Monkey Puzzle Tatsfield is Officially Outstanding!

Ofsted Outstanding Monkey PuzzleOur excellent day nursery in Tatsfield has just received the results of their first ever Ofsted report and guess what?

It was outstanding!

Now, this is not just an impressive result, it’s an incredible result! Ofsted first inspections are rarely “outstanding”, in fact less than 5% receive such a recommendation so we, here at Monkey Puzzle Towers want to offer owner Sharon Menteath, and her magnificent team HUGE congratulations for all the hard work they have carried out to achieve an outstanding rating.

The Ofsted report highlighted the key areas that formed part of their outstanding rating, which were…

  • The inspirational leadership of the manager drives the excellent standards of this nursery. The manager provides staff with individual support and mentoring to ensure they are exceptionally knowledgeable and confident in their role. Highly reflective practice raises children’s outcomes even further.
  • Staff provide a challenging and stimulating environment, and they consistently encourage children to lead their own play and learning. Children are extremely well motivated, demonstrate high levels of perseverance and make exceptional progress from their developmental starting points.
  • Children are extremely independent and enjoy a range of responsibilities. For example, they show extreme confidence in preparing their own snacks and enthusiastically wash up after snack from a very young age.
  • Staff have excellent relationships with parents. They involve them completely in their children’s learning and value their preferences and suggestions. Highly effective communication methods, such as children’s precise next steps in development and extremely informative newsletters, ensure that parents are aware of their children’s experiences at the nursery.
  • Support to children who have special educational needs is exceptional. Management and staff demonstrate an excellent commitment to working in partnership with children and their families and other early years professionals.

If you want to find out more about the “outstanding” Tatsfield Monkey Puzzle day nursery, visit their website. You can also see if there is a Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery on your doorstep by checking out our locations page.

You can read the full report on the Ofsted website.

healthy day nursery of the year 2017

More Awards For Monkey Puzzle Glasgow!

healthy day nursery of the year 2017Our Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery in Glasgow is making its mark on the city with a slew of health awards. It now been shortlisted for a UK-wide awards – and is the only Scottish nursery to make the final five.

The nursery has been named as a contender for the National Day Nurseries Association’s Healthy Nursery of The Year 2017.

Head of Service Lorraine Kirkwood said staff were delighted just to be representing Glasgow.

She said: “The achievement of getting recognised is phenomenal. Unlike other awards, this one requires us to be nominated by parents or other professionals so it’s a real honour to be shortlisted”

Lorraine continued “Once we found out we were nominated we made an animated video with the children to show all the different health promoting things we do. Then we had an interview over Skype with the judges. So to get as far as we have done is fantastic.”

award Winning Glasgow nursery


One of the areas they focused on was food. The Glasgow nursery has 32 cultures in the nursery, inclusion is important and so staff invite parents in to share their traditional cooking skills.

Children’s TV presenter Johnny Ball will announce the winners at an awards ceremony at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester on Friday June 30.

NDNA Chief Executive, Purnima Tanuku OBE, said: “This is a fantastic achievement. Congratulations to Monkey Puzzle Glasgow Central, which is a great example of the amazing, inspirational work happening in the childcare sector every day.

The awards, supported by Hope Education, are in their 14th year and more than 185 nurseries registered.

So well done Lorraine and team, the Monkey Puzzle family salutes you!

Find out about more about our award winning Glasgow nursery here.

Sasha's fundraiser

Monkey Puzzle Bexleyheath Fundraiser Crashes Facebook!

Monkey Puzzle day nursery in Bexleyheath didn’t quite realise how many people would take part in a fund raising effort to raise money for a mother who is seeking to have a second Stem Cell transplant in her battle against Leukemia.

Sasha relapsed after an initial stem cell transplant in August 2016 and has been told that the best possible treatment for her would be to try for a second time.

Sasha was then hit with the bombshell that since July 2016 the Government had made a decision to stop routinely funding second stem cell transplants, leaving Sasha no option but to find the £130,000 cost herself.

This is when her friends stepped in and created a Go Fund Me campaign.

Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery Bexleyheath owners Parv and Jenny Choudhury were alerted to the cause by members of staff who knew Sasha through a local Theatre school that also visits the nursery on a regular basis. He immediately discussed effective ways in which the nursery could help.

Alongside a private donation Parv and Jenny decided to share a link to Sasha’s funding page on the nursery’s Facebook page, promising to donate £1 for every like and share it attracted.

After posting late on Thursday night in no time they were approaching 300 likes with the link also being shared over 200 times.

They then decided to up the offer for that weekend offering a £5 donation for each like up to limit of £3,000.

The activity was so great that Facebook couldn’t keep up and their page crashed!

Commenting on the success of the campaign, Parv said, “We are amazed how successful this campaign has been and the ripple effect created by the shares, leading to even more shares resulted in £10,000 being donated to the cause this weekend alone. Sasha still has a way to go before reaching the £130,000 target but this has given everybody concerned a major boost and they now believe the potentially life saving figure is achievable.”

He added, “We must not become complacent however. There is still nearly £30,000 needed and we are aware that time is not on our side so I would ask everybody to find the time to either donate directly to Sasha’s funding page or continue to like and share our post”

You can find out more information on the campaign’s progress or how to donate directly here.

Ofsted rated good nurseries

It’s All GOOD News At Monkey Puzzle!

Since our last newsletter Ofsted have been busy visiting some of our nurseries and they have decided that our Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries in Shefford, Solihull, Kingston, Bromley, Chesham and Notting Hill are GOOD!

All of the nurseries continue their good work and are striving to improve on the few areas in order to attain an outstanding rating.

Head Office would like to offer huge congratulations to all those nursery owners, management and staff, whose hard work is at the core of these great results which in turn turn provides quality childcare in the areas they serve.

Each individual nursery’s Ofsted report can be viewed by clicking on the link below.

Shefford Solihull Kingston Bromley Chesham Notting Hill

NMT Nursery Awards 2016

Scottish Nursery Manager Of The Year!

What has to be one of the highlights of our year was the announcement that Lorraine Kirkwood of Monkey Puzzle Glasgow Central has been awarded Nursery Manager Of The Year in the Scottish NMT Nursery Awards 2016.

The annual event held on 2 September at the Glasgow Hilton Hotel incorporates a spectacular gala dinner celebrating the achievements of all those in the Scottish Nursery sector and recognising excellence in Scottish childcare.

Two members of the Glasgow Team were put forward, Lorraine for Nursery Manager Of The Year and Paddy Mahoney (After School Practitioner) as Personality Of The Year. Their applications were submitted with support from parents and staff and both were successful in being shortlisted in the final 5 in their respective categories.

Scottish Nursery Manager Of The YearOn the night, both Paddy and Lorraine graced the big stage and we are proud to announce that Lorraine was successful in becoming Manager Of The Year!


Commenting on their decision the panel of judges said, “The judges chose Lorraine because she understands the importance of strong leadership and management and how it impacts on childcare. She has been innovative in making partnerships which benefit the community and deliver business plan objectives. Above all her passion for childcare, her team, and quality childcare shines through.”

This was an amazing achievement for both as they were up against established nursery chains and independents from all over Scotland.

So we would like to add to all the plaudits they have received and say huge congratulations from the network, we are all very proud of you!

For more information and results from all the categories visit Nursery Management Today’s website.

Another Outstanding Inspection For Monkey Puzzle St Albans!

When you have an Ofsted inspection you certainly don’t want any monkeying around, well there certainly wasn’t any as our Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery St Albans has been praised as outstanding in all areas following their most recent inspection.

The St Albans Day Nursery in Ridgmont Road had their latest inspection at the end of last month as part of the new Ofsted inspection framework introduced in September.

After speaking with staff, parents and the children the Ofsted inspector summed up their findings by saying, “The nursery benefits from an extremely motivated management team, who are inspirational and supportive to staff… the children have remarkable learning experience and display very high levels of concentration.”

Not bad eh?

The report was welcomed by proud nursery owner Amanda Griffiths, saying, “It’s very rare to be awarded such a high accolade and I couldn’t be prouder of the nursery manager and the whole team. Our children are the most important part of everything and always come first, an ethos which I believe has helped to create this outstanding culture at the nursery.”

We are all very proud of Amanda, her management team, staff, the parents and of course the children for achieving this rating.

The full report is not currently available online, once Ofsted have updated we will publish the link here.

For further information on the nursery visit their website.

Highbury Monkey Puzzle Islington Parents Go Back To School!

Parents of children attending Highbury Monkey Puzzle Islington this week went back to school, in a specially organised participative curriculum evening at their children’s nursery.

Anthony Kent, Operations Manager & qualified Early Years Teacher, explained.

“The objective of our EYFS Curriculum Evenings is to offer our parents and families the opportunity to visit the nursery and embark on a voyage of discovery into the life of their children at nursery.

We invited them to join us on an interactive tour of the environment, where they were encouraged to get their hands dirty and try a range of activities and ideas that we share with the children to help them learn through play.

Whilst they enjoy the fun and informative activities around each classroom, our professional team of teachers and practitioners share ideas about how to extend learning, develop speech and language and link ‘easy to use’ ideas with the key areas of the curriculum.

The event is designed to develop parent partnerships, sharing our teacher’s expertise to educate them about the way we teach and assess children’s progress in early years. It also serves to highlight the importance of home learning to further enhance their child’s education, providing some key knowledge of the EYFS curriculum. We share with them some strategies used to engage with each unique child’s interests and learning needs and provided some home learning packs to further bridge the gap between home and nursery life.”

monkey puzzle islington

In the Discoverers room parents tried their hands at messy play, with shaving foam, glitter jelly, sand pits and water trays, whilst our baby room team explained how these types of sensory play help to develop young babies senses and dexterity. The highlight was singing from four fathers, a joint rendition of ‘three little ducks’ around the water tray.

islington monkey puzzle

The Explorers room had paint printing, counting games and shape constructions, parents were encouraged to discuss behaviour management strategies for 2 year olds, along with the importance of daily routines and visual resources to develop communication. The reading area showcased a range of books both traditional favourites like the Gruffalo, to follow their recent theatre trip; and books to support transitions such as new babies, room moves and kind hands.

monkey puzzle nursery islington

Our Inventors room demonstrated the impact of ICT in early years with our ‘augmented reality’ story books displayed on our SMARTboard. We also shared ideas to develop mathematics and literacy, with rhyming games and easy phonics games.

monkey puzzle day nursery islington

The Pre-School room was transformed to a working science lab with this months topic, where we explained how to explore science using household items with young children at home.

Joy Wood, Nursery Manager summarised the experience, “ This was a wonderful experience for our parents, and with polite inhibitions swept away, our team really got to know their parents so much better. Most importantly though, our parents have a far greater understanding of our educational activities, and how we can best work together, for the benefit of our children. We also had great fun, with lots of laughter and learning.”

Highbury Monkey Puzzle Islington opened in December 2013 and achieved an Outstanding in all areas in their first Ofsted inspection in June 2014.

For more information on this outstanding day nursery visit their website.

Monkey Puzzle Highbury Leading The Way

Our Ofsted Outstanding nursery in Highbury have had their success recognised after Capita Conferences have invited Nursery Manager, Joy Wood and Operations Manager Anthony Kent to lead a session at an Early Years Inspection Conference to be held in Central London this October.

Since their opening less than two years ago, the core of their strategy was building strong relationships with parents so they are able to assist in their children’s learning outcomes while also ensuring they understand the common inspection framework and the importance of their role in the early years setting inspection success.

Capita Conferences made their decision to offer an invitation after looking at feedback from parents whose children attend the Islington day nursery, they were particularly impressed by the “overwhelming support and praise by the parents of the learners that attend” and Ofsted reporting that “parents are fully informed of their child’s progress and have access to their own child’s learning journal through using a secure online system.”

The learning journals offered by the nursery has been a particular success and something we believe all our nurseries will benefit from should they choose to adopt the software.

The conference, which will be held on 21 October, will be attended by all early years providers on the childcare register, local authorities and private voluntary organisations.

Joy, who will be leading the conference session, commented, “We are very happy to share our experience and strategies and highlight the importance of working with parents to enable the success of the nursery and their children’s early years education, the two go hand in hand.”

So we want to wish both Joy and Anthony every success on the day and well done to all the management and staff for being recognised as innovative, childcare provision leaders.

Southport We Have A Problem…

Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery, Southport children, parents and staff were all intently huddled around laptops and tablets on Sunday 28th June at 3.21pm waiting for lift off of the SpaceX-7 rocket flight.


Well, the Southport day nursery had joined up to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Campaign for School Gardening, part of which involved sending a selection of rocket seeds to the International Space Station for planting.

How exciting is that!

The RHS Campaign For School Gardening was created to inspire and support schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their their skills and boost development.

The rocket seed experiment was intended to compare how space effects the seeds compared to those identical seeds that remain on earth.

The rocket blasted off on schedule but just two and a half minutes into its galactic journey things started to go wrong.

Badly wrong…

The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket suffered a catastrophic failure destroying the Dragon capsule holding our seeds and all its other precious cargo.

But we are still hopeful after discussions between the RHS and the European Space Agency confirmed that they were to find another launch opportunity as soon as possible.

While everyone at Monkey Puzzle Southport were disappointed, it has not dampened the children’s enthusiasm for gardening and expect them to be gathered round their computers once more in the not too distant future.

Glasgow Celebrate 2 Finalists In The NMT Nursery Awards!

Monkey Puzzle day nursery Glasgow have added an important date to this years calendar, 2nd September 2015.


Well, two of their excellent staff have made it through to the Scottish finals of the Nursery Management Today Awards!

Lorraine Kirkwood is one of the five finalists for Nursery Personality 2015 and Nicola Leese has made it to the last five in the Nursery Nurse/Childcare Worker category.

The awards ceremony is being held at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow on 2nd September and expect an excited Monkey Puzzle contingent to be there to support them and celebrate their achievements whether they win or not, as to be nominated is a huge accolade in itself.

Glasgow Monkey Puzzle is our first nursery in Scotland. It opened it’s doors on 1st September 2014 and owners Brian Doherty and Della Martin were determined to position Monkey Puzzle Glasgow as one of the best childcare providers in the heavily competitive central Glasgow area.

The fact that two of their team have made it through to the finals of a national childcare awards ceremony so soon after opening is testimony to Brian and Della’s vision and their staff’s hard work.

So let’s hope that after celebrating their first anniversary on the first of September, they will be toasting further success the following day.

All of us at Monkey Puzzle are proud of Brian, Della and the team and will be by the phone on Thursday 3rd September waiting for the results!

Find out more about Monkey Puzzle Glasgow by visiting their website.