Barnes Infant Academy in Sunderland praised for ‘high expectations’ after good Ofsted inspection

Barnes Infant Academy staff have been praised their “commitment to raise attainment” as inspectors judged the school to be good following its latest Ofsted inspection.

The report commended the school, which is located on Mount Road, for its “high expectations” which pupils respond well to and the strong relationships of trust built between staff and children.

Inspectors highlighted that pupils were happy, showed good concentration and “try their best” in lessons.

At the core of the school’s success was its values covering behaviour, positive attitude, respect, never giving up, enthusiasm and staying safe.

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The report stated: “The school embodies its core values – the ‘Barnes values’. They are seen everywhere and are rewarded each week in assembly. Pupils know and explain how values such as behaving well, having a positive attitude and never giving up make the school a happy place.

"Pupils talk of being kind and respecting differences in each other. Bullying is extremely rare.”

Following the inspection, headteacher Ruth Whiteside said: “We are all very pleased with the outcome. Children, staff and families are happy, and we do our utmost to support everyone.

"We're looking forward to working on developing an inclusive and exciting curriculum over the next year or so in greater partnership with Barnes Junior School. There’s a lot to be excited about as we move towards the new academic year.”

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Barnes Infant Academy has been judged as a good school following its latest Ofsted inspection.

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Lead inspector Phil Scott identified the introduction of a new phonics programme as a key factor behind the children’s progress.

He said: “Pupils’ progress is accelerating after issues caused by Covid-19. A new approach to the teaching of phonics is already bearing fruit. There is consistency across classes. Pupils are becoming skilled in decoding words they do not know by sight.

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“Work is pitched well so pupils can blend sounds together to read new words. Books are carefully matched to pupils’ reading ability. This means they are becoming confident and fluent readers.”

Mr Scott was also fulsome in his praise of the provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

He added: “The individual needs of all pupils are central to leaders’ priorities in school. This is especially the case for pupils identified as having SEND. Thorough work from the two special educational needs coordinators makes sure all pupils have access to all subjects in the curriculum.