Hollybrook Infant School

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About Hollybrook Infant School

Name Hollybrook Infant School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Marcella Dobson
Address Hollybrook Infant School, Seagarth Close, Southampton, SO16 6RN
Phone Number 02380771528
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-7
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 179
Local Authority Southampton
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Hollybrook Infant School is a school where leaders recognise that every pupil is unique.

All staff at the school ensure that pupils' talents and ambitions are nurtured.

Pupils enjoy coming to school and told inspectors that it was a safe and happy place. Parents and carers are overwhelmingly supportive of the school.

They are rightly impressed with how the school supports pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

All staff at the school have high aspirations for every pupil to do as well as they can. Pupils achieve better at Hollybrook than their peers nationally in reading, writing and mathematics.

By the end of thei...r time in school, pupils are well prepared for the move to junior school.

Pupils behave well. They show care and respect when playing and working together.

They are not concerned about bullying, but say that, if it did happen, teachers would deal with it straightaway. Pupils told us that if they have a worry, they know there is always an adult they can talk to.

The school offers a range of extra-curricular clubs, which are very well attended.

For example, pupils enjoy French, karate, choir sports, and the highly popular street dance club.

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

Leaders have thought carefully about what knowledge and skills they want pupils to learn in most subjects. In reading, writing and mathematics, learning is logically sequenced.

This sequencing is not as strong, however, in geography or history. Where this is the case, teachers are not always clear about the knowledge and skills that pupils will develop as they move through the school. As a result, teaching in these subjects does not always build effectively on what pupils already know or can do.

Leaders are currently working to address this issue.

In both English and mathematics, pupils are given many opportunities to deepen both their thinking and learning. Pupils enjoy the challenges that they are given.

A pupil told me, for example, 'You don't learn if work is easy and you don't make mistakes.' However, in some other subjects, expectations for pupils' learning are less ambitious. This slows learning for pupils.

Subject leaders are aware of, and are currently addressing, this by adapting current planning.

Reading is a strength of the school. A love of reading is promoted across all year groups.

When children start in Reception, there is a strong focus on the teaching of phonics. Staff are well trained in teaching phonics, and the books pupils read are carefully matched to the sounds they have learned in class. Almost all pupils meet the expected standard in the Year 1 phonics screening test.

Both phonics and early reading are carefully monitored to ensure that extra help is given to any pupil who is falling behind. Pupils told us that they enjoy reading both at home and school and look forward to their regular visits to the school library. Pupils talk excitedly about books that they have read and their favourite authors.

By the end of Year 2, pupils read well and with confidence.

Staff have an excellent understanding of how to support pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Leaders make sure that these pupils take part in all aspects of school life.

Work is skilfully planned and adapted to help these pupils succeed. As a result, they achieve very well.

The early years is well led and managed.

Staff and leaders work effectively and closely with parents. Children are well cared for and achieve well. They read, practise their number work and write every day.

Learning activities meet the needs of children's needs and interests. For example, during the inspection the children wanted to know how bananas got from the port to the local shops. Staff helped them to find out and then the children created a map to show the journey of a banana.

Children are well prepared for Year 1.

Pupils develop a sense of social awareness, for example by taking part in the Southampton Civic Awards, which encourage them to be responsible and active citizens. They learn about democracy, for example by voting for the pupil council.

The trust board monitors the school effectively. Staff appreciate the many opportunities given by the trust to further their careers or improve their teaching skills. Staff feel well supported by leaders and are proud of their school.

Leaders are very attentive to the well-being of the staff. Newly qualified teachers are extremely well supported.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders take great care to ensure that staff are well trained. Staff act immediately if they have any concerns about the pupils in their care. Concerns are acted on swiftly and leaders work well with other agencies to ensure that pupils get the support they need.

Thorough checks are carried out on adults working in the school. Safeguarding systems are frequently checked by the trust to make sure they are robust.

Pupils say they are safe at school.

They know how to keep safe online and they also know not to talk to strangers.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The knowledge and skills that pupils need in English and mathematics are coherently planned and sequenced so that pupils know more and remember more over time. Furthermore, leaders ensure that there is suitable challenge in all pupils' learning in these subjects.

However, in some of the foundation subjects this is not as strongly the case. Leaders need to ensure that learning in all of the foundation subjects builds coherently and logically towards suitably ambitious end points, so that expectations for pupils' learning are high, and pupils' learning is effective, in all curriculum areas. It is clear from the work that has already been undertaken that leaders are currently in the process of bringing this about.

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