OFSTED Headteacher letter to Parents/Carers 18th November 2021
As you know, a few weeks ago, the school had its Ofsted inspection. We have been waiting for this for 14 years! During this time, there have been many versions of the inspection framework and, indeed, a different national curriculum. We weren’t sure fully what to expect, but found the two days to be rigorous, challenging and professionally rewarding.
Our inspection was a Section 5. This means all areas of the inspection framework are assessed and graded. A Section 8 inspection, which many schools will have, only focuses on one area, the Quality of Education. So, we are pleased that all areas of school have been looked at and in depth judgements made.
We are very pleased with the outcome of our inspection and you will be able to read more about the inspector’s judgements in the published report. During the feedback from the lead inspector we were told that much of the detail is omitted from the final report because of constraints on the number of words for each section. As so many positive comments were made, I just wanted to share some with you.
The inspectors found our children to be very well behaved, kind and courteous and, through internalising the schools Christian ethos values, were developing their own strong moral compass. Children responded well to our high expectations and showed high levels of self-worth and self-respect. It was felt that character development is a real strength of the school. This validates the belief we have in our children, the integrity they show and how important this is as a crucial element of a child’s journey through school.
The inspectors realised the ambition within our Integrated Curriculum commenting on how it helped children connect their learning in one subject with another, giving them a better understanding of the world around them. No only this, but the opportunity for children’s personal growth was seen as central to their learning.
Inspectors looked at several subjects in depth and were impressed, particularly with our history, science and geography. These have been the focus of our work over the past few years and teachers have really developed a coherent and exciting curriculum to spark children’s interest and challenge their ideas. We are currently developing some of the other subjects to ensure that this high level is reflected across the whole curriculum. In our strategic plan we have set out the detail of our work and inspectors could see that, although there was a little way to go, the pathway was strong and would shortly realise our ambitions.
In the Early Years, the inspector praised the team for the amazing environment they had created, the range of exciting and engaging opportunities and the level of knowledge and skill in teaching these young children. This year, the new Early Years curriculum has been brought in by the government and every school is on a new journey to embed these new expectations. Although we have high aspirations and a thorough plan, as yet this curriculum is not fully embedded but the inspector commented that it’s ‘not exceptional yet but it won’t be long’.
I am immensely proud of my staff team and all that we have achieved together. This inspection fully validates all that we believe and the hard work we have put into it. We have worked on developing leadership at all levels and this grade of ‘outstanding’ for leadership and management is confirmation of all the hard work and dedication staff, leaders and governors have shown.
Ringwood CE Infant School strives to give all its children the best education that is possible. As they develop as rounded individuals in a climate which is safe, secure and enabling, we know that we are providing the firm foundations for their future lives. We know they will look back on their infant education with fondness, knowing they have each made a personal commitment.
We would like to thank you for your continued support, your positive comments in our parent’s survey and we hope you enjoy reading this report knowing a little more of the background.
Hilary Silk Jane Warwick Dani Davies
Head Teacher Co-Chair of Governors Co-Chair of Governors