Nursery celebrates a year of significant improvement
WINDMILL Hill Day Nursery has been rated outstanding by the education watchdog – 10 months after being told it required improvement.
The Windmill Hill Business Park institution, in Whitehill Way, was inspected on January 22 last year, when it was rated as satisfactory and needing to improve its standards with regard risk assessment and emergency procedures.
But, in a report released this week by Ofsted, the nursery was rated outstanding, following a November 25 inspection.
In January of last year, an inspector said: “Managers are not proactive about reviewing procedures and processes in response to significant incidents.”
Angela Farmery, nursery manager, said: “We take Ofsted advice very seriously in our pursuit of continual improvement at the nursery and have the support structures in place to respond immediately to any potential weaknesses in policy and practice.
“Instead of looking at risk assessment on a nursery basis we have applied and updated the criteria on a room-by-room basis ensuring that assessments, procedures and processes are responsive to the different age groups and particular environments within the nursery.
“We are part of the employee-owned Childbase Partnership with a dedicated in-house team of health and safety experts who were instrumental in overhauling the risk assessment process and introduction of new safe systems of working.
“They continue to monitor the application of these new criteria and our company in-house training experts, who have won four national awards for their staff training programmes, have been supporting staff in instinctively applying the new systems. This has been reinforced with regular staff meetings.”
Twelve per cent of the nation’s early years providers are rated outstanding by Ofsted, with just eight per cent of nurseries rated as such in Swindon.
In its latest report, Rachel Edwards, the inspector, said: “Children form close bonds with their special or ‘key persons’, who provide excellent emotional and practical support. As a result, children are settled, feel safe and demonstrate a very strong sense of belonging.
“Children make excellent progress in this safe and highly stimulating nursery. Staff carefully monitor each child, so they can plan and adapt learning experiences to meet individual needs.
“The management and staff make children’s health and safety their highest priority.
“The management team and staff demonstrate a very strong commitment and ability to provide high quality care, teaching and learning, and to maintain continuous improvement.”
The nursery has five main playrooms and an enclosed outdoor play area, with a separate garden for babies. There are currently 150 children in the early years age range on roll.