Stonehill School

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About Stonehill School

Name Stonehill School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Elaine Close
Address Western Close, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 4SZ
Phone Number 01462620262
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 215
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Stonehill School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Stonehill provides pupils with a caring and nurturing environment. Each morning adults greet pupils as they arrive at school.

They ensure that pupils are happy and ready to learn. The trusting relationships pupils share with adults help them to feel safe and well cared for.

Pupils describe their school as a 'friendly place' and being 'part of a family'.

Classrooms are busy places of learning. Pupils know that teachers expect them to work hard. They are attentive and always eager to learn and find out more.

If at any time they are anxious, they can visit the 'rainbow roo...m', where adults will help them to settle and to feel calm.

Everyone gets along together. Any occasional disputes between pupils are quickly resolved independently or with adults.

Pupils use 'voice boxes' to share any concerns. They know who to ask if they have any worries and are confident that adults will help them. They know that bullying is rare at their school.

Pupils learn about different values each month. Becoming a 'Stonehill star' recognises how pupils show these values in school. Pupils enjoy visits and trips, especially ones that help them to learn about their local community.

Year 6 pupils talk excitedly about their planned residential trip.

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

Leaders have made some recent changes to some of their curriculum programmes. Revised plans provide a greater focus for the specific skills that pupils need to learn in every subject.

The key knowledge identifies how pupils build their understanding step by step. Leaders have not yet fully established these new plans. This means that while pupils recall facts, some do not make links to build learning.

As a result, pupils do not develop a deep knowledge of the things that they learn in a few subjects.

Teachers have secure subject knowledge. They use this well to share and help pupils to understand important vocabulary.

In the early years, for example, children used their mathematical resources to explain which numbers were odd or even.

Teachers make use of different ways to assess and check what pupils know. They probe pupils' understanding by questioning responses.

This ensures that pupils develop a secure understanding of their learning. At certain points in lessons, teachers use 'destination questions'. This helps them to identify any misconceptions.

Teachers address any errors in pupils' work quickly.

Leaders know that being able to read is the gateway to learning. They have established clear routines for the teaching of early reading.

Children in the Nursery begin to learn about different stories and rhymes. In Reception and key stage 1, adults teach phonics consistently well. Any pupils who struggle receive extra support to help them to catch up.

Older pupils enjoy reading texts from a wide range of genres and by a wide range of authors. They look forward to the quizzes that check their understanding when they have finished reading a book.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well supported.

Leaders identify pupils' needs quickly. They help teachers to change their plans to include every pupil in the lesson. Pupils with SEND enjoy working alongside their classmates.

The help they receive means that they achieve well.

Pupils are positive about their learning. They behave well in class, listening intently to each other's ideas and opinions.

Staff are quick to spot and praise pupils when they are 'caught' being responsible. Pupils' neatly presented books reflect a pride in their work.

Pupils understand what being different means.

They are clear that it is important that everyone is treated equally. Leaders look to provide pupils with experiences of community involvement to develop ideas of citizenship. Pupils appreciate the clubs they attend.

However, pupils' leadership skills are less well promoted. Some activities, such as school council meetings, have not occurred as frequently as leaders planned.

Governors have a clear picture of the work of the school.

This includes checking staff's well-being. Staff welcome the support they receive from leaders. Morale is high.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

All staff understand their safeguarding responsibilities. They are well trained in the school procedures for recording any concerns, no matter how small.

Staff know the signs of abuse they need to identify and report. Leaders act swiftly on these concerns. They work with a range of agencies to get the help that vulnerable pupils and families need.

Leaders make the appropriate checks to ensure that all adults are suitable to work with children. They ensure that pupils learn how to stay safe online and in the wider world.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders' refinements of a few subject plans are quite recent and not yet fully established.

This means that not all pupils are building a deep knowledge of their learning in every subject. Leaders should continue to provide the support for teachers in delivering their plans effectively so that pupils' knowledge is secure across the curriculum. ? Leaders' plans for promoting pupils' wider development have not yet been fully realised since the pandemic began.

Opportunities to develop pupils' strength of character through leadership roles have been limited. Leaders should continue to implement their plans so that pupils' personal development is fully supported and that they are well prepared for life in modern Britain.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in February 2018.

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