Townhill Infant school is an inclusive and welcoming place to learn. All pupils are equally important in this school. Leaders are determined that all pupils will achieve the best outcomes.
They work hard to provide opportunities for all. Parents are very supportive of the school. One parent stated, 'the headteacher always has the children's best interests at heart and makes a real effort to keep traditions alive'.
Pupils enjoy school and are eager to show visitors what makes it special, for example the wide range of books in the well-stocked book corners. Pupils pay attention and listen to teachers' instructions. Most pupils know how to behave and follow the five scho...ol rules without reminder.
Bullying is rare and pupils know how to report it if it happens. Staff manage the needs of pupils well, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Relationships between pupils and staff are highly positive.
For example, teachers interact warmly with children so that they make a remarkable start in Reception. Pupils are supported in their emotional needs by well-trained and caring staff. A well-constructed personal development programme means that pupils form effective relationships and are respectful of others.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have ensured that children make an excellent start to their education in the early years. Teaching in the Reception classes is of a very high standard and worthy of sharing beyond the school. As a result of this exceptional teaching, children make rapid progress in all areas of learning, sometimes from very low starting points.
This stunning start is built on very well in Years 1 and 2. However, sometimes teachers in these year groups are slightly less ambitious about what pupils can achieve. On occasion, the clarity of their task selection, questioning and use of assessment are less precise than in the early years.
Nonetheless, pupils in key stage 1 continue to make good progress, knowing and remembering more across the curriculum.
Leaders have planned a curriculum that is broad and interesting and meets the needs of the pupils the school serves. Leaders help teachers to plan the order of lessons well so that pupils know more and can do more.
Leaders work together well to identify the key knowledge and vocabulary pupils will learn from Reception to the end of Year 2. This means it is taught in a sequential and coherent way. Pupils use their previous learning to develop new knowledge and skills.
For example, they showed inspectors how they have become more skilled when drawing self-portraits in art. Pupils with SEND are supported to access the same curriculum as their peers. Lessons and resources are adapted so that pupils with SEND, and those who are disadvantaged, achieve well.
In the early years, curriculum plans explicitly outline what children must know, understand and do in each of the seven development areas. Teachers in the early years expertly guide pupils to ensure that they engage with carefully chosen resources. A range of appropriate indoor and outdoor activities help children to practise and develop skills.
For example, using water and dice to develop knowledge of counting and measurement.
Reading is a priority in the school. Leaders ensure that staff are well trained to deliver the new phonics programme well.
Pupils remember sounds they have learned because they practise each day. Teachers help pupils to improve in phonics by skilfully checking what they know and can do. Those who need extra support, including pupils with SEND, are identified quickly, and given additional help to keep up.
Pupils in key stage 1 learn to read confidently and enjoy reading a wide range of texts. Children in the early years choose to practise their phonics knowledge during child-initiated play.
Pupils work purposefully in lessons and know what staff expect of them.
Although a small number of pupils in key stage 1 get distracted at times, teachers guide them to refocus quickly. Leaders support staff to ensure that behaviour is consistently good in classrooms. Pupils are encouraged to be good citizens in the school community.
For example, they develop a sense of responsibility by taking part in decision-making in the school council. Children in the early years work and play exceptionally well together, for example helping each other to create the best superhero outfit.
Leaders understand the needs of the pupils well.
They carefully sequence plans to ensure that pupils receive effective personal, social and health education. For example, pupils learn that it is 'okay to say no' if they do not want to do something that makes them uncomfortable. Pupils learn to respect each other's differences and to work together as part of a community, for example by making plans to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee together.
Trips are organised to enrich the curriculum and broaden pupils' life experiences. For example, children in the early years talked with enthusiasm about a visit to a local farm. Funding is used carefully to provide all pupils, including pupils with SEND and those who are disadvantaged, access to sports clubs.
Senior leaders, the local governing board, and trustees have the highest ambitions for the achievement and enrichment of all pupils. Staff say that leaders listen to their views to ensure that workload is manageable. Although pupils enjoy school, not all pupils attend as much as they could.
Leaders are working hard to improve attendance and punctuality at the school.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff are well trained so that they have a clear understanding of safeguarding responsibilities and procedures.
Staff know how to report concerns, which are taken seriously by leaders. Leaders monitor, record, and manage any safeguarding concerns effectively. They go above and beyond to make sure families get the help they need.
Leaders are supported by governors and the academy trust to make sure the school is a safe place to be. Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe. They know who to report concerns to and how to use the internet safely.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Pupils in key stage 1 make good progress across the curriculum, learning and remembering more. However, teaching is not as precise as it is in the early years, where children make exceptional progress, achieving even more. Leaders should further enhance curriculum development in key stage 1 so that the quality of learning matches the exceptional provision in the early years.