as it’s after school clubs and parents and toddler groups.
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Parents, like OFSTED, are also impressed. One satisfied parent said, “My children have been attending the After school club for seven years. The staff have been very supportive, helpful, and supported my eldest child who has autism. Excellent childcare.”
Another parent had this to say about the Club, “From the first day of reception my daughter has loved every minute of the After School Club. We feel it’s a home from home as we have been coming here for the past five years. Great staff, fun activities, - we couldn’t ask for any more”.
But perhaps the final word belongs to those who use the service themselves – the children. One eleven year old who uses the Club, said this; “Salvation Army is a really fun place. I really like Fran [one of the leaders] and she will miss me when I leave year 6. I will miss her plus the staff they are all helpful and they all care for me. I feel very comfortable whilst I spend my days here.”