Hillview Nursery has scooped a prestigious national accolade for innovation from the Scottish Government.

The Stirling-based nursery was one of only eight settings in Scotland to be named as a winner of the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Innovation Awards 2020.

The Awards celebrate and highlight nurseries that have gone above and beyond to deliver the best possible learning for children using creative, resourceful ideas to improve their development.

Hillview was recognised for its work on a ‘literacy together’ project, which saw the nursery work in partnership with families and speech and language therapists to improve children’s early literacy skills.

Sharing rhymes and hands-on workshops at the nursery increased parental engagement and confidence in supporting their children’s language progression.

Data showed improvements in children’s understanding and phonological skills. 

Very proud

Alan Easton, Acting Head of Hillview Nursery, said: “We are very proud to receive this recognition.  Our staff have worked hard over the last 18 months to ensure that appropriate universal and targeted interventions were put in place to raise attainment in literacy.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of our colleagues from the Forth Valley Speech and Language Service, who were fully committed to supporting this project.

“We would also like to say a heartfelt thanks to our parents and carers who engaged in this work, without whom the positive outcomes would not have been possible.”

A fantastic achievement

Convener of Stirling Council’s Children and Young People Committee, Cllr Susan McGill said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in this transformative initiative at Hillview Nursery – staff, families and partner organisations – on earning this major award.

“To receive national recognition in such an important part of the curriculum is a fantastic achievement and a welcome good news story during this challenging time with the ongoing pandemic.”  

The nursery’s work was also highlighted for making positive steps to closing poverty related gaps in literacy development.

Head start

Vice Convener, Cllr Christine Simpson said: “Developing literacy and language skills at an early age is crucial for a child’s development and can give them a head start in life.

"All the dedicated staff at Hillview Nursery should be extremely proud of the positive impact of their innovative work which will help children achieve their potential.”

Above and beyond

Scottish Government Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd said: “I offer my warmest congratulations to the winners of the 2020 ELC Innovation Awards. All of the settings have gone above and beyond to give their children outstanding opportunities to learn and develop.

"With many remaining open right through the pandemic, settings have been able to adapt their innovative practice to continue to support children and their families even in this uncertain time.”

Picture details:

Picture shows children at Hillview Nursery developing their literacy skills