OFSTED Inspection Report

We are regularly inspected by OFSTED (The Office for Standards in Education) who judge how successful we have been in the quality of our provision in each area of learning, as well as our management and leadership. They do not assess individual children or their performance.

Penhill Playgroup had its last inspection in November 2018 and was rated as "good". Please click here to see a copy of the report.


Morning Timetable

9.00- 9.15
Self-registration, settling, circle time and discussion, including exchanges of news the weather, our topic, days of the week etc.

9.15– 11.20
Free flow play, inside and outside. During this part of the morning the children are encouraged to explore their surroundings under supervision, by choosing to participate in a wide range of stimulating activities.

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  • Messy activities include painting, water play, glueing, playdough, chalking, crayoning and many creative projects. These activities often follow a theme for several sessions. Whilst every effort is made to protect your children’s clothes and aprons are provided, it would be appropriate if children come dressed in practical play clothes. Soft shoes, or slip ons, without buckles are preferred.

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  • We have a “home corner” with dressing up clothes, kitchenware, bedding etc. to give the children an opportunity for imaginative play. This role play area often has a theme as a shop, hopsital, house, post office etc, following the children's interests.   

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  • The children are encouraged to use the book corner and there is time set by daily for songs, rhymes and stories. Books are also used throughout the setting, to support children's play and learning, so, for example, there may be cookery books in the role play cafe or books about buildings in the constuction area. 

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  • We have a range of percussion instruments to play and encourage the children‘s sense of musical appreciation. The children are also able to use a cd player to play music they have selected during the morning.


  • A drink of milk or water is available daily, along with a selection of fruit or raw vegetables at the snack bar, to which the children help themselves. We regularly encourage the chidlren to cut up their own fuit and vegetables, with adult support and encourage independent skills with the children buttering their own toast and/or crackers. On special occasions we may have cake or biscuits or try other foods related to themes we are looking at. Please ensure that we are advised if your child has special dietary needs or allergies. Drinking water is available throughout the session.

  • We aim to spend time outside, whenever possible, enabling children to develop their gross motor skills through using a variety of physical equipment, including tricycles, trampoline, stepping stones and slide. Often there are messy outside activities involving water, paint, bubbles and mud. Aprons are provided, but please be aware that washable coats are preferred and please ensure that your child’s name is in his or her coat, hat, gloves, jumper etc.

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11.25- 11.35
Tidy up time. The children are encouraged to help clear away by "Mr Tidy Up" our puppet. 

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Group activities which may include stories, listening, rhymes, singing, board games, ring games and the parachute. Sometimes, planned, whole group activities take place.

11.50– 12.00
Whole group birthday celebrations, as appropriate, goodbye song, collect belongings, get coat on.

Session ends. The children are asked to sit and wait on the mat for their parent/carer to collect them.

What goes on at Playgroup?

As your child progresses through the education system, you will hear much about the Early Years Foundation Stage, Early Learning Goals, Areas of Learning and Development, the National Curriculum, Key Stages and SATS. As a pre-school group, we are primarily concerned with the first three of these and hopefully this introduction will shed a glimmer of light onto what actually goes on at Penhill Playgroupin relation to them.

The Early Years Foundation Stage is about helping young children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes of staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic wellbeing, through setting standards for learning, development and care that young children should experience outside their family home. These standards are about developing key skills such as listening, speaking, thinking, concentration, persistence and learning to work together and co-operate with other children.

Early Learning Goalsare the goals for learning for your children to reach by the end of their Reception year at school. They emphasise early communication, literacy, numeracy and the development of personal and social skills, and contribute to children's knowledge, understanding and skills in other areas.

Each child has an Early Years Foundation Stage Learning Journal, which is a folder of their work and progress, to which you are invited to contribute. In here, you will find details of your child’s progress and achievements in the seven areas of learning and development: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

Here at Penhill Playgroup, we provide a wide range of stimulating activities and resources to satisfy curious minds and we encourage the children to explore and learn through play. Our planning ensures equality of opportunity, is flexible, builds on your child’s previous experiences and responds to your child’s unique needs and interests. All children, however, progress at different rates and individual achievement will vary.

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Aims and Objectives

At Penhill Playgroup we aim to create a happy and secure environment where the children are provided with opportunities to learn through playing, creating and exploring. Our children are encouraged to achieve independence and, with support, develop towards their Early Learning Goals.

We aim to treat each child as unique; identifying their individual needs and making them feel secure and valued. Their early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs so that they can move confidently on to school with a desire to learn that has been engendered by the playgroup. A confident child will be happy to make the transition from Playgroup to “Big School”.

Our setting enables children to develop their personalities, talents andabilities irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities or gender.

Observation and achievement records are kept to monitor children’s progress through the play based curriculum. In this way, any child with additional needs can be identified and any necessary professional help sought.

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