A West Norfolk school and nursery which is “absolutely nailing” early years education is celebrating after gaining Ofsted’s highest grade possible.
Downham Preparatory School and Montessori Nursery has been rated as ‘outstanding’ in all areas by the government’s education body following an inspection last month.
The school, in Lynn Road, Stow Bardolph, was praised for its quality of teaching, “sensitive, individualised support” for children and “exceptional” leadership and management.
Principal Elizabeth Laffeaty-Sharpe said: “We are delighted with the inspectors’ report.It is a tribute to the hard work and professionalism of our staff.
“This inspection was for our provision for children from the age of three months to three years. In October, the Primary School and Early Years provision for 3 - 11 year olds was also graded Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.
“We are extremely proud of our double outstanding grade – which we will be celebrating with our parents and pupils.”
In the glowing report, published this week, inspector Deborah Hunt said the outstanding approach to staff training was “central” to the nursery’s success.
She also said Mrs Laffeaty-Sharpe “rigorously” monitors the success of educational programmes, staff practice and children’s progress and self-reflective practice, which harnesses the opinions of children, parents and other professionals, is used to bring about “continuous, far-reaching improvements”.
Ms Hunt also highlighted the “extremely positive” feedback from parents.
One parent said: “They have absolutely nailed it here”, with another commenting: “Each child gets such an individual experience”.
The report said children are highly motivated, “benefit significantly” from outstanding teaching, and are “superbly” prepared for their future learning. They settle in well thanks to “exemplary arrangements” and a sensitive, enabling approach means they “flourish” during their time at the school.
In order to further improve, the inspector said the school should “sharpen the already excellent focus on children’s physical skills”. Developing and implementing associated training would extend the use of the outdoor learning environment and offer children a greater degree of freedom.