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Children are skipping with joy to come to school

Date: 19/12/2008           Category: Learning and Achievement

“A happy place of learning with a warm and welcoming environment.” That’s the verdict of Ofsted inspectors who have rated Barnsole Infant School in Gillingham as ‘good’. Children love attending the school in Sturdee Avenue, with one girl even skipping to school because she enjoys her time there. He mum said: “It is a caring and helpful school. My daughter skips to school every day. She enjoys every aspect of school life.” Other parents told inspectors that their children get upset when they cannot attend school, as they love it so much. Children behave well and enjoy school, which is demonstrated in their good levels of attendance. They also have good attitudes to their work and one another, including older pupils who help the younger children at playtime. Staff take very good care of the pupils and provide a safe, clean and attractive environment in which the pupils can work. Good teaching and improved and regular tracking of the pupils’ progress, enables the pupils to achieve well by the end of Year 2. Pupils have a good appreciation of healthy and safe living. Many of them walk to school and talk about the correct procedure for crossing the road and holding an adult’s hand while doing so. They make good friends with both their peers and the adults. Visitors to the school also help them gain a good appreciation of the local community. A good curriculum helps pupils to develop their skills well in different subjects. Improvement in writing attainment are as a direct result of the purposeful opportunities staff provide to use their newly acquired knowledge of phonics. Inspectors have told the staff to demand more of their pupils to ensure they make even greater progress. The school’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) was highlighted as a particular strength, with children getting off to a good start. The very good relationships and effective induction arrangements enable the youngest children to settle down to the routines quickly and to make positive relationships with other children and staff. The headteacher, Alison Pullen, leads the school very well and leads several aspects of the school’s work very effectively, such as the provision for pupils who find learing difficult. The staff work well as a team, are honest and accurate in their evaluation of the school’s provision and are keen to develop the school further. Headteacher Alison Pullen said: “We are pleased the inspection noted the happiness in our school and our pupil’s love of learning. “I would like to thank the whole school community, staff, governors, and parents, for their hard work in continuously raising standards and ensuring that learning at Barnsole is fun and relevant to the children’s needs.” Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks said: “I am extremely pleased with this report. The staff, children, parents and governors should all feel incredibly proud to have their achievements recognised by Ofsted. “Everyone at Barnsole Infants School works incredibly hard to give our children the best start in life. Well done to all involved.” Medway Council’s Director of Children and Adult Services Rose Collinson said: “This is a great end to what has been a fantastic year for everyone at Barnsole Infants School. “The report reflects the hard work and commitment of everyone at the school. Congratulations.”