AN independent Droitwich Spa school has received an Outstanding rating in the latest inspection of its early years foundation stage, covering the school’s nursery, kindergarten and reception classes.

Dodderhill School, an independent girls’ school and nursery in Droitwich, received inspections on March 25 and 26, from the Independent Schools Inspectorate, and alternative body to Ofsted, responsible for inspecting schools whose headteachers are affiliated with the Independent Schools Council.

Inspectors observed several lessons, as well as extra-curricular activities and assemblies.

They also conducted informal discussions with the pupils, looking at their work, and talked to senior staff, governors and parents about the school.

The report said: “All adults and teachers are well informed, enthusiastic, and demonstrate a strong belief in the children’s capacity to succeed. They provide a rich and stimulating learning environment both indoors and out, with an excellent variety of carefully planned activities adapted to the children’s interests, so that all children, from the youngest upwards, are encouraged to investigate independently and develop their imagination and creativity.”

The report also praised the school’s staff, calling the adults and teachers ‘well informed’ and ‘enthusiastic’, stating that they ‘demonstrate a strong belief in the children’s capacity to succeed.’

Cate Mawston, headmistress of Dodderhill School, said: “We pride ourselves on providing a vibrant and stimulating environment for boys and girls aged from six weeks to five years. It is a widely held and agreed view that high-quality early years education has a considerable and positive impact on a child’s development. These solid foundations gained in the early years will often stay with the child as they move through to adolescence and adulthood.

“Parents who send their children to Dodderhill can be confident in the knowledge that their children will receive the highest quality care and education as reflected in the findings of our recent and previous inspections.

“Many of our pupils come to us at the Early Years Foundation Stage, but love the environment so much that they remain here right through to the age of 16. Dodderhill School is a place that helps young children flourish into capable and confident young adults.”

Recommendations were made in the report for staff to ensure a new appraisal system being introduced was fully implemented, and that supervision policy and routines were fully embedded. To view the full report, visit