Watford Field School (Infant & Nursery)


Name Watford Field School (Infant & Nursery)
Website http://www.fieldinfants.herts.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 17 November 2011
Address Neal Street, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 0WF
Phone Number 01923227306
Type Primary
Age Range 3-7
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 252 (53% boys 47% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 21.1
Percentage Free School Meals 15.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 45.2%

Information about the school

Watford Field School (Infant and Nursery) is broadly average in size for its type. There are many nationalities represented within the school. The majority of pupils are of minority ethnic heritage. The largest groups are of Asian background. The proportion of pupils of White British origin is much lower than the national average. The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is higher than that found in most primary schools. A very small minority are at the early stages of learning English. The percentage of pupils identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities is lower than average. However, the proportion of pupils supported by the school on ‘school action plus’ or with a statement of special educational needs is average. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is slightly below average. The school holds the Investors in People award. The Early Years Foundation Stage consists of two part-time Nursery classes and two Reception classes. Three members of the senior leadership team are currently on extended leave of absence.

Main findings

This is an inclusive, caring school which provides its pupils with a good education. Pupils enjoy school, behave well and willingly take on responsibilities. Their personal development is good. Pupils make a good contribution to the school and the wider community. They feel safe because their relationships with staff are good, and good systems for ensuring their care and well-being are embedded in school routines. Parents and carers are supportive of the school. Nearly all of the comments on the questionnaires were positive. Several commented on the commitment of the headteacher and the teachers to ensure their children are well looked after and make good progress. One wrote, ‘My children have enjoyed every moment of their time at the school. The headteacher and the staff are incredibly professional and caring. They provide a safe, happy stimulating learning environment.’ Pupils’ achievement is good. Children settle quickly into the Nursery and the Reception classes. Staff ensure the children are kept safe and are well cared for. Children make good progress in their personal, social and emotional development and satisfactory progress in the other areas of learning. They do not make quicker progress in these areas because assessment procedures are not sufficiently robust and children are not given sufficient opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning. In addition, the use of the outdoor area to promote learning is under-developed. In Key Stage 1 pupils make good progress. By the end of Year 2, attainment in reading, writing and mathematics is average. Attainment in mathematics is consistently slightly higher than that in writing. The school is addressing this as a matter of urgency. A commercial scheme, which focuses on improving pupils’ reading and writing skills, has recently been introduced. This is proving effective and standards, especially in writing, are rising. Much of the teaching, particularly in Key Stage 1, is good. Learning generally proceeds at a quick pace. Teachers use questioning strategies effectively to probe and challenge pupils’ understanding and thinking. Good use is made of ‘talk partners’ to promote pupils’ social, speaking and listening skills. At times, the quality of teaching slips and learning slows. This is because assessment information is not always used sufficiently well to plan work that meets the needs of pupils of different abilities, by providing the right level of challenge and high expectations. Pupils are regularly asked to evaluate their own learning in individual lessons. However, marking does not consistently provide pupils with sufficient guidance to improve their work rapidly. The senior leadership team and the governing body provide effective leadership and a clear sense of direction. Based on a detailed analysis of pupils’ outcomes, the school’s strengths and weaknesses have been correctly identified. The school has responded well to the temporary absence of senior staff. Middle leaders and subject coordinators are successfully contributing to school development but have yet to become fully involved in the Early Years Foundation Stage. The governing body is supportive. It has ensured that the school has continued to move forward since the last inspection. Given all the above, the school’s capacity for further improvement is good.