Primary school praised for having a ‘big heart’

A Nottingham primary school has been praised for creating a ‘welcoming and warm’ atmosphere for children.

Ofsted inspectors said Forest Fields Primary and Nursery was ‘a big school with an even bigger heart’ following their visit in July.

The education watchdog highlighted the positive way in which the school on Berridge Road creates a stable learning environment for children from diverse backgrounds, with a constantly changing local population in Forest Fields.

Awarding a judgment of ‘Good’ to the school, inspectors said: “Pupils, parents and staff are proud of their school. They appreciate the happy, friendly environment, and all enjoy coming to school.”

In particular, the inspectors highlighted:

  • Most pupils start the school unable to speak English, but swiftly helped to acquire basic English to enable them to access the curriculum
  • Teachers and other adults who work in the school have high aspirations for the children. Pupils’ positive attitudes to learning ensure that lessons are productive
  • Most pupils in school are making strong progress
  • Inspectors saw many examples of collaborative learning and pupils thinking creatively about the task they had been assigned
  • Members of the governing body have a wide range of skills to enhance the leadership of the school

Inspectors added that the school, which was previously rated as ‘Good’, has a ‘knowledgeable and committed leadership team that understands the complexities of the school and has the necessary skills to drive further improvement’.

Commenting on the report, Forest Fields Head Teacher Sue Hoyland said: “I’m pleased that the inspectors have recognised the huge effort we make to ensure children feel settled, safe and happy in our school. Creating a welcoming environment for learning is essential, especially with such diversity in our community. We believe this a real strength: the fact that children speak 52 different languages at Forest Fields Primary is something to celebrate. Inclusion is at the centre of everything we do, meeting the varied needs of our pupils and ensuring that they all make good progress from their different staring points.

“I’m especially pleased that praise from parents is also reflected in the report. We will continue to work closely with parents, governors and our wider community to ensure our children receive a high quality education and are at the heart of everything we do.”

Cllr Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Education and Skills in Nottingham, said: “Our city has some fantastic schools and I am pleased that Forest Fields Primary continues to be rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted. This is down to hard work from staff, pupils, and governors. They should all be so proud of their hard work and dedication.

“We are committed to ensuring children in Nottingham have access to high-quality education. The council is working closely with partners from across the city to ensure that every child goes to a school that is rated as ‘Good’ or better.”

The full Ofsted report can be read here.

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