Posted: Wed 30th Nov 2022

Glowing Estyn report for Deeside primary school

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Nov 30th, 2022

A Deeside primary school has received a glowing report after a recent inspection.

In September, Estyn, the education and training inspectorate visited Sandycroft CP where inspectors were particularly impressed by the quality of outdoor learning.

The school, based on Leaches Lane in Mancot, has 269 pupils of statutory school age.

Feedback from the inspectors has been generally positive, with their report stating: “Pupils at Sandycroft CP School are very proud of their school and enjoy attending every day.

“They especially thrive in the extensive and well-developed outdoor areas, no matter what the weather. Pupils feel safe and well cared for, and they trust that adults will always support them appropriately.

“Many pupils enter the school with literacy and numeracy skills below the expected level, with a few considerably below the expected level.”

“As pupils move through the school, they make sound progress in many aspects of learning including reading and digital skills, and in their understanding of mathematical concepts.”

Inspectors singled out the school’s use of its outdoor areas as being particularly worthy of praise and have requested the school produce a case study to feature on the Estyn website.

The report adds: “Leaders, teachers and teaching assistants provide a nurturing environment, where pupils and their families feel valued.

“Nearly all staff know their pupils and families extremely well and offer exceptional support to meet their needs.

“Teachers make the most of the school’s stimulating outdoor areas and plan a range of learning experiences for pupils to investigate their surroundings and develop their imaginations.

For instance, the youngest pupils plant seeds to develop their school garden areas, use diggers to build sandcastles when creating imaginary towns and sing and dance on the outdoor stage.

“Older pupils develop many useful life skills, for example when caring for the school’s freely roaming chickens, and when working as teams to problem-solve in the forest school.”

Development of pupils’ Welsh language skills is among the areas inspectors would like to see the school improve on, as well as numeracy.

Overall, inspectors have given the school three recommendations for the future which are:

Improve teachers’ understanding of curriculum design and progression in learning so they can better plan to meet pupils’ individual needs across the breadth of the curriculum.

Focus improvement processes precisely on the aspects of teaching and learning that are most in need of improvement.
Develop pupils’ Welsh language skills and improve provision for numeracy across the curriculum.

The school will draw up an action plan to address the recommendations from the inspection.
Estyn will also invite the school to prepare a case study on its work outdoor learning work, to be highlighted on the Estyn website.
By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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