This is the text of the current Ofsted report on Ripe Nursery School, conducted in July 2016.

Ripe Nursery School, The Hayton Baker Hall, Ripe, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6AP

The Quality and Standards of the early years provision: Outstanding
Effectiveness of the leadership and management: Outstanding
Quality of teaching, learning and assessment: Outstanding
Personal development, behaviour and welfare: Outstanding
Outcomes for children: Outstanding

Summary of key findings for parents: This provision is outstanding

  • Children benefit hugely from a strong sense of security. They have excellent opportunities to express their opinions and guide their own learning. Children develop extremely positive attitudes to learning and make exceptional progress from their starting points.
  • Inspirational leadership and excellent teamwork ensure that the nursery achieves an exceptionally high quality. The manager provides excellent guidance for staff, who benefit from high-quality coaching, training and support. She inspires and successfully leads a highly motivated, dedicated and well-qualified staff team.
  • The quality of teaching is exemplary. Staff make excellent use of detailed assessments to provide high levels of challenge to all children. They quickly identify any children who may need extra support and use successful strategies to close achievement gaps.
  • Children behave extremely well. They are consistently kind, polite and considerate towards each other and make friends easily. Children benefit from nurturing support, encouragement and praise from staff, who greatly value their achievements.
  • Staff provide parents with extensive support. For example, they suggest exciting activities and offer challenging resources to parents to support their children’s learning and development further at home. Information sharing about children’s achievements and progress is excellent. Parents are completely informed and fully involved.


What the setting needs to do to improve further

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

  • continue to build on the already excellent learning opportunities, to further develop children’s imaginary play outdoors.


Inspection activities

  •   The inspector observed teaching and the impact this had on children’s learning.
  •   The inspector held discussions with the manager, staff, children and parents.
  •   The inspector read some of the setting’s documentation, including the safeguarding policy and procedures.
  •   The inspector sampled children’s development information and records.
  •   The inspector completed a joint observation with the manager.Inspector: Ben Parsons


Inspection findings

Effectiveness of the leadership and management is outstanding

The extremely ambitious manager and staff team have worked tirelessly to raise the quality of the provision to an outstanding level. Priorities for improvement are highly focused and there is continuous improvement to children’s outcomes. For example, the staff introduced a new system of rigorously assessing children’s development and precisely planning for their next steps in learning. The nursery has built excellent links with local schools and encourages thorough information sharing to support children’s move. Through meticulous self-evaluation, the manager and staff have identified the need to continue to develop the excellent outdoor opportunities, to further encourage children’s imaginary play. Safeguarding is effective. The manager ensures all staff receive high levels of training to develop their excellent understanding of how to deal with any child protection concerns.

Quality of teaching, learning and assessment is outstanding

Staff consistently give children plenty of time to explore activities and make discoveries. They are highly skilled in increasing the levels of challenge and breadth of experiences as children develop. For example, children take complete control of making their own playdough. They read simple words from recipes, recognise and count out quantities of ingredients, and excitedly discuss textures and scents. Children learn to investigate, think critically and solve problems. For example, they carefully study the baby pictures of their friends and excitedly discuss how their appearance has changed or remained the same.

Personal development, behaviour and welfare are outstanding

Children develop an extremely strong sense of self-esteem. They proudly stand as staff read out their special achievements from home. Children thrive on responsibility and develop excellent independence. The youngest children excitedly find their own clothes for the garden and help to dress themselves with great skill. Children develop excellent physical skills and understand how to manage risks, such as when holding hands and carefully walking to a nearby field. They thoroughly enjoy an exciting variety of walks through local woodlands and trips into the local community.

Outcomes for children are outstanding

All children are extremely motivated and engaged in their learning. They show high levels of curiosity, for example, younger children thoroughly enjoy exploring the different textures of objects in exciting ways. Children develop an excellent understanding of letters and sounds. They write their name and read simple words. Children of all ages communicate extremely well and show exceptional mathematical skills as they play. They are extremely happy and confident and learn excellent social skills. Children rapidly gain the confidence and skills needed for their next stages in learning.

Setting details:

Unique reference number: EY477976
Local authority: East Sussex
Inspection number: 979213
Type of provision: Sessional provision
Day care type: Childcare – Non-Domestic
Registers: Early Years Register, Compulsory Childcare Register, Voluntary Childcare Register
Age range of children: 1-4
Total number of places: 28
Number of children on roll: 31
Name of registered person: Kate Mary Fleming
Registered person unique reference number: RP516812
Date of previous inspection: Not applicable
Telephone number: 01323 811899

Ripe Nursery School opened in 1986 and re-registered in 2014. It is located in Ripe, East Sussex. The nursery is open between 8am and 1pm on Monday, between 8am and 3pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and between 8am and 12.30pm on Friday, during term time. The setting employs five staff, all of whom hold appropriate early years qualifications. One member of staff holds qualified teacher status. The setting receives government funding for children aged two, three and four years.

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.

Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance ‘Complaints procedure: 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

The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children’s social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.

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