Acorns Nursery

Name Acorns Nursery
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address St John’s Centre, St John’s Road, Oakley, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG23 7DX
Type Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Hampshire
Catchment Area Indicator Available No
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (11 February 2020)
There may have been more recent inspections such as monitoring visits or short inspections. For details of all inspections, please view this provider on our map here.

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children happily enter the setting and are eager to participate in the activities available. There is a strong key-person system in place. Children demonstrate secure relationships with staff, who know the children well. Children engage in a range of activities to develop their individual next steps in learning. They make good progress from their starting points.Staff have high expectations for all children, and, as such, children develop good skills to support their future learning. The manager effectively uses additional funding, such as the early years pupil premium, to support children. For example, after reflecting on the available provision, resources, books and training to support children’s communication and language skills have been shared with the whole staff team. Children show high levels of curiosity and concentrate for long periods of time on specific tasks. For example, they carefully sift through sand, searching for buried treasure. They use a range of tools and practise their mathematical skills as they count the ’jewels’ to see who has the most.Children are kind and caring towards each other and their behaviour is good. They resolve any minor issues effectively and show respect for others. This results in a very happy, relaxed and busy atmosphere within the nursery.

What does the early years setting do well and what does it need to do better?

Communication and language are a keen focus in the nursery. Staff encourage children to work together to make up their own pirate story. Children are inspired to share their views and contribute their ideas. This shows that staff value children’s opinions. Children re-enact their story, which helps to enhance their language skills, imagination and growing confidence. These attributes help children become ready for managing change and for starting school.Staff teach children about the wider world. For instance, children spend time in their community and regularly visit the residents at the local care home. However, there is scope to enhance this further to extend children’s knowledge of people beyond their immediate experience.The leadership and management at this nursery are good. The manager has a clear vision, and this drives the nursery forward. She reflects on areas of strength and areas for improvement. This means she is effective in matching the needs of the setting with the training needs of staff. The manager is a positive role model for staff, and she supports their professional development well.Children build on their independence. They learn to put on their wellington boots and coats and pour their drinks at snack time. Staff use the ’tidy up song’ to signal to young children that there is a change in the routine. Children understand this means it is time to put things away. They learn how to maintain and look after the nursery resources.Children benefit from a good range of activities to support their physical development. They enjoy healthy foods during sociable snack times and spend quality time outside in the fresh air. They take manageable risks as they negotiate the climbing frame and practise their balancing skills as they ’walk the plank’ while pretending to be pirates.Staff are positive role models who are kind, respectful and caring. They teach children to follow simple rules and the importance of sharing and collaborating with one another. Therefore, children are very well behaved and caring, and they develop valuable social skills for their future lives.Staff plan exciting and stimulating activities for children to build on their learning and experiences. However, they do not extend opportunities for children to express and represent their own artistic ideas and creativity in planned activities.Staff support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) effectively. Staff work closely with parents and partner agencies to ensure they are well equipped to improve outcomes for children with SEND. Staff are highly knowledgeable about how to target support for children with SEND and attend training and network meetings to extend their knowledge. All children with SEND make good progress at the nursery.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.The manager and the staff team understand how to identify the signs and symptoms that could indicate a child is at risk. They clearly understand how to report any concerns about children’s welfare or the behaviour of another adult. They have a broad understanding of wider safeguarding issues and how to identify and report any concerns. Robust recruitment procedures ensure that all staff are suitable. Thorough induction and ongoing support from the manager ensure staff remain alert to their responsibility to keep children safe. Staff are vigilant in their supervision of children. Continual risk assessment of the play areas, inside and outside, promotes children’s safety.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: nextend opportunities for children to express and represent their own artistic ideas and creativity in planned activities nincrease the diversity of experiences and resources, to help children challenge stereotypes and learn about different people beyond their immediate peers and families.