Bernards Heath Junior School

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About Bernards Heath Junior School

Name Bernards Heath Junior School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Darren Armoogum
Address Watson Avenue, St Albans, AL3 5HP
Phone Number 01727856262
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 7-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 354
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive at this purposeful, happy and nurturing school. They know that the staff care deeply about their welfare.

Pupils enjoy interesting lessons taught by skilled teachers.

Pupils read enthusiastically. Pupils who need it get the additional support they need to help them learn successfully. By the end of their time here, pupils progress and achieve well.

Pupils' behaviour and attitudes are exemplary. Staff help pupils to adapt quickly to the new routines as they move from infant school. Pupils across the school take their learning seriously.

They work incredibly hard in lessons.

Pupils value each other as friends and learning partner...s. They treat others with high levels of respect and kindness.

Bullying rarely happens. Pupils are confident that if it does, staff will deal with it effectively.

There are extensive opportunities for pupils to develop their interests and talents.

They take part enthusiastically in clubs, sports teams and other activities, from choir to coding. Pupils have a voice as members of the pupil parliament and the school council, or as sports ambassadors and eco-leaders. Older pupils take their responsibilities as role models very seriously.

For example, they enjoy being buddies to younger pupils.

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

The school's established curriculum helps pupils develop subject-specific knowledge and understanding. This prepares them well for secondary school.

In most subjects, the important knowledge that leaders want pupils to know is clearly set out and built up over time. Lessons in these subjects are planned carefully. Pupils revisit and remember important knowledge and subject-specific vocabulary.

Teachers teach the curriculum well in most subjects. They use their strong subject expertise to introduce new concepts clearly. Teachers check pupils' understanding using well-considered questions.

They quickly spot gaps in pupils' knowledge and adapt their teaching. As a result, pupils develop detailed knowledge. They take pride in the high-quality work they produce.

In a few subjects, pupils do not develop their learning over time to the same depth. This is because leaders are still refining curriculum planning and assessment systems.

Leaders are determined that pupils will become fluent readers.

Reading is at the heart of the curriculum. Pupils encounter a varied range of high-quality texts. Teachers quickly identify pupils who need help with reading and provide effective extra support.

They carefully plan reading activities to help pupils develop their vocabulary and comprehension skills. As a result, pupils become confident and enthusiastic readers.The school ensures that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) get the help they need.

Most pupils with SEND access the same curriculum as everyone else. Teachers are skilled at adapting activities for pupils with SEND. Staff provide tailored individual and group support for those pupils who need it.

Consequently, pupils with SEND achieve well.

Strong, positive relationships between staff and pupils are at heart of the school. Staff really do 'know every child'.

Pupils attend well. They show high levels of maturity, self-control and cooperation. Adults provide effective support for pupils' social and emotional needs.

Pupils are taught the school's core values of respect, resilience and responsibility. They have a real understanding of their meaning. The school is a calm and purposeful place in which to learn.

The provision for personal development is of a very high quality. The personal, social, health and economic education curriculum is very well structured. It is closely linked to pupils' needs.

Pupils learn about other cultures and about different relationships. Pupils relish the impressive range of visits, activities and clubs on offer. These help them to develop their talents and understanding of the world.

They enthusiastically take part in concerts and sporting and artistic activities.

The governing body is committed to ensuring that pupils receive the best possible education. It has an accurate view of the school's many strengths and what it needs to do to improve further.

Staff appreciate the support of school leaders and are proud to work in the school. They feel listened to and increasingly valued for what they can contribute to the school's development.

Parents and carers are overwhelmingly positive.

They value the school's nurturing and supportive atmosphere and appreciate the headteacher's engagement with them. One parent, typical of many, said, 'It's just a great school with a lovely ethos, and my child is thriving.'


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a few areas, curriculum plans do not set out the progression of knowledge and skills in enough detail. As a result, the depth of pupils' understanding is not to the same high standard as it is in the rest of the curriculum. The school should continue to support subject leaders to refine the way the curriculum is planned and delivered in all areas.

Assessment in a few foundation subjects is not as well developed and robust as in others. This means that teachers do not identify gaps in pupils' knowledge as effectively as they could. The school should ensure that there is a consistently strong approach to assessment, drawing on the very effective practice already in place, so that pupils build secure knowledge in all areas of the curriculum.

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