An 'outstanding' Ofsted rating has been achieved by Squirrels Day Nursery in Hatfield. 

The nursery, based at Hatfield Community Free School in Briars Lane, was praised for getting "children highly motivated to learn". 

The report stated that the children "all have exceptional relationships with the staff in their room and staff respond sensitively to their needs." 

Manager Kressie Baker-Fiveash said: "I am extremely proud of our team for their drive, commitment, and passion in maintaining the consistent high standards that as a nursery we strive to achieve." 

This was the first routine inspection the nursery received since the COVID-19 pandemic began.  

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The inspector discussed the impact of the pandemic with the manager and took that into account during the evaluation of the provider. 

Ofsted commented that the "communication and language is taught exceptionally well to children of all ages" and "they use repetition of words as children use a potato masher to mash flour and water in the mud kitchen, saying, 'mash, mash, mash'." 

Welwyn Hatfield Times: The nursery celebrated the 'outstanding' rating last week.The nursery celebrated the 'outstanding' rating last week. (Image: Squirrels Day Nursery)

Staff were also praised for using Makaton and British Sign Language to aid children's communication skills. 

The Ofsted inspector commented that "older children are eager to ask questions to clarify their thoughts, and staff enthusiastically support their language development by introducing them to new words." 

It also noted that the support for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and children who speak English as an additional language is "exceptional". 

The report added that the manager and staff are extremely passionate about their roles and staff encourage children to use their imaginations and follow their lead.  


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For example, in the garden children pretend the parachute is a pancake. They wriggle on it, pretending to be chocolate sauce, using words such as 'slither'.

Staff join in and add learning opportunities, introducing new language and mathematical concepts as they play. 

Leaders and managers were also praised for providing parents with an abundance of information and resources for them to support their children's learning and development at home.  

Parents also added comments on how they feel extremely well supported with their child's learning and when they need emotional support.