Ofsted praise for St Andrew's Lower School in Biggleswade as it's rated 'good' by inspectors

Pupils 'talk excitedly' about learning

By Laura Hutchinson
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 9:41 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 9:42 am
St Andrew's CofE VC Lower School
St Andrew's CofE VC Lower School

Pupils at St Andrew's Lower School 'talk excitedly' about learning - and enjoy their classes.

That is according to Ofsted inspectors, who visited the school in November.

And the latest report - published on January 17 - has rated the school as 'good' and praised its teachers.

Youngsters at St Andrew's CofE VC Lower School, which has sites on Brunts Lane and Bantock Way in Biggleswade, told inspectors that their teachers make learning interesting and challenging - and the students respond well to teachers' high expectations to achieve well across the curriculum.

The report added: "Pupils feel safe and happy. Behaviour in lessons and around both sites is good. Pupils say that bullying is very rare. Pupils are well cared for. They are confident to share their

feelings, problems and worries with staff. Pupils trust staff to help resolve any problems or concerns, whether big or small.

"Even though it is a large school, it is a friendly, caring place. Newcomers and visitors are made to feel welcome. Pupils show kindness towards adults and each other. They believe everyone should be treated equally and fairly."

The report recognised the hard work of the school's leaders to develop the curriculum despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It says they have designed a curriculum that provides pupils with a broad and interesting education and that knowledge is built on from one year to the next.

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However, it says that this information has not been shared clearly enough with parents - with some saying they do not know what their children will learn each year.

It added that occasionally, teachers do not identify precisely enough what pupils need to learn step by step to understand more complex knowledge - but added that overall pupils achieve well.

The school was particularly praised for its support of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

The specialist SEND staff identify and know pupils’ individual needs and teachers use the information to adapt their teaching to meet pupils’ needs.

The report added: "For a small number of pupils with more complex social, emotional and mental health needs, leaders are tenacious in getting suitable support from outside agencies.

"Leaders identify and put in place the right provision for these pupils. Leaders share the frustration of a small number of parents with how long this can take."

The report went on to state that pupils are kind, caring and responsible members of the school community - and know why it is important to respect difference and learn about other cultures.

And the staff feel valued too - with their views heard and acted upon.

Inspectors added that safeguarding at the school is effective.

They said: "Staff report concerns promptly and appropriately. Leaders act quickly to respond to concerns. They ensure that pupils get the help they need to keep them safe from harm, involving outside agencies when needed."

And they have helped to make sure that the children learn about and recognise a range of risks - including how to stay safe online.

In a statement on the school's website, Headteacher Sue Rolfe said: "I would like to thank the staff and the governors for all their hard work that has led to this positive report. We are making plans for the areas identified for improvement and we will keep you informed about our plans and progress."