Junior School Comes in for Praise

PUBLISHED: 17:45 11 July 2008 | UPDATED: 21:31 31 May 2010

FRIENDS Junior School in Saffron Walden has become the latest school in the town to receive a glowing report from inspectors. Following an inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), earlier this year, Ofsted has just paid the school a visi

FRIENDS' Junior School in Saffron Walden has become the latest school in the town to receive a glowing report from inspectors.

Following an inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), earlier this year, Ofsted has just paid the school a visit and published a complimentary report into the standard of its education.

Concentrating on the school's younger pupils, the report states that "the quality of teaching and children's learning is good".

"Children in the foundation stage communicate very effectively and use a wide range of vocabulary to express their ideas and talk about what they know," said inspector Caroline Wright.

"They discuss where their parents go to work and know that 'London is a long way away. You have to go on a train or you get stuck in lots of traffic'."

Teachers were also praised in the report, which said they "have a very good knowledge and understanding of the foundation stage areas of learning".

The school also came under scrutiny in February, when a team of inspectors from ISI carried out a review of the school's standards. When Ofsted visited the school in May, the government inspectors confirmed the positive message that came from ISI, which pleased the headteacher of Friends' Junior School, Andrew Holmes.

"Following on from the ISI report, which was full of praise for our early years department, it is wonderful to have this endorsed by Ofsted," he said.

"It is just reward for all the hard work and inspiration put in by all our early years team and you only have to spend a few moments in the classroom areas to see the joy and pleasure our children derive from their time in school."

The Ofsted report made few criticisms of the school, although there were a few areas of room for improvement.

"The organisation of the session affects children's ability to pursue their own interests continuously," it said.

"For example, children are unable to explore the outdoor area except at specific times and staff call them away from self-chosen activities, even when they are interested and engaged, to take part in adult-led activities where there are limited opportunities for children to extend their learning beyond the planned learning intentions."

Overall however, the report said that children's needs were met, and each of the three key aspects of the inspection were given "good" ratings.

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