Friends Forest Nursery Ash achieves Ofsted Outstanding rating

20 December 2019

Friends Forest Nursery Ash has been awarded the highest possible rating of ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

The Forest School Nursery which inspires children with a hand-on approach to learning, both indoors and out, is located in the Surrey Hills, and was inspected at the end of November.

The Ofsted inspector, who rated the Nursery ‘Outstanding’ in all areas, described children as “extremely caring to each other” and noted that they “show exceptionally positive attitudes towards their play and learning”. The Inspector went on to talk about how children “question, investigate, enthusiastically explore and are highly engaged in their learning”, explaining how, “staff challenge children to think and reason, building on what children already know and extending their learning to the highest levels”.

The inspector also praised the “high levels of independence” children gain at the Nursery, describing them as “exceptionally confident”. The report commended the Nursery for celebrating and valuing every child’s uniqueness, and noted that children “build on their learning as they progress through the nursery and make remarkable progress”.

The Nursery has undergone a complete refurbishment, which has supported staff in fostering “the remarkably caring, calm and purposeful atmosphere” in which “children flourish”, which was highlighted in the report. The unique Nursery in Surrey, was also applauded for its Forest School approach to learning, where “young children sleep soundly in the fresh air after lunch”. The Inspector noted that [children] wake up fully refreshed and ready to learn again”.

Staff were described as “exceptional role models” and the report highlighted children’s behaviour is “exemplary for their age”. The Inspector said that “staff support children’s emotional development exceptionally well” and that “children learn from the earliest age to identify their feelings and emotions”. The report commended staff on the way they “inspire children to want to speak, introduce new words and support children to develop a voice to be heard”, and the “extremely high-quality activities and environment” provided.

The Inspector also recognised the Nursery’s excellent partnership with parents, praising the way in which “staff pay meticulous attention to detail and fully involve parents with their thorough communication about the children’s time at nursery”.

The inspector noted that “the manager is exceptionally enthusiastic and inspirational”, adding that, “staff report their well-being is extremely important to the manager and they feel highly valued.” Nursery Manager, Lindsey Chatfield and her staff team are delighted with the result. Ms Chatfield said, “The staff and I absolutely ecstatic with the result of our inspection. We are all so committed to providing each and every one of our children and their families with the very best start to their early care and education, so we are over the moon to have all of our hard work recognised with this result.”

The full Ofsted report is available on their website at: