St Mary’s Episcopal Nursery earns ‘warm, caring and nurturing’ praise

St Mary’s Episcopal Nursery has received widespread praise in a report by the Care Inspectorate.

Children and staff from St Mary's Episcopal Nursery
Children and staff from St Mary's Episcopal Nursery earned praise from the Care Inspectorate in their recent report

The Dunblane nursery received a grading of ‘5’ (Very Good) in each of the four core evaluations of its service - setting, leadership, staff team and care, play and learning.

It followed an unannounced inspection at the nursery – which provides care for 16 children aged three to those attending primary school – by the National Regulator in early December.

Inspectors highlighted a number of areas for commendation at St Mary’s Episcopal. These include:

  • Warm, caring and nurturing support of children from staff.
  • Teamwork and effective communication to support children’s needs and choices.
  • The full involvement of children in planning and leading their own learning with confidence.
  • Excellent use of the local environment to support children in feeling part of their community.
  • Good knowledge of individual children's needs and a regular review of learning plans to support the health, safety, wellbeing and overall development of the children.
  • Dedication of the senior management team and all staff to the ongoing development of the service, to ensure positive outcomes for children.

Community Links

Siobhan Hewitt, Head Teacher of St Mary’s Episcopal, said: “Our children inspire us and are at the heart of everything we do at St Mary’s Episcopal. We are particularly proud that our commitment to outdoor learning, community links and curricular learning such as STEM and literacy are being recognised.

“I would like to thank all staff, professionals and families who have been part of our inspection process and continue to work with us. We are all striving to make St Mary’s Episcopal Primary and Nursery School the best place to learn.” 

Cllr Danny Gibson, Convener of Stirling Council’s Children and Young People Committee, said: “This is a super report card and everyone at St Mary’s Episcopal should be proud of these findings.

“The Inspectorate were particularly impressed with the strong connections the nursery has developed in the local community. This included preparing plant pots, visiting residents in the local care home and working with the Dunblane Development Trust to plant bulbs in community spaces.

“This supports an even greater sense of community belonging for the children. St Mary’s is being very well led by a management that promotes a clear, shared vision with high aspirations for children and their families.”

Strength and Enthusiasm

As part of the evaluation, the Inspectorate spoke to several children, four families, the manager and staff.

Feedback from parents was extremely positive and demonstrated the strength and enthusiasm of the staff team as well as strong community ethos of the school and nursery.

The full report can be viewed on the Care Inspectorate website.