A south east London nursery and forest school has been rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted inspectors.

Mottingham Hall for Children, in Mottingham Lane, was given the rating following an inspection on November 22, 2023.

The nursery, which caters to children aged up to four, has a capacity for 84 children and currently has 100 on roll.

Inspectors found it to be an 'outstanding' institution overall, demonstrating excellence in the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management.

Children in the nursery are said to be "happy and excited to come into this welcoming nursery" with staff being considered "well qualified and highly knowledgeable".

They noted that children "flourish and thrive due to the inspiring daily opportunities and enabling environments" that the nursery provides.

The report stated that "staff skilfully challenge children and ask them questions to encourage them to think and talk about what they are doing", contributing to high levels of compassion and communication demonstrated by the children.

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In particular, inspectors found the forest school's approach to educating the children about their world was commendable.

The children were fascinated by the habitats of bats and other nocturnal creatures, exhibiting curiosity and inquisitiveness while learning from their environments.

This curiosity about the natural world is encouraged by the nursery, which has its own small farm - with chickens, goats and guinea pigs - an allotment, and qualified forest school leaders.

From the report, it was clear that staff's "deep understanding on how to build children's development through stimulating activities" was instrumental to the success of the establishment.

The key-person approach was deeply embedded, there were strong attachments between staff and children, and parents spoke highly of the nursery and the support they received, according to the report. 

Inspectors found that "all staff understand the curriculum intent and how to implement this in practice".

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They also appreciated how culturally inclusive the institution was.

A role-play area in each room is adapted to the individual children, with families asked to "donate an item that reflects them, their home, or culture", which helped children feel at home and able to talk about their similarities, differences and uniqueness.

Inspectors concluded that "the arrangements for safeguarding are effective" and "there is a culture of safeguarding across the nursery."

In particular, it was found that "the nursery is safe and hygienic for children", with staff conducting daily risk assessments both inside and outside.