A Brighton primary school has been rated good in an inspection by the official watchdog Ofsted.
A letter to long-serving Westdene Primary School head Debbie Crossingham said: “The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.
“You have built a strong, ambitious leadership team that has created a culture of high expectations of teaching and pupils’ achievement.
“This is central to the school’s continual drive for improvement.
“Leaders never rest on their laurels but seek advice and expertise to sharpen their practice further.
“You work hard to identify future leaders and provide them with opportunities to take greater responsibility.
“Morale in the school is high and staff enjoy working here.
“This outward-looking, ambitious approach has helped the school to provide a good education for all its pupils.
“Pupils are very happy and are proud to be part of this inclusive school community.
“Relationships are strong and pupils have complete confidence in staff to take good care of them.
“Pupils are polite and behave well. They get along together happily, both in class and at free times.
“Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the school.
“Pupils achieve well because teaching is strong, providing pupils with many interesting and challenging learning opportunities.
“Outcomes for pupils are consistently above those seen nationally at the end of each key stage.
“Pupils make good progress from their different starting points.
“In most year groups, disadvantaged pupils achieve as well as other pupils because staff understand and meet their needs well.”
Ofsted inspector Bruce Waeland also said in his letter to Mrs Crossingham: “Pupils are safe in school … The leadership team has ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose and records are detailed and of high quality.
“Senior leaders make sure that all staff and governors understand their role in keeping pupils safe.
“Leaders provide staff with training and regular updates as needed.
“Staff understand how to identify pupils who might be vulnerable and they report these concerns promptly to senior leaders using the online reporting system.
“You are keenly aware of the dangers that come with living by the sea and so you provide all pupils in key stage 2 with swimming lessons every year to help them become strong swimmers by the time they leave the school.
“Pupils are also well informed about staying safe in other situations, including when online.”
The report said: “We looked at how well the wider curriculum enables pupils to achieve highly in subjects other than mathematics and English.
“You rightly take great pride in the varied, exciting curriculum that the school offers for pupils.
“Pupils talk with great enthusiasm about the many interesting visits and visitors that enhance their learning.
“Trips to such places as Fishbourne Roman Palace, Glyndebourne Opera and the RNLI station at Shoreham all bring learning to life and contribute to pupils’ positive attitudes to learning.
“Pupils spoke animatedly about opportunities to perform, for example, singing at the Grand hotel and performing dance at the Brighton Dome.
“Parents and pupils also enthuse about the range of sports on offer both in lessons and in clubs.”
The report also said: “Outcomes in phonics at the end of year 1 dipped sharply in 2017.
“However, leaders spared no effort in identifying the reasons for this decline and have learned useful lessons from it.
“Pupils who did not achieve the expected standard in year 1 have been taught well since and have quickly picked up these skills in year 2.
“Pupils learn to write well because teachers have high expectations and good subject knowledge.
“English grammar, punctuation and spelling are taught thoroughly so that pupils learn to write with a good degree of accuracy.
“However, although pupils have opportunities to write, these are not frequent enough.
“Pupils need to be provided with more opportunities to write independently, using and applying their skills in more extended tasks.
“Inspectors also found that pupils do not have enough opportunities to write in a range of curriculum subjects.
“When looking at pupils’ work across the curriculum, inspectors noted that there is very little recorded work in science because it does not receive enough time in the curriculum.
“Finally, we investigated the impact of leaders’ actions to improve the attendance of disadvantaged pupils.
“Leaders leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all pupils benefit from regular attendance at school.
“The attendance of disadvantaged pupils has improved so that it is in line with the attendance of other pupils nationally.”
To read the report in full, click here.
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