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Following its latest Ofsted inspection, Durham University Day Nursery is delighted to have received an Outstanding rating in all areas.

The Ofsted report praised the Day Nursery’s focus on communication and language, the children’s strong and trusting bonds with staff and high levels of independence for all children.

The Outstanding rating was celebrated at an event on Thursday 9 February which was attended by Durham University’s Vice-Chancellor and Warden Karen O’Brien, who commented:

"The University has had a nursery provision for nearly 33 years and to achieve an Outstanding rating by Ofsted following two years of disruption caused by the pandemic, when many nurseries had to stop providing a service for long periods, is a significant achievement."

L - R: Kim Roberts (Durham University Day Nursery Manager), Lauren Edwards (Assistant Director of Human Resources & Organisation Development), Joanne Race (Director of Human Resources & Organisation Development), Karen O'Brien (Durham University Vice-Chancellor and Warden)

Smaller version of ofsted outstanding logoQuality of Education 

The inspection in December focused on the curriculum offered by the nursery and how the children learn. The inspector assessed the quality of education being provided both indoors and outdoors, and considered the team’s knowledge of child development, safeguarding and well-being. The nursery team provided examples of how they work with their families, and how they offer support to the children around personal and social development, communications and language. The inspector also spoke with a number of parents and carers about their nursery experience (including the tailored support for children with additional learning requirements), and additional support provided during and after the Covid-19 pandemic was discussed.

The report noted that: “the children are inspired and thrive at this outstanding nursery, and they are placed at the heart of its care. Staff plan a varied, ambitious and interesting educational programme that fully supports all areas of learning. The children who speak English as an additional language develop their understanding of the English language well, with the management team and staff having an excellent knowledge of safeguarding and child protection issues and are extremely positive role models to all the children”.

Dedicated Team  

Lauren Edwards, Assistant HR Director and Ofsted Responsible Officer for the Nursery said: “Our Outstanding rating demonstrates the hard work and dedication given by our nursery team and the strong relationships that they have established with the parents and carers of the children and with our external agencies such as Durham County Council.  I am very proud of the team and all they have achieved”.

Durham University Day Nursery is open to University staff, students and members of the public. It provides high quality care for children from six weeks of age to school age.


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