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Faringdon Infant School Closed - academy converter March 31, 2012

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Faringdon Infant School
Lechlade Road

phone: 01367 *** ***

headteacher: Mrs Heather Hambidge Bed

school holidays: via Oxfordshire council

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Close date
March 31, 2012
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 428431, Northing: 195581
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.658, Longitude: -1.5904
Accepting pupils
3—7 years old
Ofsted last inspection
Feb. 7, 2011
Region › Const. › Ward
South East › Wantage › Faringdon and The Coxwells
Town and Fringe - less sparse

Faringdon Infant School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 123060
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Inspect ion number 359353
Inspect ion dates 7–8 February 2011
Report ing inspector David Carrington

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Primary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 4–7
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 256
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Roger Cox
Headteacher Heather Hambidge
Date of previous school inspection 8 February 2011
School address Lechlade Road
Faringdon, Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire SN7 8AH
Telephone number 01367 240655
Fax number 01367 240655
Email address
Age group 4–7
Inspect ion dates 7–8 February 2011
Inspect ion number 359353


This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. They observed 19 lessons
led by 9 teachers. Meetings were held with the headteacher, deputy headteacher, senior
leaders and members of the governing body. A number of parents and carers were also
asked for their views of the school. The inspectors observed the school's work, and looked
at school planning, assessment data, records of children's work, the school's checks on the
quality of teaching and a number of policy documents. The team received 92
questionnaires from parents and carers and also evaluated those from school staff.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at a
number of key areas:

  • the degree to which the school is successful in boosting progress in writing,
    especially for girls and higher-attainers
  • the accuracy of assessment, effectiveness of the tracking of progress and success of
    the use of assessment to support learning
  • the effectiveness of the induction of new staff in order that the quality of provision is
  • the broadening of pupils' understanding of the lives of people from different
    backgrounds nationally and globally.

Information about the school

Faringdon Infant School is of average size. Most pupils come from White British families
and nearly all speak English as their main language. The proportion of pupils known to be
eligible for free school meals is above average. The number of pupils with special
educational needs and/or disabilities is lower than in schools of a similar size. Many of
these pupils have some form of learning or behavioural, social and emotional difficulty.
The school is organised into one Nursery, three Reception, two Year 1 and three Y ear 2
classes. There is a privately run Early Years Foundation Stage setting on site which was
inspected separately. Since the previous inspection, there have been a significant number
of staff changes due to retirement and promotion. The expansion of the local population
has also led to a significant increase in the size of the school. Six newly qualified teachers
have joined the school during the last three years. The school has been awarded Healthy
School and Eco School status.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school? 3
The school's capacity for sustained improvement 3

Main findings

Faringdon Infant School provides a satisfactory education for its pupils. The numerous
staff changes during the past three years have meant that senior leaders have not always
been able to pursue fully every identified improvement priority. Their time has often been
devoted to the induction and support of new staff. Work to complete this staff
development programme continues. At present, the quality of teaching is satisfactory,
although it is inconsistent, which is why it is not good overall. Teaching in the Early Years
Foundation Stage is consistently good and enables the children to make brisk progress. In
Year 1, teaching is not as strong as elsewhere and the pupils do not achieve enough. Year
2 is well taught and the pupils progress rapidly. Thus, overall progress from children's
starting points is also satisfactory. Attainment is average by the end of Year 2, although it
is lower in writing compared with reading and mathematics. Not enough pupils reach the
higher levels in writing, which is in part due to too much use of worksheets, not enough
emphasis on the sounds of words to assist spelling and insufficient attention to
handwriting in some parts of the school.
The school has appropriate systems to evaluate its own work and to set apt priorities. This
includes the tracking of pupils' progress, which is now based on accurate assessment.
Previously, there were some inaccuracies in assessment, but the school has used its well-
developed partnerships with local schools to good advantage in making assessment
reliable. The use of the information from assessment is satisfactory, although there remain
some weaknesses in the match of work to pupils' individual needs. There is insufficient
challenge for higher-attainers in Year 1, but in Year 2, the work is more taxing for them.
The care, guidance and support provided for pupils are good and this is complemented by
outstanding procedures to safeguard all children. The pupils feel very safe in school and
parents and carers are virtually unanimous in saying the same. Behaviour is good. Most
pupils behave very well all of the time, although when their work lacks challenge, a few do
not always sustain this. Pupils make a strong contribution to the school community. Senior
leaders recognise that partnerships with people from different communities elsewhere in
the United Kingdom and overseas are not yet developed fully. This is why the promotion
of community cohesion is satisfactory rather than good.
The leadership and management of teaching and learning are satisfactory. In some cases,
this has been good and has resulted in improved teaching, for example in Year 2. In Year
1, however, work to strengthen provision is not yet complete. Senior and middle leaders
have appropriate expectations for the quality of provision and pupils' progress. They are
not yet sufficiently involved in the monitoring of these things or in helping to share the
strengths of teaching across the school. However, well-considered plans are in place to
widen their responsibilities so that they contribute more effectively to the drive for
improvement and the achievement of even more challenging targets for the pupils. The

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

headteacher and deputy headteacher have worked successfully together to keep morale
high and ensure pupils' welfare is secure. There is satisfactory capacity to maintain
improvement in the future, especially in pupils' progress.
Up to 40 % of the schools whose overall effectiveness is judged to be satisfactory may
receive a monitoring visit by an Ofsted inspector before their next section 5 inspection.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve the match of work to pupils' abilities and needs, especially for the higher-
    attainers in writing, by:
    checking that work set for different ability groups is sufficiently different in order
    to provide consistent levels of challenge
    stressing the beginning and end sounds in words to assist younger pupils make
    better attempts at spelling
    ensuring there are sufficient opportunities across the curriculum for pupils to
    write in detail
    reducing the use of worksheets, particularly in Year 1helping older pupils develop
    a neat, joined handwriting style.
  • Strengthen senior and middle leaders' accountability for pupils' progress and
    attainment by:
    expanding their monitoring and evaluation of the quality of provision
    developing appropriate strategies for the sharing of the strengths of teaching and
  • Broaden pupils' understanding and celebration of the lives of people in other
    communities in the United Kingdom and overseas by:
    building effective communication links between the pupils and those in other
    ensuring appropriate opportunities for pupils to visit different communities and
    meet visitors from them.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 3

Attainment in reading and mathematics is broadly average. The school has successful
strategies to teach the fundamental skills of reading, although there is not always
sufficient stress on the beginning and end sounds of words which sometimes results in
incorrect pronunciation and weaknesses in spelling. There is a good focus on problem
solving and investigation in mathematics. Pupils in a Year 1 class enjoyed the challenge of
recognising numbers up to 10,000 and in representing these in place value equipment.
This lesson was the most effective one observed in the year group.
The school has maintained its sensible priority to raise achievement in writing. This is
bearing fruit, as shown in Year 2 books where the beginnings of quite expressive writing
are evident. However, opportunities to write at length are much less developed elsewhere.
In Year 1, the pupils are not challenged enough to go far beyond their good achievement
whilst in the Reception Year. Some activities in Year 1 involve completion of worksheets in

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

which colouring is more prominent than writing. This is not a weakness in other parts of
the school. There has been good improvement to pupils' skills and knowledge in
information and communication technology. Their use of computers is frequent and is
helping pupils build the essential basic skills of English and mathematics. This includes
some effective work to develop writing skills.
Pupils' cultural development is satisfactory, although the opportunity to find out about
other cultures and faiths is not as strong as it should be. The Healthy School status is
underpinned by pupils' good awareness of healthy diets and physical fitness. The pupils
sometimes chide others for not including a portion of vegetables in their school meal.
They also know the value of the vegetables they grow in their garden. This is a two-fold
appreciation. They realise the value of the 'five a day' guidance and learn the monetary
value of the produce when they sell it to their willing customers. This helps develop good
enterprise skills which assists their preparation for the future.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning 3
Taking into account:
Pupils' attainment¹
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress 3
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities
and their progress
The extent to which pupils feel safe 1
Pupils' behaviour 2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifesty les 2
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community 3
The extent to which pupils develop wor kplace and other skills that will contribute to
their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 3


The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4

is low

How effective is the provision?

There are some outstanding features in the teaching and learning of children in the
Nursery, Reception Year and in Year 2. The pace of work here is usually brisk, there is
much enjoyment of learning and the pupils work productively and purposefully. Not all of
these things are common enough in lessons elsewhere. There is a marked contrast
between the joyful exuberance of children in the Reception Year as they role play

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

paramedics treating emergency and routine health matters and the fussiness sometimes
shown by pupils in less demanding lessons. The use of assessment to support learning in
lessons is developing satisfactorily. There is a useful system of marking work in English
books that shows pupils what has been achieved and where improvement is due. The
school is now working to develop a system of similar quality in mathematics.
The satisfactory curriculum has some good qualities. Pupils' personal, social and health
education is promoted well. There are some good out-of-school learning opportunities,
such as the French club which is attended enthusiastically and regularly by a good number
of pupils. The adoption of the 'Learning Challenge' initiative is helping pupils broaden and
strengthen their skills and knowledge across the curriculum. Thus, work is already afoot to
improve the level of challenge in the work set, although the impact of this has yet to work
through to the proportion of pupils reaching the higher levels, particularly in writing. The
key improvement point for the curriculum is its personalisation to meet the needs of pupils
of different abilities. This is emerging well in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Year 2,
but is not yet consistently good in all parts of the school.
Partnerships with outside groups and agencies, plus the good home-school links, are the
basis of the effective way in which the school supports potentially vulnerable children and
those with barriers to learning. The school has a good reputation for its caring ethos,
which is well deserved. Pupils are helped to achieve academically by the more rigorous
assessment now in place and its appropriate use to support learning.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching 3
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support 2

How effective are leadership and management?

School leaders have appropriate ambitions for the success of the pupils. Targets for
learning are becoming more challenging and increasingly used to plan work that meets the
needs of the pupils. However, there remain inconsistencies, particularly between year
groups, in how the targets are translated into suitable work to engage and enthuse the
pupils. Members of the governing body share the same ambition and resolve as the staff
to make improvement brisker. They are supportive and involved in the school's work and
know its strengths and weaknesses. They do not yet analyse the data that show pupils'
progress in sufficient depth, but are ready to take a greater role in probing the school's
performance in this way.
Safeguarding of pupils is a conspicuous success of the school. All adults in school are
extremely watchful, security is tight without being obtrusive and procedures to ensure
pupils are safe are rooted in high-quality documentation that anticipates every risk and

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

provides expert guidance for staff in any cause of concern. Because parents and carers
are well involved in their children's work and welfare, safeguarding is steadfast.
The promotion of community cohesion is not yet fully covered by partnerships with groups
representing other communities in the United Kingdom or overseas. Locally, the links are
good. The school has audited its own community and knows the priorities it must pursue
to bring improvement. These include greater frequency of visits to, and visitors from,
other cultures and faiths.
At present, the promotion of equality of opportunity is satisfactory rather than good
because of the inconsistencies in pupils' progress, especially amongst the higher-attainers.
The school has successfully tackled the past inequalities in achievement of girls, who are
now generally as successful as the boys. It has also ensured pupils with special
educational needs and/or disabilities make the progress expected of them. There is no
tolerance of any form of discrimination. Indeed, the pupils play very happily together,
whatever their backgrounds.
The school uses its resources appropriately to bring value for money. The expanding size
of the school means that some of the accommodation is under pressure. Class sizes have
increased, although this is not a major factor in the inconsistencies in the quality of
provision and pupils' progress. The larger classes in Year 2 are well taught, for example.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leaders hip and management in embedding ambit ion and driving
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and support ing the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers 2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles
discriminat ion
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion 3
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money 3

Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage holds many of the strengths of the school. The children
make good progress from their starting points in the Nursery, which are below the
expected level, particularly in communication, language and literacy and in mathematical
development. Provision in the Nursery and Reception Year is a well-judged blend of adult-

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please tur n to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

led and child-chosen activity. In one Reception class, a group of children benefited
immensely from the support and guidance given by their teacher as they wrote about
things they liked. Quite independently, they constructed sentences such as 'I like the
dragon', which reflected their enthusiasm for the experiences gained in learning about the
Chinese New Year. In this session, the teacher guided the children effectively in the
accurate spacing of words and evenness of letter size.
In a few lessons, there is insufficient spoken emphasis by adults of word beginnings and
endings, which affects the development initially of children's speaking and listening skills
and later of accurate spelling. However, in other respects, children's communication skills
are developed well. Nursery-age children enjoy making marks to represent writing and
then learning how to form letters and words. They play happily together indoors and out,
learning to make choices and to play or work independently. There is a rich curriculum in
the phase which gives the children lots to talk about. They are inquisitive and ask many
questions. One Reception-Year group asked 'What is the biggest number?', after counting
and sequencing numbers to 25. There was much enjoyable speculation about the answer.
'One thousand and fifty five' was agreed to be the limit.
Children's welfare is promoted very effectively. All staff enjoy being with the children and
the feeling is reciprocated. Any source of worry, tears or feeling unwell is dealt with
sensitively and successfully. Leadership of the phase is effective in bringing good and
enjoyable learning which is peppered with fun. Good improvement has been made to
assessment and its use to help plan the vibrant curriculum found in the four Early Years
Foundation Stage classes.

These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage

Overall effectiveness of the Ear ly Years Foundation Stage 2
Taking into account:
Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage 2
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation

Views of parents and carers

An above-average proportion of parents and carers returned their questionnaires. There
was overwhelming support for the school and its work, with hardly any concerns. In the
written comments, there were a few parents and carers who wrote about the expanding
size of the school and the pressure this placed on staff and the accommodation. Large
class sizes were of particular concern. This was also noted by those parents and carers
who spoke to inspectors. Inspectors judge that the school has managed its growth
carefully. The general feeling of parents and carers is that the school enables their
children to learn successfully, looks after them with great vigilance and that there is a
warm, friendly welcome for all.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

The inspection team received 92 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total,
there are 256 pupils registered at the school.
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The
percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of
completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question,
the percentages will not add up to 100%.

Statements Strongly
Agree Disagree Strongly
Total % Total % Total % Total %
My child enjoys school 67 73 25 27 0 0 0 0
The school keeps my child
61 66 31 34 0 0 0 0
My school informs me about
my child's progress
41 45 48 52 3 3 0 0
My child is making enough
progress at this school
46 50 44 45 2 2 0 0
The teaching is good at this
59 64 33 35 0 0 0 0
The school helps me to
support my child's learning
52 57 39 42 1 1 0 0
The school helps my child to
have a healthy lifestyle
65 71 27 29 0 0 0 0
The school makes sure that
my child is well prepared for
the future (for example
changing year group,
changing school, and for
children who are finishing
school, entering further or
higher education, or entering
46 50 38 41 1 1 0 0
The school meets my child's
particular needs
40 43 52 55 0 0 0 0
The school deals effectively
with unacceptable behaviour
38 41 49 53 1 1 0 0
The school takes account of
my suggestions and concerns
37 40 49 53 0 0 0 0
The school is led and
managed effectively
52 57 37 40 0 0 0 0
Overall, I am happy with my
child's experience at this
59 64 33 35 0 0 0 0


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding school
provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2 Good These are very positive features of a school. A school that
is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3 Satisfactory These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory
school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4 Inadequate These features are not of an acceptable standard. An
inadequate school needs to make significant improvement
in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors
will make further visits until it improves.

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 59 35 3 3
Primary schools 9 44 39 7
Secondary schools 13 36 41 11
Sixth forms 15 39 43 3
Special schools 35 43 17 5
Pupil referral units 21 42 29 9
All schools 13 43 37 8

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now
make some additional judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September 2009 to 31 August 2010 and are consistent with
the latest published official statistics about maintained school inspection outcomes (see

The sample of schools inspected during 2009/10 was not representative of all schools nationally, as weaker
schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.
Sixth form figures reflect the judgements made for the overall effectiveness of the sixth form in secondary
schools, special schools and pupil referral units.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their learning,
development or training.
Attainment: the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and
examination results and in lessons.
Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue
improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what
the school has accomplished so far and on the quality
of its systems to maintain improvement.
Leadership and management: the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities,
not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities,
directing and motivating staff and running the school.
Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their
understanding, learn and practise skills and are
developing their competence as learners.
Overall effectiveness: inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall
effectiveness based on the findings from their
inspection of the school. The following judgements,
in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness
judgement will be.
The school's capacity for sustained
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
The quality of teaching.
The extent to which the curriculum meets
The effectiveness of care, guidance and
pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships.
Progress: the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and
over longer periods of time. It is often measured by
comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key
stage with their attainment when they started.

9 February 2011
Dear Pupils

Inspection of Faringdon Infant School, Faringdon SN7 8AH

Thank you for being so friendly when we came to school recently. You showed us how
well behaved you are and how much you enjoy your time in school. We have written a
report about your school. In it we explain about how it helps you learn. These are the
main things we write about.

  • You make the expected progress in your work.
  • You have lots of fun in your learning and do well in school in the Nursery and
    Reception Year.
  • You play together happily and know how to keep each other safe and healthy.
  • You are taught soundly.
  • Your teachers look after you well and make sure you are very safe.
  • Your headteacher and other staff are working together to make it a better school.

We have also written about three things that can be improved:

  • You could be given harder work in some lessons to help you learn even more.
  • Your teachers should spend more time checking that you have plenty of fun learning
    to do well in reading, mathematics and especially writing.
  • Your school could help you learn much more about people who live a long way from

Because you are so helpful, we know you will help your teachers make these
improvements. To start, you could write them a note about what you like best in your
lessons and what you think is not as much fun. Make it your neatest work ever.
We hope you do well in your school work.
Yours sincerely

David Carrington Lead inspector (on behalf of the inspection team)


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