An award-winning preschool and nursery has been recognised as “Outstanding” by Ofsted.

Established in 2017, Finkley Andover Nursery and Preschool is a unique childcare facility in the heart of Andover. It received an 'outstanding' rating from Ofsted after an inspection that was carried out on Monday, October 19.

An Ofsted report rates preschools and nurseries on the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, leadership and management, and personal development.

The report of Finkley Andover Nursery and Preschool said leaders have created an 'extremely unique, child-centred learning environment.' As a result, children are eager to attend the nursery, bubbling with anticipation to start each day. 

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Leaders and managers at the nursery are clear on the skills and knowledge they want children to learn, adding that staff know their families 'extremely well and understand their unique starting points.'

It continues to say that managers have identified communication, language, and children's physical independence as priority areas, in which children need more focused support following the pandemic. The report added that staff utilise opportunities to build children's resilience, teaching them to manage their safety and assess risks throughout the day.

The Ofsted report highlighted staff for their role in promoting children's independence and 'encouraging their creativity and critical thinking, providing exciting and enticing learning experiences for children to explore and investigate.'

The report continues to say that the curriculum is closely aligned to the needs of the children in the nursery which 'offers children a broad range of experiences, based on strong, solid foundations, that prepare them for life in modern Britain.'

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Children are also provided with plenty of opportunities to be physically active, with established clear strategies to support children in learning about the rules, boundaries and expected levels of behaviour. Staff also demonstrate a good understanding of safeguarding, and are able to recognise the signs and indicators that might suggest a child is at risk of harm. 

Director, Alison Dennis, said: "We're absolutely thrilled to announce that our independent family nursery has received an outstanding grade from Ofsted.

"This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our incredible staff who go above and beyond to create a nurturing and stimulating environment for our children. We believe in providing the highest standard of care and education, and it's heartening to see our efforts recognised by Ofsted. 

"This outstanding grade motivates us even more to continue striving for excellence and ensuring that every child in our care has the best possible start in their early years. A huge thank you to our amazing team, supportive parents, and, of course, the delightful children who make our nursery a truly special place."

Meanwhile, Sophie Bradley from the group's East Anton nursery has been named as a finalist in the Practitioner of the Year category in Nursery Management Today's prestigious annual awards, with their Finkley Weeke nursery in the running for Community Nursery Of The Year.

Alison said: "We're delighted with the way the year has gone so far, which has been capped by this Oftsed recognition and we look forward to welcoming children to our new nursery at Finkley Hudson's Field.

"It's fantastic that our staff and nurseries are getting the recognition they deserve and we couldn’t be more proud to be named twice as a finalist in the prestigious Nursery Management Today Community Nursery of the Year Awards.

"This has all been achieved whilst we are still an independent nursery group with family values. In fact, we still call it the 'Finkley Family'."

The nursery is based at the award-winning Finkley Down Farm and is the founding site of the independent family-run group, which now owns four nurseries in Andover and Winchester - with the newest in Salisbury at Hudon’s Field opening this autumn.