scores on the doors

We follow County Durham’s ‘Safer Food Better Business’ guidance and are inspected yearly, without notice, by Environmental Health. To receive 5 stars for our procedures was acknowledgement of how well we safeguard our children on a daily basis. In December 2014 new legislation around Allergies was introduced but our already robust procedures meant that we were already acting on the advice and covering the guidance. Staff refer to the dietary needs information at every meal time to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities for the children at their table. Several years ago, staff began involving the children involved by calling it ‘Keeping our Friends Safe’ – the information is read out to all children and staff and the children love to tell us what their friends can and can’t have! We now see the children re-enacting this in their play and they have made themselves their own ‘Dietary Needs File’

Outstanding_Colour_EYWe pride ourselves on fostering children’s well-being, independence and self-confidence – the foundations to all future learning and centre our focus on the characteristics of learning…essential for future attainment. OFSTED inspect without notice, so to be recognised as ‘Outstanding’ across all areas under these circumstances was doubly rewarding and an immensely proud achievement. Since then we have been asked by County Durham’s Early Years team to celebrate our nursery  journey to support other settings in a variety of ways, including through training workshops alongside the County Educational Development Advisors; Setting to setting support; Nursery show-arounds; Dissemination of how we adapt paperwork to be meaningful to the progress of the children; Child centred observations and learning journeys and how they inform planning, assessment and progress.

If you would like an electronic copy of our report, please get in touch via our ‘contact us’ page and one will be sent to you


Reception class teachers feedback that our children are given excellent foundations for future learning and they enter school very well prepared. Our data shows that a number of factors promote and support these successes:

  • Quality (rather than quantity) time /interactions at home and with the wider family/community;
  • A strong partnership between home and nursery – sharing information for continuity of learning and experience, celebrating achievements help build a wider picture of the child as a person;
  • Established and consistent routines and boundaries…including regular bedtime stories from an early age and lots of sleep
  • Attending York House from an early age and for a greater percentage of the week means the children have a wide variety of sensory stimulation, high emotional well-being, self confidence, independence and a thirst for learning. Our ‘rhythms and routines’, continuous provision and quality staff interactions mean children are exposed to consistent, continuous and differentiated challenge, centred around everyday learning experiences.

We are on a continuous journey of development & improvement…

Our Policies, Practices and Procedures are all based on our research of current good practice, underpinned by The Early Years Foundation Stage’s Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements and the Early Years Outcomes for the Early Learning Foundation Stage.

OFSTED regulate all childcare services and we use this as an additional tool for reflection and quality improvement by receiving weekly updates and reading and reflecting on new inspection reports.

County Durham’s team of Early Years Advisors monitor and support our practices; engage us in high quality experiences and projects to enable us to further improve our offer to our children and share our high quality practices with other settings.

We have excellent links with external services such as Children Centre family workers, the Speech and Language team, Health Visitors, Portage…and work hard for the respect we have built up…the children’s progress speaks for itself.

We are inspected yearly by the Environmental Health team, achieving top marks for our procedures

We work closely with County Durham’s Advisory Team and have been privileged to have been part of several incredibly valuable projects including

  • ‘Providing a Language Rich and Enabling Environment for 2 year old’s’
  • ‘Every Child a Talker’
  • ‘Buddying’ (sharing our practices with and supporting other settings)
  • ‘Developing Learning Journey’s the New Zealand way’
  • ‘Developing Assessment – Flying From the Start’
  • Working Party for the development of funded two year old provision
  • ‘Developing Music Rich Experiences’ to foster learning across all ages and curriculum areas
Our current project is ‘Engaging and Supporting Family Involvement in nursery’