Cunningham Hill Infant School

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About Cunningham Hill Infant School

Name Cunningham Hill Infant School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Justine Elbourne-Cload
Address Cell Barnes Lane, St Albans, AL1 5QJ
Phone Number 01727857524
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 5-7
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 180
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils flourish here. They are happy and kept safe.

This is because there are many caring and skilled adults who are there to help them.

Adults are highly ambitious for every pupil. They make expectations clear and consistent for pupils, showing kindness.

Pupils' excellent attitudes to learning show that they are extremely keen to learn. Pupils achieve very well and produce consistently high-quality work because the curriculum planned by leaders is interesting and challenging. This includes those pupils with special educational needs and or/disabilities (SEND) and/or those who are disadvantaged.

Pupils learn the important values of be ready, be respe...ctful, be safe, love learning and be your best. These values are interwoven through every aspect of school life. They are also realised through the carefully thought out development opportunities that the school has planned for pupils, such as being kind to each other and respecting everyone.

Pupils have the chance to show their talents, especially in music, where they give an annual performance to the whole-school community and a local care home. Adults encourage pupils to have high aspirations in all areas of learning. Pupils are extremely well prepared for their future lives.

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

The school's curriculum is meticulously planned. It is extremely ambitious. Subject leaders are knowledgeable and are seen as experts within the school and, for some, across the federation.

They have identified the essential content to be learned. The curriculum planning starts with the early years and sets out when the necessary knowledge and skills should be taught for pupils to learn. This ensures that pupils build up secure knowledge over time.

Consequently, pupils achieve well.

The school regularly reviews the curriculum and immediately takes action if adjustments are required. Similarly, teachers continually check what pupils have learned.

Lessons are constructed so there are no limits to what pupils can achieve. This challenge ensures that all pupils have the level of learning that is appropriate to their ability and needs. Lessons are adapted to address any misconceptions as they arise.

The school has cultivated a genuine love for reading. This is prioritised as soon as children in early years begin school. Adults who deliver the programme are well trained and teach the phonics curriculum consistently and with precision.

They check that pupils are keeping up. Those at risk of falling behind are well supported to catch up quickly. Pupils practise reading using books that are closely matched to the sounds that they have learned.

This means that pupils learn to read with accuracy, fluency and confidence.

Pupils with SEND learn the same ambitious curriculum as their peers. The school identifies their needs quickly and puts strategies in place to support them.

Leaders review these regularly, with teachers and parents, to ensure that they continue to meet pupils' needs.

Children in the early years get off to a fantastic start. The school has added additional challenge across all areas of the early years provision, such as more direct mathematics and adult-led activities.

As a result, there are high levels of engagement from children, who are keen to show what they learn. They participate in a wide range of learning activities that present considerable levels of challenge, such as building a large-scale castle.

Behaviour is excellent.

Pupils are highly engaged in their learning. They are extremely responsive to their teachers' instructions and guidance. Pupils are respectful to adults and to each other in classrooms and around the school.

Lessons proceed without disruption, allowing pupils to learn and grow.

Provision for pupils' personal development is exceptional. From the early years upwards, pupils learn about relationships and their own emotions and feelings, including healthy lifestyles, in an age-appropriate way.

A wide variety of enrichment activities are available and appreciated by pupils. Pupils have opportunities for leadership responsibilities. They are voted by peers to sit on councils, or they can be a salad helper at lunchtime because of how hard they have worked.

These opportunities form part of the school's character building curriculum in accordance to its underlying values, ensuring that pupils feel proud of their achievements in all areas of their education.

Leaders, including those responsible for governance, have created an ambitious culture that puts pupils' learning at the forefront. Leaders at all levels share a commitment to ongoing school improvement.

They have a detailed and accurate understanding of the school's strengths and the areas they want to continue to improve further.

Staff are proud to work here and appreciate the support for their well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Also at this postcode
Little Stars Pre-School & Nursery Stagecoach St. Albans Cunningham Hill Junior School

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