|Name||Carden Nursery and Primary School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||04 October 2011|
|Address||County Oak Avenue, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 8LU|
|Religious Character||Does not apply|
|Number of Pupils||360 (55% boys 45% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||17.3|
|Local Authority||Brighton and Hove|
|Percentage Free School Meals||25.7%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||15%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||20.6%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
Information about the school
The school is larger than average with a small, but growing, proportion of pupils from minority ethnic heritages. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is above average and the proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is twice the national average. The number of pupils with statements for their needs is high when compared to the national average. This is largely, but not solely, due to the school’s speech and language centre, a specially resourced provision for up to 20 pupils. These pupils have complex speech, language and communication difficulties. The school manages this provision. A higher-than-average number of pupils enters school at times other than is customary. Most children enter the school through one of the three Nursery classes then move into the two Reception classes for the start of their full-time education. The school has a range of awards including recognition of their excellence in Makaton (a language programme using signs and symbols), Gold Healthy Schools status and an award for its outstanding contribution to physical education and school sport in its local partnership. The school operates a breakfast club as part of its on-site provision.
Carden is a good school. It has consolidated its previous successes and addressed all of the issues from the previous inspection and made further improvements. Senior leaders have taken the school forward, sharing a vision for improvement with all staff. The school’s wide-ranging and accurate self-evaluation, together with its improvement plan, which is detailed and accurately reflects the school’s strengths and areas for development, indicates the school has good capacity to sustain its improvements. Care, guidance and support are outstanding and have a very positive effect on pupils’ personal development and progress. This is also very apparent in the way in which the excellent speech and language centre deals with its pupils and helps them make at least good, and sometimes outstanding, progress. This is also noted in the excellent ways in which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles. Teaching is good overall, particularly for older pupils and those in the specialist language centre. This ensures that the majority of pupils make good progress. Pupils reach at least average levels of attainment by the time they leave, with about one third reaching the higher Level 5 in both English and mathematics. However, in a small minority of lessons, the use of assessment to inform planning and to ensure all pupils are challenged appropriately, especially the more able, is not as strong as it typically is elsewhere. Similarly, in the Early Years Foundation Stage, which is in the process of revising much of its provision as a result of recent training and support, teaching and outcomes are satisfactory. This is because, despite clear strengths in the Nursery, planning in Reception does not build sufficiently on teachers’ assessments of how children are progressing in order to determine what they need to learn next. The school has positive relationships with its parents and carers, particularly those who would otherwise find it difficult to work with the school. This has had a marked influence on pupils’ behaviour and has helped improve their overall attendance. Support for parents and carers, following requests, has been given through meetings, discussions, hand-outs and the use of a virtual learning platform on the school’s website. These initiatives have enabled them to take more interest in their children’s education at home. Parents and carers appreciate this aspect of the school’s work. Pupils enjoy the growing cultural diversity in the school, behave very sensibly and relate well to each other. By the time they leave the school in Year 6, they are thoughtful, responsible and hard working. However, due to basic skills and attendance being average, pupils are satisfactorily prepared for the next phase of their education. In spite of this, the school’s transition arrangements are of good quality and pupils feel very confident of their ability to cope with their next move.