Playgroup ‘Good’, says Ofsted

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A playgroup which has been running in town for more than 40 years has retained its ‘Good’ Ofsted rating.

The inspectorate said children were happy and confident at Southgate West Playgroup, which is based at Hilltop Primary School, Ditchling Hill, Southgate.

Maggy Stokes, the playgroup administrator, said all staff were very proud of its long standing reputation.

She said: “We have been running for over 40 years so we have mums and even some grandmums now bringing their children and grandchildren to us.

“Thanks to the support of our dedicated committee of parents we have been able to develop our garden which is now accessible all year round.

“We are pleased to have a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating, as we are always working to improve our standards.”

Inspector Hannah Barter’s report, which was published on February 25, stated staff had strong relationships with all parents, especially those who speak English as an additional language.

Staff worked hard to involve parents by sharing information about their children’s learning.

It added: “Staff consistently take the children’s lead when planning activities.

“Children are able to move between the indoor and outdoor area. This promotes children’s physical skills and contributes to a healthy lifestyle.

“Staff are committed to improving their practice. They regularly evaluate and act on areas to develop.

“Children are happy and confident. They have good relationships with each other and include each other in their play.”

For the playgroup to be ‘Outstanding’, the report recommended staff offered visual signs to improve children who did not speak English as their first language’s verbal skills.

It added staff should allow more time for children to respond to questions.