Nursery continues to be ‘Outstanding’

Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves

Wed 15th May 2024

A nursery in Derbyshire is continuing to be ‘outstanding’- according to Government inspectors.
Alfreton Nursery School has mainly received ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted reports since it first opened in January 2000.
The childcare setting, which is situated in Stanton Close, offers places for youngsters aged two years to five years.
The latest inspection at the nursery was carried out by Ofsted inspectors on March 26, and the venue has, once again, been awarded the ‘outstanding’ status by the Government organisation.
Within their report, the Ofsted inspection team said: “This nursery school is a special place for children to learn and develop. Its ambition is ‘to make every child’s unique learning journey an inspirational adventure.’ This is lived out every day.
“Children thrive because their needs are met exceptionally well. Highly skilled adults nurture and inspire children. Warm and trusting relationships are nourished. No limits are put on what children can achieve and accomplish.
“Even before a child begins their journey at this nursery, secure partnerships are established with parents and carers. Families are greeted and welcomed with a positive, personal affirmation.
“As one parent said, echoing the views of many: ‘This is the most wonderful nursery. I wouldn’t want my child to attend anywhere else.’
“The learning environment is enticing and well considered. It sparks children’s interests and curiosity. Every week, children perform in a production to retell familiar stories. Each child has a role to play on the stage or behind the scenes.
“This includes costume designers, makeup artists and narrators. Subtly, staff use images, signing and simple language to ensure routines are clear and consistently implemented. Additional ‘enhancements’ are provided for children who may need support to understand emotions. The impact of these enhancements is rapid.”
Moving on to the “What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?” section of the Ofsted report, the inspectors stated: “The school’s curriculum carefully considers how key concepts and knowledge link to children’s stages of development. Through the acorn, sapling and oak stages of the curriculum, the school ensures that the children are provided with a rich, broad and ambitious curriculum. Woven into this is a programme for children to understand and regulate their own learning and thinking.
“Adults have a deep understanding of how children learn and develop. They use research-led techniques and strategies to ensure that the nursery environment and teaching help children have the best start to their early years education. Adults skilfully help children to learn new things through precise teaching and clear modelling. Parents are encouraged to join in and share with this learning. During a baking session, children used words associated with size, shape and texture. The dough was sent home to be baked. These moments are shared through photographs. When needed, the school supports families in establishing strong routines for attendance in preparation for statutory schooling.
“There is a clear focus on developing children’s communication and language skills. Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) learn to communicate through pictures and symbols. Those who are at the early stages of learning to speak English receive targeted, precise support that helps them to understand key words and phrases in a repetitive manner. When appropriate, children learn to explain, justify and describe what they see, know and understand. For example, when learning about habitats, children discussed how, unlike humans, ‘John the cockroach’ had a skeleton on the outside of his body.
“Carefully chosen stories instil a love of reading for all children. They become engrossed in the emotions of a book. They join in with repeated words and phrases. Every moment is taken to promote learning. Adults encourage children to ‘zoom in’ on key aspects of the story so that they can be discussed and expanded on.
“Outdoor spaces are used exceptionally well to support children’s physical development. In the woodland area, children grow produce. They use tools and equipment to develop their upper body strength. They use the space with care and understand the rules to keep them safe. Children learn to express their ideas to movement and music. They learn to be musicians and appreciate the sounds and melodies they hear. They make marks to represent notation, providing instructions for the listener on how to respond through movement.
“Governors are passionate about their vision for the Nursery. They provide the school with a healthy amount of support and challenge. Staff feel valued. They are overwhelmingly proud to work at this Nursery. They welcome the opportunities they receive for professional development. Safeguarding The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.”

To read the full Ofsted report for Alfreton Nursery School, go to here

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