Bowerdean Nursery School

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About Bowerdean Nursery School

Name Bowerdean Nursery School
Ofsted Inspections
Address Gordon Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP13 6AW
Phase Nursery
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 178
Local Authority Buckinghamshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Bowerdean Nursery School continues to be an outstanding school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Children have a superb start to their education at Bowerdean Nursery School.

Across both of the school's sites – Bowerdean and Mapledean - children build strong relationships with their kind and caring staff and benefit from familiar routines. Children are well looked after, meaning that they are safe, happy and ready to learn. Families appreciate the regular information they receive about their children's learning and how they can help them at home.

Staff have high aspirations for children's learning and behaviour. There is no ceiling set, with every learning opportunity... seized. As a result, children are enthusiastic learners, achieve highly and are exceptionally well prepared for their transition into early years.

Parents capture this ethos well, with one saying: 'This nursery goes beyond the conventional, creating an engaging and supportive environment that fosters a love of learning.'

The nursery's curriculum includes an abundance of rich and meaningful wider opportunities. Children routinely meet visitors such as beekeepers and paramedics, helping them to build aspirations and widen their experiences.

Intergenerational relationships are developed through story times with visitors from care homes. There are many outings where children learn about their local area and develop important life skills, such as travelling by bus and crossing roads safely.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

There is a shared determination that children at Bowerdean and Mapledean will be set up for future success.

The curriculum is ambitious for all children. It has clear endpoints and goals as well as genuinely responding to children's needs and interests. Staff are well trained and, as a result, are highly skilled at checking children's starting points and moving learning on.

Any special educational needs and/or disabilities are identified quickly, ensuring that children get the help they need as they learn alongside their friends. There is a culture of inclusion perfectly balanced with a focus on providing highly effective support and extra help.

The development of children's language and communication sits at the heart of the curriculum.

Staff encourage and support children in their conversation. They model grammatically correct sentences and help children to develop their vocabulary. Children love joining in with their daily stories, songs, and nursery rhymes.

They use vocabulary from these experiences in their interactions with those around them. For example, during this inspection, children talked about what it means when animals hibernate as they created a den for a bear. Staff use a wide range of additional communication techniques, such as visual prompts and sign language, which children find helpful.

These systems also help to support children who speak English as an additional language. Staff endeavour to occasionally use children's home languages, contributing to their sense of security and belonging.

Children's understanding of the natural world is remarkable.

The curriculum has a seasonal focus which means that children notice change and make thoughtful observations and comparisons. They know, for example, that in autumn the leaves change colour and fall from the trees. They describe the weather and what they need to do to stay dry when it rains.

Children enjoy growing vegetables and fruit and then harvesting them. Adults help them to develop skills such as chopping and mixing to make fruit crumble, potato salad and pakoras. Children understand food's journey from the ground to their plates.

Children are encouraged to be curious and creative learners. For example, they were the driving force behind the arrangements for the nursery's resident ducks. They visited ducks living in the wild to check what their habitat looked like.

Staff helped them to understand the cost implications of owning some ducks. They visited a bank, so the children could learn about when money is used and how to pay in different ways. The children helped to design the duck enclosure, using their mark-making skills to draw simple plans.

The learning resulting from this project is impressive. Children know how to keep their ducks safe and healthy. They show care and high levels of responsibility when they feed them and make sure their cage door is closed.

They know the ducks must be kept safe from predators. The children's squeals of excitement when the ducks leap into their small pond is heart-warming.

Staff feel extremely well supported and proud to work at this school.

They welcome their opportunities for professional development and the consideration given to their well-being. The governing body are knowledgeable and ambitious. They are determined to build on the nursery's considerable strengths.

They recognise the importance of giving children the best possible start to their educational journey.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.


When we have judged a school to be outstanding, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains outstanding.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in March 2013.

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