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Successful OFSTED Inspection

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Haddenham St Mary's CE School celebrates successful OFSTED inspection

On Monday 13th of September, the first possible day routine Ofsted inspections recommenced following their suspension during the pandemic, Haddenham St Mary's CE School were advised they would receive a Section 5 (two day) OFSTED inspection under the 2019 framework.

Less than 24 hours later, on 14th September, two inspectors and one observer (a trainee inspector) arrived at the school and spent two full days reviewing all aspects of the school's provision, including for children with special educational needs, Little Forrest Friends pre-school and the breadth and depth of the full curriculum across the school, to ensure all children were accessing a high quality education that allows them to flourish and prepares them well for the next stages of their educational journey.

Inspectors reminded school leaders and governors that the 'bar within the 2019 education inspection framework has been raised' and that schools 'need to be able to demonstrate they have securely met all criteria within a judgement band to receive the corresponding overall judgement of Good or Outstanding.

The inspectors were very open about how this has changed from previous inspections where a best fit approach was adopted.

The inspection concluded that Haddenham St Marys CE School is:

Good with an Outstanding approach to children's Personal Development and offers an Outstanding Early Years provision.

The Early Years provision includes Little Forest Friends pre-school, which became part of the school in 2018. Little Forest Friends is led by a fully trained Forest School leader and is a sixteen-place pre-school based in the school's Forest area and Eco Lodge.

The school received two outstanding judgements and three good judgements, resulting in an overall 'Good' judgement.

There was only one action for improvement identified across the two day inspection.

Chair of Governors, Gaynor Bull, and Headteacher, Karen Collett, wrote to parents and carers to say:

"With the extensive disruption to education over the past 18 months and as one of the first inspections of the new school term, we were exceptionally pleased with comments on our approach to Personal Development. The pandemic has caused immeasurable amounts of disruption to both children and adults and to receive external verification that this important aspect of children's development is at the core of our school, recognises the commitment and high aspirations we have in supporting all children through their early years of education.

We encourage you to read the full Ofsted report which identifies the achievements of the school in all areas reviewed by Ofsted, and have shared below a few additional comments made by the inspectors during their feedback to Senior Leaders and Governors:

"Children develop a love for learning and relish coming into school every day"
"Children feel safe and play co-operatively and responsibly during playtime, displaying kindness and respect for each other and their environment"
"Parents hold the school in high esteem and have a strong working relationship with the school"
"Engagement with the community, particularly during recent lockdowns, is exemplary"
"Staff are 'attuned' to children's learning and create a rich learning environment for all"
"Leaders and Governors are passionate about children's well-being and have high ambition for all educational outcomes"
.

The school are extremely pleased to have achieved such a glowing report despite not achieving the overall outstanding status it achieved in 2007. Governors who were present for both the 2021 and the 2007 inspection confirmed the higher expectations of the new framework.

Schools Week, an educational publication, recently quoted Chris Russell OFSTED's National Director of Education as commenting:

"Some 'outstanding' schools which have improved since their last inspection may still be downgraded because the bar has been raised under the latest Ofsted inspection framework. If a previously 'outstanding' school receives a 'good' grade it "doesn't mean that the school has declined in recent years, in fact the opposite can be the case".

This was because the top grade is a "challenging and exacting judgment to achieve" under the new education inspection framework (EIF)."So it's important not to view the loss of an outstanding grade too negatively," he added.
The comments follow Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman stating a decrease to around one in 10 schools being 'outstanding', half the current rate, "might be a more realistic starting point for the system."

As one of the first schools in Bucks to receive an inspection under this robust framework, Haddenham St Mary's is working with other schools to support them in preparing for their upcoming inspections.

You can read the full report, which was published on 11th November, here.

The Governors would like to express their gratitude to the whole school community for their contribution to the success of the school and their ongoing support for our children's education.

Haddenham St Mary's CE School has 180 children on role in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes and 16 pre-school places at Little Forest Friends, both morning and afternoon, 5 days per week for children aged 3 — 4. The school also offers before and after school care at their Happy Hedgehogs club between 8 — 6pm for all children including those attending Little Forest Friends pre-school.

For further information please contact the school office: office@haddenham-st-marys.bucks.sch.uk