Nursery provides ‘best possible start in life’, says Ofsted

AN “inclusive and enriching nursery” in Yate is ‘outstanding’, says Ofsted.

The education regulator gave Sodbury Vale Day Nursery its highest rating in all categories measured – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes,  leadership and management, and personal development – following a visit in May.

Inspector Stella Orfanidou said the nursery at Ridgewood Community Centre, on Station Road, offered children a “unique and ambitious curriculum”. 

The inspector said the nursery had passionate and highly knowledgeable staff, adding: “Their priority is to ensure that every child has the very best possible start in life. 

“Parents express immense appreciation for the efforts of managers and staff, who consistently extend their support to all children, particularly those with special educational needs or disabilities, and families.

“The managers and staff help children cultivate excellent communication skills in a language-rich environment, where interaction is paramount.”  

The inspector found children displayed “remarkable behaviour, forming exceptional relationships with peers and showcasing great social skills”. 

She said: “The staff members have forged trustworthy relationships with the children, fostering a warm and caring atmosphere.”

Children had “highly enriching learning experiences” indoors and outdoors, from artwork to planting in the garden, and also had trips to local shops, the library, parks and care homes organised by staff to give them diverse learning experiences. 

Work on literacy included recognising letters and writing names, while diverse collection of books “nurtures their passion for reading from an early age”. 

The report said: “Children’s physical development receives excellent support.

“They enthusiastically engage in risk taking on garden climbing equipment, testing their abilities, and they enjoy scooter races with friends.

“Staff weave physical activities, such as music and movement, into the daily routine, particularly during morning welcome time.”

Efforts to ensure that every child could participate fully in all activities and experiences were highlighted, including paying close attention to SEND children who needed extra support and resources to meet their sensory needs.

Staff were also praised for fostering children’s independence through everyday activities, from choosing their play options, to cutting fruit for a snack and cleaning up after themselves.

The nursery was established in 2009, and has 40 places for children aged two to five. 

It was last visited by Ofsted in 2017, when it was rated ‘good’.

Managers Julie Norcombe & Nic Bennett said it had been a team effort.

Julie said:  “We are so proud that Ofsted has recognised what we thought we knew we had, all along.

“Thank you to the team who always go above and beyond to educate and care for the children that come to Sodbury Vale and to all the parents who shared their positive and supportive comments with the Ofsted inspector. 

“We are thrilled with the outstanding judgement.”