A NURSERY that opened two months before the pandemic has been inspected by education watchdogs for the first time.

Sherborne House Nursery in Hiltingbury, Chandler’s Ford, has achieved a ‘Good’ rating by Ofsted.

Opened in January 2020, the nursery sits within the grounds of the independent prep school.

It looks after 110 children across the nursery and pre-reception.

In the report, inspectors noted that "children share strong attachments with staff, who respond to them with interest, warmth and care".

They also found that children, including those who are new to the nursery, receive "cuddles and reassurance".

The report also included ‘Outstanding’ elements within the inspectors’ feedback.

Lauren Head, the nursery manager, holds a Level 7 qualification and has over 13 years experience in childcare.

She set up the nursery "from scratch" and said that the pandemic was the "most challenging time".

She said: "The Ofsted report is a real achievement.

"I set up the nursery from scratch and designed each room to have specific sets of resources to facilitate targeted learning for the children in our care.

"The report mentions this specifically, which is fantastic recognition."

Although it's run separately, the nursery benefits from being part of the wider school, with pre-school children having lessons with subject-specific school teachers such as French, music, PE, phonics, English, and maths as part of their weekly routine.

Lauren added: "The Covid period was definitely our most challenging time for us as a nursery, with the landscape constantly changing in terms of hygiene regimes, restrictions, and isolation for both the children and staff whilst still maintaining our offer of 7.30am to 6pm childcare for working parents, many of whom work in the NHS.

"We knew that providing our service allowed local healthcare professionals to go to work with peace of mind."

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