A nursery in Blackburn where interactions with babies was described as "weak" has been told to improve by Ofsted inspectors.

Queen Elizabeth's Nursery School, in West Park Road, Blackburn has been rated as ‘requires improvement' by Ofsted following a recent inspection.

At its last inspection, in 2018, it was rated as good. Staff are now determined to make improvements ahead of the reinspection in the coming months. 

The report, which was published on November 28, highlighted flaws regarding the delivery of the curriculum for communication and language.

An example highlighted was when a staff member in the baby room failed to notice and remove distractions such as noise from the radio. As a result, babies are unable to hear and repeat words.

The report said: “Some interactions in the baby room and 'cygnet' room are weak.

“This means that not all children are developing their communication and language skills as well as they could.

“Furthermore, staff do not encourage babies and toddlers to remove their dummies when they talk to them. This further hinders children's speaking skills.”

Issues were also highlight in the baby room and staff “do not always follow the procedures for the safe and comfortable sleep of babies”.

At the inspection, staff placed older babies in low-level rocking chairs to fall asleep.

The report said: “This does not meet their safety or comfort needs. This was immediately addressed at the inspection and the risk was minimised.”

Many positives were also highlighted in the Ofsted report.

Leaders are said to ensure staff understand the importance of children hearing many words “to support the development of their communication and language skills”.

In order to do this staff sing songs and read stories to children.

Staff were also praised for “providing many opportunities for children to develop their personal, social, emotional and physical skills”.

As a result, children are described as “happy and settled” as well as “polite and helpful”.

Staff also help children to develop essential skills needed for school, including fastening their own coats and shoes, serving food and pouring their drinks.

Children are also encouraged to lead a healthy lifestyle.

The report said: “Children are provided with highly nutritious meals and snacks.

“They access the outdoors every day and staff encourage them to practise and refine their large and small physical skills.

“In addition, children undertake activities such as swimming and are taken by staff on walks and visits within the local area.”

A spokesperson for the nursery said they have already made significant changes since the inspection.

The QEGS spokesperson said: “An Ofsted inspection took place at the nursery during the recent half term break.

“We are disappointed that, on the day of our Ofsted inspection, not all of our teaching was of our normal high standard.

“We are pleased that the report recognised our preschool care as good and that it states that all of our children are well behaved and happy.

“We have already made significant changes since this visit, including ensuring that all of our staff have now taken an accredited qualification in safer sleeping techniques.

“We are looking forward to Ofsted returning to visit in approximately nine months’ time.”