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Praise for north Norfolk outdoor nursery in outstanding report

PUBLISHED: 17:08 13 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:09 13 April 2017

Dandelion Education Limited have been rated outstanding in their first Ofsted report. 
Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Dandelion Education Limited have been rated outstanding in their first Ofsted report. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2016

An outdoor nursery in Norfolk has been told it is outstanding across the board in its first watchdog inspection.

Dandelion Education Limited have been rated oustanding in their latest Ofsted inspection. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE Dandelion Education Limited have been rated oustanding in their latest Ofsted inspection. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Dandelion, based in Marsham and Blakeney, was rated outstanding in all four categories - leadership, quality of teaching, personal development and outcomes for children - after a visit from Ofsted inspectors in March.

The open-air forest school nursery, which opened in 2015, offers “inspirational” teaching and sees children make “outstanding progress in their learning”, a report says.

“The vision, dedication and commitment of the managers have created a unique and special environment for promoting children’s learning,” inspectors said.

“Children thrive in this stimulating outdoor nursery where they are free to play, explore, imagine and learn.”

Emma Harwood, one of the Dandelion founders. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE Emma Harwood, one of the Dandelion founders. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Its founders, Emma Harwood and Hayley Stainforth-Room, who have years of teaching experience between them, said it shows excellence in early years can be found in unique ways.

They said: “We are thrilled to be judged Outstanding by Ofsted. Their visit to inspect our nursery was a complete surprise – as it always is – and rather nerve-wracking, but we are delighted that our unique approach combining Philosophy 4 Children, with outdoor forest school activities, has been given this national accolade.”

Ofsted inspectors highlighted how children “develop a superb understanding of how to manage risks and challenges relative to their age”.

They cited an example of staff actively involving them in daily risk assessments of the nursery environment.

Hayley Staniforth-Room, one of the Dandelion founders. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE Hayley Staniforth-Room, one of the Dandelion founders. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

“They use scripts and songs to help children understand about keeping themselves safe,” they added.

To improve the nursery, inspectors said they should continue the “excellent programme of training and qualifications for staff”, to “foster even greater achievements for children”.

The team will be hosting two open days for parents interested in registering.

One will be held at the Blakeney site, on Wiveton Road, from 2pm to 4pm on April 22, while the other will be held at Marsham, on the High Street, from 2pm to 4pm on July 1.

For more information on Dandelion, click here.

• Do you have an education story we should be writing about? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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