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Springfield Nursery-071.png

Ofsted - Springfield Nursery - Childcare for children aged 3 months to 12 years

We use Ofsted inspections as part of our policy of continuing improvement. Our last inspection resulted in an "Outstanding" mark. 


We take Ofsted inspection procedures and feedback very seriously.

We use Ofsted inspections as part of our policy of continuing improvement. The report below is our Quality and Standards of Early Years Provision inspection from 17 September 2012.

This inspection: 1
Previous inspection: Not Applicable

How well the early years provision meets the needs of the range of children who attend: 1
The contribution of the early years provision to the well-being of children 1 The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the early years provision: 1

The quality and standards of the early years provision

This provision is outstanding.

  • Leadership and management of the provision are exemplary. The provider implements rigorous self-evaluation procedures, which successfully identify strengths and areas for further development. This results in continuous enhancements to practice and excellent care for children.
  • The provision meets the safeguarding and welfare requirements exceptionally well. Consequently, children are cared for in a very safe environment by suitable persons. Staff work in close partnership with parents and are highly attentive to children's individual needs.
  • Staff provide an excellent range of activities to thoroughly promote all areas of learning and development. Meticulous assessment and planning for children's individual progress means that children thrive in the nursery.
  • Outdoor areas are inspirational, with significant emphasis placed on continuity of learning for children outside. Therefore, children enjoy themselves immensely as they eagerly explore the innovative play sections.
  • Staff skilfully interact with children to extend and challenge thinking during play. They consistently motivate children with thought-provoking activities and stimulating resources. The highly enabling environment also provides numerous opportunities for children to access play materials and make their own discoveries.
  • Excellent transitional arrangements for all ages result in children becoming highly confident and secure. Careful preparation successfully helps children to move smoothly from one group to another throughout the nursery. Children in 'The Annexe' group are very well prepared for school when it is their time to leave.

Information about this inspection

Inspections of registered early years provision are scheduled:

  • at least once in every inspection cycle. The current cycle ends on 31 July 2016
  • more frequently where Ofsted identifies a need to do so, for example where provision was previously judged as inadequate
  • brought forward in the inspection cycle where Ofsted has received information that suggests the provision may not be meeting the legal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage; or where assessment of the provision identifies a need for early inspection
  • prioritised for inspection where we have received information that the provision is not meeting the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and which suggests children may not be safe
  • at the completion of an investigation into failure to comply with the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • the provision is also registered on the voluntary and compulsory parts of the Childcare Register. This report includes a judgment about compliance with the requirements of that register.

Inspection activities

  • Observations undertaken in each of the 3 group rooms (am & pm), and all outdoor play areas.
  • Joint observation at 11.55am in the Annexe with the Registered Provider, meeting with Registered Provider 12:30pm - 1:15pm. Feedback 2:45pm - 3:30pm.
  • Children's records inspected in each age group, discussions with Key Persons.
  • Self-evaluation, staff training, evidence of disclosure notices (disc, docs - Registered Provider).
  • Discussions with parents at inspection (and parents comments book).


Julie Wright

Full Report

Information about the setting

Springfield Nursery opened in 2002. It is privately owned and re-registered in 2012 on becoming a limited company. It operates from Springfield Farm in Marwood, near Barnstaple, Devon. The setting operates from a purpose-built building with an annexe for the pre-school and out of school facility. There are extensive outdoor play areas suitable for all ages. The setting is registered on the Early Years Register, and on the compulsory and voluntary parts of the Childcare Register. There are currently 208 children on roll, 187 of whom are in the early years age range. The setting receives funding for the provision of free early education to children aged three and four years. It is open each weekday from 7:45am to 6:15pm, all year. There are 26 members of staff working with children, all of whom hold appropriate early years qualifications.

What the setting needs to do to improve further

To further improve the quality of the early years provision the provider should:

  • strengthen the key person system to enhance the continuity of care for babies and young children, particularly when nappy changing.

Inspection judgements

How well the early years provision meets the needs of the range of children who attend

Highly effective procedures to observe, assess and plan for children's individual progress are in place. Staff are thorough in seeking information from parents to meet the needs of children. For example, parents complete an 'All About Me' book, which includes specific developmental details. Staff clearly identify children's starting points and focus on levels of achievement, in line with Development Matters.

Communication systems are excellent; these include frequent discussions, meetings and use of daily diaries. Staff actively seek to involve parents in the promotion of children's welfare and learning. For example, in the baby room parents provide photographs of family members. Babies feel secure and develop a keen 'sense of self' when they look at their books with staff. Other popular activities involve children taking home a special teddy bear. Families enjoy these opportunities and make notes of their shared learning experiences. Older children share details of their holidays, send postcards and use 'Skype' as an innovative activity. Parents and children readily take part in special events and celebrations, for instance, in the Olympic themed activities and the 10th Anniversary of the nursery.

Staff provide extensive and exciting activities to inspire and stimulate children. As a result, children are thoroughly engrossed and engaged as they play. They develop exemplary levels of concentration and flourish in their development. Staff have excellent knowledge and awareness of children's learning, development and care needs.

The contribution of the early years provision to the well-being of children

Children are enthusiastic and always keen to participate in activities. They readily respond to staff and show an excellent understanding of the routines. For example, they promptly recognise the signal for 'tidy-up' time, they put on their 'listening ears' and busily help to sort and put away. Children are very sociable, confident and highly motivated. They play exceptionally well together, taking turns, negotiating and solving problems in play. In the outdoor areas they show excitement as they investigate and discover things. For example, children select magnifying glasses and rush off to hunt for bugs. Together, they construct channels with pipes and consider the angles required to make the water flow down. The willow tunnel and sweet pea den provide wonderful natural play areas for children to experience.

Children also delight in touching plants in the sensory bed to produce scents. An abundance of growing activities takes place, which contribute significantly to children's knowledge of the natural environment. Children love seeing the farm animals and having responsibility to help care for them. Meticulous attention to detail in the provision of resources means that children have excellent experiences, in all areas.

Extensive opportunities to promote physical skills and coordination are evident. Children show great confidence as they safely negotiate risks. For example, they balance carefully as they walk along a wall and then jump off onto the lower level. They develop an impressive understanding of keeping themselves safe. Staff gently nurture babies and young children in their care. Each child has a specific key person, complimented with a second named member of staff. This effectively promotes continuity of care, although the nappy changing rota does not fully minimise the number of staff tending to babies' personal needs. All children form secure attachments and make very good progress in their personal, social and emotional development.

Babies smile, babble and show high levels of contentment. They readily respond to familiar faces and voices in the room. Babies take great interest in their surroundings as they discover a wealth of objects, materials and textures. In each of the groups, staff are highly attentive to children's needs. They rigorously promote children's health, safety and well-being. Staff provide excellent support so that children settle as quickly as possible in the nursery. As babies, toddlers and children progress, staff skilfully ensure that they are ready to move on. For example, babies and children enjoy frequent visits to their next group. The nursery also has excellent transitional links with schools and other provisions.

The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the early years provision

Staff are highly motivated and work exceptionally well together. They demonstrate excellent awareness of safety issues and are very conscientious in their practice. For example, they closely monitor sleeping babies and meticulously ensure that play materials do not pose a hazard. Robust vetting and recruitment procedures are in place, with rigorous induction, appraisal and supervision procedures to ensure suitability. All staff contribute to the evaluation of practice and they successfully strive for continuous improvement. They attend relevant training to extend their childcare knowledge and achieve further qualifications. Courses include training in the use of specific medical equipment, to meet the health needs of children. Staff have made excellent progress in preparation for the revised Early Years Foundation Stage framework. As a result, their assessment arrangements are highly effective.

Staff have comprehensive knowledge of the welfare policies and procedures, such as, in child protection, which are in line with current requirements. They provide an exceptional welcome to families and effectively promote inclusion. Staff have high regard for parents' contributions and their involvement in the setting. They actively seek additional information and resources to support children's development. For example, key words and dual language books, for children with additional language. They have highly positive relationships with parents and excellent feedback is available at inspection. Parents commend the exemplary, innovative activities and are extremely happy with the care given. Staff efficiently identify children's individual needs. They follow highly effective procedures and have strong partnerships with other agencies and services. Consequently, they fully support children's welfare and development.

The Childcare Register

The requirements for the compulsory part of the Childcare Register are met.
The requirements for the voluntary part of the Childcare Register are met.

What inspection judgements mean
Registered early years provision

Grade 1: Outstanding
Outstanding provision is highly effective in meeting the needs of all children exceptionally well. This ensures that children are very well prepared for the next stage of their learning.

Grade 2: Good
Good provision is effective in delivering provision that meets the needs of all children well. This ensures children are ready for the next stage of their learning.

Grade 3: Satisfactory
Satisfactory provision is performing less well than expectations in one or more of the key areas. It requires improvement in order to be good.

Grade 4: Inadequate
Provision that is inadequate requires significant improvement and/or enforcement. The provision is failing to give children an acceptable standard of early years education and/or is not meeting the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. It will be inspected again within 12 months of the date of this inspection.

The provision has no children on roll. The inspection judgement is that the provider continues to meet the requirements for registration.

Not Met
The provision has no children on roll. The inspection judgement is that the provider does not meet the requirements for registration.


This inspection was carried out by Ofsted under Sections 49 and 50 of the Childcare Act 2006 on the quality and standards of provision that is registered on the Early Years Register. The registered person must ensure that this provision complies with the statutory framework for children’s learning, development and care, known as the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Setting details:
Unique reference number EY444473
Local authority Devon
Inspection number 783603
Type of provision
Registration category Childcare - Non-Domestic
Age range of children 0 - 8
Total number of places 90
Number of children on roll 208
Name of provider Springfield Nursery Limited
Date of previous inspection Not applicable
Telephone number 01271 329 028

Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance ‘raising concerns and making complaints about Ofsted', which is available from Ofsted’s website: If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 0300 123 4234, or email

Type of provision

For the purposes of this inspection the following definitions apply:

Full-time provision is that which operates for more than three hours. These are usually known as nurseries, nursery schools and pre-schools and must deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage. They are registered on the Early Years Register and pay the higher fee for registration.

Sessional provision operates for more than two hours but does not exceed three hours in any one day. These are usually known as pre-schools, kindergartens or nursery schools and must deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage. They are registered on the Early Years Register and pay the lower fee for registration.

Childminders care for one or more children where individual children attend for a period of more than two hours in any one day. They operate from domestic premises that are usually their own home. They are registered on the Early Years Register and must deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Out of school provision may be sessional or full-time provision and is delivered before or after school and/or in the summer holidays. They are registered on the Early Years Register and must deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage. Where children receive their Early Years Foundation Stage in school these providers do not have to deliver the learning and development requirements in full but should complement the experiences children receive in school.