Downs Infant School
phone: 01273 500146
headteacher: Ms Regine Kruger
360 pupils capacity: 100% full
185 boys 51%
175 girls 49%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 531530, Northing: 105926
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 50.838, Longitude: -0.1334
- Accepting pupils
- 5—7 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- June 26, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South East › Brighton, Pavilion › Hollingdean and Stanmer
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.1 miles Downs Junior School BN16ED (512 pupils)
- 0.1 miles The Connected Hub BN17GU (34 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Brighton and Hove Montessori School BN16FB
- 0.3 miles Brighton and Hove Montessori School BN16FB (30 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Fairlight Primary School BN23AJ (408 pupils)
- 0.4 miles St Martin's CofE Primary School BN23LJ (229 pupils)
- 0.4 miles St Joseph's Catholic Primary School BN17BF (164 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Bevendean Junior School BN23JP
- 0.4 miles Bevendean County Infant School BN23JP
- 0.4 miles Fairlight Junior School BN23AG
- 0.4 miles Fairlight Infant School BN23AG
- 0.5 miles St Bartholomew's CofE Primary School BN14GP (199 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Bellerbys College Brighton BN14LF (872 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Coleman Street Annexe BN22SQ
- 0.6 miles Hertford Infant and Nursery School BN17GF (215 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Stanford Junior School BN15PR (380 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Springboard Education BN23PS (17 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Primary Annexe BN23ES
- 0.7 miles Balfour Junior School BN16NE
- 0.7 miles Coombe Road Primary School BN24ED (307 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Balfour Primary School BN16NE (866 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Hertford Junior School BN17FP (154 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Elm Grove Primary School BN23ES (432 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Castledean School BN17FP
Downs Infant School
Ditching Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 6JA
|Inspection dates||26–27 June 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Outstanding||1|
|Achievement of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Quality of teaching||Outstanding||1|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Leadership and management||Outstanding||1|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school.
| Leaders and managers, including governors, |
Children make very rapid progress from
Pupils from different groups, including
have ensured that the school has sustained
improvements over a considerable period.
Achievement is high and teaching is
starting points which are below those
typically expected for their age. By the time
they leave at the end of Year 2 their
attainment in reading, writing and
mathematics is well above national averages.
disabled pupils, those with special educational
needs and pupils with additional funding,
make progress at rates faster than that found
| Pupils’ behaviour in classrooms and around the |
A strong focus on developing their creative and
Teachers work well together in teams to
Parents are unanimous in their praise for the
school is exemplary. Pupils are well cared for
and flourish within a safe and happy, learning
environment. They are very enthusiastic about
learning and love coming to school.
Consequently, attendance levels are high.
artistic skills makes an excellent contribution to
pupils’ spiritual, moral and social development.
ensure that activities in all subject areas and
year groups are stimulating and engaging. The
school recognises that leadership in the Early
Years Foundation Stage and in literacy needs
to be sharper to maintain these high
school, and speak warmly about the staff.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors visited 18 lessons or part lessons. All of the teachers were observed.
- Many of the lesson observations were shared with the headteacher and deputy headteacher.
Short visits were made to observe the quality of teaching and how pupils engaged with the
- Pupils were heard reading and work from each year group was looked at with the deputy
- Inspectors observed the school’s work, and looked at a range of documents, including the
school’s checks on how well it is doing and improvement plan, the school’s records of
monitoring, tracking information showing the progress of pupils, minutes of meetings of the
governing body, and records relating to behaviour, attendance and safeguarding.
- They met with pupils, interviewed a sample of staff, and spoke to parents. They also spoke to
members of the governing body and a representative from the local authority.
- The views of parents were obtained through the school’s surveys and the 116 responses to the
on-line questionaire (Parent View). Written comments from 27 members of staff were also
considered. Six parents took the opportunity to write to the inspectors and their views were also
|Brian Netto, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Carolyn Steer||Additional Inspector|
|Stephanie Rogers||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- This is larger than the average-sized primary school.
- Most pupils are from White British backgrounds.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium is average. This is additional
funding provided for looked after children, pupils eligible for free school meals and children of
service families. In this school it applies to the first group only.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs supported through
school action is above average.
- The proportion supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs
- Pupils from the school attend an off-site breakfast and after-school club called A Class of Their
Own. This was not part of the inspection. The latest report can be vierwed on the Ofsted
- Since the previous inspection, there have been several changes to staff and within the governing
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Make sure that all teachers with extra responsibilities are able to check regularly on learning so
that the school maintains its high achievement, particularly in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
|The achievement of pupils||is outstanding|
- Children’s skills are below those expected for their age when children start in Reception,
particularly in writing. They quickly settle into routines so that they catch up and experience a
rich and stimulating curriculum which promotes rapid acquisition of key skills. They show a high
degree of independence and concentration in their work; so that by the time they leave the Early
Years Foundation Stage, skills are well above typical expectations.
- Attainment in reading, writing and mathematics has been well above national averages for over
three years, and progress is rapid and sustained.
- Pupils in Year 1 and 2 have made rapid progress in their letters and sounds (phonics). Learning
is fun and engages their attention, so they quickly acquire new vocabulary and apply their skills
well to understand unfamiliar words. This ensures that their reading improves rapidly. For
example, Year 1 quickly saw links between different words which sound the same, but are
spelled differently, during a phonics lesson. This enabled the pupils to successfully write
sentences using the words in different contexts.
- Pupil premium funding is targeted well to provide support both in class and on a one-to-one
basis. Well trained teaching assistants ensure that these pupils make outstanding progress. In
the 2012 national tests the attainment of pupils eligible for free school meals was higher than
other pupils nationally in reading, writing and mathematics. Evidence from pupils’ work shows
that the attainment gap between these pupils and their peers is also narrowing quickly because
of this support.
- Careful attention is given to disabled pupils and those with special educational needs, by
specially trained teaching assistants. As a result, they make progress in line with their peers from
often lower starting points.
- The progress of pupils is carefully tracked so that leaders can identify trends in pupil
performance. Action is quickly taken so that fast progress is maintained. As a result, more-able
girls are making faster progress in mathematics than previously.
|The quality of teaching||is outstanding|
- Teachers plan lessons which fully engage the pupils, adopting a ‘stunning start, marvellous
middle and fabulous finish’ so that pupils’ interests are maintained for long periods.
Consequently, teaching is at least good and often outstanding, and pupils acquire knowledge
and skills rapidly.
- The best teaching is characterised by effective questioning which probes understanding and
challenges pupils to think and reflect. Year 1 made very good progress in their understanding of
acrostic poems as the teacher’s skilful questions encouraged the use of imaginative descriptions
of seascapes. One pupil was delighted to notice that an acrostic was ‘words made out of words’!
- The school makes the most of teachers from outside the school who offer expertise in subjects
like music and dance. In these lessons, pupils make outstanding progress in acquiring new skills
and thoroughly enjoy the activities.
- Calculation is taught very well, and pupils are given challenges which extend their learning and
encourage them to work things out for themselves. This helps them to develop resilience when
solving problems. For example, Year 2 pupils developed their mathematical language by being
challenged to apply logic to identify patterns in numbers, and as a result made good progress.
- Teachers provide detailed and frequent feedback and written guidance so that pupils know how
well they are doing and what they need to improve their skills.
- Teachers have excellent subject knowledge. They use this well to help pupils develop the correct
mathematical and grammatical language, and so contribute to outstanding progress.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- Pupils say they feel safe as ‘everyone here is nice to you and helps you’. As a result, behaviour is
exemplary and pupils are extremely well prepared for their next stage of life. Children in
Reception showed an excellent understanding of how to keep themselves safe from the sun
when on holiday, describing a wide range of practical things they could do.
- At the core of the school is the care for the well-being of each individual pupil. This is most
clearly evident in the support for pupils whose circumstances make them vulnerable, including
disabled pupils and those with special educational needs. Pupils with complex needs are fully
integrated into lessons, and this ensures that the school is highly inclusive, and no discrimination
is tolerated. Parents spoke in glowing terms of the warm and welcoming environment where no
one is left behind.
- Pupils report that bullying is rare and that they are confident that teachers deal fairly with any
problems they have.
- Pupils have excellent attitudes towards learning. Relationships with each other and with staff are
strong. This helps learning to proceed at a fast pace.
- Pupils enjoy school and this is reflected in their attendance, which is above the national average.
|The leadership and management||are outstanding|
- The headteacher and Chair of the Governing Body use their long standing experience to promote
high aspirations, and this has ensured continuous improvements in all aspects of the school over
- All leaders and managers display strong professional standards in their work, and regular checks
on learning help teachers with extra responsibilities ensure that the quality of teaching is
improving. However, the absence of leadership in the Early Years Foundation Stage means that
this area is not as effectively monitored as other areas.
- Staff make the most of opportunities to improve their teaching, particularly through the links
with other local schools. A robust system for checking how well they are doing ensures that pay
is closely linked to how well the pupils learn and to the school’s main priorities for improvement.
- Effective arrangements are in place which help the pupils to move up the school, and good
relationships with the local junior school ensure a smooth transition.
- The topics and themes are further enriched by a wide range of after-school activities organised
by the school itself, and specialist teaching such as dance and music. Pupils take part in yoga
and different sporting and cultural activities which make a strong contribution to their excellent
spiritual, social and moral development. Pupils say they enjoy some subjects like art and physical
education ‘because there are no right or wrong answers’.
- The overwhelming majority of parents who completed the school and inspection surveys, as well
as those spoken to, were extremely happy with the school. The following comments reflect these
views. ‘Downs Infant School is a brilliant school.’ ‘The way the curriculum is taught enables the
children to learn but without too much pressure and parents are actively encouraged to be
involved in the process.’ One parent said they were proud their child was ‘part of such a
progressive, nurturing and quite brilliant teaching provider’.
- The local authority rightly gives light touch support to this highly effective school.
- The governance of the school:
Governors are well informed about the school’s performance over the last few years, and take
decisive action to hold the school to account for any areas of relative weakness. For example,
changes to the way that teachers assess the pupils’ understanding of letters and the sounds
they make have resulted in rapid improvements. Governors share expertise picked up from
training sessions, and a buddy system ensures that new governors are kept fully informed.
They support the rewarding of high performance by teachers through the rigorous checking of
how well the pupils are doing. They check that funds are used effectively to support the
improvements in pupils’ learning, including the pupil premium. They support the school’s
strong focus on keeping the pupils safe, and ensure that all statutory requirements are in
place, including those related to safeguarding.
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes |
that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures
that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
|Grade 2||Good||A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well |
for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage
of their education, training or employment.
|Grade 3||Requires |
|A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it |
is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within
24 months from the date of this inspection.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||A school that requires special measures is one where the school is |
failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and
the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not
demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary
improvement in the school. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and
requires significant improvement but leadership and management
are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
|Unique reference number||114367|
|Local authority||Brighton and Hove|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Infant|
|Age range of pupils||4−7|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||356|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||19 October 2006|
|Telephone number||01273 296868|
|Fax number||01273 700504|