Schools news round up (including good news from Ofsted for Grove Road)

Keeley, Scarlett and Kelila-May enjoy the bubbles from Skegness's Jolly Fisherman fountain.
Keeley, Scarlett and Kelila-May enjoy the bubbles from Skegness's Jolly Fisherman fountain.

The latest news from schools in your area...

Hemel Hempstead’s South Hill Primary School had an exciting week recently as its students and staff prepared for an art exhibition.

Children at Aldbury Pre-School have been learning about the First World War through play PNL-140606-150840001

Children at Aldbury Pre-School have been learning about the First World War through play PNL-140606-150840001

The children studied a different artist in every year group and looked at their work in detail in order to create their own pieces inspired by that artist.

The children used a wide variety of mediums and styles and thoroughly enjoyed splatting paint on large canvases in the style of Jackson Pollock and others.

As part of the Art week London-based artist Neil Dawson led workshops with all classes to recreate his style of work. He spoke to the children about the thought processes involved.

Deputy Headteacher Leah Boyes said: “The school would like to say thank you to Rebecca Fawcett for leading this exciting art week.”

First World War play for Aldbury children

Aldbury’s youngest children have been learning about the First World War as part of the village’s 100th anniversary tributes to the soldiers of the Great War.

And, for the children that attend Aldbury Pre-School, there is an extra special reason to remember.

For 45 years Aldbury Pre-School and it’s predecessor Aldbury Playgroup - which caters for local children from two-and-a-half until starting school - has been housed in the Aldbury Peace Memorial Institute known fondly as the ‘Club’.

The Club’s constitution explains that it was built in 1920 with the ‘object of promoting social intercourse and providing for the mental and moral welfare of the parishioners’, particularly for returning veterans of the Great War ‘to meet and settle back into normal life after the horrors and trauma of war’.

Chair of Aldbury Pre-School Maija Knox said: “The soldiers of World War One, including those from the village, fought so that future generations could be free.

“There does not seem a more fitting tribute to their sacrifice than the memorial building being used for the education and enjoyment of the village’s children.”

The pre-school, which is a charity, provides a great start for children from all over the area and learning about the First World War through play is just one of the many fun and innovative ways that the pre-school engages the children.

Good Ofsted report for Grove Road Primary School

Under the new leadership at Tring’s Grove Road Primary School, the school has gone up two Ofsted grades in the last two years.

The Ofsted inspection conducted during two days in early May gave the school an overall effectiveness rating of ‘good’, including ‘good’ in all four individual areas and an ‘outstanding’ for pupil safety.

The school has been through quite a period of change.

The inspectors’ report said: “The headteacher has established a cohesive team of staff and governors who passionately share her ambition for continuous school improvement.

“As a result, the school is moving forward rapidly.”

The headline results of the report are as follows:

– Pupils are making good progress. Standards are above the national average by the end of Year 6, particularly in reading and writing. An above average proportion of pupils in Year 6 often achieve above national averages at level 5. More able children are appropriately challenged.

– The Early Years Foundation Stage Unit is giving children a flying start. Teaching is good and often outstanding and children are excited by the things they do. By the end of Reception, pupil attainment is above that expected and the children are ready for Key Stage 1.

– Good spiritual, moral, social and cultural development permeates the whole school, underpinning the pupils’ good behaviour and positive attitudes. Pupils are polite and courteous, and there is a very welcoming atmosphere throughout the school.

– Teaching across the school is good, with examples of excellent practice. This is as a result of the successful work to improve its quality. Pupils engage well with their work, so learning proceeds at a good pace, which ensures high levels of interest and engagement.

– Pupil progress is rigorously monitored, and support is targeted where necessary.

– The headteacher is an inspirational, effective leader, who with her senior leadership team, give high priority to supporting and training staff in order to improve the quality of teaching and raising pupils’ achievement. This has been very successful.

– The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding.

Sharon Sanderson, who has been Head at Grove Road since September 2012, said: “We are delighted with the Ofsted findings.

“They reflect the hard work and determination of the staff and leadership team here at Grove Road.

“The quality of teaching and pupil progress is at the heart of everything. Moving forward, we are fiercely ambitious about raising standards to outstanding”.

According to Ofsted the headteacher, senior leaders and governors at Grove Road ‘are setting high expectations for pupil achievement and the quality of teaching, and constitute a formidable team, striving to make this good school even better’.

The school will have an open day on Thursday, July 10, from 4.30pm.

If you would like a private tour of the school or further information, please contact the school office on 01442 822056.