Polehampton Church of England Infant School

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About Polehampton Church of England Infant School

Name Polehampton Church of England Infant School
Website https://www.polehampton.org.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Philip Sherwood
Address Hermitage Drive, Twyford, Reading, RG10 9HS
Phone Number 01189340246
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-7
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 178
Local Authority Wokingham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive in this inclusive school community. They embrace the school vision of 'let your light shine' and have high ambitions for themselves and each other. Staff have high expectations for pupils' achievement and effort.

Pupils enjoy celebrating when they rise to this challenge and demonstrate positive learning behaviours. They know what it means to be a 'resilient rhino' or a 'creative chameleon', and they know why these behaviours are important for their learning.

The school environment is calm and purposeful.

Pupils greet each other, staff and visitors politely as they go about their daily routines. They cooperate and share well during social times. ...Relationships between pupils and staff are respectful, warm and kind.

Pupils feel safe and happy at Polehampton. They know that staff will listen to them and help them with any worries.

Pupils enjoy learning about different cultures.

They have a deep understanding of fairness and equality. Pupils value differences in other people and the opportunity to learn from them. They appreciate the extra opportunities that bring their learning to life, such as visits to the aeroplane museum and the use of the forest school.

Pupils also enjoy the clubs on offer, where they explore 'magical maths', science or learn French.

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

The school has an ambitious and broad curriculum. This is planned carefully to meet the needs of all pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Reading is woven through the school, with careful consideration given to how to build opportunities to read into all subjects. Thoughtful cross-curricular learning builds pupils' curiosity and love of learning.

Children flourish in the early years.

The school has identified precisely what children will learn and in what order. Staff are skilled in supporting children to understand and remember their learning to gradually build knowledge over time. Activities are chosen deliberately to develop children's knowledge and skills across all areas of learning.

Interactions between staff and children are of a consistently high quality, which means children develop strong language and communication skills. This prepares children extremely well for their future learning.

Staff have expert subject knowledge.

They use this to explain new content clearly. Teachers routinely revisit important vocabulary or knowledge. However, at times, the work that pupils are given does not always enable them to build secure knowledge for use in later learning.

When this happens, pupils are not able to explain what they know in the depth that leaders intend.

Pupils achieve well here. Pupils with SEND receive highly effective support, which means they achieve well and follow the same challenging curriculum as their peers.

Reading is a particular strength of the school, and pupils learn to read quickly. From the start of Reception, staff use an ambitious phonics programme to develop children's knowledge of sounds. Struggling readers are supported effectively.

Pupils read books that are closely matched to the sounds they have learned. This enables them to develop confidence and fluency. Older readers develop a love of reading and enjoy visiting the exciting library to borrow and read books.

The vast majority of pupils behave well, both socially and in lessons. They respect each other's right to learn. When pupils are less focused, staff sensitively address this.

However, there is a small minority of pupils who continue to struggle to focus in lessons. This means they do not benefit from the rich learning opportunities as much as they could. The school is already working with these children to make sure that they improve their concentration and participate in lessons fully.

Pupils' wider development and pastoral support are at the heart of the school. They enjoy the leadership roles, such as school councillor or 'planet protectors' in the eco-team. Pupils proudly wear badges that show their roles and responsibilities.

However, some pupils would like to have a bigger impact on the school through these roles. The school chooses visitors and visits carefully to add value to pupils' learning and wider development. For example, visits from the police help pupils to understand the rule of law and the importance of keeping safe.

The trust takes its responsibilities seriously and knows the school well. Trustees take into account workload and the well-being of staff. Trust leaders have been crucial in ensuring the school maintained high standards of education during some changes in leadership.

There is a clear vision for the school, which all leaders understand and are eager to drive forward. The trust is refining some systems to ensure that oversight on a local level is always purposeful and supports the school's improvement priorities.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some tasks pupils complete do not always provide pupils with the opportunity to reinforce or deepen their understanding. Consequently, pupils do not have as secure an understanding of specific subjects as they could, which means they sometimes struggle to use what they know. The school should continue its work to ensure that the delivery of the ambitious curriculum helps pupils remember and connect subject-specific knowledge.

• A small minority of pupils do not always engage with their learning as fully as they could. This means they do not make the most of the learning opportunities in lessons. The school should continue to work with these pupils to help them regulate their behaviour.

• Those responsible for local governance have not always had a thorough or precise oversight of the school. This means they have not provided the school with as much challenge as they could have. The trust should continue to embed the new systems in place for training and monitoring local governance to ensure there is appropriate challenge and knowledge at all levels of leadership.

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