Gilbert Heathcote Nursery and Infant School

Name Gilbert Heathcote Nursery and Infant School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 09 November 2010
Address Scarsdale Road, Whittington Moor, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S41 8NF
Phone Number 01246450634
Type Academy
Age Range 2-7
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Number of Pupils per Teacher 21.4
Academy Sponsor Cavendish Learning Trust
Local Authority Derbyshire
Percentage Free School Meals 19.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 7.3%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

Gilbert Heathcote Nursery and Infant School is smaller than most schools of similar type. The vast majority of its pupils are from White British backgrounds. Very few pupils are from minority ethnic groups or speak English as a second language. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is above average. Around one in ten of the school’s pupils have special educational needs and/or disabilities, which is below average. Pupils with statements of special educational needs make up around one per cent of the school’s roll, which is average. The school has been federated with a nearby junior school since September 2007 and shares the same governing body. Since the previous inspection, there have been several staffing changes. Two acting headteachers are temporarily sharing the role of headteacher. A new headteacher will be in charge of the school from January 2011.

Main findings

Gilbert Heathcote Nursery and Infant School provides its pupils with a good standard of education. This is fully recognised by parents and carers who say that their children like coming to school because it has a welcoming family atmosphere and plenty of interesting activities to engage them. Capacity for further improvement is satisfactory rather than good because the school is going through changes at headteacher level. The two acting headteachers have the full confidence of parents and staff and the school runs smoothly on a day-to-day basis. Since the previous inspection, the school has tackled the areas suggested for development well, especially in relation to the improvement of the outside areas for pupils of all ages. There is now a good range of fixed equipment, including a climbing wall, which the pupils can use under supervision before and after school and at break and lunchtimes. The federation with the nearby junior school has provided several benefits. These include a smooth transfer for pupils from Year 2 to Year 3, shared staff training and the alignment of assessment procedures. Good teaching throughout the school ensures that all groups of pupils make good progress. This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those who join the nursery with very weak communication skills. Teachers and classroom assistants monitor pupils’ progress towards challenging targets well and provide extra support when it is needed. Pupils respond positively to this good quality provision by displaying positive attitudes and almost always behaving well. They really enjoy coming to school and feel safe and secure. They say that teachers and classroom assistants make learning fun and provide them with a good range of extra activities and visits. These enable them to develop personal and social skills well. There have been recent changes in the way that the school organises its curriculum for information and communication technology. These have not been fully successful because pupils’ access to computers is limited. Other ways of developing pupils’ competence in this area are now under consideration. Staff and governors fully recognise this and know that it is an area for urgent attention. Attainment by the end of Year 2 is average. This represents good achievement for pupils because they progress well from below average starting points in the Early Years Foundation Stage. By Year 2, standards in reading, writing and mathematics all improve to broadly average. However, there is still scope to reach higher standards. The key is a stronger emphasis on linking sounds and letters, reading and writing in Nursery and Reception so that children transfer to Year 1 with at least average standards in these areas.