Yet again, Downside Nursery School in Cobham, has achieved Ofsted’s highest rating of ‘Outstanding’ for the quality of its pre-school provision.
Ofsted recently undertook a detailed inspection of the nursery and awarded the top grade for each of the four assessed areas (Leadership & Management; Teaching & Learning, Personal development, Behaviour & Welfare and Outcomes for Children), together with an overall ‘Outstanding’. This is the second time Downside has achieved Ofsted’s top grade.
The ‘outstanding' judgement by Ofsted is only given when there is exceptional provision that greatly exceeds requirements. The standard of care, must be excellent , and the organisation highly effective in ensuring children make significant progress towards the early learning goals. Overall, it must be clear that the nursery is having positive effects on the children beyond the setting.
The Ofsted inspector commented on the extremely high quality of the provision and the strength of the fully qualified staff team, led by the founder of the nursery Krystyna Griffiths. Krystyna paid tribute to each member of the team and thanked them for their commitment, loyalty, and enthusiasm for the children. ‘We are very fortunate to have such an outstanding team of staff; their dedication to the work of the nursery and the children is exceptional’
Sophie Griffiths, Early Years Teacher at Downside Nursery School said.. “We are so very proud to have retained our ‘Outstanding rating in all areas of provision. As a team we continually strive to give the best experiences we can, and here is evidence that that is exactly what we’re doing!”
Particular highlights of the report included ..” Staff have excellent awareness of how young children learn. They use this knowledge to successfully challenge and inspire all children to learn, enabling them to make excellent progress in relation to their starting points. Children are extremely well prepared for school..... Children are extremely well behaved , polite and cooperative and show high levels of concentration during their play.”
The Ofsted report further notes ..”Staff are well qualified and use excellent teaching skills to inspire children’s learning. They make accurate assessments of children’s progress, which are used to inform planning and provide a rich, varied and imaginative experiences across all areas of learning.”
A number of parents met the Ofted inspector. Catherine, who has chosen Downside Nursery for both her children said: “ Congratulations – this is fantastic news, and very well deserved! Both of my children will remember your nursery for a very long time, it is a very special place for me, and I know I certainly will..”
Downside Nursery School was established by Krystyna in 1985, who, at the time, with three young children of her own, gave up her job as a teacher in a local school and started Downside nursery in her home in Downside. It later moved to the current premises, the Old Village School with its idyllic location on the edge of Downside village green. Since the start it has continued to grow in popularity, with a waiting list for many sessions.
This is a double celebration for Downside, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary