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Ofsted delight for Thatcham infants school

Parsons Down Infant School jumps one grade

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Ofsted delight for Thatcham infants school

PARSONS Down Infant School has said it is “delighted” at being rated good by the education watchdog, Ofsted. 

All inspection categories – the effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching; personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils; outcomes for pupils and early years – were all deemed to be good. 

The good rating, which was awarded following a two-day inspection last month, is a one grade jump from its requires improvement rating in September 2016.

Inspectors said that teaching across the school was good because of the “decisive and effective action taken by senior leaders”.

This, in turn, led to improved outcomes for all pupils.

The report also highlighted that parents were very positive about the school, adding that their children received a good standard of education and are well cared for.

Headteacher Catherine Bull said: “We are delighted with the outcome of our recent Ofsted inspection.

“The report recognises the journey the school has been on and the significant improvements that have been made to the school since the last inspection.

“I feel privileged to work with a fantastic team who are motivated to make the school the best it can be.”

The report said the school had experienced many changes in leadership and staff over the last three years, with Mrs Bull moving from her post of deputy headteacher of the partnership school to take up the interim head position just a week-and-a-half before the inspection. 

Ofsted said that “significant improvements” had been made since the last inspection due to a “relentless focus on all pupils’ success” from leaders.  

Governors were found to be supportive of the school and committed to its improvement, having been active in successfully managing recent changes to staffing.

Inspectors found that pupils liked to be challenged in their lessons, however, the level of challenge in some classes was not sufficiently high, particularly in mathematics.

The report noted that attendance had improved since the last inspection because pupils enjoyed school and learning.

But it added that there were still too many persistently absent pupils, although it acknowledged that the numbers were decreasing.

Mrs Bull added: “The report also praises our pupils for being extremely polite and respectful and that they work and play together regardless of their age, gender or background.

“We are an inclusive school and the relationships between the children and staff are strong and trusting.

“We have worked hard to develop an exciting and engaging curriculum at Parsons Down which offers a positive breadth of experience for pupils across the school.

“Pupils are proud of their school and enjoy learning. The children take pride in their work and are very keen to talk about it.

“They are committed to working hard.

“It has been great to have our hard work and dedication to school improvement validated by Ofsted and we are already working on the areas they identified for improvement.

“We are a reflective school and have a relentless focus on all pupils’ success and as a result we have secured high levels of confidence of the whole school community.

“We are a team at Parsons Down and working together we will go from strength to strength.”

To improve, Ofsted said that leaders and governors needed to ensure that teachers’ assessments of pupils’ work was consistently accurate.

It added that consistency of teaching needed to be strengthened in Key Stage 1 so that all pupils could make strong progress.

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