A Brighton infant school has been rated good after an official inspection, having previously been rated outstanding.
Hertford Infant and Nursery School, in Hertford Road, Brighton, slipped from the top grade to the second best grade at a time when the watchdog Ofsted has been trying to raise the bar.
Ofsted said: “This is a good school. The executive headteacher (Zoe McGuigan), ably supported by the head of school, is working effectively to bring about improvements to this small infant school.
“Together, they share a determination that every pupil should have the best possible school experience.
“Safeguarding is a strength of the school. Leaders and staff are highly alert to pupils’ needs. Leaders are tenacious in ensuring that pupils and families receive the support they need. They have rightly identified the need to deepen pupils’ understanding of e-safety.
“Leaders provide outstanding provision for pupils’ personal development and welfare. Staff know pupils extremely well. They skilfully support and nurture pupils from nursery to year 2.
“Vulnerable pupils, including those who are disadvantaged and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are supported effectively. Consequently, they make good progress from their starting points.
“Children get off to a great start in the early years because of the high-quality care and provision they receive. This helps them settle into school quickly and happily.
“Overall, pupils make good progress because they experience suitably strong teaching. However, expectations for what pupils can achieve are not consistently high in all lessons and across all subjects.
“The curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to learn a range of subjects. However, leaders recognise that further improvements are needed to assess and deepen pupils’ skills, knowledge and understanding across subjects other than English and mathematics. This work is firmly under way.
“Teachers assess pupils’ work with increasing accuracy in English and mathematics. However, leaders, including governors, do not have a clear overview of this information to drive improvements incisively for all groups of pupils.
“Pupils behave well. They enjoy their time together and show positive attitudes to their learning. This is an inclusive and friendly school.
“Parents and carers are overwhelmingly positive about the school. They feel their children are safe, well cared for and treated as individuals.
The report was published on Friday (8 March) after the school’s inspection on Wednesday 13 February.
To improve, the report said that leaders and governors need to monitor the impact of actions and initiatives, introduced to raise standards, so they can drive improvement more precisely for all groups of pupils.
They also need to “further strengthen the quality of teaching, learning and assessment by ensuring that teachers raise their expectations of what pupils can do and achieve across all subjects (and) pupils’ skills, knowledge and understanding are deepened across subjects other than English and mathematics, including e-safety”.
To read the full report, click here.
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