14 January 2014

Hove infant school’s ‘unique’ double whammy

West Hove Infant School is celebrating a ‘unique’ double achievement – retaining its outstanding Ofsted rating even after expanding onto a second site.

The school’s base in School Road was supplemented in 2011 by a second site on Connaught Road, making it one of the biggest infant schools in the country.

Ofsted has identified ‘outstanding’ teaching, an ‘inspirational’ headteacher and a ‘dynamic’ senior leadership team as the key reasons why pupils make outstanding progress. Inspectors said that:

  • Pupils make outstanding progress in the reception class and continue to make exceptional progress in years 1 and 2
  • Teachers are exceptionally good at identifying the personal and social needs of all pupils
  • Pupils have outstanding attitudes to learning and their exemplary behaviour makes the school a happy and calm place
  • All groups make outstanding progress, including disabled pupils, those who have special educational needs and those who are eligible for the pupil premium.

Headteacher Wendy Harkness said: “The most important thing at any school is what happens in the classroom. Our teachers, teaching assistants and support staff are the ones who really make the difference and I’m thrilled that their skills and sheer hard work have been recognised in this way.”

The chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s children and young people committee, Councillor Sue Shanks, said: “Achieving an outstanding Ofsted rating has never been harder. To maintain their top ranking while expanding the school onto a second site is, as far as I know, a unique achievement.

“West Hove Infants have proved that expanding successful schools can be of massive benefit to local families. Their success is the template we are using as we expand their linked school West Hove Juniors onto the former Hove Police Station site on Holland Road.”