School gets top marks from Ofsted

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A Nelson infant school and nursery unit has maintained the outstanding grading it was given in 2008 by Ofsted inspectors.

Whitefield Infant School and Nursery Unit was said to provide “inspiring leadership” and had “established a happy, vibrant learning community.”

The three inspectors who visited the Norfolk Street school over two days last month and observed 19 lessons said that pupil achievement, quality of teaching, pupil behaviour and leadership and management were all of the highest quality.

They said in their report: “Achievement is outstanding and standards are well above average.

“Pupils, including those with special educational needs and those supported by the pupil premium, make at least good progress.”

“Outstanding teaching provides imaginative and challenging activities that really capture pupils’ interest so they are very keen to learn and work hard,” said the inspectors’ report.

“Staff successfully develop and extend pupils’ knowledge of language. Reading is taught well so pupils gain the skills they need for their work in all subjects.

“Excellent behaviour was seen throughout the inspection. Parents who spoke to inspectors were very supportive.”

One went so far as to tell inspectors that their child would never take a day off school, even if they felt ill.

The report went on: “The outstanding curriculum provides exciting, enriching learning opportunities and experiences. Spiritual, moral social and cultural development is excellent.

“Rigorous checks on teaching and well-planned professional development underpin a shared ambition to make the school even more successful.

“The proportion of outstanding teaching has increased and standards have been well above average over time, so there is very strong capacity for yet more improvement.”

The Ofsted report says the school caters for 343 pupils, the vast majority of them of Asian heritage.

The inspectors said the school could improve still further by building abd extending the existing very good relations with parents so they are all able to support learning at home and can participate more fully in the life of the school.

They had found that some parents were less confident than others in fulfilling this role.

As we reported last week, a new school is currently under construction on Portland Street, Nelson and is due to open in September next year.

Since the last inspection five years ago, the school has grown considerably with three extra classes and temporary classrooms sited in the playground.

The school holds a number of awards and has Healthy Schools status.