A Cockermouth nursery is delighted to have been rated 'outstanding' - again.

An Ofsted inspector recently visited Strawberry How Nursery, which has 105 children on its roll.

Every aspect was declared outstanding: effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; and outcomes for children.

The nursery, which is managed by Julie Richardson, was also declared outstanding at its last inspection in 2013.

The inspector said:

  • The extremely strong skills of the management team mean the nursery runs highly effectively and efficiently. The nursery owners have an uncompromising vision for the nursery. They are driven, committed and passionate about providing the best possible care and education for children.
  • Self-evaluation is a golden thread running throughout the nursery, implemented with great success by the equally invested and dedicated staff team. Managers and staff are highly proactive, seeking out and targeting improvements at every opportunity, to continually provide the highest levels of practice.
  • The learning environment is outstanding. Exceptionally well-planned and informed learning experiences provide children with an abundance of opportunities. An array of stimulating and innovative resources and equipment keep children consistently absorbed in their learning. They become excellent independent and creative thinkers and make outstanding progress in their learning.
  • Parents' contributions are highly valued and used to inform key person's assessments and planning. Parents are widely supported to continue learning at home and to regularly share new information and achievements. Partnership working with other professionals is equally as well implemented and a strength of this nursery.
  • Teaching is dynamic and sharply focussed. Staff seize opportunities for learning, using their expert knowledge of early years and clear assessments of children's next steps.
  • Children's physical and emotional well-being is at the heart of nursery practice. Staff give extraordinary value to providing outdoor experiences. Visits to a host of interesting settings and long local area walks are a huge part of nursery life and significantly enhance children's good health and wider learning opportunities.

To improve further, the inspector suggested enhancing "the already excellent opportunities that encourage children's sensory explorations".

Mrs Richardson was delighted with the report.

"First and foremost we were really happy that the inspector recognised the outstanding quality of our staff," she said.

"The inspector was really pleased with the learning environment that we’ve developed over the last 10 years and she also recognised that the core running through our nursery is a determination to design and develop quality experiences.

"Our further aim is to develop independent children who can think for themselves."