Top staff help nursery to top marks

Hopscotch nursery, Peacehaven, Picture by Peter Cripps
Hopscotch nursery, Peacehaven, Picture by Peter Cripps

Exemplary teaching and exceptional leadership have helped a nursery achieve Ofsted’s top rating.

Hopscotch Nursery, in Peacehaven, was visited by inspector Ben Parsons on October 4, and he was so impressed by what he saw he rated it ‘outstanding’.

In his report, published on October 27, Mr Parsons said: “The quality of teaching is exemplary. Staff skilfully build on children’s own ideas in play and consistently encourage them to think and solve problems.”

He added: “The manager is a truly exceptional leader. Her enthusiasm and continuous ambition for improvement are reflected in all aspects of the setting. She leads an enthusiastic team that is completely committed to achieving the highest quality of practice.”

Hopscotch had been rated ‘good’ following its previous inspection in 2013, with leaders being told they needed to strengthen the way they kept track of children’s achievements.

Mr Parsons said manager Tracy Nye and her team had worked “exceptionally hard” to raise the nursery to ‘outstanding’, and had addressed that issue with the introduction of an online system, called Tapestry, which allows parents and staff to follow each child’s development.

Ms Nye said of the inspection: “It seemed to go really smoothly but we always think there’s going to be a hiccup. But the girls were all on top form.

“A lot of it was team work. The staff were ready and they’re all on the ball. It’s nice to be appreciated!”

During his visit, Mr Parsons spoke with staff, parents and children about the nursery and watched the youngsters as they interacted with the staff and each other.

Describing nursery staff as “excellent role models”, he said their work had led to children rapidly gaining the skills they needed for the step up to primary school.

He noted their ability to “skilfully” write their names and was particularly impressed with their imaginative play, their understanding of technology and the way they were able to complete computer programmes.

Looking to the future, Mr Parsons encouraged Ms Nye and her team to continue building on the “already excellent learning opportunities” they provided to help the children develop their early language skills even further.

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