Ofsted inspectors praise Sunderland school for children’s ‘flying start’ in education

Ofsted inspectors have praised the “flying start children get off to” at Hill View Infant Academy after the school was judged good following its latest Ofsted inspection.

Inspectors commended the school for the “high expectations” of the children and the “excellent” relationships established between pupils, families and staff.

The report highlighted pupils “enjoy coming to school” and that attendance was “high”.

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The school was deemed to be good for quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, leadership and Early Years education. However, special praise was reserved for the provision of personal development which was judged to be outstanding.

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The report stated: “The school excels in personal and social education (PSED). A specially trained member of staff provides support for pupils and families who need it. This has helped to improve the attendance of some pupils.

"There are many after-school clubs catering for a broad range of interests and talents.”

A key area identified by inspectors is the development of pupils’ literacy with children developing a “love of reading through storytelling and the imaginative reading areas in each class”.

Hill View Infant Academy recently won a prestigious award for their outdoor learning environment and have now been judged by Ofsted as a good school.

Inspectors added: “A structured phonics programme is in place from Reception onwards. Reading books match the letters and sounds that children have already learned. Adults check that pupils are keeping up and provide additional phonics sessions for those who need them.”

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Lead inspector Mary Cook was fulsome in her praise of the school’s “play led” curriculum.

She said: “Leaders have ambitious curriculum goals and have identified the core knowledge and skills they want pupils to learn in all subject areas. Careful consideration is given to the way the curriculum is taught. Leaders have shaped a creative, cross-curricular topic approach, with high-quality learning through play.

Hill View Infant Academy has been judged as a good school following its latest Ofsted inspection. Photograph: Google
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"Staff include pupils’ interests in the curriculum to make learning more relevant to them. Leaders regard the school as ‘Early Years throughout’.”

The school was recently awarded the Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) Platinum Award for its “exemplary” learn through play environment, something which Ms Cook also highlighted.

She said: “Pupils independently access the wide range of learning activities including the outdoor classrooms and the new nature school. The innovation sheds attract pupils who want to understand more about everyday objects.

“Reception children ‘tinker’ and take objects such as computers apart, and in Year 1 and 2 they design and make their own items.”