‘Outstanding’ St Albans nursery scores top marks in first Ofsted inspection

Highfield Lane Nursery School. Picture: Bardell Photography.

Highfield Lane Nursery School. Picture: Bardell Photography. - Credit: Archant

A St Albans nursery has been giving the highest rating by Ofsted in all inspection areas.

Highfield Lane Nursery School on Puddingstone Drive was rated ‘outstanding’ for effectiveness of leadership, quality of teaching, personal development and outcomes for children.

Inspector Jacqui Oliver wrote in her report: “Leadership and management of the nursery are inspirational.

“Staff are committed to providing the best possible care and education for all children. The nursery has an exceptionally caring ethos that puts the child at the centre of everything they do. They ensure all children have a happy and highly enjoyable nursery experience.”

The report, based on an inspection carried out on September 20, goes on to say the children are treated with respect and are supported extremely well to learn turn taking, sharing and respecting each other.

It continues: “Children are extremely settled, confident and happy within the nursery. The arrangements for supporting children as they move into the next room or on to school are particularly well organised. This helps to promote continuity of care and learning exceptionally well.”

In order to improve the quality of early years provision (which is where very young children receive education; whether that be in a nursery or with a childminder), the nursery should enhance its range of outdoor activities, according to the inspector.

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On the subject of the outdoor activities and how they plan to enhance them, the nursery’s head of early years practice Clare Robinson said: “Children have the total freedom to flow between the garden and the nursery where they have the choice of a range of activities covering all seven areas of learning.

“We have a planned team training evening where we will be exploring the Scandinavian approach to outdoor learning and other research and theories demonstrating the links between outdoor physical activity and positive mental health and well-being.

“We are delighted to achieve an outstanding result on our very first inspection. It is fairly rare to achieve this outcome so soon but this is a testament to our dedicated and caring team. We are also extremely grateful to our families who gave the inspector such amazing feedback on the day.”