Last month we reported on Little Acorns Nursery winning best ‘Individual Nursery’ award at the National NMT Nursery Awards. When you consider that the nursery was selected from all the other possible nurseries from across the entire UK, that’s an incredible feat! It should now come as no surprise, then, to learn that Ofsted’s most recent report also scored the nursery as ‘Outstanding‘ — in every category.
In this post, we’ll go through Ofsted’s report to see what they said about the nursery and why they were so impressed during their inspection.
We’ll cover each of those areas in more detail below. First, though, we’ll highlight some general comments received in the Ofsted Report. Every one of them is extremely positive; indeed Ofsted had literally nothing negative to say about this outstanding Chorley nursery anywhere in their report …
Continuous Improvement “to the Highest Possible Levels”
In the Ofsted Report, the inspector recognised the culture of continuous improvement at the nursery, saying:
“Managers are highly reflective and extremely passionate about continually raising the quality of service to the highest possible levels. Together with their dedicated staff team, they conscientiously evaluate all aspects of the provision to identify and consistently make sharply targeted improvements.”
“Exceptionally Effective Observation & Assessment” of Children
The Ofsted Report also highlighted how exceptional the staff are in their approach to children’s learning, saying:
“Staff complete exceptionally effective observation and assessment methods that focus on children’s individual needs and all aspects of their learning. They know precisely the progress and attainment of every child, meaning any small gap or delay in children’s learning is swiftly recognised and addressed.”
On Preparing Children for School …
In regard for the nursery’s expertise in preparing children well for school, the Inspector’s report said:
“Staff have high expectations of what children can achieve and teach with passion, energy and purpose. They help them to make excellent progress in their learning, including being well prepared for school.”
At Little Acorns, literally everything we do has a purpose behind it, so it’s great to see this recognised by Ofsted.
“Rich & Well-Resourced Learning Environments”
Ofsted also recognised the outstanding learning environment at Little Acorns, commenting:
“Staff are extremely successful in creating rich and well-resourced learning environments, both indoors and outside. Children confidently choose from the highly stimulating resources set out in a very relaxed and homely atmosphere. They have plenty of opportunities to explore and investigate indoors and outside, and their creativity is supported exceptionally well.”
The Ofsted Inspection also highlighted the incredible behaviour, care and consideration demonstrated by the children. They reported:
“Children’s behaviour is superb. They show exceptional care and concern to their friends, the resources and the environment. For example, they alert their friends of their presence when using wheeled toys, so they do not crash into each other.”
This is wonderful feedback and shows that we teach children good manners, encourage exceptional behaviour along with respect and consideration for others – and for the world around them.
“Exceptionally Strong” Parent-Teacher Relationships
Another critically important element of successful learning and development is the relationship between parents and the setting. In regard to this, Ofsted were incredibly impressed, saying:
“Relationships with parents and other professionals are exceptionally strong. Parents feel valued by the staff in supporting their children’s learning. The highly effective communication systems ensure that parents are fully aware of their children’s experiences and how to continue this support while at home.”
In due course we will cover more detail about why parent support for children’s learning and development is so crucial — and impactful — whilst children are at home. That is a huge topic, which will merit its own, separate, post in due course, so watch this space.
We’ll now take a closer look at the more specific areas of the Ofsted report for Little Acorns Nursery.
The Ofsted Inspector was evidently extremely impressed with quality of leadership and management at the nursery:
“The managers are highly experienced and qualified leaders. They offer staff targeted support and training to expand further their knowledge of high-quality early years practice.”
They continued: “For example, following training, staff redesigned the environment to successfully enable children to develop their own ideas, inspire their curiosity and imagination and explore the world. Safeguarding is effective. Staff are extremely well trained in child protection issues and are highly confident about what to do should they have any concerns about any child in their care. Managers follow rigorous procedures to ensure staff’s suitability. They thoroughly evaluate every aspect of the provision to continuously improve outcomes for children. Action plans show targeted improvements, such as continuing to nurture children’s love of outdoor adventure, sensory play and unique experiences in the natural environment.”
Outstanding Quality of Teaching, Learning & Assessment
The quality of teaching, learning and assessment at the nursery was also strongly praised by Ofsted. As part of this, their report recognised how well the approach to continual assessment works at the nursery and how the planning of tasks and learning activities is tailored to each individual child. They highlighted the following:
“Well-qualified and experienced staff carry out regular assessments of children’s learning and development. This provides them with an exceptionally clear understanding of children’s interests and their next steps in learning.”
They went on to explain this in more detail: “Children’s interests and areas of development are consistently used to plan the environment and activities. For example, in the baby room, there is a strong focus on enhancing speaking skills and in the toddler room staff focus on mathematical learning. Staff nurture children’s imagination, creativity and curiosity while handling and exploring natural and real-life objects. Staff nurture children’s enjoyment of books while reading stories aloud with them and they sing nursery songs using props. Staff enable children to take the lead in their play, to ‘have a go’, interact and build on their strong desire to learn. For example, children confidently name colours, enjoy counting objects and recognise numerals they find submerged in water.”
Outstanding Personal Development, Behaviour & Welfare
The Ofsted Inspector also praised how well staff approach the personal development, behaviour and welfare of babies and children at the nursery. Importantly, they also recognised how this approach positively benefits those children:
“Staff constantly praise children’s achievements. This contributes to the high level of confidence and independence children display.”
The Ofsted Inspector further explained: “They learn to listen to others and join in routine activities, such as sweeping the floor and setting the table” also adding: “Children’s physical development is well supported. For example, young children develop good control of their movements as they clamber up steps and ramps. Children access well-organised outdoor play areas and use a wide range of resources.”
“Staff place the utmost priority on children’s health, hygiene, welfare and well-being. Babies are relaxed, settled and secure in the care of nurturing staff. ”
They went on to say: “Children enjoy regular walks and outings outside of the nursery, and staff use these opportunities to further broaden children’s experiences of people and communities.”
Outstanding Outcomes for Children
Awards and glowing Ofsted reports would mean nothing if they didn’t improve outcomes and life choices for children. Here again, though, Ofsted recognised the huge positive impact that Little Acorns Nursery has on children and babies under its care, commenting:
“All children make excellent progress given their starting points. They develop many important skills that help prepare them for their future learning, and they are exceptionally well motivated and eager to learn. Children are extremely successful at learning to do things for themselves …”
An Outstanding Nursery for Your Child in Clayton-le-Woods, Chorley, Central Lancashire
Are you looking for the best nurseries or pre-schools for your baby or child? Then consider Little Acorns Nursery in Clayton-le-Woods, Chorley, in Central Lancashire. Officially rated as “Outstanding” by Ofsted and picking up the best Individual Nursery Award in the National NMT Nursery Awards, nurseries and pre-schools simply don’t get any better than Little Acorns. We have a few spaces available at time of writing so, if this is of interest, please get in touch very soon to avoid disappointment: