‘Amazing’ pupils hailed after Forest Town school praised by Ofsted inspectors

Parents, pupils and staff are all smiles after a Forest Town school won praise from education inspectors.

By Jon Ball
Friday, 25th March 2022, 1:22 pm

Newlands Junior School has been rated a good school, following a two-day inspection by staff from education watchdog Ofsted.

They found pupils enjoy school, behave well and enjoy positive relationships with their peers and teachers.

Their newly published report says: “One pupil reflected the views of others by saying ‘I feel proud every day I come to school’.”

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Alison Castledine, Newlands Junior School headteacher, celebrates the school's good Ofsted report with pupils.

Alison Castledine, headteacher, welcomed the report and confirmation Newlands is a good school.

She said: “We are very pleased with this acknowledgement and would like to thank all staff, parents/carers and governors for all their hard work and support, and most of all our children who were absolutely amazing during the inspection – as they are every day.

“Our Ofsted report is a reflection of our school as a whole and we are thrilled everyone can be a part of it.”

The school, on Braemar Road, has more than 215 pupils, aged seven-11.

The Ofsted inspectors said leaders are ambitious and want to prepare each pupil for a ‘future of possibilities’ and that staff want pupils to be ‘the best versions of themselves’.

They said: “Staff are overwhelmingly positive about working at the school. They value the team spirit that leaders promote and feel appreciated.

“In maths, the curriculum is well thought out so that pupils learn new content in a logical order.

“Leaders promote pupils’ love of reading. Pupils read a range of books from different genres and cultures.”

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Pandemic

However, inspectors identified that the coronavirus pandemic had an impact on children’s learning.

They said: The impact of the pandemic means more Year 3 pupils than usual are struggling to read. Leaders are supporting these pupils to become confident and fluent readers.

The report hailed the range of extra-curricular activies and said children ‘are keen to learn and work hard’.

However, inspectors warned the curriculum is planned better in some subjects than others and not all plans ‘make it clear precisely what pupils need to know and when’.

Mrs Castledine said: “We will strive to always provide the best learning opportunities for all our children.

“We aim to continue to build on our successes, with the children at the heart of all our work.”

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