A Brighton nursery is celebrating achieving an outstanding rating from Ofsted, with the inspector saying it brings the best out of children who are “extremely confident”, thoughtful and well prepared for school.
Orchard Day Nursery on Queen’s Park Road, which last year celebrated its 25th birthday, was judged outstanding in all four areas of inspection – leadership, teaching, personal development and outcomes for children.
Founder Shauna Caulfield, who set up the nursery in 1991 after finding a lack of suitable childcare for her children Joe and Rebecca, said: “It’s amazing. We have come really close before to getting outstanding but never quite got it.
“The staff team here are amazing, dedicated and enthusiastic. They’re devoted to the children.
“It’s great for me after 26 years of being here to get that accolade that everyone is trying to get in every educational setting.
“It’s the seal stamp to say that you’re doing the right thing for the children in your care.”
Inspector Lisa Fountain-Johnston, who visited Orchard last month, said: “Children actively seek out and enjoy staff’s company. They form exceptionally strong bonds with adults in the nursery and settle quickly into the daily routine.
“Children show an excellent sense of responsibility, for example, working together to use the dust pan and brushes to sweep up the sand once they have finished playing with it.
“Even the youngest children are confident and developing excellent self-care skills. For example, they help themselves to the correct water beaker that is labelled with their name and photo, and return it when they have finished.”
She also praised staff’s safeguarding skills, in keeping children safe and identifying any children who may be at risk of harm from extreme
behaviour and views.
And staff are also now monitoring children who get additional funding to make sure any learning delays or gaps are quickly closed.
She highlighted how a zoo topic requested by older children was designed to teach them maths using ticket prices and opening times, and consolidated with a trip to Drusilla’s.
She added: “Children of all ages and abilities make outstanding progress from their starting points. Children are exceptionally confident and highly motivated to learn.
“They show high levels of curiosity, for example, babies thoroughly enjoy exploring glittery ice in different shapes and explore the feeling on their hands as the ice melts.”