Nursery is 'welcoming and homely', says inspector

September 24 2021
Nursery is 'welcoming and homely', says inspector

STAFF at a Winterbourne Down nursery are proud to have received a good rating in their first ever Ofsted inspection.

The achievement by Silver Stars Nursery was remarkable because the setting had had to close for the ten days before the inspector arrived, following a positive COVID-19 case.

Ellie Vardy, who manages the setting at Winterbourne Down Methodist Church, said: "We were all isolating up until the day before the inspector came for her visit on August 4, so the staff and the children did really well to show her what happens here.”

Inspector Kelly Sunderland’s report described Silver Stars as “a welcoming and homely nursery” and says that children “arrive full of smiles and are greeted by warm, caring staff".

The inspector said: "Children behave very well. Staff have high expectations for children's behaviour. Children show respect as they share and take turns.”

The report said arrangements for safeguarding at the nursery are effective but recommended that “quieter and less confident children" needed more support to help them fully engage in play and learning.

It was the first time the regulator had visited the nursery, which has 34 children on its roll, since it was registered in 2019, with inspections having been disrupted by the pandemic. The report noted that, with parents unable to enter the building, they were given a detailed handover and new web page to keep them informed.

Ellie said: "Our job is just to keep things as normal as possible for the children at a difficult time.

"Our job doesn’t really change in a pandemic, we’re still helping the children develop and caring for them.

"We feel really strongly about providing a home from home for the children. The days are long for them but everyone knows everyone here, staff and children and we’ve got lot of natural resources for them to play with.”

The report praised the all-weather outdoor activity area, which has helped provide fresh air for the children and a chance to get out of the classroom.

Ellie said: “Its just nice for the children to be able to go out and not worry about all-in-one suits and wellies. We also go down to the local river in Winterbourne and to the duck pond to give the children more outdoor activities.”

Ellie believes that language development for the children is especially important following the Covid-19 restrictions:

“The pandemic impacted them so much with the lack of communication and the lack of socialising, so we are having lots of in-house training to learn how to support the children and develop that aspect.

“This was our first OFSTED inspection and we are really proud of the result.”