Muddy Munchkins Forest Nursery

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About Muddy Munchkins Forest Nursery

Name Muddy Munchkins Forest Nursery
Ofsted Inspections
Address Dudsbury Girl Guides Camp, 174 Christchurch Road, West Parley, Ferndown, Dorset, BH22 8SS
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Dorset
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Staff create a welcoming and stimulating environment.

They have established links with another early years setting to offer weekly forest-school sessions. Staff ensure they share all relevant information with their linked early years setting. This helps them to meet children's different needs right from the start.

All children are happy, secure and show great enthusiasm and positive attitudes towards their learning.Children form good friendships and enjoy one another's company, often creating role play activities together. For instance, they relish playing with the dinosaurs and wooden pallets.

Children preten...d that some dinosaurs find it difficult to jump up and join their friends on the top of the pallets. They think critically and add planks of wood as ramps to encourage the dinosaurs to walk up. Children show kindness and respect to one another as they listen to each other's ideas.

Leaders and staff have adapted routines, in view of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, to ensure the good health of children attending. Staff take the children to wash their hands on arrival and clean resources regularly to minimise the risk of cross-infection. During national lockdowns, staff kept in touch with parents and provided learning packs to support children's learning at home.

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

Staff have high expectations for all children and plan a stimulating curriculum that broadens children's experiences. They know the individual children well and assess their development closely. Staff take their lead from children's play and spend a good amount of time joining in and guiding their learning.

They are passionate about developing children's understanding of the natural world. For example, staff observe children while they carry out insect hunts and lift logs, and suggest using magnifying glasses to look closely at the small creatures they find. However, staff's interactions occasionally lack the challenge to fully support and extend each child's learning.

Children take risks and learn how to keep themselves safe. For instance, they talk confidently about how they cannot go beyond the boundary flags without an adult. Staff skilfully teach children about key safety rules and talk about which plants, such as stinging nettles, to avoid when going for a walk.

Staff model language effectively. They talk calmly, repeat sentences and use picture cards to encourage children's communication skills. However, there are less opportunities for children who are learning to speak English as an additional language to hear and practise speaking in both languages, to further build on their communication skills.

The manager makes good use of the additional funding received for children to improve their outcomes. She has used recent funding to ensure that these children have suitable clothing for learning outdoors. This enables children to fully explore their natural surroundings and get as dirty as they like.

Staff promote daily routines to support children's understanding of healthy lifestyles. For example, children know the importance of washing their hands regularly to reduce the spread of germs. They eat healthy snacks and lunches, and enjoy physical exercise.

Staff provide parents with useful information about healthy eating and the benefits of being outdoors in the fresh air.Parents comment on the 'hard working team'. They describe the positive impact of the curriculum on their children's learning and development.

For instance, children share experiences from the setting, such as learning how tree roots help trees to drink water. Parents value the daily updates about their child's day and ideas on how to support their children's learning effectively.Leaders evaluate the strengths and areas for improvement in the setting regularly.

This helps them to make continual improvements. They support all staff to improve their practice using a targeted cycle of supervision and training. Staff make good use of their professional development.

For example, after recent research on well-being, they have introduced textiles and clothes pegs for children to create their own cosy spaces in the large 'base camp'. Children work together to hang up the large pieces of material on a den and discuss their ideas with one another.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders and staff understand and are fully aware of their roles and responsibilities to protect children in their care from harm. They can recognise the signs and symptoms that may indicate a child is at risk of harm. Staff complete training and their knowledge of child protection is updated and refreshed regularly.

The manager conducts safer recruitment procedures and checks that staff remain suitable in their roles. Staff are well deployed and know how to identify and minimise risks, such as checking to ensure that the outdoor area is safe before children arrive.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: provide more opportunities for children who are learning to speak English as an additional language to hear and practise speaking in both languages, to further build on their communication skills strengthen the consistency of staff's interactions with children to fully support and extend each child's learning.

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