An early years education provider in Rossendale has been praised by Ofsted following its first inspection.

Inspectors from Ofsted found the quality and standards of early years provision at St James' PALS met the required standard following a visit in March.

The before and after-school club, based at St James the Less RC Primary School in Unity Way, Rawtenstall, was described as "welcoming and well organised" and inspectors found children "thoroughly enjoy there time" there.

The inspection report said: "Children form strong relationships with the supportive staff. This helps them to feel safe and secure.

"Leaders and staff work closely with teachers at the school and communicate daily to help ensure children's needs are met."

The report said activities at the club are based on topics children are learning about at school, with relevant activities prepared which children are "eager to engage and concentrate well" during.

Children are supported to be independent, choosing from a range of foods and taking responsibility for clearing tables after snack time.

The report went on: "Children have a tremendous time playing in the large outdoor area. Older children consider their younger friends.

"They pass the ball to them and encourage them to join in with the games. Children are well-behaved and show kindness to each other."

The work in partnership with the school was noted as a particular strength, with leaders having "effective communication with the headteacher and teaching staff".

Staff welcome children's ideas in planning activities, making children feel listened to and creating a sense of ownership, while high expectations of behaviour, following the school's structures, helps children feel secure and the consistent approach benefits everyone.

Older children are encouraged to mentor younger children, buddying up during activities, meaning they are all often "very happy and have a positive experience at the club".

Staff get to know children and give lots of encouragement, supporting children's emotional well-being and healthy lifestyles, keeping them safe and feeling secure.

Children benefit from the partner school's large playground, giving them "opportunity to climb, run, slide and explore", and "activities such as laser games and inflatable obstacle courses help children to benefit from lots of physical exercise, which contributes to their good health".

Quieter activities are also provided, meaning children's individual needs and preferences are catered for.

Staff training is up to date, including first aid and food hygiene, and they are consistently encourage to improve their knowledge with regular training, with staff saying they feel well supported and motivated, which has the knock-on effect of making children's experiences more positive.

This positivity is echoed by parents, who said "children look forward to their sessions and are eager to attend", and described staff as "extremely supportive and kind".

Safeguarding arrangements were also found to be effective. There were no areas in which Ofsted said St James PALS needs to improve.