In the moonlight is a chance for us to shine a light on the people who make up Banana Moon. This week we spoke with the management team at Banana Moon Day Nursery in Rothwell who were recently inspected by Ofsted and received an incredible grading of Outstanding.
“ Dawn had been speaking with our director Sri the day prior to getting the call about expecting Ofsted in a few months’ time, so obviously we were nervous , but excited, when it came earlier than expected. As a team, right from its introduction in 2021, we have fully embraced the Early Learning and Development Programme and Big play little play within the nursery and felt confident in our team and their knowledge walking into the inspection. The inspector was very calm and put us all at ease as soon as she arrived. We began the inspection and soon began to showcase the nursery.
At Banana Moon Day Nursery in Rothwell, we make sure independence is part of daily life and make sure open-ended activities allow children to make choices for play. While the inspection was happening, Lauren our deputy manager was in our full moons room where the children were exploring building towers. Two boys were testing each other on how high of a tower they can jump over which Lauren recognised as an interest to explore further and bigger. All the children went outside and they built hurdles to jump over out of loose parts and one child explained how he had been watching the grand national. Mini Moons came and joined them outside where they problem solved the hurdles and realised that they would need to go under the hurdles. This was a great example of big play little play and let the children’s experiences influence where the play went. Big play little play was even referenced in our report!
The Early Learning and Development Programme
The Early Learning and Development Programme has changed the way we do things here at nursery both in terms of our ethos and our practice and we love it. Dawn our manager really believes in the Early Learning and Development Programme, and this shines through in her motivation to achieve. We make sure all new staff get training on the programme and a lot of our current staff always attend to refresh their memories. Even some of our more experienced staff who are used to the old principals are now fully on board with it and you can often hear us all talking about cycles of continued reflection. It is amazing to see a practitioner grow and learn even after many years of practice.
Parent relationships are so important to us too. We continue the support we give to the children through to our parents, and for some we may be the only support they get. As a team we are always signposting our parents to resources that may be beneficial or offering help in nursery where we can. Our social media pages help to keep parents and family up to date and our app keeps parents and carers informed on how their children are getting on throughout the day.
As a management team we work very hard to make the nursery a wonderful environment for staff, children, and parents. We love that every day is different and in-the-moment planning makes our spaces so exciting and inviting to be in. The whole team (but especially Lauren) are magpies, and we love finding interesting loose parts or unusual objects to bring into the nursery and often you can find us with a car full pulling up to the nursery.
All three of us on the management team are different but, for us, it’s our superpower. We reflect together and, in the moments where we do disagree, we know it’s because we are all passionate and committed to making the nursery the best it can be. As a team we never accept the ordinary and are always striving to achieve amazing things. Kensy, our Assistant Manager, has been with Banana Moon since she was a 16-year-old apprentice. She has seen the transition and growth within the nursery and has grown with it. It was amazing to see her confidence grow and witness other members of staff get behind her in her application for the management role. Their faith in Kensyhas continued through to her new role and all staff members, older and younger, have respect for her as much as they do for Dawn and Lauren.
We are so proud of all we have achieved at Banana Moon in Rothwell and reading the Ofsted report when it was published highlighted how much we have done and how far we have come. The comments made in the report showed us and our team that hard work does pay off and seeing the children thrive in our environment is a daily reminder of how special our job is. Our aim is to continue to create a space to let children grow and lets our team grow with them. We couldn’t be prouder of our nursery and we can’t wait to see what we achieve in the future.”
Read the full report here!