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Outstanding award for both Willow Cottage Nurseries



Willow Cottage Nurseries staff, children and parents are celebrating after receiving an “OUTSTANDING” rating from OFSTED for both their Farmoor and Eynsham settings. The purpose built countryside nurseries were inspected independently by OFSTED, without prior notice, during December, under stringent guidelines regulating the Government's new early years framework.

The Inspections assess three key areas of nursery life:- • how well children's needs are met,

• the contribution of the provision to children's well- being;

• the effectiveness of the leadership and management.

All aspects of the nursery assessments were highly praised, graded 1 and rated “Outstanding”. The nurseries were judged as being highly effective early years providers, meeting the children’s needs exceptionally well.

Directors Neil & Valerie Grady, who have been running Willow Cottage Nurseries for the last 30 years were delighted to receive the news of this double accolade and praised the hard work and commitment of their dedicated practitioners, supervisors and management team for this achievement. They also thanked the parents and families for their continued support in their robust partnership together.

The lead inspector found that:

• Key persons pay meticulous attention to their key children's personal and social development and demonstrate a secure knowledge of how children develop.

• The awe-inspiring outdoor facilities enable each age-range of children to fully develop their physical skills, irrespective of the weather.

• The range of resources both indoors and outdoors is exceptional. Staff provide children with excellent outdoor learning opportunities that fully support all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Toys and appliances are washed in anti-bacterial solutions to create a meticulously clean environment in which children are well and thrive.

• The concern for healthy diets is exemplary. The nursery has received a Leading Aspect Award for work in food education. Meals are freshly cooked on the premises and children and their key workers eat in relaxed family-style groups. The nutritious diet helps to ensure that children keep well and are motivated to learn.

• All members of staff are involved in a highly reflective self-evaluation process. This enables the whole staff team to critically examine their teaching and take positive steps to identify areas for improvement.

• The leadership and management are outstanding. The highly-proficient teaching and management teams are well qualified to carry out their roles and responsibilities. The abundant deployment of teaching staff, along with the back-up of management staff, enables ratios to be met and often surpassed.

Nicola Blackwood MP, Member of Parliament for Oxford West & Abingdon and PPS to the Minister for Skills & Enterprise congratulated Willow Cottage by saying:-

“I’d like to pass on my congratulations to Willow Cottage Nursery School on their fantastic achievement. It really is a testimony to the hard work of teachers, pupils and parents that Willow Cottage has achieved this ‘Outstanding’ rating and I’m sure the school will continue to go from strength to strength from here”.

Press Enquiries: Willow Cottage Nurseries Contact: Neil or Valerie Grady +44 (0)1865 864 604 or

click here for more details or to contact Willow Cottage Nurseries Ltd