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University toddlers' nursery is 'outstanding', says Ofsted
A NURSERY set up to care for the children of students and staff at Oxford University has been rated outstanding by Ofsted.
Kidsunlimited Nurseries in Jack Straws Lane was judged satisfactory by Ofsted in 2009.
But, when inspectors visited last month, it received the highest rating.
Areas praised included the nursery's “vibrant range of highly stimulating and exciting activities”, leadership and parent links.
Inspector Sue Bennett said: “Children of all ages are extremely well settled and happy within the nursery.
“The nurturing environment supports children’s confidence and independent skills exceptionally well, preparing them significantly for their transfer to school.” Its focus on inclusion was also praised.
Nursery manager Sonja Fenton-Pryor said: “Because we are a workplace nursery for Oxford University, it is very international and we have a lot of children who speak English as an additional language so we are very inclusive of that.
“We very much pride ourselves on that.”
She described the nursery as “a haven for children” and said she was proud of its outdoor area.
She said: “We do believe children should go out in all weathers, whether it's rain, hail, snow, floods, sunshine, cloudy – the outdoor area is an extension to the room. It just doesn’t have a roof.
“There is no such thing as bad weather – just bad clothing.”
Ms Fenton-Pryor said she cried and hugged the inspector when told the rating and said its focus on leadership had been key.
She said: “It's about making sure everybody knows exactly what their job is and what standards are expected.
“I and my deputy lead by example. We don’t sit in an office doing paperwork. We are out on the floor, showing and role modelling to our staff quality education and care.”
Children’s personal development was excellent, while children were described as “extremely happy”, the inspector said.
The only area for further improvement was to provide a wider selection of wheeled toys for the youngest children.
Ms Bennett said: “By the end of their time in the nursery, children are highly articulate, confident and independent.”
The nursery, which opened in 2004, is part of Kidsunlimited, owned by national chain Bright Horizons, and has 68 children on roll and 21 staff.
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