A Herefordshire school has been rated as ‘good’ in a recent Ofsted inspection.

Ofsted inspectors visited Hampton Dene Primary School on 31st January and 1st February. 

The report said:

“This is a happy and inclusive school. The school’s motto of ‘One School Cherishing All’ is fully realised. 

“Every pupil is nurtured and valued. Parents and carers, staff and pupils speak favourably about the school and the excellent leadership of the headteacher.

“All staff have high expectations of what pupils can achieve socially, emotionally and academically. 

“Teachers use their in-depth knowledge of each pupil, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), to tailor learning to pupils’ needs.

“The carefully planned curriculum and enrichment programme ensures that these expectations are met.

“The school has established clear routines and teaches children how to behave well as soon as they join early years. Consequently, the way in which pupils conduct themselves is exemplary. 

“They learn and play collaboratively, showing respect and consideration towards one another. 

“They feel safe and confident because caring staff pay close attention to their individual needs.

“The school provides a rich and extensive range of extra-curricular opportunities for pupils.

“Activities range from horse-riding and cheerleading for pupils with SEND to participating in sport competitions and music events. Physical education (PE) is high on the school’s agenda. Pupils complete a ‘daily mile’, and each cohort goes swimming every year.

“What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

“The school is ambitious for all its pupils. The school wants pupils to achieve well academically alongside developing the skills they need in life. 

“For example, each year group has an opportunity to run the ‘life-skills’ café. This involves planning, budgeting, shopping, cooking and serving skills.

“The curriculum is well structured and progressive. The school has successfully identified the knowledge and skills that all pupils, including children in early years, must learn. 

“Key vocabulary features strongly throughout the curriculum. For example, pupils described ‘sculling’ techniques when discussing what they learn in swimming. 

“Most subjects are well established, but a small number are still developing due to recent adaptations made.

“Teachers model and explain tasks clearly. 

“This ensures that pupils know what they need to do, and no time is wasted. Where necessary, teachers make careful adaptations to the work set. For example, additional adult help or equipment is provided for pupils with SEND so that they can access the same work as their peers.

“Teachers check pupils’ understanding during lessons through skilled questioning. They provide helpful feedback so that pupils know how to improve their work.

“Teachers use their expertise to identify pupils with SEND early. Pupils with complex needs receive effective support from well-trained staff, both in classrooms and in the language and communication centre (LCC). 

“Pupils from the LCC are fully included in school life. They regularly take part in PE and other lessons and join their peers at playtimes. The school accesses or commissions effective support for these pupils.

“However, targets set for pupils with mild learning difficulties are too broad and lack precision. They do not identify the small steps pupils need to master for pupils to be successful, or how targets will be assessed.

“Staff foster a love of books and reading. Regular reading is encouraged and celebrated. Pupils are proud to add their names to the reading tree in the hall. 

“Children in early years get off to a good start in learning to read. The phonics curriculum is used consistently and expertly by teachers. 

“Books are carefully matched to pupils’ abilities. Staff provide additional support for pupils who struggle or fall behind with their reading. This helps them to catch up quickly and achieve well.

“Pupils enjoy school, and most attend regularly. They have positive attitudes towards learning and behave well in lessons and around school. Staff manage the behaviour of pupils in the LCC well.

“There is a strong curriculum for personal, social and health education. Pupils’ mental and physical well-being is prioritised. They go to church each week and are regularly involved in community events. 

“Pupils understand values such as equality and diversity. However, their knowledge of fundamental British values, and beliefs held by those from different faiths, is at an early stage.

“Staff work well as a team. All are proud to be staff members at Hampton Dene. They manage their workload well and appreciate the support and approachability provided by the school. Those new to the profession settle quickly and get the training and guidance needed to be effective practitioners.

“Governors share leaders’ ambition for pupils. They have a good knowledge of the school’s strengths and development areas. They keep a close eye on the curriculum to make sure pupils are getting the quality of education they deserve.”

Full report – https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50240657