Date: 02/12/2008 Category: Learning and Achievement
The curriculum at Hempstead Junior School has been described as “outstanding” following the school’s recent Ofsted inspection. You are invited to send a photographer and/or reporter to the school in Birch Grove, Hempstead, Gillingham on Monday, 8 December at 9am to meet the pupils and staff at work. There are 339 pupils aged 7 to 11 years old. The report states pupils “appreciate the excellent opportunities they have to work practically and to learn through first hand experiences”. This means learning becomes “meaningful and so it is remembered.” The pupils take very keen interest in everything that they do thanks to the exciting curriculum. Overall Hempstead Junior School is graded as a good school where pupils make good progress and reach a standard well above that which is expected. It has a stable and well-motivated team of staff who want to do the best for the pupils. The pupils’ development as young people is also graded as outstanding. The behaviour in school is excellent and the pupils have very good knowledge of how to keep safe and live healthy lives. One pupil said: “We are all in this school together, we are a team, and we won’t stand for bullying.” It is clear that pupils thoroughly enjoy school and they talk very enthusiastically about the things that they do. Pupils enjoy the visits to places of interest, especially when dressing up in costumes. There are also a wealth of extra-curricular activities, such as philosophy, choir and seasonal games which support the curriculum. Other outstanding features of the school include its contribution to the community and the extent to which equality is promoted and discrimination eliminated. Headteacher David Bignell said: “We are delighted with this report which recognises the rich and varied curriculum that we are able to offer the children. Everyone connected with the school works hard to ensure that the children are happy, safe and making good progress and we would like to thank the children, staff, governors and parents for their vital support in helping us to achieve these objectives.” Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks said: “I am very pleased to see such a glowing report. The school delivers excellent education to its pupils and it is clearly appreciated. This is a great result for a consistently outstanding school.” Director of Children’s Services Rose Collinson added: “Very many congratulations to the headteacher and his whole team. This is a great report, which highlights that children love coming to Hempstead Junior where they learn and achieve really well through a rich and exciting curriculum framework. They are generous and active members of their school community and take their wider responsibilities as global citizens very seriously.” To improve, the school has been asked to adopt a more efficient system to track pupils’ progress and to make it easier to extract information. It has also been advised to improve strategies for monitoring teaching and learning to raise the quality even further.