A NURSERY on a deprived Bradford estate has achieved a good Ofsted rating on the back of a new approach to child-led learning and a successful forest schools provision.

The nursery, Pippins Childcare and Education, at Haslemere Close, Holme Wood, has been serving the community as a childcare facility since 2004 when it began as a Sure Start centre.

Pippins currently provides nursery care for children aged three months up to school age, after school care for primary schoolchildren and a holiday club for five to 11 year olds.

Following an inspection on January 25, 2022, Ofsted inspectors gave the school a good in all areas and overall rating of good, following on from a good Ofsted inspection in 2017.

"Staff and sensitive to children's needs and they support children to become independent," the report reads. "Children learn how to keep themselves safe while taking risks."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Childcare and education manager Alison Sturrs works with a child on using a tambourine.Childcare and education manager Alison Sturrs works with a child on using a tambourine.

"It's confirmation that what we've been doing is good and up to standard," said Alison Sturrs, childcare and education manager at Pippins. "We're all here for the good of the children."

"We've started using a new 'curiosity approach'," said Kate Hough, deputy childcare and education manager. "It's so open-ended and child-led. It's much better for the children."

She explained that the 'curiosity approach' advocates avoiding plastic food service items and using natural and authentic materials such as real glasses, plates and cutlery.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Deputy childcare and education manager Kate Hough helps a children with a musical instrument.Deputy childcare and education manager Kate Hough helps a children with a musical instrument.

"They learn about cause and effect. If they drop something, it smashes. Two-year-olds have become respectful of these items."

Mrs Sturrs said: "There's a big focus on 'doing', giving them experience and learning to use their imagination."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A child enjoys using the cymbals.A child enjoys using the cymbals.

To help the children get off to the right start in life, Mrs Sturrs said: "We try to model good behaviour when they're here. It's educating the parents as well and getting them involved."

Business manager Michelle Hyland said the nursery has played a key role in helping the community by providing food hampers to help families.

"In an area where we need those extra things, we're here for our parents, who come with their own problems."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Children at Pippins enjoy making music.Children at Pippins enjoy making music.

The school also said its forest school provision, which was praised by Ofsted, has been helpful to the children.

"The idea is to build their skills, so they're not doing things that would get them into crime," said Mrs Hough, speaking about how it benefits children in the after-school provision. "Forest schools teaches them about responsibility as they learn how to use tools and knives properly for activities like whittling and sawing logs. They also love cooking on the fire."

"It's quite wild but secure," added Mrs Hyland. "They can take risks but in a safe place that gives them freedom to explore."


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