A SOUTH Lakeland nursery with 'invested and passionate staff' has been judged to be 'outstanding' in an exemplary Ofsted report.

Following an inspection in early January, the watchdog has heaped the praise on Stramongate Nursery in Kendal.

"The atmosphere within the nursery is vibrant and dynamic," the report said. "This is matched by staff's enthusiastic approach to their interactions with children. They use their excellent teaching skills, in-depth knowledge of the children and strong assessment skills, to identify next steps that inform planning."

Kath Finn, manager of the nursery, said that she was 'really pleased' with the exceptional result.

"I am just really pleased that all our hard work is recognised officially," she said. "And also that our culture and beliefs are recognised as being exactly right to support our children."

She added that morale among the staff was 'great' and the report had made them 'even more determined' to make sure they were doing everything they could for the children.

Partnership working within the nursery was commended and Ms Finn's own work as a manager was praised in the evaluation.

"The manager is highly skilled, has a wealth of experience and is committed to providing the highest-quality care and education for all children," the report said. "A culture of evaluative practice is extremely well embedded within the nursery and targeted improvement plans help to drive continual improvement."

Children's behaviour was described as 'impeccable', with the report finding they had 'high levels of self-control' and were kind and 'considerate of their peers'.

"The best part of the job is seeing the children develop," Ms Finn said. "I love seeing the children change and being a part of that journey with them and their family."

To improve the quality of the early years provision, the report said that the nursery needed to continue to analyse the progress made by different groups of children.