Meadow Lane Children’s Nursery

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About Meadow Lane Children’s Nursery

Name Meadow Lane Children’s Nursery
Ofsted Inspections
Address The Old Pig Farm, Meadow Lane, St Ives, PE27 4LG
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Cambridgeshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is outstanding

Children are truly at the heart of this very special, unique and awe-inspiring provision. They thrive as they thoroughly enjoy the huge range of indoor and outdoor learning opportunities.

Children are wonderfully muddy, covered in paint and joyfully engaged in their learning. They make impressive progress in every aspect of their learning and development, especially those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Children show sheer excitement, awe and wonder as they experiment with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to change the colour of red cabbage water or to create overflowing froth.

Children love t...heir visits to the provision's farm animals, they watch chickens lay eggs around them, feed the goats and play a very active and hands-on role in the rearing of piglets. Children develop such a true sense of the world around them as they grow produce in the large kitchen garden and learn to manage risks and outdoor challenges around the farm and forest school area. Children thoroughly enjoy their wonderful meals and snacks in their own farm café, which is run by dedicated staff.

All children, from the youngest babies to the children preparing for school, develop a strong exploratory impulse and a real thirst and love of learning. This is because staff are absolutely dedicated to ensuring that the environments they provide, give children a truly exhilarating early years experience.

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

It is absolutely evident that all staff love working in this provision.

They achieve their shared vision of providing a very special early years education for the children they care for. They know all of the children and their families so well and this enables them to provide the utmost caring and nurturing provision. The support and dedication of key persons, to ensure that activities and care meets the needs of each child, is second to none.

The leadership and management of this provision is highly successful. Staff are inspired by the manager who places high value on each member of staff's unique skills, knowledge, talents and well-being. As a result, staff take ownership of everything they do and cannot wait to share and develop ideas to further benefit children and their parents.

The quality of teaching is worthy of dissemination to others. Staff are extremely well qualified and use their excellent knowledge of early years in every interaction they have with children. This benefits every area of children's learning at all ages and is why children achieve as they do while at this provision.

Recruitment and induction procedures are extensive and highly effective. Stringent 'benefit risk assessments' and hygiene procedures ensure that children benefit from a safe but challenging and highly engaging environment where they play a full and active role. They learn how to feed farm animals, how to use the fire pit and how to climb and negotiate obstacles safely.

Babies flourish. They have lovely relationships with staff, which gives them the confidence as they explore their environment. Staff have high expectations of their ability to contribute.

For example, as staff read a favourite story 'Dear zoo…' they leave off the last word of the repeated refrain and very young children vocalise their response.Young toddlers show high levels of perseverance and concentration as they experiment in their water play. They thoroughly enjoy singing and learn how to sing 'hello' in different languages.

Older toddlers show their ability to complete complex puzzles, given their age, and are proud of their achievements. They use flour, sugar, oil and water to create a dough mix and comment that it looks like 'porridge'. Pre-school children make dog biscuits and demonstrate extensive knowledge.

For example, they know that adding garlic helps dogs to have a smooth and glossy coat.Partnerships with parents are exemplary. The management team is very visible at all times and has extensive ways of sharing communication with parents so that they play a full part in their children's early years experience.

This provision never stands still. Since opening, the manager and staff develop amazing ideas that they gain from parents, others or training initiatives. For example, a 'reflection' diary and 'enquiry' book are inspirationally completed in each room to evaluate activities and to ensure that children's thoughts and next steps are at the heart of forward planning.

Comments from parents about the provision are overwhelmingly positive. Some go well out of their way to bring their child to this provision because they recognise its uniqueness. Comments include, 'Why sit down inside when you can be outside digging and getting dirty?' as well as 'The effort, care and attention that goes into looking after my son and supporting his development is first class' and 'Staff go above and beyond to ensure every child thrives'.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Management and staff have a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of all aspects of safeguarding and who to report any concerns to they may have about a child or a colleague's behaviour towards children. Protecting children from harm is at the heart of the provision, while ensuring that children have amazing opportunities to develop their own understanding of keeping themselves safe.

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