Ofsted joy for Pound Hill Juniors

Headteacher Anthony White with some of his pupils and Poppy the school dog
Headteacher Anthony White with some of his pupils and Poppy the school dog

Pound Hill Juniors had plenty of reason to celebrate after the school was rated ‘good’ in all areas by Ofsted.

The school, in Crawley Lane, underwent a two-day inspection in May, and the findings of inspector Liz Bowes and her team were published on June 19.

In her report, Ms Bowes praised the “strong and effective” leadership of headteacher Anthony White, and described the school’s curriculum as “varied and interesting”.

She found that all pupils had made good progress from their starting points across a range of subjects, while last year’s results were in line with the national averages.

Describing the children as well-prepared for life in modern Britain, she said their social and moral development was “effective”.

Mr White said: “The staff are very pleased with the report as we all feel that it reflects our school and our approach to learning.

“We strive to give all our pupils confidence and resilience in themselves and not just their learning and we believe that our pupils could not be better prepared for secondary educations.”

Teachers were seen to have high expectations of the pupils both academically and behaviourally, and the children told inspectors that they felt safe, secure and happy at the school.

The feelings were no doubt boosted by the presence of Poppy, the school dog, a sweet-tempered Labrador retriever, as well as the school rabbits!

Ms Bowes complimented pupils’ skills in reading and writing – while Mr White said an enjoyment and love of learning “ensures our pupils are inspired to succeed”.

He added: “Our pupils have not been subjected to a tick list of learning where teachers and schools are forced into demonstrating writing features with very little view towards content and readability.

“They have been encouraged to choose precise vocabulary to convey the exact imagery and detail and do so out of a love of writing which is underpinned by a deeper love of reading.

“We are not and will never be a school that teaches to tests without feeding innate curiosity found in all of us.

“Teachers at Pound Hill Junior School are as inquisitive and curious as the children.”

Ms Bowes highlighted a few points for further improvement, in the areas of leadership and teaching. Mr White said they had already been identified by the school and were part the “next steps and current actions” being taken by the leadership team.

He added: “This report is a very good report and shows a school delivering effective teaching and learning to its pupils.

“What also must be taken into account is that this has been achieved on a budget that is not comparable to some London schools and on a budget severely depleted though unfunded cost pressures.

“Each of the pupils in this school are not worth less than a pupils in London. I want to be able to give each and every one of them the extra time and resources.”