Saffron Walden school’s Early Years setting rated ‘outstanding in all areas’ by inspectors

09:10 24 September 2011

Headteacher Jane Crouch with some of her year four pupils, from left, Oliver Cotterill, Declan Taylor, Kate Wardley, Bella Hucknall, and Alice Tyler

Headteacher Jane Crouch with some of her year four pupils, from left, Oliver Cotterill, Declan Taylor, Kate Wardley, Bella Hucknall, and Alice Tyler

Archant

A SAFFRON Walden school’s Early Years is ‘outstanding in all areas’ and its Key Stages 1 and 2 ‘provide an outstanding education that challenges and motivates pupils in equal measure’.

These were the findings of a report by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate following an inspection at Dame Bradbury’s last term.

The inspectors picked out that the pupils’ achievement is ‘excellent...they develop excellent skills in literacy and numeracy and use these effectively in all areas of learning’.

It also found that pupils ‘become avid learners; their co-operation and capability to work independently are outstanding’.

The provision of extra-curricular activities was also found to be outstanding, as was the pastoral care and the provision for the pupils’ personal development. Governance, leadership and management and links with parents were all said to be ‘excellent’.

The pupils were praised for their ‘exemplary behaviour… testament to the highly effective systems in place to develop responsible and considerate individuals’.

The inspection covered the whole school but nursery and reception (early years foundation stage) were also inspected separately.

The inspectors found the overall effectiveness of Early Years provision, the leadership and management, the quality of provision and the outcomes for children were all outstanding.

The report said that ‘children learn and develop extremely well through stimulating play’ and make ‘rapid progress’. They also praised the Forest School.

Inspectors concluded their report on the Early Years setting with: “Children are inquisitive, enthusiastic and self-motivated...they respond to school life with great enthusiasm and enjoyment. They are provided with secure foundations for their future well-being in all aspects of their learning.”

Headteacher Jane Crouch was delighted with the report. She said: “The inspectors’ findings are a tremendous validation of the hard work of pupils, staff, governors (and of course, parents) and objective evidence of the excellent progress being made in all aspects of school life.”

Recommendations for improvement were to improve the quality of presentation of some pupils’ work, to ensure greater consistency in demonstrating what pupils learn each lesson, and, in the Early Years setting, to continue to develop the outdoor classroom.

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