A Herefordshire Primary School has been praised by Ofsted for being a ‘very friendly, inclusive and good-humoured’ place to work and learn.

Ofsted inspectors visited Luston Primary School near Leominster on 4th October 2023 and the report said:

“Luston Primary is a very friendly, inclusive and good-humoured place in which to work and learn. This is a place where staff know the pupils well. Staff nurture and support pupils to do their best. This is because leaders and staff have high expectations for pupils’ behaviour, safety and learning. Pupils respond very well to these.

“Instances of bullying are rare but if unkind behaviour happens, then the pupils and adults sort it out quickly and fairly. 

“Consequently, the school day runs smoothly and is full of smiles and laughter. Pupils enjoy school life. All in all, there is a very respectful culture at Luston Primary.

“In lessons, pupils do lots of varied activities that get them interested in different subjects. The teaching of reading and mathematics is very effective. Beyond these, the school provides a broad curriculum enriched by trips and special events. Staff also make the most of the school’s grounds to develop pupils’ knowledge of nature and the outdoors.

“Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive high-quality support. 

“The school includes all pupils in everything it does. As with other aspects of the school’s work, this is due to values-based leadership at all levels. This ensures that the school continues to develop and improve.

“High expectations and a pride in the school are very evident. Classrooms are clean, tidy and well presented. The respectful relationships between adults and pupils, show a positive culture of attention to well-being. Learning shines out. This is a school that does many things well.

“From the start, there is a well-resourced approach to teaching reading. Beginning in the Nursery, adults provide a language-rich environment. Staff share songs and rhymes that get children excited about the rhythm and patterns of language. Staff also teach children about the importance of careful speaking and listening. This helps prepare them well for when they start formal phonics in Reception. 

“From then on, the school follows a structured reading programme through to the end of key stage 1, or beyond for those who still need it. All adults receive regular training, which keeps them up to date. 

“Consequently, most pupils succeed with reading. When necessary, staff provide regular and effective catch-up support to those pupils whose learning takes longer.

“Learning in other subjects is also well organised. Staff training in subjects such as English, mathematics and science has clearly paid off, and pupils learn much. In addition, the curriculum presents pupils with positive role models, with pupils learning about people from different countries and backgrounds who have made a positive difference. Indeed, attention to diversity is woven neatly throughout the curriculum in relevant and meaningful ways.

“While the school provides a broad curriculum that builds subject-specific knowledge, curriculum thinking and design in some subjects is further ahead than in others. Staff have received regular training about effective teaching and learning. 

“However, staff’s knowledge of progression in specific subjects is not consistently strong.

“Pupils with SEND receive high-quality support. The school’s commitment to giving these pupils the best possible start is apparent at all levels of leadership and in classroom practice. From the early years onwards, staff work well with parents, carers and external experts to identify and support needs. Whether pupils require help with their learning or behaviour, staff provide what they need. This helps classrooms to run without disruption, so that everyone can make the most of lessons. In their comments to inspectors, many parents praised this aspect of the school’s work.

“Outside of lessons, pupils get frequent opportunities to learn outdoors. From the school’s forest school area to trips further afield, staff plan imaginative activities that engage and enthuse pupils. 

“On top of this, the school has links with Tanzania and staff routinely direct pupils’ attention to the wider world. Pupils respond well to this. This shows in their increasing curiosity and knowledge of the world beyond Herefordshire.

“Pastoral support is strong. Pupils who need a boost with confidence, an adult to talk to or just a space for some peace and quiet, can find it here at Luston. Pupils enjoy school, make friends and play an active role in helping one another. They learn about the difference between right and wrong and how to take responsibility.

“Staff too, say that they like working here. 

“They feel supported by leaders, both in their professional development and in their day-to-day work. They work hard but say leaders’ expectations are fair.

“Leaders and governors are keenly aware of the school’s many strengths while at the same time striving for further improvements.”

To read the full report, please visit – https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50233263