Praise for nursery after first ever Ofsted inspection

AN inspector has praised the work of an Iron Acton day nursery to encourage the independence of its “happy and confident” children.

Little Ducklings, at One Pool Farm in Dyers Lane, had its first ever inspection from Ofsted in January, having registered with regulator Ofsted in 2021.

The regulator said the nursery, which caters for up to 52 children aged under four, was ‘good’ in all areas, including quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, and leadership and management.

Ofsted inspector Marie Swindells said children are eager to enter the nursery each day. 

Her report, published in February, said: “They separate from their parents, and staff greet them warmly, which enables them to settle quickly. Older children follow routines independently and organise their belongings on arrival.

“Children are happy and confident. They spend a prolonged period in self-chosen activities, indoors and outdoors. Staff skilfully support them.”

The inspector said children learn Makaton signing, which enhances their interactions with each other, with children confidently using signs for ‘more’, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. 

Children are encouraged to develop a love of books and reading, and to explore mathematics through play. 

The inspector said staff know the children well and are good role models for them.

She said: “Staff talk to the children with respect and are attentive to their care needs.

“For example, staff ask if the children would like help getting their shoes on, or if they would like help cutting their snack, and then they wait for a response.

“This encourages the children’s independence and supports their emotional well-being.” 

However the report recommended that noise levels should be addressed to make it easier for children to ask for help, and group sizes could be reduced during some activities.

All children included and supported

The inspector said a strength of the setting was the commitment to ensure all children are included and supported. 

She said: “Children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) receive the early help and support that they need.

“Staff work together with parents and other professionals to identify and target support, to help close any gaps in children’s learning. 

“Children with SEND willingly engage in the wider range of small-group sessions that staff provide. They are developing increasing confidence to engage with their peers and to seek comfort and support from staff across the nursery.”

Manager Marie Sims said staff were “proud” to achieve a good rating.

She said: “We are now working towards our Curiosity Approach accreditation and looking forward to developing our setting even more.”