A NURSERY in Gwent has been given a glowing report from Estyn following its most recent inspection. 

Abersychan Under Fives nursery was subject to an inspection in December 2023, where the wellbeing and care and development of the children in their care was particularly highlighted, particularly the focus on those with additional needs. 

Inspectors felt there was a "positive ethos" throughout the nursery that has enabled the children to have "strong voices" that they feel will be listened to and help them to make meaningful decisions within their learning. 

Children are clearly settled and form "strong bonds" with staff and enjoy being in their presence, resulting in the "exceptionally happy" behaviour witnessed during inspection. 

Praise was reserved for the clear development of understanding of good hygiene and personal independent skills shown by the children, with staff clear in their responsibilities and able to react in a "extremely calm" manner when dealing with the occasional bout of difficult behaviour. 

Staff are clear with how the children are expected to behave and are skilled at responding to individual needs where required. Relevant strategies are implemented to "support children's behaviour well" and are able to recognise when needs might differ for each child. 

Any issues are dealt with "sensitively" by both staff and child, often before anything arises, resulting in a very positive environment. 

Children with additional learning needs are understood well, with effective strategies developed with other professionals put in place to support each individual  to "develop to the best of their ability".

South Wales Argus: Children are supported well, and encouraged to engage with strong voices that will be heardChildren are supported well, and encouraged to engage with strong voices that will be heard (Image: File)

These are supported by detailed monitoring which is regularly recorded and reflected upon to help guide target-setting and to "plan exciting and stimulating play-based experiences successfully". 

Children are seen as building academic skills in an effective manner with a range of "spontaneous experiences", resources and communication able to keep them engaged for sustained periods. 

There is a distinct attention to developing Welsh language skills, with St David's Day among the things celebrated as a group, and this is carried across through the learning of other cultures, where children are encouraged to "learn, taste foods and make crafts". 

Parents are regularly informed of their child's progress, although inspectors feel more could be done to engage parents with the experiences had in nursery so they can be continued at home. 

The nursery is a "safe and secure" environment with robust security policies, however, although evacuation drills are managed well, fire risk assessments are required to be reviewed more often to ensure any faulty equipment is repaired promptly. 

Leaders have a "clear vision" and have effective policies which are always "applied appropriately" including with evaluations, training, and recruitment. Self evaluations are done effectively, with all stakeholders to ensure proper development for both staff and children. 

All staff are "knowledgeable" about the children and have taken on training where necessary to better understand individual needs, including development plans resulting in "good progress" from the starting point for all. 

Grants are made use of well, with leaders keen to "prioritise expenditure to support children with additional learning needs" through providing them with extra resources, resulting in them becoming happy and well developed people. 

There are also clear links made with people outside of the nursery to help engage children with the outside world, including "purposeful visits to the nearby park" to help understanding of nature and wildlife, and members of the community which helps foster a sense of belonging for children. 

Connections with the local school are also "good" ensuring children are well-supported as they make the next steps in their education. 

South Wales Argus: The South Wales Schools and Education Awards 2024 are now openThe South Wales Schools and Education Awards 2024 are now open (Image: Newsquest)

If you think this nursery or any other school in Gwent should be recognised for their hard work, you can nominate them for a School Award here, where you can find out more about each award and the event. 

This year's categories are:

  • School of the Year
  • Private or Independent School of the Year
  • PTA of the Year
  • Special Education Needs (SENCO) Award
  • Head Teacher of the Year
  • Primary School of the Year
  • Secondary School of the Year (sponsored by the University of South Wales)
  • Above and Beyond Award
  • Teaching Assistant of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • College or University of the Year
  • Primary Teacher of the Year
  • STEM Project of the Year (sponsored by National Grid)
  • Secondary School Teacher of the Year