Gosport schools see a leap in their Ofsted grades

ALL SMILES From left Joel Walsh, Maisie McCormack, Francesca Cope, Phoebe Jones, Antony Swan, Jasmine Johnson, Joshua Riggs and headteacher Jane McDowell.    Picture: Sarah Standing (112632-5836)

ALL SMILES From left Joel Walsh, Maisie McCormack, Francesca Cope, Phoebe Jones, Antony Swan, Jasmine Johnson, Joshua Riggs and headteacher Jane McDowell. Picture: Sarah Standing (112632-5836)

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TWO schools that linked up officially a year ago are partners in more ways than one – after each of them jumped a grade to be rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.

Leesland Infants and Juniors in Gosport are celebrating the news which their heads say will reinforce the schools’ federation, formed in September.

Jane McDowell, of the infants, said: ‘Both schools are in a very strong position and we are so excited about moving onwards and upwards in the federation.

‘At our last inspection we got a satisfactory which was a hard blow to the school, as we’d always been good prior to that, but we made it our goal to move things in the right direction. The commitment from every single member of this school was amazing. It amounted to three years’ worth of rigorous tracking, monitoring and re-evaluating to make sure we were doing better and better.’

The Leesland federation constitutes a single governing body across both infant and junior schools.

It is still early days, but youngsters stand to benefit from a consistency across all areas of their primary education including curriculum, teaching and marking methods.

Sue Hine, head of the junior school, said: ‘The idea of the federation is to create a virtual primary school, giving children a seamless transition from foundation to year six.

‘For youngsters the move from infant school where they are top dogs seems like an enormous step and can be very daunting, especially if they have to get used to a new timetable, different teachers and different responsibilities.’

Leesland Infants won high praise from inspectors for its caring ethos, the quality of teaching and raising achievement for pupils at all levels.

The junior school also boasted 15 out of 17 lessons observed being of good or better quality.

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