Holt House Infant School

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About Holt House Infant School

Name Holt House Infant School
Website http://www.holthouse.sheffield.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Helen Haynes
Address Bannerdale Road, Sheffield, S7 2EW
Phone Number 01142553717
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-7
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 179
Local Authority Sheffield
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a welcoming and highly inclusive school. The wide-ranging extra-curricular activities include swimming, learning French or yoga. All pupils are encouraged to participate in after-school clubs.

This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Pupils understand why adults have high expectations of them to work hard and behave well. Pupils play harmoniously at breaktimes and lunchtimes.

Pupils relish their roles and responsibilities. The school councillors develop their leadership qualities. All pupils fundraise for a range of charities.

Many pupils access a healthy start to the day in breakfast club. Relationships between ...adults and pupils are extremely positive. Diversity of people and cultures is woven through the curriculum, including through stories.

Pupils feel safe. They say that there is always a trusted adult to talk to if they have a concern. Pupils learn how to recognise different types of bullying.

They say that bullying does not happen, but that if it did staff would act swiftly to resolve it. Adults support pupils with friendship issues. Pupils know when to try to sort things out when they disagree with friends and when to seek adults' help.

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

Senior leaders are determined that all pupils will access a high quality of education and extra-curricular opportunities. This includes pupils with SEND. Since September, leaders have made further adjustments to their established curriculum.

Leaders check on how well these are being implemented. These refinements have not been in place long enough to measure the impact on outcomes for pupils.

Early reading is a strength of the school.

Teachers and teaching assistants are knowledgeable and consistent when they deliver phonics. Pupils' reading books match the letters and sounds they have learned in class. This helps pupils in the earliest stages of reading to be confident readers.

Pupils learn new vocabulary through high-quality stories.

Children in early years learn in a number-rich environment. Children use mathematical vocabulary to count, describe shapes and measure real-life objects.

In key stage 1, pupils apply their mathematical knowledge to investigate, reason and solve mathematical problems.

In geography, pupils recall key facts, for example the names of the world's five oceans and seven continents. Pupils compare the United Kingdom in relation to the world, the equator and countries with hot and cold climates.

Leaders bring learning 'alive' through educational visits across the curriculum.

The curriculum for art and design builds across each year, from early years to Year 2. Children learn about primary colours, then secondary colours and finally tertiary colours through colour mixing and exploration.

Teachers adjust the resources to meet pupils' needs. For example, pupils with fine motor difficulties have specific brushes enabling them to colour mix and paint.

Children benefit from positive relationships and well-established routines in early years.

Adults organise the learning activities carefully in the pre-school outdoor learning environment. Adults ask incisive questions to maximise children's learning. In Reception outdoor space, the quality of activities is not as well developed.

There are fewer opportunities for adults to check what children know and to decide how to move their learning forward.

Pupils with SEND access the same curriculum as their peers. Teachers adapt lessons for these pupils through resources, breaking the learning into smaller steps, or through additional adult support.

Pupils with SEND achieve in line with other pupils. Most parents of pupils with SEND who shared their views are appreciative of the support their children receive.

The curriculum to promote pupils' personal development is exceptional.

Leaders promote important values, such as democracy, rule of law, tolerance and mutual respect. Leaders at all levels ensure that extensive enrichment opportunities are an integral part of developing the 'whole child'. Pupils learn in an age-appropriate way to recognise healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Adults support pupils to learn how to recognise and manage their feelings and their behaviour. This contributes to pupils being prepared to transfer from Reception to key stage 1 and from Year 2 to the junior school.

Leaders have strong links with the partner junior school.

Leaders share their expertise and best practice by working together. Governors are committed to their roles and have accessed a wide range of governor training. They understand the importance of a high-quality curriculum and of being inclusive to all pupils.

Governors know the school's strengths, but they are overly positive in their evaluation of how well the school is performing. They know the precise areas for improvement but do not check these sufficiently to assure themselves of how well leaders' actions are making a difference.

Staff in a variety of roles say that they feel valued and developed professionally.

Teachers say that they are trusted to take risks and innovate in ways that are right for the pupils. They say that leaders do not create unnecessary workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and the deputy DSLs have extensive and regular training. They ensure that staff have a wide range of training relating to safeguarding. This helps staff to recognise any safeguarding concerns, including any issues which may be relevant in the local area.

They are knowledgeable about how to protect pupils from radicalisation, harmful sexual behaviour or exploitation.The deputy DSL works closely with families to provide the right support at the right time. Parents appreciate this support and say that it makes a positive difference to their child's welfare.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The outdoor learning environment for pupils in Reception is not as well developed as the outdoor area for pre-school children. As a result, there are limited opportunities for staff to intervene, encourage and direct children when they are learning outdoors in Reception. Leaders should further develop the Reception outdoor learning environment so that children's development is not restricted.

• Governors are overly positive about how well the school is performing. This means that governors do not check sufficiently on how effective leaders' actions are in making a difference to school improvement. Governors should ensure that they accurately evaluate the performance of the school and its pupils, to assure themselves of the effectiveness of leaders' actions on school improvement.

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