Our reviewer visited the nursery at 8:00am on a regular Monday morning and found the basement parking to be safe and convenient for families. The location of the nursery within the building, in a quiet out-of-sight corridor, is definitely a plus also, allowing for a smooth drop-off.
Our reviewer was greeted warmly by the nursery’s receptionist and guided into the nursery.
Orange Seeds Nursery DSO is lead by Nursery Manager, Ms Matilda Fel Gyori, and Regional Director, Ms Shehla Khan, who oversees the Orange Seeds group, both of whom were present during our visit. Ms Fel Gyori’s unassuming and warm personality seemed like the perfect fit for this early childhood setting. It was apparent throughout the morning that she goes the extra mile to ensure every concern or request is promptly handled, and that she knows every child.
Ms Khan, an experienced early years leader, was responsible for the set-up of the nursery, and explained that the vision had been to provide an intimate nurturing setting, where children and parents would feel at home, without compromise on high quality facilities and early years practice.
Orange Seeds is a modestly sized setting, with seven classrooms, one shared indoor play space and two small outdoor play spaces. The nursery’s pristine white walls, light coloured wooden furniture and accents of colour create a calming blank canvas, where children can be the focus.
Classrooms are fairly small in size, but with maximum class sizes of 12 children in most rooms, they are not at all overcrowded. Most rooms have plenty of natural light and provide a safe and nurturing base for children to explore and learn.
The nursery’s shared indoor play space provides a flexible play environment, where children can engage in imaginative play, active play and other key focus areas. The nursery’s two outdoor spaces are simple and very much a work in progress in this new setting but do have the potential to add additional play experiences to the children’s days.
We were impressed to find that the children also have access to Orange Wheels play centre, which is situated next to the nursery, within the same building. As with many play centres, Orange Wheels is considerably quieter on weekday mornings, allowing for the nursery children to have free reign. This is an outstanding active play facility, and really expands the nursery’s offering in terms of physical development opportunities.
Our reviewer had the opportunity to observe a toddler class (children aged 12-24 months) and an FS1 class (3 - 4 year olds). The atmosphere in the toddler class was remarkably calm, with clear routines in place, supported with smooth transitions. Children appeared content and at ease, and supportive relationships with the class teacher and two nursery assistants were apparent in warm interactions. The nursery’s focus on promoting independence was evident, as these young children managed routine tasks such as tidying up their snack boxes and washing their hands with adult encouragement.
The FS1 class was more energetic, during a circle time in which the class teacher spoke to the children about animals they might find in the jungle. Children were eager to provide answers to the teacher’s questions and were clearly comfortable and confident expressing themselves. This FS1 environment was in stark contrast to many school options for this age group, with a maximum of twelve children in the class, allowing for every child’s voice to be heard in an intimate safe-feeling learning environment.
Our reviewer had the opportunity to meet with three Orange Seeds parents, all of whom spoke fondly and enthusiastically about the nursery. A common factor in choosing this nursery for these parents was its smaller size and intimate feel, which they all viewed very positively. The nursery’s Montessori influenced approach was also something that our panel appreciated.
Our parent panel felt the nursery’s strengths were its committed and professional teachers, the inspiring learning and development experiences provided to the children and the nursery’s convenient and safe location.
An area that stood out was the level of communication parents described receiving from the nursery. Building impactful parent partnerships has been a priority at this nursery, and this approach is clearly paying off. Parents receive individual written information on children’s activities along with photographs daily via a nursery app as well as a weekly newsletter. Parents can also talk to the class teacher in person daily. Our panel unanimously agreed that the nursery’s management is exceedingly responsive to parent concerns and requests.
When asked about areas that the nursery could improve on, our panel agreed that they had no major concerns, but shared niggles on limited Arabic language provision and children’s handwashing routines. another suggested a stronger emphasis on handwashing routines would be appreciated, but there were no common areas of concern.
Orange Seeds Nursery is a high-quality community setting that provides a safe and nurturing environment for children. This nursery is certainly not the boldest or flashiest, it is not aiming to be drastically different to other settings or break the mold, but rather to provide the essentials to a high standard. What it provides is comfort and safety for young children to learn and develop, and real peace of mind for parents.
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