Loose Infant School
Executive Headteacher: Mrs Jay Pye
270 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||118499|
|Inspection date||4 June 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Kathryn Taylor|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
The registered childcare, managed by the governing body, was inspected under section 49 of the Childcare Act 2006.
|Type of school||Infant|
|Age range of pupils||4–7|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number on roll|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||11 July 2006|
Date of previous funded early education|
|Not previously inspected|
|Date of previous childcare inspection||Not previously inspected|
|School address||Loose Road|
|Maidstone ME15 9UW|
|Telephone number||01622 743577|
|Fax number||01622 749230|
|Inspection date||4 June 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
The inspection was carried out by two additional inspectors.
Inspectors evaluated the overall effectiveness of the school and investigated the following issues:
Evidence was gathered from observing lessons, pupils' work, and a scrutiny of the school's documentation and progress data. Inspectors also analysed the parent questionnaires and met with senior leaders, groups of children, staff and governors.
Other aspects of the school's work were not investigated in detail.
This is a large school. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is low. The proportion of pupils from homes where English is not the first language is also low. Very few pupils are eligible for free school meals. Children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage in the Reception Year.
Overall effectiveness of the school
Loose Infants is a good school. Staff ensure that all pupils, irrespective of their background or starting point, are fully included, very happy in school and achieve well personally and academically. Staff work well with parents, carers and external agencies to promote pupils' personal development and well-being. Although the majority of parents are very happy with the school, a significant minority would like to see the partnership between parents and the school strengthened further.
Standards and achievement are good. Pupils throughout the school make good progress. Standards in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of Year 2 have improved since the last inspection and are consistently high. Pupils also attain good standards in science and information and communication technology.
Pupils' personal development is outstanding. Pupils' excellent behaviour, attitudes to learning and their relationships with one another mean that the school is a very productive and harmonious community in which boys and girls work very well together. Pupils develop a good understanding of how to stay fit and healthy. They have an excellent understanding of staying safe. Pupils take a pride in their work and achievements. They grow in confidence and maturity and play a key role in decision-making, shaping their own learning and in helping the school to run smoothly. Pupils' excellent social skills, along with their very good basic skills, mean they are exceptionally well prepared for junior school by the time they leave.
The following comment from a parent captures the strengths in the school's provision particularly well: 'I have been consistently impressed by the way that her teachers have caught my little girl's imagination, the range of subjects covered and the lovely work produced. My child has been stimulated, encouraged and nurtured!'
Good teaching is characterised by teachers' high expectations, good subject knowledge, careful planning and teaching methods that fully involve pupils and fire their imagination. Pupils' learning therefore proceeds at a good pace and pupils are active learners. Well trained support staff, in partnership with class teachers, support children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities particularly well. They provide the right level of support and timely intervention, while also ensuring that pupils gain independence and mix well with other pupils. Although teachers mark pupils' work very regularly and praise pupils' efforts, marking does not do enough to highlight how pupils' work could be improved further.
The good curriculum is very broad, practical and exciting. It ensures that pupils are motivated, challenged and successful in their learning. Staff provide many after school activities, visits, visitors, themed weeks and special events. These often involve families, broaden pupils' experiences, and promote their cultural development very well. Staff are always keen to improve the curriculum. Hence, French was introduced recently and pupils are clearly enjoying demonstrating their newly acquired skills. The current focus on making the curriculum more drama-based and enquiry-led is already having a positive impact on pupils' independence and engagement. As yet, it is too early to fully evaluate its impact on improving standards across the board, though early indications are that it is helping to improve writing standards.
Care, guidance and support are outstanding. Adults are vigilant in ensuring that pupils are well supervised and looked after. They reward children's efforts and achievements very well, listen to their views and respond to their concerns. Child protection procedures are robust and meet government requirements. Rigorous assessments, along with careful tracking of pupils' progress, mean that staff have a clear picture of pupils' academic achievements and future needs. Teachers regularly set individual learning targets for pupils and involve them in assessing their own learning. Continued good leadership and management mean the school has improved well since its last inspection and that the interests and needs of the pupils remain at the forefront of any decision making. Governors are rightly proud of the school and are keen to help it to be the best it can be. They are supportive, fully involved and provide a good level of support and challenge.
The headteacher's vision and creativity enable the school to move from strength to strength in its drive towards excellence. The assistant headteacher ably supports the headteacher. Together, they monitor teaching, standards and pupils' progress in order to improve them. Other leaders play a key role in supporting colleagues, gaining pupils' views and developing work in their subjects/areas of responsibility. They too have a good knowledge of standards and progress, but have less experience of monitoring teaching. Overall, not enough time is spent evaluating lessons. This places some limitations on the school's knowledge of the impact of some of its developments and leads to a lack of precision in school development planning. It also results in the school's evaluation of its performance in some areas being too modest and its understanding of what it might need to do to become outstanding in all areas being imprecise.
The school makes a good contribution to community cohesion. Staff understand the diverse backgrounds of families and the local community. They help pupils to develop an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of their own communities and those further afield.
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Most children joining Reception have previously attended a nursery and enter school with good disposition and attitudes to learning and skills that are generally above those usually found. A warm welcome for the children and good contacts with families before children start school ensures they settle quickly into the daily routines. A number of parents commented on the ease with which their child settled in school, noting, for example, that, 'My son has settled well into school and progressed beyond my expectations.' Children are extremely well cared for and therefore happy to leave their parents, eager to take part and confident to try new things.
Children make good progress because of their excellent attitudes to learning and the good teaching. Many children have already mastered the skills of number recognition, ordering of numbers, addition and subtracting. They can apply their phonic knowledge to reading and emergent writing activities. Children speak with confidence and in many cases show a good knowledge of their learning. Core skills are taught well, through whole class and small group activities. When children work independently or in groups, staff interact well with them to extend speaking skills, assess their learning and move it on.
The well planned curriculum includes a good mix of adult-led activities and learning opportunities that children create for themselves. During the inspection, children were very busy building castles, reading about them and creating and acting out stories of knights, princes and princesses. Use of the outdoor area has improved, particularly in three areas of learning. Children have good opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world and to foster their physical and creative development. Although free-flow access between indoors and outside is not available, due to limited space, staff share the existing outdoor space well and make good use of other outdoor spaces.
The Early Years Foundation Stage leader has been successful in leading improvements and ensuring that the new statutory requirements are being met. She has established good systems to assess and track children's progress throughout the year. She rightly recognises that parents should be more fully involved in the ongoing assessment of children's progress than they are currently, and that outdoor provision does not yet include regular learning opportunities across all the areas of learning.
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk.|
|Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate.||School Overall|
|How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of education,integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners?||2|
|Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection||Yes|
|How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being?||2|
|The capacity to make any necessary improvements||2|
|How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the EYFS?||2|
|How well do children in the EYFS achieve?||2|
|How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the children?||1|
|How effectively are children in the EYFS helped to learn and develop?||2|
|How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted?||1|
|How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed?||2|
|How well do learners achieve?||2|
|The standards¹ reached by learners||1|
|How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners||2|
|How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress||2|
|How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners?||1|
|The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||1|
|The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||1|
|The extent to which learners enjoy their education||1|
|The attendance of learners||2|
|The behaviour of learners||1|
|The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community||1|
|How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being||1|
|How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of learners' needs?||2|
|How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners?||2|
|How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?||1|
|How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners?||2|
|How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education||2|
|How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards||2|
|The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation||2|
|How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated||2|
|How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?||2|
|How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money||2|
|The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities||2|
|Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements?||Yes|
|Does this school require special measures?||No|
|Does this school require a notice to improve?||No|
5 June 2009
Inspection of Loose Infant School, Kent ME15 9UW
Thank you very much for making us welcome when we visited your school. We found that Loose Infants is a good school that helps you to make good progress and reach high standards. You told us how very much you enjoy your work and your learning and we also saw this for ourselves. When we visited your lessons, we noticed that the staff find lots of interesting things for you to do and learn. We saw you were all working very hard and listening well.
You are very confident, polite and helpful children. Your behaviour is excellent. We feel sure that your parents and teachers must be extremely proud of you. We noticed that you work and play together very well. Playtimes are very happy, busy times when you continue to learn lots of new skills. The equipment you have outside is brilliant.
The staff teach you well and look after you extremely well. You also told us that staff help you if you have any problems and that you feel very safe in school. You help the staff to make sure the school runs smoothly.
Your headteacher and the staff are always working hard to make improvements to your school and involve you in deciding what can be improved. We have asked them to think about what else they might do to make your school even better and carefully plan for this. We have asked the teachers in Reception to plan more activities outside and to find out from parents what the children learn at home. You can help by doing your best and continuing to take good care of each other, so that your school continues to be a very happy place.