Dorset Road Infant School

Name Dorset Road Infant School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 30 March 2011
Address Dorset Road, Mottingham, London, SE9 4QX
Phone Number 02088573742
Type Academy
Age Range 5-7
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15.2
Academy Sponsor The Spring Partnership Trust
Local Authority Bromley
Percentage Free School Meals 15%
Percentage English is Not First Language 30%
Persisitent Absence 12.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 31.7%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available Yes

Information about the school

Dorset Road is smaller than the average-sized school. Most pupils come from White British heritages. The next largest groups are from other White heritages, Asian or Black Caribbean heritage. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is below average, as is the proportion that speaks English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is below average. Their needs relate mainly to moderate learning difficulties. The school makes provision for the Early Years Foundation Stage in a Reception class. The school has gained the Healthy Schools and Activemark awards. A daily breakfast club is provided.

Main findings

Dorset Road is a good school. It is a welcoming, friendly school. Good trusting relationships between pupils and adults reflect the outstanding care, guidance and support provided. As a consequence, pupils feel safe and develop good personal skills including spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness. One parent wrote ’Dorset Road is about nurturing, encouraging confidence and values and offers the best opportunity for learning in its small, caring and motivating environment.’ Not surprisingly, behaviour is good in lessons and around the school. The work the school has done to gain the Healthy Schools and Activemark awards is reflected in pupils’ excellent awareness of how to keep fit and healthy. Pupils enjoy school. One pupil said ’The headteacher is nice, all the teachers are nice, they make us laugh and that makes learning fun.’ The school works hard to promote the importance of regular attendance, which, although improving, remains satisfactory. The school has sustained its good position reported at the last inspection and improved in raising attainment. Caution is required, however, in interpreting published data, due to the small and fluctuating numbers in the Year 2 cohorts. In 2010, more pupils than in the previous year reached average or above average attainment by the end of Year 2. Pupils’ current work and progress data show that pupils may be on track to reach above-average attainment overall by the time they leave school. Teaching is mostly good. Work is usually matched well to pupils’ learning needs and assessment is informing the next steps in learning. As a result, pupils of all abilities, including those with moderate learning difficulties, achieve well. Whole-school topics, such as the rainforest work seen during the inspection, are helping to ensure that the good curriculum provides creative learning experiences for pupils and link subjects together in a meaningful way. On a few occasions, however, tasks are not sufficiently fine-tuned or well planned to meet the needs of all pupils as effectively as they could be, by providing memorable and exciting activities that enliven learning. The school has worked hard to develop writing skills, particularly for boys, but has identified correctly that more needs to be done to accelerate progress. There are not always sufficient opportunities for pupils to write spontaneously or independently for a range of different purposes, for example in role-play areas. Sometimes, a few pupils are not given enough guidance through observing adults demonstrating successful writing. Although there is an agreed handwriting policy, children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are given inconsistent messages sometimes about how to form their letters correctly, from the notices, labels and instructions written by adults, which are displayed around the room. Effective self-evaluation procedures and robust monitoring have enabled senior leaders to focus on the most important aspects for development and take effective action. For example, the gap between attainment in reading and writing and mathematics has narrowed, which was an issue at the last inspection. As a result of more rigour in assessment and data tracking systems, appropriate intervention is provided for pupils of all abilities when gaps in their prior learning have been identified because previously thay have made satisfactory rather than good progress. This demonstrates the good capacity for sustained improvement.