Nursery wins high praise from Ofsted

Harry Rafferty, one, is asleep in one of the dog baskets Hilltoppers Day Care, who have just received an outstanding in their recent Ofsted report. Picture: Andrew Roe

Harry Rafferty, one, is asleep in one of the dog baskets Hilltoppers Day Care, who have just received an outstanding in their recent Ofsted report. Picture: Andrew Roe

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A nursery judged outstanding by Ofsted inspectors has hit on a great sleeping arrangment for its tots - they curl up in cosy ‘dog baskets’!

The Hilltoppers Day Care Nursery at Thurnscoe has received an outstanding verdict on its care from Ofsted for the third time, following an impromptu visit this term.

Every aspect of education, relationships and safety within the nursery,that is attached to The Hill Primary Academy, is praised in a report that notes the unusual range of ‘sleep baskets’ and beds for timely naps.

Babies and tots can curl up or sprawl in wicker baskets that could double for dog beds - but in fact allow little people to relax while still being able to observe what is going on around them.

Academy head Sarah Creighton said: “We are absolutely delighted that the quality of provision here has been rated as outstanding yet again.

“This is due to the high level of care given to children and, I think, the way each child’s individual needs are met, along with the good relationships forged between parents and staff.”

She added: “The wicker baskets we use for daytime naps were recommended to us by a local authority consultant who had seen them used elsewhere, and they provide cosy, warm and safe rest spaces for babies and children.”

The nursery, that caters for 53 early years’ children, has a waiting list. It was set up under a Sure Start grant in 2003.

It is owned and managed by the Hill Primary School Academy board of governors and has 10 staff members.

Chairman of governors Brian Key said: “We are very pleased with the latest report from Ofsted. The nursery gives a wonderful service to the community and we look forward to seeing it develop even further in the future.

“Ofsted paid an unannounced visit to see the nursery operating on its usual day to day basis, and it was clear that they were pleased with what they saw.”

He continued: “The calm atmosphere and the sight of babies and toddlers all snuggled peacefully in the dog baskets at the nursery is something to experience - it has almost moved me to tears at times.”