Harpenden headteacher praises ‘exceptional team effort’ after school’s ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted report

High Beeches deputy head Stephanie Shewbridge and head Sara Lawrence celebrate an outstanding Ofsted

High Beeches deputy head Stephanie Shewbridge and head Sara Lawrence celebrate an outstanding Ofsted report with members of the school council and house ambassadors. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Staff and pupils at a Harpenden primary school are “extremely proud” of the school moving from a ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating.

High Beeches Primary School in Aldwickbury Crescent received an ‘outstanding’ in every category except early years provision, which received a ‘good’ rating.

Ofsted inspectors praised the school’s lessons, quality of teaching and the use of additional funding for pupils with special educational needs. The report said: “The rich curriculum and the outstanding provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development contribute to pupils’ excellent personal development.

“Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding. From a very young age children understand why it is important to behave well.”

However the inspectors said the school could go further in improving the early years provision. The report said: “Assessment is not used well enough to accelerate childrens’ progress. The learning environment is not exploited fully.

“Nonetheless, teaching is good and children are well prepared for Year 1.”

Inspectors also praised the headteacher Sara Lawrence for her running of the school. They said: “The headteacher leads the school exceptionally well. She is managing the expansion of the school from a one-form to a two-form entry primary school very effectively.

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“She is an excellent role model for staff and pupils alike.”

Ms Lawrence said: “The report is a wonderful acknowledgment of the commitment, dedication and hard work of all staff at High Beeches.

“We are all extremely proud of our amazing children who consistently have an outstanding attitude to their learning and behaviour. Our children are very proud to wear the High Beeches uniform and are excellent advocates for our school.”

She also praised the support from parents, and the hard work of the previous headteacher and all staff and governors since the last inspection in 2012.

She said: “I believe that the report reflects my desire for everyone in our school community, adult or child, to achieve their full potential.

“It has been a truly exceptional team effort by the whole school community and an accolade much deserved.”