A Brighton school has been rated good by Ofsted after its first official inspection in 15 years.
Stanford Infant School was previously rated outstanding in 2007, since when it has become harder to earn the watchdog’s top grade.
Two inspectors visited the school, in Highcroft Villas, over two days in March and their report was published yesterday (Tuesday 28 June).
Their report said: “The teaching of early reading is effective. However, the books that some pupils take home and some activities in school are not always closely focused on supporting them to become more confident and fluent readers.
“This means that some pupils are missing valuable opportunities to practise the sounds that they know and receive feedback to improve.
“Leaders need to ensure that every opportunity is taken to ensure all pupils receive appropriate and specific practice in reading both at school and at home.”
The report also said: “In a few foundation subjects that have not been precisely sequenced, pupils do not always get sufficient and coherently planned opportunities to consolidate their learning.
“This means that pupils are not learning in these subjects as well as they might.
“Leaders need to ensure that pupils are given more opportunities to practise what they have learned. This will help to ensure that they know and remember more of the intended curriculum.”
Almost 240 children from four to seven years old attend the school where the head teacher is Madeleine Denyer and the governing body is co-chaired by Tess Gill and Catrin Pinheiro Torres.
The report said: “This school was last inspected 15 years ago and judged ‘outstanding’ under a previous inspection framework.
“This reflected the school’s overall effectiveness under the inspection framework in use at the time.
“From then until November 2020, the school was exempted by law from routine inspection, so there has been a longer gap than usual between inspections.
“Judgments in this report are based on the current inspection framework and also reflect changes that may have happened at any point since the last inspection.”
The report added: “Parents, staff and pupils are rightfully proud to be part of the Stanford Infant School community.
“Pupils feel safe and happy because they know staff care for them and listen to them.
“Staff are fully committed to developing well-rounded individuals who are confident to face challenges and try their best in all that they do.
“Pupils eagerly discuss what they have been doing in their lessons and are keen to share their successes.
“Pupils enjoy participating in wider curriculum opportunities, including forest school and also beyond school, including ‘Let’s Dance at the Dome!’
“Staff have clear expectations for behaviour and pupils understand the school routines in place. Pupils respond positively to instructions and respond well to adults and their peers.
“They know what bullying is and are confident that it is dealt with quickly by adults. They also enjoy taking on positions of responsibility, including as school council members and being a ‘buddy’.
“Leaders are ambitious and united in their commitment to the school. Pupils are taught to read as soon as they arrive at school in Reception.
“Most pupils quickly become fluent readers and those who do not are well supported at school by knowledgeable adults.
“Leaders acknowledge the provision for early reading can be further developed by ensuring that all pupils are accessing appropriate opportunities to read in school and at home.
“Teachers have strong subject knowledge and are well supported by committed and skilled teaching assistants. Together, they help pupils to develop their understanding of increasingly complex knowledge in many subjects.
“In some subjects, including mathematics and physical education, leaders have clearly outlined what pupils need to know and be able to do in order to be successful.
“The order in which pupils learn this important content builds appropriately over time. However, in some other subjects, the key knowledge pupils should learn is not clearly planned out.
“Therefore, some activities designed to build and refine pupils’ knowledge are not always having the desired impact.
“Leaders acknowledge that planned lesson activities need to be more consistently matched to what pupils need to know and remember.
“Pupils behave well. Teachers help them to develop positive attitudes to learning and, from the earliest age, work independently.
“Pupils settle quickly into established routines and most pupils manage their behaviour effectively.
“Staff and governors are ambitious for all pupils and fully focused on ensuring that they receive a high-quality education. Staff feel well supported and valued as part of this whole school vision.
“Despite the challenges of the pandemic and its continued impacts, a passion to provide the best opportunities for pupils is present at all levels throughout the school.”
To read the full report click here.
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