Praise for ‘good’ infant school in Ofsted report

Pupils and staff at a Sheffield infant school are celebrating after receiving a positive Ofsted report.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 11:01 am
Updated Thursday, 16th May 2019, 13:51 pm

Waterthorpe Nursery Infant School, in Waterthorpe, was judged ‘good’ in all categories by inspectors from the education watchdog.

Inspectors praised ‘long-serving’ headteacher Helen Stokes for her ‘excellent understanding of where strengths and weaknesses in the school lie’ and said that ‘effective’ systems had been put in place to check progress of actions to address school improvement priorities.

Pictured are staff and Y1B pupils of Waterthorpe Nursery Infant School, Waterthorpe, celebrating a good Ofsted report

They also noted the team’s work to involve parents in learning and celebrations, labelling this as a ‘strength’.

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And, said pupils make ‘good progress overall’ and found those with special educational needs and/or disabilities are ‘very well supported’ and make 'strong progress’ from their different starting points.

Pupils were also found to ‘behave well’ and ‘delight in engaging with adults about their learning’ and their outcomes in phonics were said to have ‘improved’.

However, their progress was said to not be as strong as it could be as teaching of phonics is ‘not consistently good’.

Inspectors also said the quality of learning across the curriculum varies and needs further development.

And, although leaders have made ‘good strides’ in improving pupils’ attendance, a ‘slightly higher-than-average’ proportion of pupils are still persistently absent from school.

Mrs Stokes said: “We are really pleased to have received a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted, supported by an excellent report quoting how children enjoy school, behave well and delight in engaging with adults about their learning.

“I am focused on evaluating what we do well as a school and identifying areas to improve and I welcome suggestions for further improvement from Ofsted. I think this is key to ensuring we are delivering a fantastic learning experience for our pupils.

“We know that parents, like us, will be pleased with the Ofsted report and the outcome that we have achieved.”

To further improve, Ofsted inspectors recommend the school continue to work with parents to improve pupils’ attendance.

They said the school should also improve the progress pupils make in phonics so that they quickly learn to read with fluency and ensure all staff receive training, using a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics.

To improve, inspectors also recommend that middle leaders are given the opportunity to develop and share expertise to help pupils make strong progress and that curriculum is planned to ‘build pupils’ knowledge and skills’ across subjects.