School ‘for all’ a big hit with inspectors

Deputy head Terry Smith (left) and Head teacher Anne Parker (right) celebrate their good Ofsted report with pupils at Holbrook Primary School in Bridgemary.  Picture:Steve Reid 114054-305

Deputy head Terry Smith (left) and Head teacher Anne Parker (right) celebrate their good Ofsted report with pupils at Holbrook Primary School in Bridgemary. Picture:Steve Reid 114054-305

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CHILDREN from all walks of life thrive at a primary school in Gosport, which has been awarded the second highest Ofsted grade.

Teaching, pupil attainment, behaviour and the curriculum are all of a very high standard at Holbrook Primary.

Inspectors liked it so much they gave the school a ‘good’ report.

Anne Parker, who has been headteacher since 1996, said she was proud of the positive feedback which reflects how inclusive her school is.

She said: ‘We are delighted with the report and what I found so pleasing was that the inspectors recognised how varied our children are.

‘We have children with very complex needs here and we do the best we possibly can for them.

‘And we have children with no special needs who also achieve their potential – we’re getting the best of both worlds.

‘Our diverse pupil population is a strength.

‘It opens up children’s understanding to people who are from all walks of life, and they all thrive because we treat each and every one of them as individuals.’

Even though 41 per cent of pupils at Holbrook have special needs that can be as severe as being unable to speak, this year’s Key Stage Two results – 59.5 per cent pass rate for English and maths combined – were broadly in line with national targets.

The Ofsted report highlights ‘striking’ examples of pupils with difficulties in former schools who rapidly became happy members of Holbrook.

Lessons are described as ‘havens of calm, well-focused activity’.

Inspectors reserved high praise for teachers who are setting activities that challenge and support pupils with a range of abilities. As a result all groups of children make good progress from their starting points.

Mrs Parker said: ‘Teaching has to be good or better for children to make the sort of progress we see here.

‘Our more experienced teachers are mentors to their colleagues and everyone is constantly sharing best practice.

‘Even our learning support assistants are highly skilled – they don’t just provide support in the classroom but intervention strategies with one-to-one tuition or work with smaller groups.’

The school’s curriculum, which focuses on real-life experiences such as visiting the shops to do maths calculations, is a major success story for the school.

Mrs Parker said: ‘We make learning real and relevant for the children.

‘We want to prepare them for the real world.’

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