Praise for out-of-school club in Mansfield that 'puts smiles on children's faces'

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An out-of-school club in Mansfield that “puts smiles on children’s faces” has come in for rich praise from the education watchdog, Ofsted.

Robin’s Den, which operates from Forest Town Primary School on Clipstone Road West, provides care and learning activities for 52 children, aged three to 11, between 3.15 pm and 6 pm during term time.

Previously rated ‘Good’, its latest inspection by Ofsted has again found that it “meets the quality and standards of early-years provision”.

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Inspector Emma Curry’s report was particularly complimentary about the three members of staff at Robin’s Den who, she said, are “positive role models” for the youngsters.

Robin's Den in Forest Town is an out-of-school club that provides childcare and learning activities for more than 50 youngsters aged three to 11.Robin's Den in Forest Town is an out-of-school club that provides childcare and learning activities for more than 50 youngsters aged three to 11.
Robin's Den in Forest Town is an out-of-school club that provides childcare and learning activities for more than 50 youngsters aged three to 11.

“Children say the staff are kind and caring,” said the inspector’s report. “They explain that when they are feeling sad or are struggling with something, the staff help them.

"Children have positive relationships with staff. They confidently ask questions and hold conversations with them.

"Staff welcome children into the club after their day at school. They are committed to offering fun experiences and a high level of care for all children, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).”

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Similarly, parents are full of praise for the staff, the inspector found. “Parents speak positively about the staff and know their children are happy and safe at Robin’s Den,” the report went on.

Forest Town Primary School, where Robin's Den operates from.Forest Town Primary School, where Robin's Den operates from.
Forest Town Primary School, where Robin's Den operates from.

"Staff share information with parents, who say their children always leave the club with smiles on their faces.”

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Robin’s Den is one of three childcare settings run by the community interest company (CIC), Tree House Out-Of-School Clubs, whose directors are Beverley Alvey, Carole Jackson and Sandi Letton. The other settings are Ed’s Club based at King Edward Primary School in Mansfield and Tree House based at High Oakham Primary School in Mansfield.

The company says its mission is to “provide a caring, stimulating, safe and fun place for children to play that is affordable and accessible to the local community".

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The Ofsted inspector found that staff at Robin’s Den “help children build on the learning they receive during their day at school” and also “use effective strategies” to help children behave well, including rewarding them with stickers when they show kindness.

Safeguarding arrangements were effective and the children’s independence was also well promoted. Staff also boosted their own knowledge through training courses and regular meetings with the manager.

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