Nottingham Nursery School has been praised for the way it inspires ‘awe and wonder’ among children.

Ofsted inspectors said the nursery in Radford fosters curiosity, celebrates inclusivity and nurtures children. They have awarded it the highest ‘Outstanding’ judgment.

Following an inspection visit in February, the education watchdog said the school’s vision was to ‘give children the keys to their future’. Inspectors found this vision was shared by staff and governors alike and formed the backbone of everything they do.

A new report published into the nursery school in Denman Street West said: “There is a real sense of teamwork at the school. Parents and carers are guaranteed a warm welcome. Every parent would recommend the school to others. All said their children are safe and cared for well.”

In particular, the inspectors highlighted:

  • Adults throughout the school show genuine care for the children. Relationships are warm and nurturing
  • Leaders have a very clear understanding of the progress children make during their time at the school. Regular meetings to discuss the progress children are making focus sharply on evaluating both the progress that groups of children and individuals make
  • While most children join the school with skills, knowledge and understanding often below those typical for their age, the majority make strong progress and are well prepared for primary school
  • A key feature of the school is the extensive facilities available for outdoor learning. The forest garden provides opportunities for children to explore willow structures and find out about mini-creatures. There is a real sense of adventure and purpose as children learn and play together
  • The strong culture of safeguarding permeates the day-to-day provision

Nottingham Nursery School is the only Local Authority maintained nursery school in Nottingham and has no defined catchment, admitting up to 126 children aged three to four and up to 40 eligible two year olds. An integrated training centre also operates from the school, which supports the development and collaborative working of education and early years’ professionals. The school was previously rated as Outstanding.

Head Teacher Mary Prest said: “We are enormously pleased that Ofsted have recognised the unique and special nursery provision that we work so hard to provide.  Their judgement is a testament to the dedicated team and fantastic families we have here at the nursery, who are all committed to the same goal of working together to build strong foundations that all future learning can rest upon.

“We have an innovative approach to learning, informed by the principles and approaches of Froebels, Reggio Emilia & the Danish Forest Schools.

“We work closely with families to nurture the children who come here and strive to foster independence, resilience, creativity and curiosity and to celebrate our diversity. Learning outdoors and connecting with nature is key to our provision and we have fantastic learning spaces including our natural woodland which is an oasis in the city.”

Cllr Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Education and Skills in Nottingham, said: “This is clearly an Outstanding nursery school – it’s the gold standard that everyone should be aiming for.

 “This is clearly down to hard work from staff, pupils and governors. They should all be so proud of their hard work and dedication. 

“The council is working closely with partners from across the city to ensure that every child can go to a school that is rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.”

The full report can be read on the Ofsted website.