PUPILS and teachers at a school in Leigh Park are buzzing with excitement and pride after receiving a glowing Ofsted report.
Front Lawn Juniors may be in one of the most deprived parts of Hampshire, but headteacher Tina Newman says nothing is getting in the way of a first-class education for her children.
Government inspector Edward Wheatley certainly shared her sentiments following a visit in early February when he gave the school a ‘good’ overall grade.
Miss Newman, who became headteacher at the school five years ago when it had been given ‘a notice to improve’ by Ofsted, said she was delighted with the feedback.
She said: ‘I’m so proud because this report is a testament to the excellent work of the Front Lawn team, which includes teachers, parents, pupils and governors.
‘We all share a single driving ambition which is to be the very best that we can be, and to give the children the ambition and aspiration to achieve anything they want.
‘The way we see it is that all of our children are gifted, but in different ways, and it is our job to tap into that and bring out the best in them.
‘We focus on every child as an individual and use that knowledge together with feedback from the children to inform teaching methods.’
The Ofsted report praised the school’s improvement in maths, the pupils’ above average attendance and an exciting curriculum enhanced by after-school clubs and country-wide trips.
Front Lawn was also commended for narrowing the progress gap between boys and girls, as well as excellent teaching that inspires children of all abilities to achieve their best.
Miss Newman added: ‘Our pupils respond well to putting subjects in a real-life context, so we place a lot of emphasis on activities and school trips that give them a greater understanding and appreciation of what they learn in the classroom.
‘This is the reason why we’re not in a position where boys are lagging behind, or where only a select group of academic youngsters are achieving.
‘Everyone here counts and we have high expectations for ourselves and our children.’
The ‘good’ grade is the second highest that can be achieved by a school. It means it is consistently ‘delivering above minimum requirements’.
‘Outstanding’ is the top grade.
Although this is the school’s second ‘good’ Ofsted in a row, it represents a significant step up as Ofsted inspections were made tougher from September 2009.
Miss Newman said: ‘We’ve worked hard to get this far and it certainly doesn’t stop here.
‘We will always strive to improve, and I know I’ve got the team to achieve nothing less.’