Features of 'outstanding' EYFS settings

Learn why Ofsted judged 3 Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) settings to be ‘outstanding’. Watch what an 'outstanding' early years’ classroom looks like in practice, and use our resources to improve your provision.

Last reviewed on 12 July 2022
School types: All · School phases: Nursery, Primary
Ref: 2063
  1. Grade descriptors for ‘outstanding’ judgements
  2. Learn from 3 inspection reports of ‘outstanding’ settings
  3. Take a video tour of an ‘outstanding’ classroom
  4. Use our resources to set your provision up for success

Grade descriptors for ‘outstanding’ judgements

To receive an ‘outstanding’ judgement, you need to meet all of the:

  • ‘Good’ criteria for that judgement consistently and securely
  • Additional ‘outstanding’ criteria  

See the grade descriptors for each judgement in the following paragraphs of the Early Years Inspection Handbook (in force as of September 2022): 

  • Overall effectiveness: paragraph 169 
  • Quality of education: paragraph 180 
  • Behaviour and attitudes: paragraph 186
  • Personal development: paragraph 189  
  • Leadership and management: paragraph 193  

Find out more about how Ofsted inspects early years education.

Learn from 3 inspection reports of ‘outstanding’ settings

High expectations, kindness and strong relationships with parents 

Ofsted judged early years provision at The Cranbourne Primary School in Hertfordshire to be ‘outstanding’ in 2020, for reasons including: 

Clear rules, home visits and