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We had a fantastic year at Barracudas. With more camps and children than ever, it was a great way to celebrate our 30th anniversary!
This year, a number of camps were visited by the officials from Ofsted. Our ratings were the icing on the cake.
We hit top marks at each of the camps visited and we couldn’t be more proud of our seasonal staff and children as well as all our Head Office team who work so hard throughout the year to make sure we’re offering the best experience at all of our camps.
We’re happy to share the results with you here.
Ofsted visited Cobham again this summer and we are thrilled to have a ‘met’ rating. The comments supported our previous ‘Outstanding’ rating. They said:
“Children enjoy the time they spend in the setting. They are happy, safe and secure in the welcoming environment. Children benefit from a wide range of activities, including participation in swimming, fencing and woodland walks.
Children eagerly talk about their favourite activities, of which swimming is one. They say they make lots of new friends when they are at the setting, as well as meeting up with old friends. Staff engage with children, and they chat easily together about their experiences and activities.
Parents say their children enjoy their time at the club and are disappointed when they cannot attend. They are confident their children are safe and well cared for and particularly praise the safeguarding arrangements, including the new system to verify parental collection.”
We had our first Ofsted rating for our camp in Hemel Hempstead. Meeting the highest ratings available for activity camps, the officials reported that:
“Children demonstrate that they enjoy their time at the club. They are greeted by welcoming staff on their arrival and escorted to their base room within the school building. Children explore a good range of age-appropriate resources and participate in planned activities. They quickly settle and make new friends with their peers.
Children also have opportunities to learn new skills, such as archery and fencing, and have fun participating in water play activities on the aqua slide.
Management and staff working at the club strive to provide a safe, inclusive environment where children can have fun during the school holidays. They successfully continue to guide young children's learning and development through the range of activities provided.
Staff quickly develop an awareness of each child's personalities, behaviours and preferences. They are attentive towards the children's needs and interact with them as they play. Children are praised for their achievements, which promotes their confidence effectively and encourages them to persist with their chosen activity. They seek reassurance and ask for help if needed.
Parents are provided with a good range of information about the camp. This is available on the provision's website and on the notice board held at the camp.”
Our camp at Streatham and Clapham High School was visited again this summer and reached the ‘Met’ rating. This is great news and shows we’re still reaching the standards parents expect, as our last rating under the old system was ‘Outstanding’. Here’s what the officer had to say:
"Children arrive happily at the setting and are excited for the day ahead. They experience a wide range of fun and challenging activities that are well organised. Children show that they are secure as the friendly and enthusiastic staff engage with them exceptionally well.
Staff are good role models and children behave well. Staff have created a fun and exciting environment where children thrive.
Staff promote children's healthy lifestyles well. The superb facilities enable children to have a wide range of opportunities to be physically active both indoors and outdoors.
Children comment that they enjoy attending the club and say they have made new friends. They like the staff and feel safe at the setting.
Parents are very happy with the service provided. They comment that the staff are 'friendly and attentive'. Parents say that their children are keen to attend and want to come back again. They receive good communication from staff about their child's day. Parents are reassured that the organisation and security of the setting are good, to support children's safety."
From 1st September 2019, Ofsted changed the way they inspect all early years providers and now follow the Education Inspection Framework. This relates more to schools with a focus on the ‘curriculum’ and something they call Cultural Capital.
Being a holiday provider doesn’t exactly fit in with this new inspection framework and to this end OFSTED don’t feel it is appropriate to give a graded standard on areas that aren’t really relevant to what we provide.
When they inspect any holiday and out of school providers, they now have a grading of ‘MET’ or ‘NOT MET’ to confirm whether the welfare requirements have been met or not. We’re sorry to see the old grading go as we always feel it gave parents an indication to the actual care that the children were receiving at the provision.
Historically Barracudas has more ‘Outstanding’ ratings than any other comparable provider. We’re sorry it’s not so easy to see the differences between out of school childcare providers.