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Downham Market nursery’s rating moves up a notch after ‘good’ Ofsted

A display at Willows Day Nursery in Downham Market. Photo: SUBMITTED.
A display at Willows Day Nursery in Downham Market. Photo: SUBMITTED.

A nursery school in Downham is celebrating after a recent Ofsted report improved its rating from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.

The Willows Day Nursery, on Sovereign Way, has been commended by the education watchdog following an inspection in January.

The nursery was rated ‘good’ in all four areas – effectiveness of the leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare, and outcomes for children.

The report says: “Management and staff have worked hard to address weaknesses identified at the last inspection, to ensure that children receive good-quality learning experiences.”

It goes on to say that staff are provided with effective support to help them to improve their teaching skills, staff interact well with children to help them to learn, and staff develop warm and caring relationships with children who settle quickly.

Inspectors said it is not yet ‘outstanding’ because “management have not fully considered how best to use detailed information obtained from tracking to raise their attainment levels even higher” and “staff do not always gather highly detailed information about children’s prior learning to enhance individualised and well-focused plans for learning on entry to the nursery”.

Nursery manager Gemma Chapman said the team are pleased that they are only two aspects away from the highest rating.

Mrs Chapman said: “We’re over the moon that we have gone from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.

“Our nurturing ‘home from home’ environment is carefully designed to encourage children to learn independently in a safe, secure environment that promotes equality and values diversity.”

The management and staff team are experienced and skilled, she added.

Mrs Chapman said the nursery promotes healthy eating, with their cook preparing a healthy home-cooked lunch for the children.

The Willows Day Nursery caters for children aged three months to 11 years and has a newly-revamped breakfast and after-school club.

“We provide a range of fun activities, resources and experiences to meet children’s individual needs and interests,” Mrs Chapman added.

“Children have the opportunity to explore our outdoor area all-year-round and take part in physical activity, being adventurous in safety.”

The nursery offers fully-funded places for two-, three- and four-year-olds, with flexible care from 7am to 6pm all-year-round.

The nursery is contactable on 01366 381515.

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