Infant school praised by Ofsted
An infant school has been praised in a new Ofsted report.
The education watchdog carried out a two day inspection at Blue Coat Church of England Aided Infant School on July 12 and 13 this year, after which it deemed the school to be 'good' overall and 'outstanding' in terms of personal development, behaviour and early years provision.
The school, on Hanch Place, Walsall, currently has 321 pupils on its roll aged between three and seven, with the inspection marking the first time it had been evaluated since 2013.
Leadership, attendance and supportive governors were listed amongst the positive points in the schools report.
Mark Sims, lead inspector with Ofsted, said: "The very strong ethos of the school, rooted in its core values, ensures that pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare are outstanding.
"The ethos of the school is successfully built on its Christian and British values.
"This ensures that provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is very strong.
"The curriculum is broad and creative to ensure that all key areas of learning are taught.
"It enables pupils to flourish, both academically and in their personal development, through a wide range of extra-curricular activities including art, computing and drama.
"Such activities enrich learning and they are enjoyed by the pupils.
"Pupils attend regularly; instances of persistent absence in key stage 1 are exceptionally low.
"Governors are very supportive of the school.
"They are keen for self-improvement, as evidenced by the recent external review of governance they commissioned.
"They are active in the life of the school, conducting focused visits, observing pupils at work and reviewing pupils’ books.
"Consequently, they know the strengths of the school and many of the areas requiring improvement."
During the inspection, 31 lessons at the school were observed, while 61 parents were spoken to regarding their opinions on the quality of the school.
Overall, the school was rated as 'good' in 2013 and outstanding in 2008.
Despite the positive report, inspectors did point to a few areas where the school could improve.
Mr Sims said: "Too few disadvantaged pupils, especially those who achieved the expected standard at the end of early years, achieve higher standards or are working at greater depth by the end of Year 2 in reading, writing and mathematics.
"Leaders’ and governors’ evaluation of the pupil premium is not rigorous enough.
"Teaching is not yet consistently good in Year 2 where middle-ability and most-able pupils are not sufficiently challenged in their learning, particularly in mathematics, despite recent staff training in mathematics."