Ofsted Inspection

Our previous Ofsted Inspection found us Outstanding back in 2016.

We had a new inspection in May 2022 which found us to be Inadequate and the the report has now been published online.

We are disappointed at our recent Ofsted inspection taking us from an Outstanding provision to an Inadequate rating, as it does not match our perception of the service we provide.

However we have taken all the feedback on board and addressed the issues raised, completing all the action points listed.

We will have a mandatory inspection in the next six months and naturally hope to get a more positive result.

You can download the report and read it here.

Parental Feedback

We asked parents for their feedback and share a few quotes below.

“Our child has been very happy at St. Mary’s Playgroup.  She always talks about her experiences and the staff are always helpful”

“The Keyperson system is very helpful”

“My child has had a wonderful time at St. Mary’s Playgroup.  She always looks forward to coming and has grown in so many ways.  Thank you to all staff, you will be missed!”

“The setting provided very important learning the critical development stage of our child”

“The setting excelled itself during the height of the pandemic and provided continued opening at most times and also the protocol they followed made us feel that our child was safe at the setting”

“Overall, very happy.  My child enjoys nursery and I feel the staff embrace, consider his individual needs well”

“My child enjoys going to nursery.  If any issues have arisen I have managed to resolve them with the staff”

“I think it’s a lovely setting for the children and mine really benefits from the outdoor space, which is lovely.  I like the fact his Keyperson and all the staff indulge my child’s favourite things, (e.g. hoovers) and make an effort to embrace this.”

“The children always sound like they are happy and this is the most important thing, I feel”

May News

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Party

We will be celebrating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee by having a party for the children on Friday 27th May.  If your child does not usually attend on a Friday, they are still welcome to join us for this celebration. 

They are allowed to attend from 9.30am – 12.30pm.  Please inform a member of staff that your child will be attending on this day.

Half Term

Playgroup will close for Half Term on Friday 27th May at 2.30pm and re-open on Tuesday 7th June at 8.30am.

Illness – including COVID-19

The updated guidance from the Government is as follows “Children should NOT attend if they have a high temperature and are unwell.  Children who have a positive test for COVID-19 should NOT attend the setting for 3 days after the day of the test”. 

Diarrhoea and/or Vomiting – “Staff and children can return 48 hours after diarrhoea and/or vomiting have stopped”

If your child is unwell and needs Calpol then your child is not well enough to attend playgroup.

Children’s Centre

Please see details of weekly sessions for this summer term in Central Hounslow and Eastern Hounslow.

A Few Reminders

  • Please name your child’s coat, bag, and hat.
  • NO nuts/peanut butter is allowed.
  • No opened toed shoes.

COVID-19 Update

The Department for Education has issued its latest guidance for early years settings such as ourselves and the relatively short document can be downloaded here (pdf).

We would like to make it clear that, in line with the guidance, we will refuse entry to a child who has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID and ask parents and carers to not bring a child in with symptoms. This is clearly to protect the health of both staff and other children.

If you have any queries please ask.


World Book Day

We will be celebrating World Book Day on Thursday 3rd March. The children are invited to dress up as their favourite book character on this day or they can bring their favourite book to show at circle time.   (the children who do not attend on a Thursday may dress up on any of the days they attend)

Family Photos

From Monday 28th February we will be talking about families with the children.  Please could your child bring in a picture of their family.  They will have the opportunity to show their picture to the children at circle time.


Please may we remind you must let us know if your child is going to be absent from playgroup for whatever reason.  It is best to telephone or email before 9.00am.  We record all absences as the Local Authority at Early Years Hounslow monitor all absences.


All children who wear nappies must bring a bag with spare nappies and wipes.  May we also remind you that we expect your child to arrive at playgroup in a clean, dry nappy.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

We will be celebrating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee at Playgroup.  In accordance with the DfE guidelines we are allowed an extra day off as the Jubilee is during the Half Term in May.  Playgroup will then be closed on Monday 6th June 2022.

Join Us This September

We are now taking applications for this September.

Children are admitted from the time the child reaches the age of 2 years, but normally during the academic year they reach 3 years old, to the term of their fifth birthday.

If you would to join our waiting list (with no commitment) please contact us.

Have a look at our Welcome page for a brief overview of our playgroup and the rest of our website for deeper insight.

Starting School in Reception

If your child was born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018 you will need to apply for a Reception class place for September 2022.

The closing date for applications is 15 January 2022.

Please read the ‘Starting School in Hounslow in September 2022.’ brochure carefully before completing your application.

Hounslow residents must apply online at www.hounslow.gov.uk/primaryadmissions where additional information can be found.

For advice and guidance contact the admissions team on: 020 8583 2721 or admissions@hounslow.gov.uk

Key Dates

1 September
Applications open ‐ apply online at www.hounslow.gov.uk/primaryadmissions

15 January, midnight
Closing date for applications

9 February, 5pm
Closing date for applications from people moving into the borough after 15 January or for any late applications to be considered ‘on time’ due to exceptional circumstances.

19 April, evening (after 5pm)
National Offer Day
Parents will be sent an email (after 5pm) with the outcome of their application

4 May
Last day to respond to your school offer online

Early Help from Hounslow

Urgent Mental Health Support

Children, young people and their families can get free help, advice and urgent mental health support from 24/7 crisis telephone lines available in every London borough.

Every NHS mental health trust in London has put these in place, so children, young people and their families can get help quickly when they need it. Professionals are also able to access these crisis lines if they are concerned about or would like advice about a child, young person or family. The crisis lines are supported by trained mental health practitioners, who can offer advice and signpost other sources of support as needed.

Please find details of these crisis lines as well as other support available below (e.g. Shout, Good Thinking and Kooth).

Feltham Early Years Network

Reach Children’s Hub

The Reach Children’s Hub are looking forward to re-starting their Feltham Early Years Network next week after a break for summer. The sessions will continue online and with the format of three 1.5 hour sessions per topic. Between now and Christmas, we are excited to announce that Rebecca Skinner and Becky Poulter Jewson from Thriving Language, will be leading the first three sessions on the topic of ‘Quality Interactions in the Outdoor Environment’.

Session 1 – 05/10/21 (4pm-5:30pm)

This session will be reflective. We will explore practitioners’ feelings and attitudes towards the outdoor environment and why reflecting on this matters. We will discuss what quality interactions look like and understand how adults can impact the environment.

Session 2 – 02/11/21 (4pm-5:30pm)

In this session we will explore the physical environment – the resources we have and the reason why we have them. We will explore how children access their environment and what it means for them to be outdoors.

Session 3 – 07/12/21 (4pm-5:30pm)

This final session will explore what deep engagement in play looks like and the adult’s role in this. We will discover what awe and wonder look like in the outside environment and support practitioners to take this information into their own settings.

If you would like to join the first session next Tuesday, please sign up here: https://forms.gle/XPARN8pomW6oA5GFA

Short Breaks Oct Half Term Newsletter

Please find attached the Short Breaks newsletter for the October half term holiday.

Registrations start dates are as below:

  • Pathway 3: Wednesday 6 October
  • Pathway 2: Friday 8 October
  • Pathway 1: Tuesday 12 October

Short Breaks is a service for young people with disabilities and/or SEN up to the age of 18.  Families can self-refer or via a professional.  All you need to do is call 020 8583 3636 or email shortbreaks@hounslow.gov.uk. If you have any queries, please do get in touch.

Ofsted and Playgroup

Ofsted registers and inspects childcare for children aged from birth to 17 years.

Registered childcare providers and childminders have to meet requirements that relate to welfare and safety, the people providing the care and the organisation of the childcare. Childcarers registered on the Early Years Register, who care for children aged from birth until 31 August following a child’s fifth birthday, also have to meet requirements for children’s learning and development.

What you can tell Ofsted:

• Is the childcare good?
• Can it be made better?
• Do you have any concerns?

If you want to tell Ofsted anything about your child’s childcare, you can ring 0300 123 1231
Or you can write to : enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk or
Applications, Regulatory and Contact (ARC) Team
Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
Manchester M1 2WD

For more information, search for ‘Information for parents Ofsted’

If you would like information about the availability of childcare in your local area, please visit www.familyandchildcaretrust.org

Let’s Learn at Home

Free Support Sessions for Families from the Early Years Alliance

Let’s Learn Together @ Home

A six-week online learning programme for families with children aged 0-5 years. Delivered once a week via Zoom, these sessions will provide advice and ideas to help parents to support children’s learning and development from the home environment.

Our expert early years tutors and practitioners will share ideas and suggestions for home learning, focusing on a different theme each week. Families are encouraged to take part in activities during the session.

The programme will run on various dates from November 2021 through to April 2022. View the full programme and details on how to book here.

Topics include:

  • An introduction to home learning
  • Music time with the kitchen band
  • Creating awe and wonder through science
  • Supporting emotional wellbeing
  • No garden gardening
  • Physical fun

Parent Connect sessions

A series of online events exploring the home learning environment. These sessions provide an opportunity for parents and carers to connect and share ideas, while learning more about to how to support children’s learning and development at home.

Click on the dates and times below to book:

Supporting your child’s learning at home – an introduction

Join us as we begin to understand how to support children’s development at home, using everyday objects and experience to enhance learning.

13 October 2021:  2-3pm or 7-8pm

Supporting communication and language development at home

‘Knowing more words makes you smarter’. Find out why communication and language development is so important in the early years, and how to support this at home.

20 October 2021: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Supporting physical development at home

Have you ever wondered what Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills are? Discover the development of movement and the physical body, and learn how to best support this at home.

10 November: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Learning in the kitchen

There are so many opportunities for learning and development in the kitchen! Discover what activities children might enjoy in the kitchen as how these contribute to the development of knowledge and skills.

17 November: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Supporting personal, social and emotional development at home

Help children to recognise their emotions and explore ideas on how to support children’s positive emotional wellbeing.

24 November: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Learning in the bathroom

Bubbles, splashing and lots of fun! Discover the learning and development that can happen in the bathroom and how to make daily routines more engaging.

1 December 2021: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Home learning for babies

Babies can play too! Understanding baby brain development and enriching babies play time can hugely contribute towards lifelong learning.

8 December 2021: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Learning in the garden

Being outside has so many benefits for the mind and body, whatever the weather! Discover how to make the most out of your outdoor space – however big or small!

5 January 2022: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

Home learning for toddlers – with a focus on schemas

Have you ever wondered why some children like to play in a certain way or enjoys some activities more than others? Explore the interest of toddlers, their play development, and how to support this at home.

12 January 2022: 2-3pm or 7-8pm

If you have any questions or would like further information about family learning and support programmes, please contact: connect@eyalliance.org.uk

Early Years Development

What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a guide for parents

St Mary’s Playgroup follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This document outlines how children learn and develop over their first five years and what adults can do to help their children grow.

The Department for Education have produced a straightforward guide for parents to the EYFS which will help you understand the importance of how playgroup works and suggestions for parents to help support children’s development.