Ofsted rate Chippenham forest school Wildawood 'outstanding'
Hunting for imaginary dinosaur bones, creating treasure maps and making cakes in a mud kitchen are all activities which helped a Chippenham forest school become one of the best nurseries in the country.
According to government inspector Gail Warnes, who rated the Wildawood School in Freckenham Road outstanding, staff there provided children with a range of activities which ‘ignited their awe and wonder’.
“Children thrive and flourish in this highly nurturing and enabling environment,” said her report. “They learn how to challenge themselves and keep themselves safe as they climb trees and explore the natural environment.”
She said the pupils showed very positive attitudes and were keen to learn
“They are curious about the world around them. They ask questions and find ways to achieve their goals.”
Manager, Melissa Murfet, who was said to be deeply passionate about her role and the ethos of the nursery, said: “I am delighted with our Ofsted grade of outstanding. We truly believe it’s so important for children to be outside for their emotional wellbeing and their education. The children have such fun outdoors learning which promotes a willingness and eagerness to want to learn. The impact forest school has on the children’s development in all areas will support and scaffold their learning to become life-ready”.
The school’s staff were said to be equally enthusiastic. “They use the ‘forest as a teacher’ approach and follow children’s leads as they explore,” said the report. “They sensitively join in with children’s pla, introduce new words to describe what children do and ask questions that encourage children to think and develop their ideas.”
First registered in 2017, the school caters for children aged from two to four and has 56 youngsters on its roll.
And the inspector had praise for the youngsters.
“Children show incredible self-control and respect towards each other,” she said.
“They learn how to challenge themselves and keep themselves safe as they climb trees and explore the natural environment. They show very positive attitudes and are
keen to learn. They are curious about the world around them, ask questions and find ways to achieve their goals.”
More by this authorAlison Hayes