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School ‘requires improvement’ in Ofsted inspection - but head confident it will improve

Clare Toplis, head of John of Gaunt Infant and Nursery School, Aylsham, at a tree planting. Picture: BROADLAND CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATION

Clare Toplis, head of John of Gaunt Infant and Nursery School, Aylsham, at a tree planting. Picture: BROADLAND CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATION

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A head has expressed “absolute faith” in her team to move a school forwards after an Ofsted inspection found it ‘requires improvement’.

The town sign in Aylsham, which features John of Gaunt, lord of the manor from 1372. Picture: STUART ANDERSONThe town sign in Aylsham, which features John of Gaunt, lord of the manor from 1372. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

John of Gaunt Infant and Nursery School in Aylsham was inspected in March and the report was published on May 21. The school was rated ‘outstanding’ in its previous inspection in March 2014.

The school in Hungate Street has 188 pupils, aged from three to seven. The report said that the quality of education was variable, because curriculum planning was not well thought out across most subjects. It also found that pupils’ writing, while improving in content, was hampered by weak handwriting skills and spelling.

However, it said that some subjects, such as geography, were well planned and that pupils enjoyed learning about different places. It also said that pupils enjoying going to school.

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Head of school Clare Toplis said: “We know from the survey results and from our conversations with parents and carers subsequent to the inspection that they have very high levels of confidence in us as a school. Their children are happy and thriving at John of Gaunt and that is hugely important.

“As with all schools ours is on a journey of improvement and as the report highlights we have ‘implemented changes which are improving the quality of education’.

“Our school improvement and development plan already identifies all the areas that the report outlines and we have already made significant strides in addressing these things.

“The recommendations from the inspectors validate all the plans that we have in place to ensure that we can give the best education to our children.

“I have absolute faith in the team at John of Gaunt to move the school forwards and I am proud of their hard work and dedication to our school. We are always on a journey and learning never stops even for the teachers, as we strive to make John of Gaunt an even better school than it already is.”

She said she was happy that the inspectors recognised that the behaviour of children was good and that their personal development was also good.


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