Hunsdon House Garden School

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About Hunsdon House Garden School

Name Hunsdon House Garden School
Ofsted Inspections
Address 12 - 14 Osler Road, Headington, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX3 9BJ
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

The provider and manager have set a clear ethos for the provision and this is reflected throughout the nursery. Staff create an extremely welcoming, calm and nurturing environment.

All children, including those new to the setting, feel safe and secure. They go about their day with great purpose, demonstrating a strong understanding of the rules and routines. Their behaviour is exemplary and their social skills are excellent.

There is a strong focus on teaching children about the joy of following an active and healthy lifestyle. Children delight in spending time in the large and interesting garden. Staff have created hi...dden walkways and dens which children are excited to explore.

Staff create a real sense of 'awe and wonder' about tasting nutritious foods, such as home-baked bread and newly picked apples.Staff have high aspirations for children. They value the uniqueness of each child.

They work very closely with parents and other professionals to meet the individual needs of children. There is very effective and sensitive support for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Staff expertly support all children's language development, including children who speak several languages at home.

The provider is very knowledgeable about how children acquire language and she shares her expert knowledge with staff. Children are exposed to a rich vocabulary and high-quality story times.

What does the early years setting do well and what does it need to do better?

There is a sense of shared purpose between staff and parents.

This has a very positive impact on children's well-being and the quality of the provision. For example, parents and staff work together very closely to ensure children settle well into nursery life. The provider continues to welcome parents to spend time at the nursery, working alongside staff, to support their child's learning.

Parents happily help with improvements to the provision, such as building a new sandpit.Staff know children very well and identify what they need to learn next. They use this effectively to adapt learning to children's needs.

For example, they organise group activities depending on children's ages, language development and concentration skills. They then tailor the teaching to the developmental stages of children. Younger children join in with the words and actions to well-known songs and listen to familiar stories with attention and enjoyment.

Older children are taught less familiar songs and listen to longer stories which include more-complex language.Children come from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Staff embrace this diversity.

Children have daily opportunities to learn about their own and other people's cultures. For example, staff speak to children in many languages.Children learn songs and stories from around the world.

Staff lead by example in teaching children to be respectful of the similarities and difference between themselves and others. For example, they greet children according to each child's own cultural norms.Staff are extremely respectful of children's emotions.

They help children to understand and vocalise how they are feeling. They offer exceptional support as children learn to regulate their behaviour. For example, staff tell children it is okay to feel angry or cross and then help them to work out how to respond to these emotions.

Staff are equally effective at teaching children to persevere. For example, staff use tidy-up time to teach children how to look after resources and ensure they are ready for use the next day. They carefully show children how to store resources correctly and have high expectations that children will complete the task.

Children work together and concentrate hard to do so. They delight in the praise that is given on completion.Staff share the provider and manager's commitment to providing high-quality care and education.

They find the manager approachable and supportive and they speak positively about the working environment. However, the manager does not ensure that they have daily breaks from their childcare and administrative responsibilities. Although sometimes staff have time away from direct interactions with children, they are expected to use this time to complete written assessment records.

Staff sequence children's learning effectively. They understand that certain skills need to be taught in order that children can extend their own learning further. For example, they join younger children in the 'home corner' and show them how to make a pretend cup of tea.

They show children how to steer and manoeuvre bricks onto a toy truck. Children watch, listen and learn and then use this new knowledge in their own play. Staff carefully teach children how to hold pencils and brushes so that children are able to create pictures and begin to form letters.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.The manager and staff understand their responsibilities to keep children safe. The manager discusses safeguarding with staff regularly and takes effective steps to ensure their knowledge remains current.

All staff have a thorough understanding of the signs that a child may be at risk of harm and know how to share these concerns to help keep children safe. The provider and manager follow effective recruitment procedures in order to ensure the suitability of those they employ to work with children.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: manage staff workload more effectively to ensure that assessments are not overly burdensome and that staff well-being is promoted further through the management of their working day.

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