A NURSERY was praised for providing "excellent opportunities" to develop children's early skills.

Henshaw Nursery, located at Henshaw Church of England Primary School, in Bardon Mill, was rated Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted inspectors in a report published on March 15.

The report outlined the nursery manager's dedication to providing the best for children and their families and that staff work hard to create a "home-from-home environment".

Arlene Bowes, Henshaw Nursery manager, said: "We are excited to announce that Henshaw Nursery has been awarded the grade of Outstanding in our recent Ofsted inspection, for the second consecutive time. This was achieved in the face of all the changes and challenges that our setting and the Early Years sector have experienced over the last six years, since our last inspection, not to mention the impact of Covid.

"We have a passionate and talented team that places quality at the heart of everything they do. We would like to offer a huge thank you to all our amazing children and supportive families, without which none of this would be possible. 

"The team are extremely proud of this achievement, especially as it matters to our children, in that we are providing outstanding early learning experiences and hopefully creating happy, confident lifelong learners."

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The report added "children gain an excellent knowledge of the world around them", and pupil behaviour is "excellent".

"Staff put children's safety at the centre of their practice. They teach children how to keep themselves safe, such as the rules they must follow around the fire pit and pond when in the forest school area.

"The support for children's communication is exceptional. All staff receive training to extend children's language development further.

"Children have excellent opportunities to develop their early literacy skills," the report said, adding that parents are "extremely positive" about their children's experiences in the nursery.

Staff plan activities encouraging the development of physical skills, including balancing on wooden stepping stones and negotiating slopes.