‘Outstanding’ nursery where toddlers pour own drinks

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A nursery in Bromley where toddlers pour their own drinks and do up buttons on their coats has been rated ‘Outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted. Rainbow Day Nursery in Petts Wood has been praised by the education watchdog for the behaviour and attitudes seen by its children as well as the management of the nursery itself.

The nursery on Southborough Lane was noted for the high expectations staff had for children of all ages, with opportunities being created for all children to excel. The inspector said in their report that babies practise increasingly complex physical skills such as rapidly learning to crawl and walk as well as navigating paving stones and puddles in the garden.

Molly Schantz, manager of the nursery, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “I think for us it’s about really valuing the children as individuals and supporting their current milestones, but also being able to challenge the children and extend on opportunities. We put in a lot of training with our staff to develop their knowledge and understanding of child development to ensure our children are being provided with the best opportunities within our nursery.”

She added: “We work closely with parents to find out what the children are doing at home so that we can build upon that here in the nursery environment. Our garden has a very open plan, so all age groups are mixing and interacting with one another each day. This allows the babies to gain different skills because they’re following and learning through the older children.”

The report said children were encouraged to persevere and keep on trying, with older children playing sensitively with babies and showing high levels of emotional maturity. Karen Lynch, deputy manager, said many children at the nursery had siblings there. The inspector also noted parents said their children loved coming to the nursery.

Ms Lynch told the LDRS: “We support children’s independence and their personal, social development, helping them to regulate their feelings and creating friendships. You will find that in our preschool the children thrive on independence; pouring their drinks out, putting their coats on, getting their own plates and taking the lead in their own learning. All these little things are done to make sure they are embedded into them as they get older.”

Ms Schantz said staff at the nursery were ‘proud beyond words’ at the recent result. She said the nursery had received excellent feedback from parents which has made the staff feel valued and appreciated in their jobs.

She said: “There are many overwhelming emotions after receiving our ‘Outstanding’ rating, to be able to be graded ‘Outstanding’ again is a massive achievement for us all. I feel very grateful to the team for all their hard work each day, proud of the efforts that go into every day to make Rainbow Petts Wood a lovely place for the children and families. It is wonderful knowing that these efforts were seen within our inspection.”

Ms Lynch added: “It was amazing for us to go home at the end of the day with a smile on our faces to know that we’re doing a great job… The inspector could obviously see what happens daily with us, which was lovely.”

Brid Stenson, owner of Rainbow Day Nursery Petts Wood, told the LDRS that the team at the nursery were proud to be a part of the result and high staff retention had a positive impact on the success. She added that managers supported ongoing training and development of staff and evaluation of practice had contributed to Ofsted visits not being as daunting.

She said: “The result of our ‘Outstanding’ grade means a great deal to all the staff who are working daily to ensure that the children and their families are given the best care and education possible. The Ofsted inspection is one day every six years but the ability to retain the ‘Outstanding’ grade is a result of what the team does for all the days in between inspections.”

Picture 1: Children and staff of the nursery shown celebrating the recent Ofsted result. Credit: Rainbow Day Nursery Petts Wood

Picture 2: The nursery is based on Southborough Lane in Bromley. Credit: Google Earth


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