Abbey Infant School

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About Abbey Infant School

Name Abbey Infant School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Dr Richard Kentish
Address Maurice Road, Smethwick, B67 5LR
Phone Number 01214291689
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-7
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 290
Local Authority Sandwell
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Abbey Infant School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Leaders are highly ambitious for all pupils at Abbey Infant School. They do all they can to make sure pupils attend school regularly and on time. Reading is well taught.

As a result, pupils enjoy learning to read independently. Leaders have prioritised handwriting due to a decline in dexterity skills following the pandemic. Consequently, pupils take great pride in their written work.

Leaders set high expectations for how all pupils should behave. Pupils are highly motivated and engage well in their learning. The 'Abbey Promise' helps pupils to learn to take responsibility for their ac...tions by saying sorry meaningfully.

Leaders make sure that pupils know what bullying is. They teach pupils to act on bullying concerns using the school's approach: 'STOP! I don't like it. START telling other people'.

As a result, Abbey Infant School is a calm, orderly environment where pupils are happy and safe.

A 'bucket list' of activities offers pupils the opportunity to broaden their horizons. This includes a beach trip, a theatre visit, learning to play a musical instrument and visiting places of worship such as a Gurdwara.

Parents are very positive about the quality of education their children receive. They are particularly positive about the school's approach to reading and ensuring all pupils learn to read well.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders have set out an ambitious, clearly sequenced curriculum.

Teachers have good subject knowledge. They present new learning clearly and check on pupils' learning in lessons. Any misconceptions are quickly addressed.

Teachers recap on prior learning so that pupils know and remember more. Pupils learn the curriculum well.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are swiftly identified.

Leaders ensure that pupils with SEND get the support they need to be successful at school. Parents are very positive about the help and support their children receive.

Reading is prioritised.

All staff receive regular training and support so that they have the knowledge and skills to teach phonics effectively. Pupils who fall behind in their reading, including pupils with SEND, are quickly identified. They receive effective support to catch up with their peers.

Leaders ensure that pupils have high-quality reading books. This includes books that match the sounds that pupils are learning. As a result, pupils read confidently and fluently.

Leaders set high expectations of what the youngest children will achieve. They carefully organise learning so that three- and four-year-olds can work collaboratively and independently. Children enjoy learning indoors and outdoors.

They are well supported to access the curriculum. For example, children count aloud numbers up to 10. They recognise numbers in the environment and use their fingers to represent them.

Focused learning activities led by adults help pupils to learn and apply key knowledge and skills. For instance, children collect pom-poms with a pincer to match a given numeral. Adults support them to check their work and use the correct vocabulary.

Children enjoy listening to and joining in with stories, songs and rhymes. They explore sounds in the environment and develop their early reading skills in a range of ways. By the end of the early years, children are able to read and write simple sentences well.

Leaders provide a broad and balanced offer for pupils, with a wide range of experiences to promote pupils' personal development. Leaders make sure that pupils learn 'life skills'. These include folding clothes, tying shoelaces, cleaning shoes and making beds, in preparation for the Year Two residential.

Pupils learn about different religions such as Sikhism, Islam and Christianity. They explore a variety of cultures and customs through music, dance and story. This helps them to recognise and respect difference.

Pupils learn to voice their opinions through the 'pose, pause, pounce, bounce' approach. This helps them to disagree respectfully. Pupils develop an understanding of democracy through the work of the school council and the weekly 'picture news'.

Opportunities such as playground buddies and classroom 'meeters and greeters' help pupils to take on responsibilities. All this means that pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain.

Leaders, including governors, know the school's strengths and areas for improvement.

They carry out rigorous checks on how the school is performing. Leaders are highly effective in implementing improvements swiftly. Subject leaders make checks on how well pupils learn the curriculum.

In a few subjects, there are some inconsistencies in the sequencing and content of the curriculum. Leaders know this. Staff are positive about the support from leaders to manage their workload and well-being, such as reductions in assessment and paperwork burdens.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders make sure that staff are highly skilled in identifying concerns about pupil welfare. Leaders rigorously pursue any concerns that staff raise.

Pupils in need of help get the support they need.

Pupils learn about fire safety and the 'stop, drop, roll' technique. Leaders make sure that pupils learn how to make an emergency telephone call.

Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe, for example through workshops on stranger danger and by developing an age-appropriate understanding of healthy, safe relationships.

Leaders ensure that all staff undertake rigorous vetting checks before starting work at the school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• A few subjects are not planned and sequenced as well as they could be.

This means that pupils do not learn the curriculum in these subjects as deeply as they could. Leaders should ensure that the curriculum is embedded consistently across the school by supporting subject leaders to strengthen the sequence of learning and review content so that more pupils learn the curriculum in depth.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in May 2013.

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