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Ad Astra Infant School

Name Ad Astra Infant School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 17 January 2018
Address Sherborn Crescent, Canford Heath, Poole, Dorset, BH17 8AP
Phone Number 01202602113
Type Academy
Age Range 4-7
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 267 (58% boys 42% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 25.4
Academy Sponsor Teach Poole
Percentage Free School Meals 10.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 3%

Information about this school

The school meets requirements on the publication of information about the curriculum on its website. This is a larger-than-average infant school. The school is part of the TEACH multi academy trust, a group of four schools in the local community. The executive headteacher is the strategic leader of the four schools in the multi academy trust. The executive headteacher also provides some operational leadership. There is a head of school who works across the school and its partner junior school. There are two deputy headteachers. One deputy headteacher is full-time. The other deputy headteacher is responsible for inclusion and works across the school and its partner junior school. There is a breakfast club on site. Pupils attend an after-school club run out of one of the other schools in the trust. The proportion of pupils who are disadvantaged and known to be eligible for free school meals is above the national average. The proportion of pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities and are supported by the school is slightly above the national average. The proportion of pupils who are supported by a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan is in line with the national average.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school As a result of leaders’ determined actions, pupils’ outcomes have risen sharply since the school has opened. Leaders at all levels are working successfully on the right aspects of improvement. Leaders manage staff performance well. The whole-school strategy to teach problem solving and reasoning in mathematics is paying off. Pupils’ mathematical skills and knowledge are good. Leaders have successfully overhauled the way that reading is taught across the school. As a result, most teachers have high expectations of what pupils can do. Pupils’ understanding of what they read is mostly good. Children in Reception are well prepared for Year 1. Sometimes, adults’ assessments are not as precise as they could be. Consequently, leaders’ work to raise expectations is ongoing. The teaching of writing is good. As a result, most pupils reach the standards expected for their age. However, in a few classes, teaching is not as challenging as it could be for the middle-attaining and most able pupils. This prevents these pupils from exceeding the standards expected for their age in writing. Vulnerable pupils receive caring support that enables them to be ready to learn. Leaders take appropriate action to ensure that teaching continues to improve. Pupils’ workbooks show that this is mostly effective. However, occasionally teaching is not closely matched to pupils’ needs. Sometimes, work is too easy or too hard in Year 1. Leaders’ checks on teaching do not yet take full account of the pupils’ progress from their starting points. Most disadvantaged pupils make swift progress in reading. Their progress in writing is improving but remains less established. Pupils who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities make good progress overall. However, on occasion, these pupils find it difficult to learn effectively because they do not have the right resources or tasks are not closely matched to their needs. The trust applies firm challenge to leadership through its regular meetings and visits to the school. Trustees are becoming increasingly focused on measuring the impact of the school’s work. The proportion of pupils who meet the expected standard in the phonics screening check is above the national average. Most pupils apply their knowledge and understanding of phonics well to spell accurately. Pupils’ behaviour is usually good. Pupils are proud of their school.