School etc

St George's Church of England Infant School

St George's Church of England Infant School
White Lion Road

phone: 01494 762552

headteacher: Mr Toby Long


school holidays: via Buckinghamshire council

180 pupils aged 4—6y mixed gender
180 pupils capacity: 100% full

80 boys 44%


100 girls 56%


Last updated: June 19, 2014

Primary — Voluntary Controlled School

Education phase
Religious character
Church of England
Establishment type
Voluntary Controlled School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 497523, Northing: 197994
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.672, Longitude: -0.59111
Accepting pupils
4—7 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
May 30, 2012
Diocese of Oxford
Region › Const. › Ward
South East › Chesham and Amersham › Amersham Common
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %

rooms to rent in Amersham

Schools nearby

  1. 0.2 miles Stony Dean School HP79JW (169 pupils)
  2. 0.2 miles Raans Secondary School HP66LX
  3. 0.2 miles Amersham and Wycombe College HP79HN
  4. 0.3 miles Henry Allen Nursery School HP66NW (61 pupils)
  5. 0.3 miles Woodside Junior School HP66NW (133 pupils)
  6. 0.3 miles Amersham School HP79HH
  7. 0.3 miles Amersham School HP79HH (880 pupils)
  8. 0.4 miles Brudenell Girls' School HP79HH
  9. 0.6 miles Home Tuition Service HP65BY
  10. 0.7 miles Chestnut Lane School HP66EF (189 pupils)
  11. 0.8 miles The Oaks Pupil Referral Unit HP66EG
  12. 0.8 miles Bell Lane Combined School HP66PF
  13. 0.8 miles Elangeni School HP66EG (239 pupils)
  14. 0.8 miles Dr Challoner's Grammar School HP65HA
  15. 0.8 miles Dr Challoner's Grammar School HP65HA (1297 pupils)
  16. 0.8 miles Chalfont Valley E-ACT Primary Academy HP66PF (112 pupils)
  17. 1 mile Dr Challoner's High School HP79QB
  18. 1 mile Dr Challoner's High School HP79QB (1071 pupils)
  19. 1.1 mile Heatherton House School HP65QB (131 pupils)
  20. 1.2 mile Chesham Bois Church of England Combined School HP66DE (213 pupils)
  21. 1.3 mile St Mary's CofE Primary School, Amersham HP70EL (334 pupils)
  22. 1.5 mile The Beacon School HP65PF (496 pupils)
  23. 1.6 mile Little Chalfont Primary School HP66SX (227 pupils)
  24. 1.6 mile Our Lady's Catholic Primary School HP65PL (204 pupils)

List of schools in Amersham

Age group 4–7
Inspection date(s) 30–31 May 2012
Inspection number 378098

St George’s Church of England Infant


Inspection report

Unique reference number 110424
Local authority Buckinghamshire
Inspection number 378098
Inspection dates 30–31 May 2012
Lead inspector Wendy Ratcliff HMI

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

Type of school Infant
School category Voluntary controlled
Age range of pupils 4–7
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 145
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Mr David Kirchheimer
Headteacher Mr Toby Long (Acting Headteacher)
Date of previous school inspection 22–23 March 2007
School address White Lion Road
Telephone number 01494 762552
Fax number 01494 765615
Email address reveal email: off…

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Inspection team

Wendy Ratcliff Her Majesty’s Inspector

This inspection was carried out with two days notice. The inspector visited ten
lessons taught by six teachers and their teaching support staff. Eight of these were
joint observations with the acting headteacher. Observations included teaching
during child-initiated activities when children move freely between activities both
indoors and outdoors, and small groups of focused teaching and four group phonics
(linking letters with the sounds they make) sessions led by teachers and teaching
support staff. The inspector listened to pupils from Year 1 and Year 2 reading.
Meetings were held with a group of Key Stage 1 pupils, representatives from the

governing body and school staff. The inspector observed the school’s work, and

looked at relevant documentation, including data on pupils’ attainment, progress and

attendance, the school development plan, key policies and evidence of the school’s

monitoring. The inspector took account of the responses to the on-line questionnaire
(Parent View) in planning the inspection. She analysed 109 paper questionnaires
from parents and carers and 21 completed by staff.

Information about the school

St George’s Church of England Infant School is a smaller than average school. The

majority of pupils are from White British backgrounds and around a quarter come
from minority ethnic groups. Around 17% of pupils speak English as an additional
language. Pupils come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. The proportion
of children known to be eligible for free school meals is below average.
The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs supported
at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is similar to
that found in other schools. The numbers of pupils attending the school has
increased over time and continues to grow. The acting headteacher was appointed in
September 2010.
A new classroom is currently being built and is due to open for September 2012. The
number of pupils on roll will potentially increase from 145 to 180.
There is registered early years provision on the school site, which includes before
and after school sessions for pupils of the school. This provision is run by a private
provider and does not form part of this inspection.

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness 2
Achievement of pupils 2
Quality of teaching 2
Behaviour and safety of pupils 2
Leadership and management 2

Key findings

  • This is a good school. Good leadership and management have brought about
    secure improvements after a dip in Key Stage 1 results following the last
    inspection and, as a result, pupils’ attainment is rising well. The school is not
    yet outstanding as higher ability pupils are not making sufficiently good rates of
    progress and monitoring of the school’s work by middle leaders is not fully
  • Pupils’ achievement is good. Pupils are confident, enthusiastic learners who
    work hard. They make good progress in lessons and overtime. Some groups of
    pupils who had not attained as well in the past are now making accelerated
    progress as a result of the school’s actions, and are reaching the same level of
    attainment as their peers nationally.
  • Teaching is good overall. Many lessons are exciting and capture pupils’ interests
    well. Most teachers convey clear expectations of learning. Tasks and activities
    are often well matched to the wide range of ability within each class. However,
    activities are not consistently challenging for more able pupils and do not
    always encourage independent learning.
  • Pupils’ behaviour is consistently good, both in lessons and around the school.
    They are polite and courteous. Pupils show a mature understanding of their
    school values and have many opportunities to explore their meaning; for
    example, pupils show compassion towards each other. Pupils feel safe and
    instances of bullying are rare.
  • The acting headteacher has gained the support of the whole school community
    to drive improvement. ‘The school has had a burst of energy with the new
    head’ is just one typical comment shared by a parent. Although good overall,
    the leadership of teaching and the management of performance are not
    outstanding because there is some variation in the contribution of middle
    leaders to these aspects and how effectively groups of pupils’ progress is
    tracked across subjects.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Sharpen the focus of middle leaders in the monitoring and evaluation of
    teaching and learning in their subject area and across the school by:
    making full and effective use of the pupil tracking data to ensure all pupils
    are achieving to the best of their ability
    ensuring all teaching progresses towards outstanding by eliminating
    inconsistent practice.
  • Improve the progress of more able pupils by ensuring that work is better
    matched to their abilities and provides more challenging activities to encourage
    independent learning.

Main report

Achievement of pupils

Parents and carers are right to be delighted with how the school meets their child’s

individual needs and the progress their children are making. One parent reported,

‘Our daughter is thriving and we are really pleased with the care and level of

education she is receiving.’
Pupils make good progress over time from their starting points and achieve broadly
average standards in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Key Stage 1.
Achievement is good because teachers know the capabilities of their pupils well and
systematically build on their basic skills as they move up through the school. Most
children start school with skills that are similar to those expected for their age,
although this has varied in previous years, where skills were typically lower than
expected. Pupils make good progress through the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Outcomes at the end of Reception Year are improving year on year because teachers
ensure both the indoor and outdoor learning environments are well planned, exciting

and based on pupils’ interests. For example, the children’s imagination was captured

as they built their castle and took different roles such as knights, princesses,

scoundrels and a ‘guard spy’. Children considered how they could make the stairs of

the castle more stable and worked cooperatively with large blocks, crates and planks

to make stairs that did not ‘wobble’.

By the time they start Year 1, children’s skills have improved and are now better than

those expected for their age. Pupils’ good progress continues through Key Stage 1,

where they remain enthusiastic about learning, particularly in reading and writing. In
one lesson, pupils were keen to act out their conversation between two characters in
preparation for writing a story. Pupils make good progress in reading as a result of a
rigorous programme to teach phonics. Pupils enjoy reading and use their acquired
skills for decoding well in order to read new words. Pupils’ work reflects the good
progress that is now being made in writing due to increased opportunities to write
across the curriculum.

Adults know the pupils well and quickly identify when pupils require additional
support. Disabled pupils, those with special educational needs and those pupils with
English as an additional language benefit from small group intervention and make
good progress from their starting points. The difference between the attainment of
different groups of pupils such as those eligible for free school meals has closed over
time. However, although more able pupils do reach above average standards in
mathematics, reading and writing, they do not make as much progress as their peers
from their higher starting points.

Quality of teaching

Teaching is good and parents and carers agree. Adults in the Early Years Foundation
Stage demonstrate a secure understanding of how children learn. Assessment is
used well to check progress and inform teaching. For example, there is a focus on
encouraging creative development as it is recognised that not all children are
confident in this aspect of learning. Staff ensure there is a good balance of child-
initiated and adult-led activities, which encourages children to make choices in their
Teachers are enthusiastic and motivate pupils through well-planned projects that

capture the pupils’ interest, such as ‘World Week’. Pupils are keen to research and

explore the different cultures and traditions from the country from which their class
name originates, such as Paris, Sydney or Beijing class. Effective teaching of phonics
is enabling pupils to use their developing skills in reading as they carry out such
In the vast majority of lessons, work is well matched to pupils’ needs because staff

make accurate assessments of pupils’ learning and engage them well. For example,

in a Year 2 lesson, the pupils were totally absorbed in calculating the price of clown
fish using partitioning as they purchased items from the pet shop. However, on
occasions, there is a lack of challenge and expectation for the most able pupils to
encourage independent learning.

The school’s active promotion of pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural

development is evident in lessons as teachers have high expectations with regard to
behaviour, cooperation and teamwork. In a mixed Year 1 and 2 class, pupils had the
opportunity to explore values and beliefs and discuss forgiveness.
Teaching assistants play a key role in providing one-to-one support in class for those
learners with particular learning needs as well as leading small group intervention
sessions. Such support is having a significant impact on the progress made by
disabled pupils and those with special educational needs and pupils who speak
English as an additional language. One parent commented, ‘My child has a statement

of special needs and St George’s has been excellent at recognising and addressing

his needs.’
Pupils are developing skills in assessing their own work as they use a traffic light

system to let their teacher know if they found the work easy, difficult or needed help.
The majority of pupils know their targets for writing and refer to the lesson objective

in mathematics. Teachers mark pupils’ work regularly and provide child-friendly

comments that inform pupils what they have done well and what they need to
improve. However, this practice is not consistently applied across classes and subject

Behaviour and safety of pupils

All parents and carers consider their children are well looked after and the inspector

agrees with their views. One parent wrote, ‘I think this is a wonderful school with
teachers and staff who really care about their pupils.’ Expectations of pupils’

behaviour are high and pupils were observed to behave extremely well during

collective worship and the country dancing in celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee.

Discussions with pupils show good behaviour to be typical.
Pupils enthusiastically told the inspector that they get on well together and enjoy
school life. Pupils have positive relationships with adults who provide very positive

role models. Adults raise pupils’ awareness of the effects of behaviour on others and

provide reminders to take turns and consider the feelings of others. Children in

Reception class referred to being ‘really nice friends’ as they took turns during role

play. Year 2 pupils take their responsibility in escorting Reception children safely back
to their class after phonics sessions extremely seriously.
The school deals effectively with any incident of poor behaviour. Interventions such
as the nurture group and social skills group contribute to the improvement of
behaviour over time as pupils extend their personal, social and emotional
development. Pupils say they feel safe and clearly articulated their anti-bullying

charter and explained how ‘bullying is cruel not cool’. They know who to speak to if

they have concerns.
Pupils are keen to attend school. Although attendance is average, it is improving
quickly. New strategies to monitor and encourage regular attendance are applied
with rigour. The governing body are proactive in reminding parents and carers about

the importance of regular attendance. This is celebrated through ‘star attendance’ in

weekly newsletters and the presentation of certificates of attendance.

Leadership and management

The acting headteacher is very much at the heart of the school’s recent success.
Leaders have a very clear grasp of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. Their

focus on improving teaching and learning of different groups of pupils, underpinned

by effective management of teachers’ performance, has resulted in well-targeted
support to enhance most pupils’ progress. This illustrates the school’s good capacity

for further improvement.

The school has correctly identified the need to support middle leaders to embed their
roles. They recognise the need to sharpen their focus in the monitoring and
evaluation of teaching and learning across the school and use this information to

eliminate inconsistencies in teaching and accelerate pupils’ progress further. For

example, progress meetings are currently held each term and whilst these have been
successful in providing additional support for pupils who are in danger of

underachieving and enabled gaps between groups to close, the school is now

considering the timing and frequency of such meetings to ensure interventions are
even more rapid.
The governing body are highly supportive and challenge the school. They are fully
engaged in school life and have helped the school to move forward. All requirements

for ensuring children’s health, well-being and safeguarding are in place, regularly

reviewed and effectively implemented. The school works with outside agencies to
ensure families and their children receive the correct level of support.
The school promotes equality and tackles discrimination well. Careful adaptations are

made so all pupils have equal access to the curriculum. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social

and cultural development is enhanced through a curriculum that develops an ethos
where all pupils can grow and flourish, respect others and be respected. Enrichment
activities are good, such as a visit by the Black Hole Planetarium to support Year 1

and 2’s project on space and the planets. The school has developed good
partnerships with other schools in order to promote pupils’ understanding of a

socially varied Britain.
The school has promoted links with parents and carers by delivering workshops on
literacy and behaviour. Parents and carers appreciate the work of the staff. One

parent wrote, ‘Teachers at St George’s are extremely committed and spend a lot of
time planning fun events for the children. They are very accessible.’


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

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 46 46 8 0
Primary schools 8 47 40 5
14 38 40 8
Special schools 28 48 20 4
Pupil referral
15 50 29 5
All schools 11 46 38 6

New school inspection arrangements have been introduced from 1 Jan uary 2012. This means that
inspectors make judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011 and represent
judgements that were made under the school inspection arrangements that wer e introduced on 1
September 2009. These data are consistent with the latest published official statistics about
maintained school inspection outcomes (see
The sample of schools inspected during 2010/11 was not representative of all schools nationally, as
weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Primary schools include primary academy converters. Secondary schools include secondary academy
converters, sponsor-led academies and city technology colleges. Special schools include special
academy converters and non-maintained special schools.

Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their

learning and development taking account of their

Attainment: the standard of the pupils’ work shown by test and

examination results and in lessons.

Attendance the regular attendance of pupils at school and in

lessons, taking into account the school’s efforts to
encourage good attendance.

Behaviour how well pupils behave in lessons, with emphasis

on their attitude to learning. Pupils’ punctuality to

lessons and their conduct around the school.

Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue

improving based on its self-evaluation and 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 governors and 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.

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.

Safety how safe pupils are in school, including in lessons;

and their understanding of risks. Pupils’ freedom

from bullying and harassment. How well the school
promotes safety, for example e-learning.

1 June 2012
Dear Pupils

Inspection of St George’s Church of England Infant School, Amersham HP7

Thank you for being so friendly and helpful when I came to visit your school. I very
much enjoyed my visit, talking to you and all the adults, and seeing the exciting
things that you do. I particularly enjoyed your country dancing and singing as you

celebrated the Queen’s jubilee. Your school is a good place to learn. Here are some

of the reasons why.

  • You make good progress in your learning because you are taught well.
  • You work hard in lessons and enjoy the exciting activities that the adults plan
    for you.
  • You behave very well and get on very well with each other.
  • All the adults take very good care of you and help you to learn.

Your headteacher and adults are determined to help you do the best you can in your
learning and they know what they need to improve. I have asked them to:

  • raise attainment and improve progress for the more able pupils
  • improve how the school checks on how well things are working in different
  • improve their teaching so you can learn as much as you can.

I know you will continue to work hard and do your best. Thank you for a very
enjoyable visit, and best wishes for your future.
Yours sincerely
Wendy Ratcliff
Her Majesty's Inspector


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