VIDEO: Nursery has plenty to hoot about after ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report

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A Horsham-based nursery has been awarded outstanding in all areas by Ofsted after only six months in their new premises.

Hayley Peacock, managing director of Little Barn Owls Day Nursery, told the County Times she was ‘elated’ to have been given the grade which was awarded under the new Early Years Foundation Stage(EYFS) curriculum.

JPCT 290413 Little Barn Owls - received outstanding Ofsted report. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 290413 Little Barn Owls - received outstanding Ofsted report. Photo by Derek Martin

“It feels amazing and it’s an incredible achievement “ she explained.

“We have worked really hard at it, it’s been a goal for the last three years and we’re absolutely elated.”

The nursery opened its newly renovated premises at Moat House farm, Rusper Road on October 1 following the termination of their previous lease.

Hayley added: “It’s been quite a challenge to ensure that we keep our quality service running while we’re experiencing so much growth.

“Aiming for outstanding on top of that was even more pressure and it’s practically unheard of for Ofsted to give outstanding to a new registration and we are currently the only day nursery in Horsham with this highly accredited grade.”

The nursery has 177 children on it’s register and has 30 members of staff but they are now operating an 18 months waiting list due to a high demand Hayley puts down to their ‘unique approach’.

“The demand was high right from the off,” she continued.

“We’re offering something that’s quite different and I think appeals to parents.

“We follow the ‘Reggio Emilia’ which is a unique and highly creative holistic approach to early years education which means they’re very much enabled rather than taught to.

“They are very much offered experiences for them to find out about, theorise and discover the world around them.”

The nursery has also developed a farm school in their garden, a large growing area, greenhouse a climbing frame out of old pallets, a large sandpit and have been working hard to develop the inside environment as well particularly with the art studio and artist and they don’t intend to stop there.

“We might have a glowing report from Ofsted but for as far as I’m concerned this is the beginning,” revealed Hayley.

“We’re always learning about the children as they’re learning about the world around them and it’s forever evolving.”

As a thank you for the nursery’s hard work, parents clubbed together in private in January and commissioned a surprise large wood carving of a Tawny and Snowy Owl with a plaque which was presented to Hayley as a surprise.

She said: “It was incredibly sweet and generous. I was very honoured and it was a wonderful mark of appreciation which is very much mutual.”

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