St John’s Church of England Infant and Nursery School

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About St John’s Church of England Infant and Nursery School

Name St John’s Church of England Infant and Nursery School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Alice Aharon
Address Gills Hill Lane, Radlett, WD7 8DD
Phone Number 01923856594
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-7
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 215
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at St John's Church of England Infant and Nursery School live out the school's 'HAPPY' motto. Finding the curriculum interesting, pupils embody the 'Y' in the school's motto: yes to learning. Pupils relish opportunities to talk about what they learn, remembering lots of it.

How staff and parents support pupils' reading helps pupils greatly. Pupils say reading their book repeatedly helps them to 'really know it' and to read with confidence. They also talk excitedly about perusing the well-stocked library, which devoted 'library monitors' maintain, to select a book to read with an adult at home.

Pupils know how to use the colour-based feelings system to recognise... and respond to their emotions. This helps them embody the 'P' for positive in 'HAPPY'. It does not take long to spot one of the 'playground pals' at breaktime or lunchtime, keeping an eye on proceedings and stepping in if someone needs a helping hand.

Pupils speak happily about their relationships with each other and the staff. They struggle to give examples of bullying or fallings out between friends. Pupils say were it to happen, staff would sort it all out.

As a result, they feel happy and safe in school.

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

In recent years, leaders have prioritised curriculum development. Once leaders review a subject, teachers receive clear curriculum plans.

These support teachers with planning well-sequenced lessons. Teachers arrange appropriate activities for pupils to complete. Because of this, pupils retain the knowledge they need to know.

Nearly all these curriculum plans link closely to the areas of learning in the Nursery and Reception Years. Where they do not, experienced adults in the early years know how to use the plans to inform what words and ideas they teach children. Clear modelling and careful questioning help children make links to what they already know and can do, to move their learning on.

Although there are plans to change the phonics programme, leaders' careful evaluation ensures it works well in its current form. For example, staff checked that the words in books contain the sounds pupils learn. Where they do not, a simple sticker makes it clear which words an adult must read.

This means pupils receive books they can read with increasing fluency.

Leaders recognise the need for assessment to identify what pupils know. Teachers mostly use their observations of pupils well to guide their instruction and support.

At the end of topics or units, there are systems teachers use to check what knowledge pupils have acquired. Teachers complete this task carefully to inform their subsequent teaching.

Those overseeing provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do so with attention and care, recognising when aspects could be even better.

Plans are reviewed regularly with pupils, parents and professionals. Teachers make appropriate adaptations that allow many pupils with SEND to keep up with the pace of learning. Those pupils requiring more tailored support receive this to help them achieve their targets.

Staff rightly feel proud of how pupils behave. Through careful adult interactions, children in the early years quickly learn how to be resilient, purposeful learners. They happily 'have a go' and bounce back fast from any mistakes, trying again to succeed.

Elsewhere, pupils show much self-control and a keenness to learn. They feel enthused by the systems of rewards, particularly getting their name in the coveted 'Cow Book'. Parents recognise staff's work in this area, citing a school rooted in positive relationships that ensures they and their children feel welcome.

How leaders oversee pupils' personal development through the curriculum and wider opportunities works wonderfully. There is careful thought to what is planned and how to ensure all pupils benefit. Recently, staff went above and beyond to involve a vulnerable group of pupils, not yet on the school roll, in school life.

There is high uptake of the school's ample extra-curricular offering. All pupils know what roles allow them to effect change in school. Members of the school council reel off how they have improved the school using pupils' ideas.

There are well-considered trips and whole-school events that broaden pupils' horizons, for example the remote 'aspirations day' where pupils learned about careers by seeing adults at work, or all pupils learning how to scoot safely as part of a 'walk to school' week.

Leaders, including trustees and governors, evaluate their school accurately. Sometimes, where leaders are new to role, they are not efficient in checking that training or guidance given to staff has resulted in an improvement in teaching.

This means pupils' learning is not always maximised.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders train staff to readily recognise and report concerns, no matter how small.

Staff recognise that, over time, reports come together to build a clear picture of a pupil's experiences. This sharing of information helps leaders to liaise effectively with external agencies to manage support for vulnerable pupils. Pupils know how to use the 'worry box' or colour-based feelings system to make a worry known to a trusted adult.

Trustees and governors work carefully to check safeguarding systems. Their well-planned visits to school assure them that school leaders are doing what they should to keep pupils safe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders can evaluate what is working well and what must improve in their curriculum.

However, where some leaders are new to role, they lack the confidence, knowledge and experience to check that their concerns over pedagogical approaches have been addressed. Problems with some teachers' pedagogy and how this affects some pupils' achievement are then not resolved efficiently. Training and systems must be organised that allow leaders at all levels to oversee a clear cycle of monitoring and support for staff, to ensure all pupils achieve their best.

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