AN ANDOVER nursery has been praised by the education watchdog in its first inspection.

The Peapod Nursery School, based in Grace Baptist Church, Andover, was rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted following a visit on September 18.

Inspectors highlighted that the provider was ‘good’ in all of its assessment areas such as effectiveness of leadership and management and quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

In a report published earlier this month, Ofsted lauded the nursery for the outcomes of those in its care, highlighting that younger children join in to act out stories, with older children acting as the lead during the activity and staff encourage the groups.

It added: “Children develop the skills they need for their future learning, including moving on to school.”

Inspectors also observed that there is a nurturing and kind nature at the nursery between staff and youngsters, along with older children and younger children during play.

“Staff gently nurture the new children, enabling them to settle quickly in this caring environment. Children learn to share, take turns and be kind to one another as they play.”

There was also particular praise for how youngsters developed their physical skills in the garden by showing “increasing coordination and balance”, with children also learning good hygiene and healthy eating.

Inspectors said that children showed that they felt safe and secure while at the nursery, with safeguarding labelled as “effective”.

“Staff know the procedures to follow if they have concerns about a child’s welfare. Staff risk assess thoroughly to ensure children are safe in the nursery and on outings,” the report said.

Parents comments were taken into account, with those asked appreciating “the warm welcome they and their children always receive”.

“Parents comment positively on the useful advice and support staff have shared to encourage their child’s development. They can see the good progress their children are making.”

It was said that staff ensured that any gaps in children’s learning were identified and addressed.

Inspectors highlighted that children at the nursery had a particular interest in the natural world and creativity.

But Ofsted said the nursery, which registered in August 2016, was not yet ‘outstanding’ as its staff missed “many opportunities to encourage children’s mathematical awareness”.

It added that managers needed to analyse the impact of staff’s teaching skills more thoroughly to continually raise the quality of teaching.

Manager Sarah Howlett said: “We are really pleased, it is our first Ofsted and it is great to know what we are doing is right.”

Speaking of the recommendations, she added: “I think we can always improve on something. Having an area that is room for improvement and having some guidelines where we can focus on is useful.”