South Petherton Church of England Infants School
phone: 01460 240750
headteacher: Mrs Lisa Farley
90 pupils capacity: 111% full
40 boys 40%
60 girls 60%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
Primary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Church of England
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 343284, Northing: 116845
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 50.948, Longitude: -2.8087
- Accepting pupils
- 5—7 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Dec. 3, 2013
- Diocese of Bath and Wells
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South West › Yeovil › South Petherton
- Town and Fringe - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.3 miles South Petherton Junior School TA135AG (124 pupils)
- 1.9 mile Shepton Beauchamp Church of England Primary School TA190LQ (38 pupils)
- 2 miles Kingsbury Episcopi Primary School TA126BP (137 pupils)
- 2.3 miles Norton-sub-Hamdon Church of England Primary School TA146SF (119 pupils)
- 2.3 miles Martock Church of England VA Primary School TA126EF (231 pupils)
- 2.6 miles Merriott First School TA165PT (114 pupils)
- 2.7 miles Castle Primary School TA146RE (145 pupils)
- 2.8 miles Hinton St George Church of England School TA178SA (47 pupils)
- 3 miles West Chinnock Church of England Primary School TA187PT (48 pupils)
- 3.5 miles Ash Church of England Primary School TA126NS (164 pupils)
- 3.5 miles Stanchester Community School TA146UG
- 3.5 miles Stanchester Academy TA146UG (667 pupils)
- 3.6 miles Hambridge Community Primary School TA100AZ (136 pupils)
- 4 miles Montacute CofE Primary School TA156UU
- 4.1 miles All Saints Church of England Primary School TA156XG (209 pupils)
- 4.1 miles Dillington House TA199DT
- 4.3 miles Ashlands Church of England First School TA187AL (100 pupils)
- 4.3 miles Wadham School TA187NT (661 pupils)
- 4.3 miles St Martin's School TA187HY
- 4.4 miles Haselbury Plucknett Church of England First School TA187RQ (44 pupils)
- 4.4 miles Elstar (Sedgemoor) TA199DX
- 4.4 miles Sedgemoor College (Boys') TA199DX
- 4.5 miles St Margaret's School, Tintinhull BA228PX (101 pupils)
- 4.6 miles Odcombe CofE VA Primary School BA228UL
South Petherton Church of
England Infants School
Church Path, Hele Lane, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5DY
|Inspection dates||3–4 December 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
| Pupils make an excellent start to their |
Teachers use their excellent knowledge of
The marking of pupils’ work is outstanding.
education. By the end of Year 2, their
attainment in all subjects is above average.
Teachers offer the right degree of support
and challenge to all groups of pupils, so
progress is consistently excellent, including
for those supported by pupil premium
funding. This represents outstanding
pupils’ interests and needs to prepare
engaging learning experiences. Lessons are
purposeful and fun. Pupils show a great
appetite for learning and listen closely to
what teachers say. This means they get on
with their tasks enthusiastically and their
learning is outstanding. Very occasionally,
planning lacks the required detail and lessons
do not run as smoothly as they should.
Pupils’ efforts receive detailed comments that
offer both praise and constructive advice.
Time is offered for pupils to read these
comments and act on them, this has a very
positive impact on their progress.
| Excellent behaviour is the norm. Pupils say |
The headteacher’s quiet determination and
The governing body undertakes regular checks
they feel safe and happy at school and know
they are well cared for. Relationships between
pupils and with adults are almost universally
excellent; as one pupil reported, ‘Bullying very
commitment to the school’s policy of ‘growing
together’ have been fully adopted by all
members of the staff team. Checks on teaching
and pupils’ progress are accurate and have led
to a relentless drive to raise standards. The
school has made positive strides since its
previous inspection and its plans for the future
are relevant and achievable.
on all aspects of school life. Members’ analysis
of this information enables the governors to
ask challenging questions of school leaders and
to participate fully in the school’s decision-
Information about this inspection
- The inspector visited eight lessons taught by four teachers and undertook four joint observations
with the headteacher.
- Discussions were held with pupils, teachers, the headteacher, parents and carers,
representatives of the governing body and a local authority officer.
- The inspector examined numerous school documents, including policies, assessment
information, planning documents and records of all kinds.
- The views of 24 parents were analysed through the Parent View website.
|John Carnaghan, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- This is a smaller-than-average-sized infants school.
- The proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium (additional funding for looked after
children, pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and those from service families) is
below the national average.
- Almost all pupils are of White British origin and speak English as their first language.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported
through school action is average. The proportion of pupils supported at school action plus or
with a statement of special educational needs is below average.
- The school does not use any alternative provision for its pupils (lessons that take place regularly
away from school).
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve teaching further so it always promotes rapid progress by ensuring that lessons in all
subjects are thoroughly planned to provide the optimum pace and challenge to all groups of
|The achievement of pupils||is outstanding|
- Children make a good start to their education in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Positive links
with local pre-schools ensure children’s needs and aptitudes are well known when the children
arrive in the Reception classes. Careful planning ensures very well-organised lessons and
provides the correct support to each child. This helps all groups make excellent progress.
- Children in the Reception classes quickly start to identify letters and begin to read. They soon
start to develop an understanding of numbers and how they work. As well as rapidly gaining
these basic skills, children develop good learning habits that prepare them very effectively for
more formal education as they enter the National Curriculum. For example, they learn to share,
to work together and to be independent when required.
- The pattern of excellent teaching continues in Key Stage 1. Skilled teaching assistants are
perceptively deployed to offer support where it is most needed. This plays a significant part in
ensuring that the most able pupils are kept at full stretch and those who need additional help
receive it. One positive outcome of the challenge for the most able is the above-average
proportions of pupils gaining high levels in end of Year 2 national assessments in reading,
writing and mathematics.
- Attainment in mathematics has historically lagged a little behind that in reading and writing. The
school has acted to improve mathematics teaching, particularly through training both teachers
and teaching assistants. There has been a steady rise in mathematics attainment in the past
three years and it is now above average, as it is in reading and writing. When compared with
national averages, pupils’ progress is exceptionally strong in all three subjects.
- The way reading is promoted across the school is a considerable strength. Pupils are given every
encouragement and opportunity to read a variety of texts and, typically, quickly become
confident in handling books and familiar with the printed word. Their attainment, as
demonstrated in the national Year 1 screening check, is well above average.
- Given their starting points, this pattern of consistently above average attainment represents
outstanding achievement for all groups of pupils.
- Pupils in receipt of additional funding (the pupil premium) benefit from well-targeted extra
resources. Principally, they gain from increased small group support from teaching assistants.
The school keeps very careful records of the impact of such interventions and of the other
support offered. These clearly indicate that this group achieve as well as their peers and that the
attainment gap to other pupils in the school is closing. In 2013, this group was approximately
two terms behind their peers in writing and mathematics and a little more than this in reading.
- Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs benefit from the school staff’s in-depth
understanding of their needs and the well-judged support they receive. This ensures that their
achievement is consistent with other pupils. In this way, the school ensures equality of
opportunity and that there is no discrimination.
- Pupils’ achievement in physical education is improving; it benefits from additional funds available
from the primary school sport funding initiative. Well-qualified sports coaches teach sessions to
pupils and train staff. The funds also permit the school to offer additional sporting opportunities
to pupils in a local gymnasium.
|The quality of teaching||is outstanding|
- Teaching is of an exceptionally high standard and, typically, classrooms are very good places to
learn. Positive relationships promote a ‘can do’ atmosphere where adults and pupils work
together very effectively to ensure rapid, sustained progress.
- A fundamental strength to teaching is the excellent marking of pupils’ books. Much of pupils’
work is marked promptly and in depth. This has two significant benefits; firstly, pupils know how
well they are doing and how to improve their work; secondly, teachers have an in-depth
understanding of how well each pupil is learning and this enables them to adjust their teaching
to meet each pupil’s needs.
- Teachers use this and other assessment information to plan lessons that offer the correct degree
of challenge and support to all. This invariably involves deploying the skilled teaching assistants
to help those in the greatest need, whether they are struggling to learn or require additional
challenges to reach higher attainment levels. Most lessons are planned in depth, especially in
English and mathematics. However, sometimes planning in other subjects is less detailed and,
on a few occasions, these lessons are less pacy and challenging.
- Confident, authoritative teaching from teachers and teaching assistants is the norm. Pupils enjoy
learning because teachers prepare varied, stimulating activities with good resources that run at a
brisk pace. Staff make what is to be learned crystal clear and pupils happily strive to meet
teachers’ high expectations. The imaginative use of homework from the Reception year onwards
promotes independence, a love of learning and involves parents constructively in their children’s
- Teachers question pupils throughout lessons to check and develop their understanding.
Interactions with pupils are warm and supportive; teachers are models of courteous behaviour,
fostering good relationships. Pupils reflect this with their kindness to one another and their very
evident enjoyment of working together. They are quick to support and applaud the efforts of
- An outstanding Year 2 mathematics lesson typified many of the strengths of teaching. Four
levels of addition and subtraction tasks ensured all pupils were well challenged and four adults
ensured each group had additional assistance close at hand. The closing session for the whole
class consolidated and extended learning very well, with brisk tasks followed by a ‘test question’
that enabled the teacher to check on the excellence of all pupils’ progress.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- Pupils have almost universally positive attitudes to their work and display a strong love of
learning. This has a very favourable impact on their progress, particularly because it means
there are no disturbances to the smooth running of lessons.
- Behaviour in lessons, around the building, in the dining hall and on the school playgrounds is
generally impeccable. Close relationships exist between pupils and with all adults. For example,
lunchtime staff have been trained to lead play at lunchtime, and do so with enthusiasm, giving
many pupils good opportunities to ‘let off steam’ before settling down to learning again.
- Pupils report they are very happy at school; this view is fully supported by parents and staff.
One pupil reported, ‘Its very kind here, everyone is kind.’ They appreciate the school’s method of
sanctions and rewards to keep everyone behaving well, and report teachers are helpful, saying,
‘We always have fun at our school.’
- Pupils have a very good knowledge of how to stay safe, appropriate to their age. They know
how to take care on the narrow country lanes around the school and are aware of the potential
risks of the internet. They show a very strong understanding of how bullying can make lives a
misery, but report that it is virtually unknown in any form at the school.
|The leadership and management||are outstanding|
- The headteacher’s reflective, yet rigorous, approach to school improvement is fully adopted by
all staff. Accurate checks are rapidly followed up to address concerns. The school uses its good
understanding of its pupils and itself to plan effectively for the future. It receives good support
from the local authority and has the capacity for continuing improvement.
- Regular, accurate checks are made on pupils’ attainment. These are carefully recorded and
trends identified, often using colour coding to identify where progress is rapid or slow. Staff
routinely act on this information. Meeting as a team, they identify where individuals may be
causing concern and establish what should be done. In many instances, blips in progress initiate
additional support. The impact of these actions is carefully followed up to ensure that they have
been effective. The data is also used to hold teachers to account for ‘their’ pupils’ progress.
- Teaching and learning are also subject to thorough checks. Lessons are regularly observed and
are often used to trigger support and training for individual staff. This has ‘raised the bar’ for
teaching and all staff now strive for excellence, so many lessons are outstanding. There has also
been a positive impact on the skills and confidence of teaching assistants, who make a major
contribution to ensuring that all groups of pupils achieve their optimum.
- Parents and carers are most satisfied with the school and have no significant concerns. Many
report that the school and its staff are very open about its activities; they appreciate
opportunities provided by the parents’ forum to express their views and ask questions. Staff
express great pride in what they regard as their school.
- The mixture of subjects and activities the school offers is well suited to pupils’ tastes and needs.
Joint planning by all staff ensures that topics are interesting and adaptable to pupils’ views as
they grow. The school promotes good links with the village; for example, the ‘visit’ of a dragon
to South Petherton was embraced by the local library and shops and promoted very good
opportunities for pupils to write imaginatively.
- Visits to places of educational interest near and far, including London, broaden pupils’ horizons.
An ‘out and about club’ helps selected pupils learn to cope with the wider world. The school also
provides a good range of sporting opportunities, both during the school day and from a number
of after-school clubs.
- Opportunities for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are carefully planned.
Assemblies take the lead in introducing themes such as caring for others, and these are followed
up in lessons. Pupils are actively encouraged to reflect on others and their plight.
- The school raises money to support a school in Africa and is developing links with this school
and another in West London. Religious festivals are marked and celebrated, promoting a better
understanding of the multicultural nature of the country in this predominantly White British area.
- The governance of the school:
Members of the governing body use a variety of methods to maintain an up-to-date picture of
the school. Checks on teaching keep them well informed about the quality of lessons and they
are well aware of the links between teachers’ performance and their pay progression. Good
training enables governors to fully understand the numerous sources of information about
pupils’ achievement and they know where their achievement stands in relation to national
averages. The governing body is involved in the allocation of pupil premium funds; the
governors follow this up carefully to check on the results and to ensure that it gives the best
possible value for money. Well-managed systems enable governors to maintain a close check
on health and safety and help to ensure that the school meets all safeguarding requirements.
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||123854|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Infants|
|School category||Voluntary aided|
|Age range of pupils||4–7|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||99|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||16 September 2008|
|Telephone number||01460 240750|
|Fax number||01460 241316|