A Step Ahead Children’s nursery just outside Horsham is delighted to announce that it has achieved another ‘outstanding’ rating following a recent Ofsted inspection.
The nursery was inspected in March and from the baby room to the pre-school the staff were congratulated on making a positive contribution to the children’s learning and development.
Manager Lorraine Brown said: “We are simply delighted! To be awarded a second outstanding is amazing, especially as the inspection criteria has become so much more specific and a lot harder to achieve on an ongoing basis. However, we have an amazingstaff team and the support of the parents means that we are able to achievesome really great things with the children.”
Parents were also delighted with the report which is now on the Ofsted website. Many commented on the inspectors notes on how the nursery gives ‘ the highest priority to the safety, welfare and well-being of children. Staff are very vigilant in their supervision of children, while at the same time allowing them the freedom to explore their environment safely.’
Lisa Stocker, room leader and early years practice lead, said: “We are a rural nursery, but actually being only 9 minutes from Horsham means that we benefit from fresh air and fields but are still easily accessible via main roads such as the A281 and M23. Our location has really helped us with our use of the outdoors.
“We have a lovely garden but we can also use the sports and green field next to us. For example we sometimes count the rabbits in the field and record basic information about their size or speed to support maths learning,” she added.
“Only last week a parent brought in little lambs and the children were able to stroke and feed them and ask questions about how they are cared for - the children loved it!’
The report emphasised how well each and every child across all age groups progress well.
Specific mention was made to the exciting and inviting way babies are engaged and the way the pre-school classroom delivers a programme of learning which although still very much grounded in fun and excitement, still ensures the children are ready for school in September.
Parents commented about the strength of the staff team and the inspector noted the team’s constant aim to make the service better every day. The inspector noted that ‘the staff team is motivated, skilled and enabled to offer excellent quality provision for all children.
Partnerships with parents and others are exceptional. They are involved with their child’s welfare and learning every step of the way. Parents comment positively on the excellent communication. They hold the staff in very high regard and welcome their expertise and all the advice and support they receive’.
Jo Fowler, deputy manager, said: “We are over the moon. We love working here and the children love coming here. It is a privilege to help them grow and develop, and a joy to see some of the babies I have enjoyed caring for, leave to go to big school four years later!’
Report and picture contributed by Antonia Ogden-Meade on behalf of A Step Ahead Ltd.