Monday, 28 February 2011
‘Outstanding’ nursery gets Ofsted approval
The University of Essex Day Nursery has been awarded top marks by Ofsted
with ratings of ‘outstanding’ (provision that is of exceptionally high
quality) in four areas and as ‘good’ (provision that is strong) in the
remaining thirteen areas.
The Ofsted report coincides with a £60,000 refurbishment aimed at further
improving the quality of care. The inspector praised Nursery staff for their
ability to meet the individual needs of the children and said they “are
excellent role models and speak to the children with respect and kind,
positive language” resulting in children who are “very caring.”
Both the indoor and outdoor environments were commended with the
inspector reporting “children play in exceptionally welcoming, clean, bright
playrooms that have access to a secure outdoor play area…children delight in
their time outdoors” and “proudly show ladybirds they find and listen
carefully as staff members explain how to care for them.”
Nursery Manager Elaine Dixon said: “This result is brilliant as it proves
once again that we are providing top quality childcare. However,
improvements can always be made; hence we are currently undergoing an
extensive refurbishment. Amongst other things, this includes adding large
interconnecting doors between rooms to provide more flexible space, thus
improving opportunities for interaction between different groups of
For the full report please see the
Ofsted report page.
Monday, 28 February 2011
The Great Outdoors
The University of Essex Day Nursery, in line with the University’s own
research findings highlighting the physical and mental benefits of spending
time outside is actively promoting outside play. Under close supervision,
using the secure gardens and parkland setting surrounding the nursery, with
its grass and mature trees, we are giving children a safe and peaceful place
to be adventurous, explore and make the most of the great outdoors.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) states that children “should be
given access to an outdoor play area and this is the expected norm for
Says Elaine Dixon, Nursery Manager, “Unusual to many nurseries, each room
benefits from direct access to its own secure garden and we promote what we
call ‘free flow play’ meaning the garden doors are open in most weathers.
Parents equip children with cosy clothes, waterproofs and wellies to ensure
everyone is warm and dry”.
Research shows that being outdoors has positive impacts on a child’s well
being and overall development. They have the chance to play with more
freedom and give in to their natural creativity, curiosity and need for
adventure. Being outside allows children to experience life in terms of
different textures, smells, noises and sights to what they are restricted to
indoors, stimulating healthy development.
Parents often worry about giving children such freedom, but with
appropriate clothing, a safe and secure play area and adult supervision, why
not try more outside play with your child at home too?
Please do talk to staff if you have any ideas about this venture. With
the help and cooperation of our parents, we can endeavour to ensure the best
learning environment for our children.
Note to parents – The Day Nursery recommends children are equipped with
warm coats, gloves and hats, as well as a waterproof suit/ trousers and
jacket for wetter days.
Please ask Day Nursery reception for advice on local suppliers of
children’s waterproofs. Internet- based supplier of waterproofs for children
include Mucky Puddles, Regatta and Togz. Day Nursery provides these brand
names for guidance and do not endorse any particular product.
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
‘Christmas is for Children’
Carols and charity at the University of Essex Day Nursery
Children at the University of Essex Day Nursery enjoyed a twilight carol
service on Tuesday, 14 December.
The event was held around the nursery’s Christmas tree, adorned with charity
stars. The stars have been purchased over the past week with all proceeds
going to the Colchester General Hospital Children’s Ward.
After the carol service led by the University’s Anglican chaplain Thomas
Yap, the event was rounded off with a visit by Father Christmas and warming
cups of soup prepared by the nursery kitchen team.
Elaine Dixon, Nursery Manager said ‘we’re delighted to welcome children and
parents to this annual fixture in the nursery calendar. It’s a great way to
come together and enjoy the festive season’.
tel 01206 873224
"Nursery Days" newsletter December 2010
The December 2010 "Nursery Days" newsletter is out now.