Mere Nature Kindergarten

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About Mere Nature Kindergarten

Name Mere Nature Kindergarten
Ofsted Inspections
Address Chester Road, Knutsford, WA16 0PU
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority CheshireEast
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children thoroughly enjoy their time at this nursery. They build warm and trusting relationships with staff. Older children quickly enter, eager to begin their day and babies and toddlers are relaxed and smile when they see familiar staff, who welcome them warmly.

This helps children feel immediately safe and secure. Partnerships with parents are well developed and parents speak very highly of the staff team. They value the feedback they receive from staff on their children's progress and ideas to continue learning at home.

They praise how professional, caring and nurturing the staff are, commenting on the 'genuine del...ight' staff greet the children with on their arrival at the nursery.An exceptionally high priority is given to promoting children's personal, social and emotional development. Staff are passionate about developing children's awareness and understanding of diversity and what makes them unique.

There is an exceptional range of experiences to enrich and inspire children's knowledge about the world in which they live. Staff know children's characters and interests exceptionally well and use this knowledge skilfully to engage children in play. This creates a trusting, loving and calm atmosphere, where children show very high levels of curiosity and engagement.

Following time off during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, staff were quick to shape the curriculum to cater for children's individual needs. They prioritised learning for children's emotional well-being. Staff have introduced visual aids to help children to manage their feelings and emotions and self-regulate in response to this.

Babies have a special object from home to provide comfort when needed. Staff consistently praise children for their efforts, achievements and positive behaviours. This is helping children to make good progress from their starting points.

Children show extremely high levels of confidence and resilience when approaching new activities and experiences. They are prepared very well for their next stage of learning. Older children have daily letters and sounds activities and build on their mathematical knowledge as they make their own play dough, using flour, water, and oil.

They confidently meet their own self-care needs, such as handwashing, and independently serve their own meals and help clean away afterwards.

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

Staff closely monitor children's progress and confidently talk about individual children's capabilities. They plan a well-designed curriculum that continually builds on children's existing skills and widens their experience.

For example, older children use their recall of familiar stories to help to develop their mathematical skills, through the use of different storytelling props. They use equipment confidently as they prepare porridge to feed different sized teddy bears.Children's curiosity and creativity are encouraged through first-hand experiences.

For instance, toddlers enthuse about finding toy minibeasts in a mixture of taste-safe sensory media and this promotes great discussion as they match these to pictures and words on their charts. Babies explore exciting indoor sensory play trays themed around their favourite stories. However, some activities for babies are not as well organised in the outdoor area to entice babies to explore and investigate further.

Overall, staff support children's early language development well. For example, they read stories and sing a wide range of songs, alongside sign language, to encourage children to communicate their ideas. Occasionally, staff do not make the most of opportunities to extend children's vocabulary.

For example, staff do not offer new vocabulary to toddlers when exploring minibeasts or introduce more challenging mathematical vocabulary to older children, when they make comparisons of objects.Staff provide a rich range of opportunities for children to be active and develop their physical skills. Toddlers learn how to balance as they move themselves along outdoor beams.

Staff praise their success and they beam with pride. Babies are gently encouraged to move independently along supportive equipment to gain confidence with their new found walking skills. Older children display a great sense of adventure and fun in forest school as they learn about trees and plants in their environment and explore these with magnifying glasses.

Staff provide a highly inclusive environment. They celebrate the different languages children speak and invite parents to share their different backgrounds and experiences through stories. This helps to teach children about different cultures and ways of life.

Behaviour is good. Children learn to respect differences with each other and happily play and explore together.The new manager is highly ambitious and dedicated to making this nursery the best it can be.

She has made effective changes to the quality of the nursery environment to support children's transition and experiences. This includes changes to the dynamics of the baby room and the creation of new rooms for toddlers and pre-school children. After listening to children's feedback, staff have introduced a pet snail in response to children's requests to have a pet they can care for in the nursery.

Staff feel valued and appreciated. There is a strong culture of celebrating their achievements within the nursery community. Staff benefit from access to a range of internal and external training and the opportunity to work with other settings to share good practice.

This enhances the experiences they provide for children at the nursery.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.The manager and staff understand their responsibilities to ensure that children are safeguarded effectively.

Staff complete regular training to strengthen their knowledge of child protection and have a broad understanding of safeguarding issues. Managers continually test the staff's knowledge through scenarios and questions. Recruitment and vetting procedures are rigorous and ensure staff are suitable to work with children.

Staff are deployed effectively to supervise children. They work together with managers to carry out regular risk assessments that ensure the premises and outdoor area are safe and secure for all children. This is enhanced through the use of closed circuit television throughout the nursery.

Staff teach children about keeping safe in the nursery. For example, older children are supported to assess the risks involved in transporting water and know why they walk indoors, understanding that this helps to keep them safe.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: build on the good teaching already in place to help staff to recognise when to seize opportunities to extend children's vocabulary to offer them even greater challenge review the range of learning opportunities offered to the babies, to provide them with richer, more varied experiences to explore and investigate.

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