Beeston Primary School has been rated ‘Good’ overall and ‘Outstanding’ in its early years provision in its latest Ofsted inspection report published on Friday (13 January 2023).
Ofsted grades schools on a four point scale from Outstanding, to Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate. Primary Schools are graded across five categories:
- The quality of education
- Behaviour and attitudes
- Personal development
- Leadership and management
- Early years provision
The report’s opening sentence says:
“Children are at the very heart of everything at Beeston Primary School.”
The report is very positive throughout, finding very little that the school needs to do to improve.
I spoke to Headteacher Nick Edensor and Lauren Hutchinson, Leader of Early Years Foundation Stage, about the inspection and its findings. Nick said:
“We’re really pleased. We’ve maintained our ‘Good’ rating which is really good in this climate, but we’re really impressed with the Outstanding judgement for Early Years.
“Lauren has been with us for two years and has transformed Early Years, she is an exceptional leader and deserves this recognition.
“The children in our Nursery and Reception classes are our ‘Covid babies’, these are the children who were stuck at home under lockdown, who weren’t allowed out, so these are the children that we really wanted to get the provision absolutely right for.”
Early Years has been a priority for for the school since Nick was appointed in 2016. He reorganised a large communal space into three classrooms. As well as appointing Lauren, he invested £100,000 last year to transform the outdoor play space to support the children’s physical development which was lagging due to the Covid lockdowns.
“If you get the foundations right, you reap the benefits throughout school” he said.
“For us as an Early Years Team; right from teaching assistants to lunchtime staff, to us as teachers and leaders, we were so happy with the phrase ‘children get off to the best possible start of their education’. Because of the context of our school and the opportunities that our children have in their home and social environment can be so different from one another and unfortunately not all we would hope it to be, for us to know that we are doing everything we can to give them that best start is really important.
“We are thrilled, and thrilled for the children, because they are amazing and the report reflects them as well.”
Another finding the school was pleased to see reported was the lack of bullying:
“Pupils report that there is no bullying and they are confident that adults would deal with any issues should
they arise. Pupils describe school as a safe and happy place to come to.”
Nick explained that they work hard to promote respectful behaviour and use restorative methods to resolve problems.
Inspectors found examples of Outstanding practice across the school, but these were not felt to be fully embedded in practice. The staff and leaders are not complacent however, and are already working on making improvements.
Chair of Governors, Cllr Andrew Scopes (Labour, Beeston & Holbeck), commented:
“Beeston Primary School is a fantastic place for children in our community, including my own! I’d like to thank all the staff that work so hard to make it a great place and also my fellow governors. We will continue to put children at the heart of everything we do at the school and I was delighted that Ofsted recognised that focus right at the start of their report.”
To read the full report click here
Whilst you’re here, can we ask a favour?
South Leeds Life is published by a not-for-profit social enterprise. We keep our costs as low as possible but we’ve been hit by increases in the print costs for our monthly newspaper – up 83% this year.
Could you help support local community news by making a one off donation, or even better taking out a supporters subscription?
Donate here, or sign up for a subscription at bit.ly/SLLsubscribe