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Double Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ victory for Cherry Trees

Cherry Trees Ofsted Outstanding

There was cause for celebration at Cherry Trees Day Nursery in Cranfield as proud parents and practitioners learnt that the setting had achieved Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ status for the second time running, following an inspection in April.

An outcome achieved by only 14% of all English Early Years providers, the inspector praised the “deep understanding” of the staff team in knowing “how to most effectively support children’s learning” and “provide excellent care and education” across all age groups.

In the report, the inspector credited “dedicated and nurturing” practitioners at the award-winning setting on Duncan Road for helping to encourage communication from an early age, as well as purposefully introducing an array of resources to help children regulate emotions and feelings, resulting in the “exceptional behaviour and attitudes children display.”

Support for children with special needs and/or disabilities and those who speak English as an additional language was also noted, with the inspector commending the “excellent progress” made, with regular assessments to help “promote new achievements”, adding “children’s identities are celebrated” which promotes a “respectful and diverse community.”

Partnerships with families were also admired by the inspector who observed “staff have a deep respect for the views and knowledge parents have about their own children” and provide carers with “a wealth of information to help support them” including resource sacks and books to navigate life changes including preparing for school and potty training.

Ofsted Inspector, Katrina Rodden explained;

“Children thrive in this inspiring and friendly nursery. They enthusiastically explore and investigate with their friends, rapidly building on what they already know and understand. Leaders create a strong ethos for children to become confident, independent learners, which is evident throughout the nursery.”

Cherry Trees Day Nursery Manager, Amy Fenn explained;

“Receiving our second Outstanding outcome from Ofsted is a testament to the devotion of our team and unwavering support of our nursery families, who this wouldn’t be possible without. We are so proud of this achievement and will not become complacent, as our focus is always on striving for excellence and creating the best outcomes for every child.” 

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Celebrating 20 years of service at Lavenders

There was cause for celebration at Lavenders Day Nursery in Bedford as the team honoured their beloved colleague, Lisa Anesi, as they marked her milestone 20-years of service.

Having started at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ setting on Bushmead Avenue as a Nursery Practitioner in 2004, Lisa has helped to positively shape the lives of countless children in her care throughout her career, particularly older children in the Pre-School room as they prepare to transition to school, as well as providing expert mentorship to new colleagues.

In addition to being nominated for ‘Nursery Practitioner of the Year’ by adoring parents from the nursery, Lisa was part of the Ladybirds room when they won ‘Ladybirds Team of the Year’ at the annual Childbase Partnership awards and has been a contributor to the nursery earning three consecutive ‘Outstanding’ outcomes from Ofsted for care and education.

Raising money for worthy causes has also been integral to Lisa’s time at Lavenders, taking part in team fundraisers and leading on events including summer fetes, fun days and raffles, which have contributed to the £3.5 million and counting raised by Childbase Partnership for charities including ‘Mind’ and ‘Bliss’ over the past 35 years, as well as taking part in community events such as Christmas concerts and food bank drives for people in need.

To mark the special occasion, Lisa received a tax-free bonus reward payment and an extra paid week of annual leave, as well as being treated to lunch by her proud colleagues, whilst reminiscing over favourite memories at Lavenders from the past two decades.

Lavenders Nursery Practitioner, Lisa Anesi explained;

“I absolutely love the Lavenders and Childbase family and really appreciate the support from all the staff and the wider company. I have brilliant memories of different teams over the years and was lucky enough to be able to bring my own two children here and watch them grow, develop and have fun. I have loved taking part in all the balls, festivals and long service dinners and truly have made some amazing lifelong friends along the way.”

Lavenders Nursery Manager, Dizzie Newberry said;

“Lisa is such an asset to our nursery and has played a major role in the early years journey of so many Bedford families. Serving two decades at Lavenders is a testament to her passion and dedication to giving our children the best possible start in life, and we couldn’t be prouder of all that she has achieved. We are so pleased to be celebrating this occasion.”

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Green Flag victory for Hampstead Gate

There was delight for children and colleagues at Hampstead Gate Day Nursery in Milton Keynes as their passion for the planet earnt them another major environmental accolade.

Having scooped the prestigious ‘Green Flag with Distinction’ as part of the international Eco-Schools scheme for the past three years, pre-schoolers from the setting on Eelbrook Avenue were thrilled to add the award to their impressive repertoire for the fourth time, following a sustained environmental project and curriculum of green topics involving children of all ages.

The accolade, which is the highest achievement in the programme involving children across 64 countries, recognises sustainable initiatives in nursery, which include growing herbs and vegetables to be used in homemade meals, creating habitats for wildlife, crafting with natural and recycled materials and taking part in litter picking sessions around their local area.

Over the past month, pre-schoolers have enjoyed learning about life cycles first hand by caring for ducklings in their early stages of life after watching them hatch from their eggs, as well as preparing their garden for frogspawn which is being donated by a parent and celebrating Earth Day with activities, including creating their very own recycling centre.

Hampstead Gate also has its own dedicated Eco-Committee, which is led by devoted Sustainability Lead, Rachael Wright and made up of a number of Pre-School children who take a lead role in ensuring the rest of nursery is environmentally considerate by ensuring resources like paper aren’t wasted, taps are not left running and that knowledge is shared.

Following Hampstead Gate’s victory, a representative from Eco-Schools explained;

“Your eco-committee have used an impressive variety of methods to promote sustainability. From the beginning of your Eco-Schools journey you have shown how the programme should be delivered in an early years setting. Your eco-code is punchy, clear and easy to digest for those that see it, It is a direct call to action and we love this.”

Hampstead Gate Sustainability Lead, Rachael Wright explained;

“We are thrilled to have received another Green Flag with Distinction. Recently, our little ones have learnt how to reduce their carbon footprint and have used their eco-garden to grow wildflower and vegetables. This recognition is a testament to our commitment to sustainability and environmental education for pre-schoolers, and we are so proud of their hard work in helping to make our world a greener place.”

Hampstead Gate Green Flag

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Westwood celebrate World Bee Day

There was a buzz of excitement in the air at Westwood Day Nursery in Coventry as children and colleagues dressed in yellow to mark World Bee Day with a series of themed activities.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Westwood Business Park, younger children practiced their mathematics skills by counting bees in the garden, as well as taking part in sticking activities using yellow and black materials, whilst older children showcased their creativity by making their own bees using paper plates and patterns with pipettes.

Meanwhile, pre-schoolers embarked on a nature hunt outside to observe the pollinators in action and gather pinecones, which they then used to create their own bees with the help of colourful wool and pipe cleaners. This encouraged conversations around the appearance and characteristics of the creatures, helping to aid speech and language skills.

As part of the activities, older children also took part in gardening activities to help plant special flowers in order to encourage more bees into the garden, which will benefit the ecosystem in a host of ways and help slow the increasing decline of the bee population.

Westwood Day Nursery Manager, Lyndsey Matthews explained;

“We had a fantastic time celebrating World Bee Day and giving the children a better insight into the integral role they play as part of the biodiversity we depend on. We believe in fostering a love for nature and sustainability from a young age, and today was a perfect example of how education can inspire a lifelong passion for protecting our planet.”

World Bee Day was celebrated on 20th May 2024.

Westwood World Bee Day

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Grasshoppers children receive special letter from Mayor

There was excitement at Grasshoppers Day Nursery in Aylesbury as budding young environmentalists received a special letter and certificate of appreciation from the Mayor.

Having completed a litter picking initiative around their local area, pre-schoolers from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Wendover Road were delighted to be sent the exciting post from Cllr Steven Lambert, who praised the children for their efforts as part of the Grasshoppers Day Nursery Eco-Committee, and wrote of his own experiences of volunteering with the Aylesbury Wombles to help make the town a greener place.

In a snippet of the letter to the Eco-Committee, which is made up of children Zak, Aditi, Libby, Virat, Christopher, Louie, Aran and Freya, the Mayor wrote:

“Thank you for all your hard work in picking up the rubbish and for all your hard work as part of your Eco-Committee. Thank you to your teachers for their help too. I was so impressed and pleased to hear that you had taken the time to do this, and Lauren has shared with me a picture of you all in your bright green jackets and your litter picker sticks. Thank you again and keep up the good work on behalf of the town of Aylesbury.”

Grasshoppers Deputy Manager, Lauren Trotter explained;

“The children were so proud to receive this special correspondence from the Mayor and this has really inspired them to continue in their environmental endeavours. They love taking part in the eco-activities and it’s moments like this that remind us of the importance of keeping our community clean, respecting the planet and encouraging good citizenship.”

It is for such activities that Grasshoppers have been awarded a prestigious Green Flag with Distinction as part of the international Eco-Schools scheme, the highest accolade, which is given for exceptional environmental awareness and conservation practices.

Pre-schoolers take part in a curriculum of sustainable activities all year round, from crafting with natural and recycled materials to making habitats for wildlife, all whilst learning key educational messages, including the importance of nutrition to healthy lifestyles.

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Mental Health Awareness Week at Devonshire

Devonshire Mental Health Awareness

The spotlight was on hardworking colleagues at Devonshire Day Nursery in Chiswick as they were celebrated with a series of initiatives during Mental Health Awareness Week.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Bennett Street, grateful Manager; Emmy Avery put together gift bags in secret to give every colleague a boost, which included self-care items, a wooden pocket hugs token, motivational key ring and postcards, stress ball, sweet treats and a heartfelt handwritten note of appreciation, bespoke to each staff member.

Touched by the sentimental gesture, colleagues took the time to read each other their personalised messages during breaks, with Team Leader, Thevya Sutharman commenting; “This has really made my day, these notes always mean so much to me.”

Meanwhile, children took part in a range of activities to mark the occasion, from talking about their feelings with the help of their beloved ‘The Colour Monster’ storybook, to taking part in mindfulness activities including yoga to learn how to better improve emotional regulation.

Devonshire Day Nursery Manager, Emmy Avery explained;

“I am a Mental Health First Aider and a big advocate for putting this first. Supporting my staff team is hugely important to me and I want them to always feel they can come to me with anything they need, and be assured that they are getting the right help and guidance. These bags were a token to let them know how valued they are and a reminder to prioritise taking care of themselves, so I’m glad they were so well received.”

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Celebrating 20 years of Nursery on the Green

Festivities were well underway at Nursery on the Green in Southall as proud colleagues and children marked the setting’s milestone 20th birthday with a week of celebrations. 

Pulling out all the stops for the special occasion, pre-schoolers and staff teams from the award-winning setting on Thorncliffe Road were delighted to dress in their brightest clothing, where they enjoyed picnic teas, party games and a special disco, whilst colleagues were also treated to lunch by their grateful managers, Emma Littler and Meera Ladva.

Nursery parents were invited to join in with the celebrations with a coffee and cake morning, where they socialised with nursery practitioners and discussed their favourite memories from their children’s time at the setting, which have included countless family fundraising events, raising tens of thousands of pounds for worthy causes including CRUK, Mind and Bliss.

Over the years, Nursery on the Green have taken part in endless community ventures, including visiting residents in local care homes and taking part in litter picking initiatives to clear up their area, as well as being the proud holders of a host of accolades, including the prestigious Green Flag with Distinction from Eco-Schools for their environmental efforts.

Nursery on the Green Manager, Emma Littler explained;

“This is a really special occasion for all of us and we are so grateful to all the families, staff and supporters who have been part of the journey. It’s an honour to come to work every day and as time goes on, we remain just as passionate to providing our children with the best possible care and education. We can’t wait to see what the next 20 years holds for us.”

Nursery on the Green 20th birthday

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Mental Health Awareness Week at Westwood

Westwood Mental Health Awareness

The spotlight was on hardworking practitioners from Westwood Day Nursery in Coventry as they were celebrated with a series of initiatives during Mental Health Awareness Week. 

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Westwood Business Park, grateful Managers; Lyndsey Matthews and Susan Zaparaniuk created gift bags to give every colleague a boost, which included self-care items, trinkets with inspirational messages, sweet treats and practical advice and exercises for improving mental wellbeing. 

During the week of festivities, colleagues also enjoyed dress down days and sharing tables in the staff room, where they enjoyed lunches as a team whilst making time to talk about their emotions and exchanging the things that they valued most about each other.

Meanwhile, children took part in a range of activities to mark the occasion, from talking about their feelings with the help of their beloved ‘The Colour Monster’ storybook, to taking part in mindfulness activities including yoga to learn how to better improve emotional regulation.

Westwood Day Nursery Manager, Lyndsey Matthews explained;

“As leaders in early childhood education, we have a responsibility to create a positive and supportive work environment for our teams. This includes promoting open and honest discussions about mental health, providing resources and training to help staff cope with stress and anxiety, and fostering a culture of compassion and understanding. We are so grateful for our colleagues and all that they do and want to ensure our nursery is a safe space and inviting space for all.”

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Deaf Awareness Week at River View

There were important learning opportunities taking place at River View Day Nursery in Hertford as children marked Deaf Awareness Week with a series of insightful activities.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on North Road, pre-schoolers were guided through exercises by their hearing impaired Nursery Practitioner, Rachel Savage, who has been teaching children the BSL alphabet and basic sign language to aid communication.

Being deaf in both ears and a wearer of hearing aids, Rachel was able to demonstrate and explain in detail how the hearing apparatus works to give children a better understanding, before having a group discussion on differences and how they make each of us special.

River View Deputy Manager, Jolanta Zabulionyte explained;

“It’s never too early to start building empathy and understanding. At River View, we are not only promoting inclusivity and diversity, but also providing valuable skills to our children. We are grateful to have such a dedicated and talented practitioner on our team, whose passion for teaching and advocacy is truly making a difference in the lives of our little ones.”

Deaf Awareness Week took place from 6th – 12th May 2024.

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Crescent team take on Snowdon climb for charity

A devoted childcare team from Crescent Day Nursery in Edgbaston was delighted to complete a climb up Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, all in aid of charity.

As a result of their efforts, colleagues; Amie Draper, Shamima Begum, Becca Jeffs, Ivana Kladna, Sanah Sultan, Kelly Sutton and Charlotte McGaritty from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Calthorpe Road have so far raised a total of £742.00 for the British Heart Foundation, with donations still incoming from generous supporters.

The climb up Snowdon, which sits at 1,085 metres above sea level, is the latest in a series of fundraising initiatives for the Crescent team, whose colleagues have recently held raffles and bake sales for nursery families, as well as discos for the children to raise money for the worthy cause, which will help fund vital research into congenital heart disease.

Crescent Day Nursery Manager, Laura Whittingham explained;

“Our inspirational team battled the elements as they climbed through winds of 40mph, rain and heavy fog. Although this was an incredibly challenging experience, I know just how rewarding they found. Their dedication to the cause has made all of us so hugely proud and this donation will make so much difference to the British Heart Foundation.”

Crescent have adopted the British Heart Foundation for a year-long fundraising drive.

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Cedars Day Nursery - Leighton Buzzard

We prioritise the importance of outdoor play at Cedars Day Nursery in Leighton Buzzard. All children at our Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ nursery have access to our large, natural garden area on a daily basis as we recognise the impact that being outdoors has on a child’s social, emotional and physical development. The children enjoy planting vegetables and tasting their produce, served by our dedicated Nursery Chef.

Cedars Day Nursery, Mentmore Rd, Leighton Buzzard LU7 2PA

Tel:  01525 850200

Email: cedars.nursery@childbase.com