University nursery judged to be outstanding

  • Date

    Mon 18 Jan 21

Nursery campfire

Wivenhoe Park Day Nursery, on the University of Essex’s Colchester campus, is ‘outstanding’ in every aspect according to Ofsted inspectors.

Following an inspection the nursery, which looks after nearly 200 children, was rated outstanding not just for its overall effectiveness, but also for the quality of education it provides, the behaviour and attitudes of children, and for the way it is run.

In their report inspectors commented: “All children make exceptionally good progress, including children with Special Educational Needs or disabilities and those who speak English as a second language.

“Their learning needs are superbly assessed and planned for by an extremely highly-skilled and confident staff who have an in-depth knowledge of the children’s likes, dislikes and needs.

“Children are encouraged to develop their interests and are given the opportunity to learn new ones with the multitude of activities available, from becoming a budding artist in the studio to exploring woodland with the Forest School. Children are able to express themselves and develop their creative talents.”

The “dynamic and extremely enthusiastic” staff were praised for making good use of the local area and the University campus and for having excellent partnerships with parents. Those contacted by Ofsted as part of the inspection process told inspectors their children receive “exemplary care.”

Dawn Saunders, one of the nursery managers, said: “We are very fortunate to be based in a magnificent parkland setting so our children can play, learn and explore in a vibrant and stimulating environment.

“Although the COVID outbreak followed our inspection and meant that our celebrations were put on hold, we are delighted to have been praised so highly and look forward to celebrating with the children, their parents and our staff, as soon as we are able.”

The nursery had to close due to Covid-19 between March and June last year, but has managed to remain open to all families since then and throughout this current period of lockdown.

It has 46 staff and caters not only for the children of University staff and students, but also for local families. It is open all-year round and offers flexible funded sessions, with no added top-up fees, for families that qualify.