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Oftsed Reports for our Nurseries

Parkside Ofsted Report

Park Side Nursery

Park Side Ofsted  Ofsted report and website

The Park Side nursery at 27-29 St Georges Ave, Northampton had its last Ofsted report in May 2011

There are several quality levels awarded by Ofsted.
These are: Unsatisfactoty, Satisfactory, Good and Outstanding.
Home From Home Park Side received the highest award Outstanding in all 17 categories.

We are very proud of this achievement and this reflects in the outcomes of the children in the nursery. The 17 categories are listed below:

How well does the setting meet the needs of the children in the Early Years Foundation Stage? – Outstanding
The capacity of the provision to maintain continuous improvement – Outstanding
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation Stage – Outstanding
The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement – Outstanding
The effectiveness with which the setting deploys resources – Outstanding
The effectiveness with which the setting promotes equality and diversity – Outstanding
The effectiveness of safeguarding – Outstanding
The effectiveness of the setting’s self-evaluation, including the steps taken to promote improvement – Outstanding
The effectiveness of partnerships – Outstanding
The effectiveness of the setting’s engagement with parents and carers – Outstanding
The quality of the provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage – Outstanding
Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage – Outstanding
The extent to which children achieve and enjoy their learning – Outstanding
The extent to which children feel safe – Outstanding
The extent to which children adopt healthy lifestyles – Outstanding
The extent to which children make a positive contribution – Outstanding
The extent to which children develop skills for the future – Outstanding

Park Side Ofsted Report  report details


This inspection was carried out by Ofsted under Sections 49 and 50 of the Childcare Act 2006 on the quality and standards of the registered early years provision. ‘Early years provision’ refers to provision regulated by Ofsted for children from birth to 31 August following their fifth birthday (the early years age group). The registered person must ensure that this provision complies with the statutory framework for children’s learning, development and welfare, known as the Early Years Foundation Stage. The provider must provide a copy of this report to all parents with children at the setting where reasonably practicable. The provider must provide a copy of the report to any other person who asks for one, but may charge a fee for this service (The Childcare (Inspection) Regulations 2008 regulations 9 and 10). The setting also makes provision for children older than the early years age group which is registered on the voluntary and/or compulsory part(s) of the Childcare Register. This report does not include an evaluation of that provision, but a comment about compliance with the requirements of the Childcare Register is included in Annex B. Please see our website for more information about each childcare provider. We publish inspection reports, conditions of registration and details of complaints we receive where we or the provider take action to meet the requirements of registration.

Description of the setting

Home from Home is owned by The Nannery Limited and opened in 2006. It operates from two converted domestic premises close to the centre of Northampton. The whole of the ground is used and includes six play areas. All children share access to a secure, enclosed outdoor play area. Parking is available at the back of the premises and there is a disabled parking bay at the front of the premises. The setting is open each weekday from 7.30am to 6pm. The setting is registered to care for a maximum of 50 children under eight years at any one time, all of whom may be in the early years age group. There are currently 78 children on roll within the Early Years Foundation Stage, some of whom attend on a part-time basis. The nursery provides funded early education for two- to four-year-olds. The setting is registered on the Early Years Register and on the voluntary and compulsory parts of the Childcare Register. The setting supports children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities and children for whom English is an additional language.

The setting employs thirteen staff members. One staff member holds Early Years Professional Status. Two staff members hold level 4 early years qualifications, one holds a level 5 qualification and all other staff members, with the exception of two, hold qualifications at levels 2 and 3.

The overall effectiveness of the early years provision

Overall the quality of the provision is outstanding.

This setting develops exemplary partnerships with parents, other settings and a wide range of key agencies. This ensures each child’s uniqueness is identified and their individual needs are continuously met. As a result, children are fully included and are achieving as much as they can, taking into account their starting point and their capabilities. Children’s safety and welfare are robustly and consisten tly promoted and protected through comprehensive policies and procedures. Extensive training opportunities and ambitious vision for the setting ensure high and continually improving standards across all areas of practice.

What steps need to be taken to improve provision further?

To further improve the high quality early years provision the registered person should consider: extending the use of information regarding children’s learning at home to further enhance the quality of children’s summary assessments and next steps in learning.

The effectiveness of leadership and management of the early years provision

The setting places an extremely high priority on promoting and protecting children’s safety. Robust recruitment and vetting procedures include ongoing monitoring and appraisals to ensure all adults continue to be suitable to work with children. An exceptional programme of continual professional development is in place. Senior members of staff attend advanced child protection training and work collaboratively with agencies to protect children. All members of staff receive ongoing comprehensive support to develop a full awareness of safeguarding issues and procedures. This ensures correct procedures are followed if there is any concern that a child may be at risk of harm. Comprehensive arrangements are in place to ensure children are cared for in a safe environment. For example, risk assessments are continual and include in and outdoor activities.

The setting places the promotion of equality of opportunity at the heart of all its work. As a result, every family is welcome and all children are fully included and achieving as much as they can, taking into account their starting point and their capabilities. Exceptional systems are in place to ensure each child’s uniqueness and individual needs are recognised and met. This includes supporting parents to access additional resources and support for their children. Individual plans are devised in partnership with parents, key agencies and other settings in order to meet any additional needs a child may have. This is particularly effective in supporting children in the setting who have special educational needs and/or disabilities. The setting also supports a number of children for whom English is an additional language. The staff team have developed a strong understanding of how to support and value bilingualism. They use current good practice guidance to steer practice and support the development of English language. Children benefit from using and hearing their own home language in the setting. Signs and symbols, pictorial prompts and language pens contribute to supporting communication and inclusion. Resources are of very good quality and include positive images of diversity, which portrays the message that everyone is welcome in this setting.

Exceptional focus is given to including parents in the life of the setting. Parents are involved in decision making on key matters affecting the setting. For example, they were actively involved in the decision to develop a secure website. This enables parents to access a live feed to see their children via the closed circuit television system. Daily emails are sent to each parent outlining their child’s activities and experiences. This includes tailored guidance and information about precise ways parents can support their child’s learning across different areas. Regular meetings and daily availability of all staff members provide opportunities for parents to seek support and guidance if needed. Arrangements to obtain information about children’s learning experiences at home are established, although this information is not yet fully embedded into children’s summary assessments and next steps in learning.

The leaders and managers of this setting effectively communicate passion and drive to secure improvements. For example, the imaginative development of new outdoor and indoor spaces provides innovative and inspirational learning opportunities for children. Planning and observational arrangements have been recently reviewed and improved. A parents’ committee has also been introduced which has provided further opportunities for parents to become actively involved in the setting. All recommendations made at the last inspection have been successfully and fully addressed. As a result, learning outcomes have significantly improved and policies and procedures are robust and effectively promote and protect children’s welfare. The setting has exceptional capacity to maintain continuous improvements. Self-evaluation is rigorous and takes into account the views of children, parents, staff members and outside agencies. Self -reflection is embedded through manager and peer appraisals and high quality training opportunities.

The quality and standards of the early years provision and outcomes for children

Exemplary systems are in place to ensure each and every child receives enjoyable and challenging developmental experiences that are tailored to meet their individual needs. As a result, children make consistently good and often excellent progress in their development. They are motivated and enabled to become active learners through high quality teaching methods and an exceptionally stimulating learning environment. For example, the setting’s innovative and inspirational use of the outdoor area provides exceptional opportunities for children to learn outdoors. Children have wonderful daily opportunities to develop their understanding and concern for nature and living things. They develop a sense of responsibility as they help to care for hens and ducks and collect the eggs that are laid. This also helps children to gain an understanding of where their food comes from and the changes that take place when they use the eggs in cooking activities. Children show high levels of enthusiasm and engagement with the animals and demonstrate a caring and gentle approach, often stroking the hens and talking to the rabbits. This helps to support children’s self-esteem, confidence and consideration for others. The large bird aviary has a colourful selection of birds which provides rich stimuli of sound and movement. Children explore, experiment and build with natural materials including wood. For example, they help to build wooden enclosures for the animals. They learn about using real life tools in a safe way, including electric screwdrivers, hammers and nails. Staff members recognise how daily activities in the garden can be captured to support all areas of learning for children. For example, they continually extend children’s communication skills through questioning and introducing vocabulary, including concepts of shape, measure and number.

The setting makes exceptional use of technology to inspire children to develop skills for the future. For example, children collect creatures and plants in the garden and use the computer and microscope in the garden house to look closely at their features. They explore different languages using talking pens, and the computers indoors offer children opportunities to develop their IT skills and work independently of adults. For example, a small group of children work exceptionally well together to complete educational software programs. They demonstrate a growing awareness that print carries meaning as they launch their agreed chosen program from the desktop screen. They express their thoughts and ideas to each other and offer suggestions as they navigate through the problems and challenges presented by the software. Some children demonstrate very well -developed numeracy skills as they play a game that requires them to identify the number of dots on the dice to move the correct number of places along. Showing a high drive to win the game, children are able to predict what numbers they require on the dice to make the most progress.

Children, particularly babies and children under two years, develop a very strong sense of belonging and settle well into the setting. Children attend a number of settling-in sessions which allows them to become accustomed and familiar to the new environment and staff members. Very young children develop very positive relationships with each other and staff members, who are kind and caring. Children in this age group particularly enjoy and benefit from singing and dancing sessions, looking at books and one-to-one support from adults. They show good levels of confidence exploring their indoor and outdoor environment. Indoor and outdoor resources are organised to enable children to move freely and initiate their own play, and this enables children to play imaginatively and creatively. Adults are on hand to support children and extend their play, for example, by providing further props to support their ideas.

Meticulous arrangements are in place to support children’s good health. For example, hand washing facilities are in place in the outdoor area in order to minimise the risk of cross-infection when handing the animals. Strict adherence is also given to maintaining an in and outdoor shoe policy, which further ensures cross-infection is kept to a minimum. Visiting health professionals provide specific training including the use and management of epi-pens and inhalers in order to support children who may need such assistance.

Riverside Nursery

The River Side nursery at 8-10 Crow Lane, Billing, Northampton had its first Ofsted in January 2014

There are several quality levels awarded by Ofsted. These are Unsatisfactory, Satisfactory, Good and Outstanding.
Home From Home River Side nursery received the award Good

The Ofsted website for the River Side nursery can be found here

Children are provided with a wide range of good activities that cover the seven areas of learning. The knowledgeable staff plan the activities following each child’s individual interests and they ensure the planning covers all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage. The individual planning ensures that the activities are pitched correctly to promote children’s learning. The nursery operates a higher than required adult-to-child ratio and this means that children receive good levels of one-to-one attention. For example, babies enjoy face-to-face activities with the staff where they explore a range of natural objects including large shells and a section of loofahs. The member of staff teaches the children through talking to them about how they are holding the objects and the different textures. Their positive facial expressions and gentle, yet encouraging tone of voice support the babies to continue to explore and be curious about these items. Older children thoroughly enjoy taking part in a topic about their families. Parents and carers are asked to supply photographs of the child’s family and special people. The staff sit with children in small groups to talk about their pictures and the people in their lives.
Inspection report: Home from Home, The Nannery Ltd, 23/01/2014 4 of 10
The children are very keen to take part in this activity and lively conversation ensues about the pictures. The member of staff supports their developing personal, social and emotional skills through her teaching, by ensuring that each child has a turn to speak and encouraging everyone to listen. The children visibly become excited when their pictures are shown and eagerly tell their friends about them. Therefore, children are learning about taking turns and listening to information from others. The children attending this nursery have their progress in learning demonstrated clearly through the observations made by their key person. Their initial starting points are identified through detailed information that is supplied by parents about their interests and progress at home. This partnership working continues throughout the child’s time at the nursery. Parents are encouraged to provide ongoing information at home that contributes to their child’s record of learning and their progress check at age two, if appropriate. The key person begins making observations from the child’s first settling-in visit to see which activities and resources they enjoy. They ensure that each child’s unique interests and next steps in learning are taken account of in the planning. The staff fully value the information that is supplied by parents and they have meetings with them as required, as well as regular parents’ evenings to ensure that their child’s unique needs can be met. Children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, individual circumstances or speak English as an additional language are well supported. The key persons work very closely with their parents and carers to ensure they fully understand what their needs are, and seek information via their parents about the support that is in place from other agencies who are involved with them. The nursery manager is committed to meeting these children’s needs and is keen to add any resources and equipment to the nursery to help them make the best progress possible. The staff and manager are confident to arrange meetings with parents to discuss particular needs, and are gentle and sensitive in managing such issues. Children begin to be well prepared for their eventual move on to school. The nursery operates a free-flow system for the children for large parts of the day. This means that they can move freely between the group rooms and choose to play with their brothers and sisters or friends of different ages. Children are developing confidence in making choices and decisions about where they play and who they play with, and this promotes their enthusiasm to try new activities. For example, toddlers carry books to a member of staff and sit with them to look at the book. Later they move to another room and select puzzles for themselves from the low-level shelves, and they transport items they choose themselves between the rooms using a play shopping trolley. Children’s independence is promoted through this free movement around the nursery rooms. Children sit together to listen to stories. The staff sit on the floor with them and encourage their communication and language through asking them for their ideas about the content of the story and to draw upon their own experiences. The children take part in group games in the garden that involve numbers and counting. The staff do lots of singing with them that also includes numbers, which promotes their early numeracy awareness.
The contribution of the early years provision to the well-being of children
Inspection report: Home from Home, The Nannery Ltd, 23/01/2014 5 of 10
Children clearly demonstrate that they feel safe and secure in this nursery. When they arrive they quickly settle to their chosen activities after saying goodbye to their parents. The nursery has clear settling-in procedures that are managed on an individual basis with each family, and this enables children to build attachments and relationships to the staff. Children are confident to move around freely and they approach the staff for comfort and reassurance as they need it. For example, babies are able to settle to sleep because the staff hold them gently in their arms. Children who fall over in the garden are comforted sensitively, which enables them to return to their play. Parents are fully involved in their child’s care at the nursery. They are asked to provide detailed information about their routines, including information about sleep times and weaning, and these are managed effectively on an individual basis. All parents receive daily feedback through discussion with the staff when they arrive to collect their children, and they are sent an email each day with specific information about their routines and the activities they have enjoyed. The staff ensure that any changes that are required are fully discussed with parents and are decided upon together. The free-flow aspect of the nursery actively supports children to move around the setting because they are not cared for in specific group rooms. This is positive for children’s transition because they become familiar with all the rooms within the nursery gradually. Children are familiar with the daily routines and they are learning to manage their own personal hygiene. They are keen to wash their hands before mealtimes and they enthusiastically brush their teeth after lunch. Mealtimes are very social occasions where children sit together as a group. They are learning about making healthy choices because the staff talk to them about the menu and involve them in preparing the food. A small group make sponge cakes for everyone to share as a dessert after lunch. Children tuck into their meals and snacks that are provided by the nursery. The nursery has a strong emphasis on outside activities. The children enjoy the daily opportunities to play in the nursery garden, which promotes their awareness of the benefits of fresh air and exercise. For example, a member of staff comments about how fast the children are running. She talks to them about how the running makes their heart beat faster. They listen to her and hold their hands across their chest to see if they can feel their heartbeat. Children are also taken out for regular walks around the local area. The nursery has a number of animals on site, such as rare breed pigs, doves and chickens. Children take part in activities including feeding the animals during good weather. The staff take the children to look at the pigs from the window when they are unsettled, and this provides a good distraction and promotes conversations about what the pigs are doing, which helps the child to settle. Children behave well because they begin to understand the daily routines and the staff provide them with a good range of activities that keep them interested and enthusiastic to take part. The higher than required adult-to-child ratio supports the staff’s positive and encouraging approach with all the children in their care.
The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the early years provision
Inspection report: Home from Home, The Nannery Ltd, 23/01/2014 6 of 10
Children’s safety is given high regard in this nursery. The staff are vigilant in their supervision and the free-flow between the playrooms is managed effectively. The staff are always aware of where the children are and they follow them between the rooms to ensure that the required ratios are maintained. The designated lead members of staff for safeguarding have a clear understanding of their role, and the staff are well versed in what to do should they have concerns about a child. The staff team have recently completed updated safeguarding training. Staff are aware of the importance of following the safeguarding policy in the event of any concerns, and this policy is reflective of the Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures. There are robust methods to ensure that suitable members of staff are recruited and retained. The manager is committed to the staff’s ongoing professional development and encourages them through their appraisals to attend training courses and to work towards higher qualifications. Risk assessments are in place that are reviewed regularly. These take account of all aspects of the very secure nursery premises, the animals and any outings the children are involved in. The staff show good care and concern for the children and help them to keep themselves safe. For example, they remind them to be careful when running around in the garden. The manager spends time in the nursery rooms to monitor how the planning and assessment of each child’s learning is managed. She has recently introduced peer-on-peer observations where the staff monitor each other’s activity with the children. The higher than required adult-to-child ratio that is maintained and the high levels of qualified staff have a positive impact on the children making good progress in their learning. This is because the activities planned for individual children are well matched to their interests and next steps. The staff team have a good understanding of the learning and development requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and they meet each child’s needs well. However, not all staff achieve the same levels of quality of teaching. The nursery has developed very effective partnerships with each child’s parents, which ensures that their individual needs are met and that any extra support is put in place promptly. Parents report highly complementary and positive comments about their own and their child’s experiences. For example, with regard to how welcoming and approachable the staff are and how they keep them informed about their child’s progress and care routines. Partnerships are also in place with other agencies who are involved with the children, and this contributes to a consistent approach in meeting their needs. The nursery management and staff team have implemented self-evaluation and reflective practice into their daily routines. They continually look at their planning, assessment and observation of the children and work as a team to try out new ideas. They have identified well-targeted plans for their continued improvement as the nursery becomes more established.

Dove Cote Nursery

New Site Inspection due within 3 years

Church Side Nursery

New Site Inspection due within 3 years


The PARKSIDE Nursery is a 17 / 17 Outstanding Nursery