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Pupils enjoy attending caring village school.

Date: 04/12/2008           Category: Learning and Achievement

Halling Primary School has scored a ‘satisfactory’ rating in its latest Ofsted report, which found that pupils enjoy attending the school and behave well. You are invited to send a photographer and/or reporter to the school in Howlsmere Close, at 11.15am on Wednesday, 10 December to meet the pupils and staff at work. There are 246 pupils aged four to 11. Children enjoy coming to school and attendance rates are consistently above the national average. Pupils’ behaviour in class and at break times was also noted as being good. Their support of a school in the Gambia has helped them appreciate children less well off than themselves living in a different culture. The school is placed at the centre of the community and its caring ethos means that staff know all the pupils and their families well. Parents value the care and concern shown by the school. One said: “I have been impressed with the help and support the school has provided for my child. This school has a very good understanding of the needs of individual children.” Teachers manage pupils well and they expect and achieve a good response from them. Pupils also benefit from the good relationships between teachers and their assistants. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage get a good start to their time at school and their achievement is good. In 2008, standards at the beginning of Year 1 were well above those expected nationally. The school has recently placed emphasis on language and communication, particularly guided reading, which has helped improve standards. Inspectors noted that the vision to extend and develop the outside environment of the school and to focus on outdoor learning has been implemented exceptionally well. Language and speech are promoted well and are helping to raise standards in literacy. Standards in writing and mathematics are broadly average, but standards in mathematics are just below and in science they are well below average. Teachers mostly manage pupils well and work hard to create attractive, welcoming classrooms. French and music lessons help make the curriculum interesting, while a number of after school clubs, interesting visits and visitors help to make learning fun for the pupils and there are good links with the local community. To improve further, teachers need to plan class work and match it to children’s abilities. Targets also need to be set so children have something to aim for. While improvements have been made in reading and writing, greater progress needs to be made in mathematics and science. Headteacher Ian Stuart said: “I am happy that Ofsted has noted the many strengths of the school and have agreed that school improvement issues are at the centre of our work.” Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks said: “The head ad staff at Halling are doing a great job and the very good results have been recognised by this inspection. “I am particularly pleased to see French and after school activities are flourishing and they work with a school in Gambia. Well done.” Director of Children and Adults Rose Collinson added: "I'm pleased to see that children at Halling Primary School really enjoy coming to school, feel safe and cared for and ready and motivated to learn and participate in all the activities on offer. That's a very good base on which to build and develop and continue to improve."