Top Ofsted marks again for Oaklands Nursery staff in Porthill
CHILDREN and staff at a nursery are celebrating after being rated as 'outstanding' – for the second time in three years.
Oaklands Nursery, in Porthill, received the top grade in all five categories in their latest Ofsted report.
The nursery last achieved the coveted grade in 2010 and headteacher Sara Bailey – described by inspectors as 'an inspirational leader' – has maintained her high standards.
Since the last inspection the nursery has introduced a 'forest school' initiative, which helps encourage outdoor learning.
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Mrs Bailey said: "We have a wooded area at our school and we use that area for the children to build dens.
"It helps develop their skills and interaction. A lot of these skills they can then apply to other areas of learning.
"It gives them a lot of independence as well as an awareness of safety."
During the inspection, the Oaklands Avenue school was praised for its teaching of reading and writing, while pupils' behaviour was described as outstanding.
Mrs Bailey added: "We have a fantastic team of teachers here, who are very experienced. They are constantly striving to improve what they do.
"They put the children at the centre of everything they do and are led by the individual interests of the children.
"One of the things we will not do is stand still. We will continue to change and develop for the benefit of our children."
Inspector Mary Hughes visited the school over two days in January and highly praised the work of the staff.
She said: "Teaching is outstanding. Staff love their work and are a highly effective team. Underpinning the school's success is the dedication and expertise of the headteacher. She is ably supported by senior staff and governors. She is an inspirational leader who has worked continually to improve the school and ensure the children are given the very best start to their education."
Natalie Hill, of Porthill, has three-year-old twins Lacey and Kai at the nursery.
The 36-year-old said: "My son is painfully shy and I chose to send them here because I wanted him to become a bit more confident. It worked because he has really come out of his shell. He loves it. They have both learned such a lot from being here. They are really good at maths even before they have started school."
Three-year-old Lily Aubrey added: "I like playing with the play-doh. I make ice creams and different shapes."