Arden Forest Infant School

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About Arden Forest Infant School

Name Arden Forest Infant School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Rose Gunn
Address Weston Lane, Bulkington, Bedworth, CV12 9RT
Phone Number 02476315913
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-7
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 177
Local Authority Warwickshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Arden Forest Infant School is a welcoming and friendly place to be. Pupils say they are happy to be in school and feel safe.

This is because staff support pupils well and show kindness and care for them. Pupils know there is someone to talk to if they are worried about anything.

Leaders expect all pupils to behave well and work hard.

Pupils understand these expectations. They learn that it is their responsibility to follow the rules, and they take this responsibility seriously. Pupils say that bullying does sometimes happen but know that staff deal with it if it does.

Pupils enjoy a broad curriculum. Trips to places such as museums help to enrich thi...s curriculum. Pupils remember a lot of what they have learned in subjects such as history.

They were proud of their local author, George Eliott, and understood why she wrote her stories using a man's name.

Pupils are proud to have responsibilities in school, such as being a school councillor. They also enjoy a range of extra-curricular clubs such as football, multi-skills and dragon dancing.

They learn about the diverse world we live in through the engaging events they experience in school.

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

Leaders, including governors, are determined to realise their vision of 'Little Learners, Big Achievers'. This ambition is being increasingly realised as pupils start to recover from the disruptions to their learning caused by staff changes and the pandemic.

Leaders have created an engaging curriculum that aims to develop pupils both academically and personally. At the heart of the curriculum, is a focus on developing pupils' learning behaviours so they are ready to learn. Staff provide a lot of support for pupils' emotional well-being.

This is particularly strong for some pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

In many subjects, including in the early years, the curriculum clearly identifies the knowledge pupils need to know and remember to make progress. In these subjects, this has helped pupils to know and remember more.

In science, for example, pupils could clearly explain what they need to do to maintain a healthy mind and body. However, in some subjects, such as art and design, curriculum thinking is at an earlier stage. Leaders have not developed the curriculum as well as in other subjects.

As a result, pupils' knowledge is not as strong. For example, pupils remember artists they have studied, but not the skills they used.

Leaders make learning to read, and developing a love for reading, a key priority.

All year groups have an agreed list of 50 books they will hear throughout the year. The structured phonics programme that teaches pupils to read starts at the beginning of the Reception year. There are also regular guided reading sessions.

This is where adults listen to pupils read and discuss their understanding of vocabulary. Assessment, both in lessons and at regular intervals, identifies any gaps in pupils' knowledge. Leaders ensure that pupils get extra support to try and fill these gaps.

This support has helped pupils to improve their knowledge of sounds and how to decode unknown words. However, there are still some pupils who struggle to blend the sounds together to read fluently.

In early years, learning to count and understand numbers is also a priority.

Children demonstrate a good understanding of number. Pupils build on this understanding throughout key stage 1. Pupils with SEND are well supported in lessons using practical materials and having additional adult support.

Staff use assessment to identify gaps in pupils' knowledge, and extra support is given to help pupils catch up.

In most lessons, pupils can learn without interruption and the school is a calm and orderly place to be. Pupils know what the expectations are, and most pupils rise to these expectations.

Where some pupils find this more challenging, they are well supported so that they can continue to learn. This might sometimes be in a smaller group or quieter space outside of the classroom.

Pupils enjoy a range of experiences as part of the wider curriculum.

They develop their character through focusing on learning behaviours. Pupils are proud to be a 'Stik-o-saurus' or a 'Team Rex' when they have showed they can persevere or work as part of a team. Leaders plan a range of experiences for pupils to enhance the curriculum and prepare them for life in modern Britain.

Staff say that they feel they are valued members of a team. They know that leaders, including governors, care about their well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders make sure that all staff are trained to understand a wide range of safeguarding issues. Staff recognise the signs that a pupil might be at risk of harm. There are robust systems in place for reporting concerns.

Leaders are quick to respond when this happens. They work with external agencies to ensure that the right actions are taken to keep pupils safe.

Pupils learn about how to stay safe, including when online, in an age-appropriate way.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some pupils do not blend phonics well to read unknown words. As a result, they cannot read confidently or fluently. Leaders should ensure that these pupils receive appropriate support in phonics to improve their ability to read.

• Some subject leaders are new to role and at the early stages of developing the curriculum. As a result, not all subjects are developed to the same standard across the curriculum, and pupils' knowledge in some subjects is not as strong as in others. Leaders should ensure that subject leaders are given the time and support they need to develop their curriculum so that pupils' knowledge of all areas of the curriculum is equally strong.

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