Ardleigh Green Infant School

Name Ardleigh Green Infant School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 16 November 2010
Address Ardleigh Green Road, Hornchurch, Essex, RM11 2SP
Phone Number 01708449362
Type Primary
Age Range 5-7
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Havering
Percentage Free School Meals 5.2%
Pupils with SEN Support 1.5%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available Yes

Information about the school

Ardleigh Green is larger than most infant schools. Most of the pupils who attend come from the immediate locality. The large majority are from White British backgrounds. Few pupils come from homes where English is not the first language. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is well below average as is the proportion identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities. Many of these pupils have speech, language and communication difficulties. The school shares its site with the neighbouring junior school, with which it has established a family centre, in partnership with the local college. The school has won a large number of awards in recent years, including the Basic Skills Quality Mark and Healthy Schools status.

Main findings

This is an outstanding school where pupils make excellent progress in all aspects of their development. Staff have a clear and unswerving focus on ensuring that all pupils, whatever their needs or abilities, reach the highest possible levels in literacy and numeracy, and develop into confident and articulate youngsters ready to take full advantage of their future education. Pupils’ attainment is high and their achievement is excellent. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities progress as well as their peers because of the close attention paid to tailoring the curriculum to their needs and the extremely high quality of support offered through catch-up sessions. Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary in lessons and around the school and makes a considerable contribution to their rapid progress. They thoroughly enjoy their education and this is borne out by their above-average attendance and high levels of participation in class. Their very positive ’can do’ attitudes to learning stem from their teachers and other adults who work hard to plan lessons that build methodically on previous learning and recognise and value each step achieved. Teachers and assistants have an extensive knowledge of every pupil and act speedily if any fail to meet the minimum expectations during lessons. Pastoral care is outstanding. One parent, expressing the views of many, wrote, ’The excellent progress my child is making is down to the wonderful teachers and teaching assistants and their compassion, encouragement and drive.’ Pupils feel comfortable in sharing any concerns they might have and the atmosphere is so positive they are confident to attempt new learning and learn from their mistakes. Senior leaders have a clear understanding of what is working well and what needs to improve. They identified, for instance, that in the recent national assessments in writing, fewer pupils than usual reached the higher Level 3. Concerted action has been taken to address this throughout the school, for example by focusing more on extending pupils’ opportunities to speak about their ideas before writing about them. Children settle quickly into Reception classes because of the extremely well-organised induction programme and the very warm welcome that they receive from adults. Although they make good progress over the year, it is not as rapid as in Years 1 and 2. Some strengths and areas for development have been identified in curriculum provision, for example in the outdoor area, but plans lack enough clarity and sharpness to secure fast enough improvement. Since the last inspection, the high standards of pupils’ attainment have been maintained. Nonetheless, senior leaders are not complacent and have firm plans to address areas they have identified as needing further improvement. This strong commitment, together with the calm, effective leadership of the headteacher and excellent support from the whole school community, mean that the school is extremely well placed to continue to improve in the future.