CHILDREN at a playgroup in Runcorn feel ‘listened to and respected’, according to an official report. 

Hillview Under Five's Pre-School was rated good by education watchdogs after an inspection on September 20. 

Inspector Layla Davies praised the staff at the setting for their ability to ‘establish strong bonds with children’ and for their caring interactions that make each child feel ‘valued’. 

Ms Davies said: “Staff have established strong bonds with children. As a result, children easily leave their parents on arrival.  

“Children happily bound in and hang up their coats on personalised pegs. This helps children to feel like they belong.” 

The curriculum delivered by Hillview is said to ‘prepare children for future learning and school’. 

But any gaps in learning are addressed ‘immediately’ to ensure the children receive a full and rounded education. 

“When leaders identified the progress in mathematics was not as swift, this became a focus and was woven into everyday practices and routines,” Ms Davies said. 

“Children recognise shapes and count the number of sides. They know that the square shape has more sides than the triangle. Children's mathematical understanding is developing well.” 

The importance of phonetics and an enthusiasm for reading was also highlighted during the report. 

Staff were also commended for their approach to communication skills. 

“They ask open questions, which encourage children to think and respond and two-way communication is encouraged during a social snack time.  

“Children learn sign language and staff speak to them using visual cues and gestures.” 

The nursery also incorporates health and wellbeing into their curriculum, getting the children to engage in yoga sessions. 

Lastly children with SEND are provided ‘personalised and targeted support’. 

The inspector added: “The caring and dedicated special educational needs coordinator works harmoniously with parents and external professionals.  

“This helps to provide a consistent approach to meeting children's individual needs and supports them to make the progress they are capable of.”