Inspector praises ‘welcoming’ nursery in Hillfields

A HILLFIELDS nursery has been praised for the way staff help children learn and develop their independence.

An inspector from Ofsted visited Mama Bear’s Day Nursery in July and the regulator’s report found it to be good in all areas – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, leadership and management, and personal development.

It was Ofsted’s first visit to the nursery in Thicket Avenue since 2019, and its third ‘good’ rating in a row.

Inspector Charlotte Jenkin said: “Children show they feel safe and secure in this welcoming nursery.

“Children develop good levels of independence.”

During the visit the nursery, which has 59 children aged one to four on its roll, was being run by an interim manager.

The inspector said she had a “clear vision” for a curriculum that gives children the knowledge and skills they need to progress and be ready to move up to school, with a “strong emphasis on ensuring children have experiences that they may not have outside of the nursery”.

This included links with a care home to help children learn about “the diverse society in which they live”.

The inspector said: “Staff know the children very well and target the curriculum to help close any gaps in learning quickly.

“Children, including those who learn English as an additional language and those who receive additional funding, make good progress from their starting points.

“Children’s behaviour is good. Staff praise the children for their achievements, and this helps boost the children’s self-esteem.”

There are regular opportunities for children to play outside in the fresh air.

The inspector said parents have good communication from staff and value the nursery’s library of books to take home and read with their children.

The inspector said: “Parents report they are very happy with the progress their children are making and that their children really enjoy coming to nursery.”

To improve further the inspector said staff should allow children more time to think and respond to questions, help them extend their expressive language and provide more opportunities to learn about their similarities and differences, such as in cultural backgrounds.

Mama Bear’s operations director Victoria Ashbolt said that since the inspection a new permanent manager had been appointed, who will “build upon the great foundations that are already in place here”.

She said: “All of us at Mama Bear’s are so proud of the result of our recent inspection.

“The team there work incredibly hard to ensure the best outcomes for the children so it was lovely to see their hard work reflected in the inspector’s comments.”