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Good progress recognised at Gordon Infant School

Date: 17/11/2008           Category: Learning and Achievement

A Strood Infant school has been commended by Ofsted Inspectors for its varied curriculum, supportive staff, and improved results. Staff at Gordon Infant School are committed and determined to provide the best possible education, which has enabled the school to make good progress since the last inspection and continues to drive it forward. This is reflected in rising results and the improved Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) provision where stimulating teaching and imaginative resources help the children to settle quickly and get off to a strong start. The vast majority of parents are very supportive of the school’s efforts for their children. One parent observed, “All the staff show a genuine interest and care for the children, recognising that each one is an individual”. Good care arrangements and a philosophy that every child matters enable the pupils to feel confident and secure. Pupils get on well together, enjoy school and have respectful relationships with staff. They practise safe and healthy living, for example enjoying the good opportunities on offer for sport. They eagerly undertake minor responsibilities and, together with their recycling awareness, contribute well to the school and local community. A particular strength of the school is the calm way in which staff manage pupils who have severe emotional problems so that the education of other pupils is not affected. The ready-to-learn group prepares children well for gradual integration or re-integration into mainstream classrooms and ensures that they focus on learning. The school’s good links with specialist support services ensure that the staff receive the best possible advice for these pupils. Pupils achieve well from starting points that are below the level expected overall in reaching average standards by the end of Year 2. Good teaching and a well planned curriculum support this good progress. However, girls attain more highly than the boys, especially in writing. The school’s good efforts, such as a range of male visitors who have demonstrated how writing is important to them, have encouraged boys to try harder in this aspect of work. Boys’ writing results in 2008 were better than in previous years, but there is still scope for further improvement to interest them in writing and to improve their skills further. The school has brought improvements to the curriculum by making links between subjects and this has added interest to pupils’ learning. Teachers make the curriculum varied, for example using drama to reinforce previous learning. However, there are not enough opportunities for pupils to use computers in lessons in different subjects to support the development of their information and communication technology (ICT) skills. The governing body plays an effective role in the school’s life. Not only is it supportive but it questions and probes, which helps to keep the staff alert about standards and the progress of development initiatives. Headteacher Andrea Carter has been recognised by the report for her leadership skills. Her strong partnership with the deputy headteacher and their effective monitoring of provision keep the school focused on improvements and the progress that each pupil is making. The school demonstrates a good capacity for further improvement. Andrea said, “I am delighted with the recent report that clearly recognises the efforts of all members of our team. Our pupils are enthusiastic and caring. Our dedicated staff members recognise the enormous ability of our children and working with parent and carers, strive to enable each child to reach their full potential. This report is however just the starting point for us and we have already taken action to ensure that we continue to build on these good foundations, raising standards even further. As our vision statement declares: Gordon Infants is a once in a lifetime experience, every day!” Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks said: “This is a very encouraging report and I am confident that the staff at Gordon Infant School can build on the areas for improvement which have been highlighted and continue to raise standards and levels of achievement”. Medway Council’s Director of Children Services Rose Collinson said “Every child really does matter at Gordon and I'm delighted that the Ofsted team have recognised the strengths of Andrea and her team in making sure that each and every child is the most resilient learner she or he can be, feels safe and makes good progress. My congratulations to the whole school team”.' ENDS Gordon Infants School is in Gordon Road, Strood, Rochester. It cares for 171 children aged 4 to 7. The headteacher is Andrea Carter. The inspection took place on 15 and 16 October. Media invite: You are welcome to visit the school for photographs on Wednesday, 19 November during school hours, or Thursday, 20 November after 1pm. Please phone Headteacher Andrea Carter in advance on 01634 717423