Ofsted success for school which brings ‘kind of magic’ to education

The staff and children of Aldingbourne School
The staff and children of Aldingbourne School

A school described as “a magical little haven” certainly weaved its spell on a team of Ofsted inspectors.

Aldingbourne Primary School underwent a two-day inspection in March and the findings were published on May 4.

In his report, inspector Gary Holden praised teachers’ subject knowledge and teaching methods and the impeccable behaviour of the children in lessons and around the school.

Headteacher Liz Webster said she and the governors were “delighted” with the report and “so proud” of the staff and children.

She added: “Our school is incredibly special and we feel the report reflects what a magical little haven we have here at Aldingbourne.”

It was an opinion shared the huge majority of parents who responded to Ofsted’s Parent View questionnaire, with one telling inspectors: “There is a kind of magic at Aldingbourne”.

In its past two inspections, the school, in Westergate Street, was rated ‘outstanding’ across the board, a feat Miss Webster described as “quite unique”.

This time, the overall rating dropped to ‘good’ but Mr Holden gave ‘outstanding’ ratings for early years provision and the behaviour, welfare and personal development of the children.

Miss Webster said the drop was the result of a “dip” in some of the school’s test data.

But she was pleased “the ethos of the school was recognised by the Ofsted team and shines out of the report”.

When it came to areas highlighted for further improvement, Mr Holden said more pupils needed to reach and exceed the expected standard in reading, writing and maths at Key Stage 1; and more of those with higher attainment levels – particularly boys – needed to exceed the national levels in reading and writing.

Miss Webster said that, “in true Aldingbourne style”, the school was already working on these areas. She added: “Writing has been a school priority this year and we have no doubt that results in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 this year will be hugely improved.”

It was a view reflected by Mr Holden, who noted: “The majority of current pupils in Key Stages 1 and 2 are making much faster progress than they were at the same point last year in reading, writing and mathematics.”

To read the full report, log on to Ofsted's website.

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