Therfield First School

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About Therfield First School

Name Therfield First School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Tara McGovern
Address The Causeway, Therfield, Royston, SG8 9PP
Phone Number 01763287284
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-9
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 54
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive at this small school, which has a 'family feel'. Kind and caring relationships are at the heart of it.

These help to ensure pupils feel safe to learn and to play.

Pupils know that all adults want them to do well. Pupils enjoy their lessons where teachers 'bring learning to life'.

Pupils relish the practical and fun tasks in lessons. Regular outdoor activities enable pupils to learn beyond the classroom. Pupils excitedly recall recent trips.

This includes the whole school trip to a city book shop. Pupils can remember community visits. Interviewing residents helps to improve their communication and writing skills.

Pupils know and... follow the school behaviour code. They behave well. Pupils helped to design the activities for the outdoor play sessions.

They benefit from a range of equipment at breaktimes.

Pupils take an active role within their local community. They interact with different generations as part of the school's GAP project.

This helps them to develop an understanding of themselves in society. Pupils develop their talents and interests in an extensive range of different activities. Examples include pottery, gardening, cookery and sport.

Overwhelmingly, pupils love coming to school. One parent represented the views of many, commenting, 'They are always enthusiastic about what they are learning!'

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

School leaders and staff share the same ambition for high standards in pupils' learning. They provide a broad and rich curriculum.

There is a strong focus on oracy. This fosters an enthusiasm for learning from the early years through to Year 4.

The school has ensured that in most subjects the knowledge and skills that they want pupils to learn, and when, is clear.

In these subjects, pupils learn and practise new skills in lessons. They successfully build on their prior knowledge. Teachers have the expertise to introduce new ideas and concepts clearly.

They frequently check what children have learned. This helps to support pupils with their next steps. In these subjects, pupils achieve well.

However, the curriculum in a few foundation subjects does not yet set out clearly enough the vocabulary and knowledge pupils should learn. This means teachers cannot check precisely what pupils have remembered. Therefore, they cannot pinpoint next steps in learning with enough accuracy.

Reading is at the heart of the curriculum. The curriculum for phonics is well thought through. Well-trained staff teach early reading well.

As pupils begin to read books, they have materials matched to the sounds they are learning. Pupils practise these newly learned skills and remember them well. Reading spaces are enticing, including in the early years.

The youngest children show an avid interest in choosing books to share. Older pupils are keen readers. They take on extra responsibilities in the school library.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well supported. The school expects children with SEND to achieve well alongside their peers. Staff know the pupils very well.

They are sensitive to their developmental needs. Staff ensure that pupils with SEND feel included and valued. Teachers provide beneficial, extra resources that help pupils with SEND to understand new ideas.

Pupils understand and respect their differences. In so doing, they show the value of tolerance. Pupils learn about and are respectful of diversity in the world beyond their village.

Outdoor learning enhances pupils' abilities to work together. They develop their confidence and resilience. Pupils enjoy a wealth of cultural opportunities.

These include djembe drumming, role playing, religious festivals and virtually touring various places of worship. They are being prepared very well for life in modern Britain.

Pupils behave well.

Lessons are calm. Relationships at the school are very strong. Pupils learn without distractions.

Pupils adhere to the well-established class routines. This starts in the early years where children begin to share and learn how to be kind. Pupils are orderly and polite around the school.

Staff address rare instances of poor behaviour consistently and fairly. They rarely have to remind pupils to stick to the school code.

The school is passionate about helping pupils to develop as active and responsible citizens.

Leaders help pupils to take pride in their community. The governing body and staff work closely with parents and others to realise this aim. For instance, pupils worked closely with parish councillors to make decisions about changes in the village.

The governing body uses robust systems to ensure that the school maintains its high aims and ambitions. Governors ensure that they have the skills and training to carry out their statutory duties. They work closely with the school staff and the local community.

The governing body contributes positively to the development of the school. The school ensures that staff well-being and workload is a priority.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a few foundation subjects, the school does not sufficiently break down the knowledge and vocabulary that pupils need to know. As a result, staff cannot precisely check what pupils have remembered and pinpoint their next steps in learning. The school should identify the most important knowledge and vocabulary in these subjects, so that teachers know how well pupils are progressing through the curriculum and can accurately plan pupils' next steps in their learning.

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