Southdown Nursery

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About Southdown Nursery

Name Southdown Nursery
Ofsted Inspections
Address Gervays Hall, Jarvis Lane, Steyning, West Sussex, BN44 3GL
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Sessional day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority WestSussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is outstanding

Children flourish in this outstanding, nurturing nursery. They form exceptionally strong relationships and attachments with the dedicated staff. All children make rapid progress in all areas of their learning and development.

From the moment children start at the nursery, staff ensure all children's individual needs are meticulously met. Children are extremely enthusiastic to come into the nursery. They greet staff and their friends with enormous excitement for their day.

Children and staff have developed wonderful relationships that help children feel exceptionally safe and secure. Children thoroughly enjoy exp...loring all areas of the spacious and well-presented indoor and outdoor environments. They have an excellent awareness of keeping themselves safe as they play.

Children show high levels of independence and confidence and enjoy taking risks, as staff discretely supervise close by. For instance, children wait until the slide is free before sliding down and they freely request support when using challenging balancing beams. Children are provided with an outstanding range of stimulating and exciting activities that captivate their interests, further supporting them to become extremely motivated and inquisitive learners.

Children clearly make full use of their creative potential in a variety of ways. For example, they experiment by mixing tea leaves with water, make imaginative dinosaur islands and come up with new and innovative ways of building sandcastles. Staff's enthusiasm and encouragement allow children to be engaged and eager to try new resources and tools to further enhance their skills and make way for their excitement to really be present.

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

Staff adapt the curriculum fluidly to capture children's interest. For example when a helicopter flies over, staff's excellent use of language encourages children to speculate where the noise is coming from and listen to the sound. This encourages children to become very confident speakers, develop their communication skills and extend their vocabulary.

In addition, staff skilfully use sign language and non-verbal prompts to further aid children's communication skills.Staff show enormous enthusiasm and commitment. They consistently follow children's lead, actively encouraging children to think, investigate and experiment.

Children develop an excellent understanding of early literacy and mathematical concepts. For example, children freely count and compare size while deeply engrossed in water play as they fill, tip and pour water through various containers and thoroughly enjoy watering their flowers and plants. In the writing area, they practise making marks when writing their own names.

Children are provided with a wealth of rich experiences, such as links with the community. Children are very much part of the community and explore the local area regularly. For example, they often walk to the village and are excited to chat to various shopkeepers, learning about their community and different professions.

Children are provided with a wonderful range of sessions to enhance their learning, such as cooking, science activities, sport sessions, forest school sessions and disco Friday.Staff promote children's health and welfare needs exceedingly well. They teach children excellent hygiene routines and support them to manage their own personal care.

For example, children pour their own drinks and help prepare their own snack. Children are becoming independent in self-care, including putting on their own coats and wellies. They demonstrate an excellent awareness of washing their hands after playing with mud in the garden.

Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities receive exceptional support from staff. Staff work diligently with parents and other professionals to ensure children receive personalised support to help them reach their own learning potential and are happy in the nursery. The manager uses additional funding astutely to address gaps in learning, to help children catch up quickly.

As a result, all children make outstanding progress and are ready for their next stage in learning.Parents describe the nursery as 'exceptional'. They talk about how well their children have developed and love attending and how staff keep parents fully informed about their child's learning.

Parents feel that staff truly listen and value their input. Parents receive comprehensive updates on their child's learning and next steps in development.The manager is inspirational.

She values her staff and ensures they are part of any progress or change. The dedicated and committed staff are extremely supportive and motivate and inspire each other. They develop strong professionalism, eagerly gaining information and skills to further enhance their practice.

Excellent supervision of staff and training opportunities ensure the team continues to maintain the outstanding teaching and learning it provides.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.All staff have an outstanding awareness of safeguarding and an exceptional knowledge of the procedures to follow if they have concerns about a child.

Staff attend safeguarding training, which is further enhanced through regular safeguarding questions and quizzes by the manager. The staff team works cohesively and is deployed extremely well in the supervision of children. The manager robustly ensures the ongoing suitability of all staff.

Training is kept up to date for all staff, which helps ensure children remain safe at the setting. The environment is extremely safe and secure. Staff implement excellent risk assessments effectively to minimise risks to children.

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