Infant school provides an ‘outstanding’ education

AN infant school is celebrating receiving an ‘outstanding’ rating from the education watchdog.

Inspectors from Ofsted visited Bromley Heath Infant School over two days in January and their report, published in March, praised the school’s “inspirational” leaders, “passionate and knowledgeable” staff, and pupils who learn “exceptionally well”.

The inspectors rated the school in Quakers Road as ‘outstanding’ in every area – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and early years provision.

Inspectors Angela Folland and Lizzie Lethbridge said: “Bromley Heath’s motto ‘be the best you can be’ is visible in every aspect of school life.

“Pupils learn exceptionally well from the moment they start school and consistently rise to the high expectations that adults have of them.

“Pupils show respect for one another at all times. They listen carefully to each other’s contributions in lessons. During breaktimes, they play harmoniously, enjoying the wide range of activities available.”

The inspectors praised the curriculum, which they said was “designed to give all pupils the knowledge, values and life skills they need to be successful in the future”.

They highlighted the school’s success in linking different subjects to reinforce knowledge, giving an example of using pupils’ learning about Bristol’s geography to help lessons on history, and use of ‘play projects’ to help children apply their knowledge practically.

Successful techniques in ensuring pupils learn to read well had been used to create a “secure and consistent way” of developing numeracy skills.

The inspectors praised the leadership of head teacher Abigail Perry-Hodge and chair of governors Shelley Humphries, saying: “Leaders at all levels, including governors, are inspirational.

“Their full focus is on making sure that every pupil gets the very best education possible.

“Staff are proud to work at this school, where they feel encouraged and supported.”

It is the first time the school, which has 180 pupils aged from four to seven, has been given an outstanding rating.

It had previously been rated ‘good’ in all its inspections, but at its last shorter visit in 2019 Ofsted found evidence of significant improvement under previous head Tina Long and recommended a longer inspection this time around, to take “deep dives” into some subject areas.

Mrs Perry-Hodge said she was proud of the report, and particularly pleased that the inspectors noted the school’s focus on children’s personal development.

She said: “The outcome is thanks to a truly dedicated, hard-working and creative staff team, who work exceptionally well together and always try to make every day that little bit better, as well as the amazing children, who are so enthusiastic about their learning and really make the school the fantastic place it is.

Mrs Perry-Hodge also thanked the school’s “active and supportive” parents, the governing body and contributions of her predecessor, Mrs Long.

She said: “Whilst we are all delighted with the result, we will continue just as we have before, making the children’s journey the best it can be.”