The Icknield Primary School

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The Icknield Primary School praised for its wide-ranging opportunities for pupil development - Ofsted

The Cambridgeshire school, part of Anglian Learning remains dedicated to maintaining its ‘Good’ status, following a recent assessment from Ofsted.

Inspectors visited The Icknield Primary School and carried out a non-graded inspection between 14 and 15 November 2023, acknowledging its “confident” pupils and “personal development opportunities.”

The Icknield Primary School was commended for its variety of “opportunities that support pupils’ personal development well”, including working with charities and “taking part in school productions, as well as musical and sporting events.” Mindfulness is prioritised at the Cambridge-based school which pupils are “taught about” to “prepare them well for lessons and the tests they take in Year 6.”

Ofsted conducts ungraded inspections of all 'Good' or 'Outstanding' schools every four years to confirm the school maintains its current status. Although there has been no change to The Icknield Primary School’s overall judgement of ‘Good’, inspectors found that should they carry out another graded inspection, the rating could change.

Diane Mitchell, Headteacher at The Icknield Primary School, said: “There is lots to be proud of in this report, but one aspect that stands out is the reinforcement of our core values: resilience, uniqueness, and ambition. I am thrilled that the diverse opportunities we offer have been recognised for their contribution to these principles.

“We highly value each child’s unique contribution to our school community, and we are dedicated to developing their academic, creative, sportive, and social goals within our curriculum. This report serves as a foundation for us to grow, building upon the positive feedback from Ofsted. As we move forward, the school remains fully committed to addressing any areas that may further enhance the learning experience for our pupils and maintaining the school’s ‘Good’ rating in the next graded report.”

According to the report, The Icknield Primary is a school where “pupils are confident to answer questions and ask for help if they need to.” Across the school, there are “positive relationships” between staff and pupils, which is likely a result of the school’s “clear expectations [set] for pupils’ behaviour” meaning that “classrooms are calm and disruption to learning is rare.”

The primary school was complimented on its “ambitious, well-planned” curriculum: “[Anglian Learning] and the school have identified what they want pupils to know and remember in each subject, for example, mathematics and history.” To embellish this further, it reports: “Leaders have used appropriate checks to assess where there are gaps in learning and in many subjects, pupils are helped to keep up or catch up quickly.”

The report notes the joy that learning brings, particularly within its Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): “Children in Reception enjoy their learning and respond well to all adults. They learn to count and recognise numbers and have many opportunities to use this knowledge.” Highlighting this, “the school makes sure that those in the early years or at the early stages of reading have the correct books to help them get better at reading” which helps “children learn about the recent past and show an understanding of historical events.”

Pupils with special educational needs and disabilities are able to access “the same ambitious curriculum” as their peers, which is more tailored to their individual requirements and learning styles: “The school identifies and supports pupils with SEND effectively. Staff make sure that the curriculum is broken down into small steps when necessary. They make sure that pupils with SEND learn alongside their classmates and that they access the same ambitious curriculum. Pupils have meaningful targets. Some pupils work on these outside the main classroom when this helps them. Pupils learn and achieve well because of this support.”

The Anglian Learning central team and school leaders were applauded for the support they provide to early-career teachers, aiding in their personal growth: “The trust provides good support for the school, which includes training and mentoring. The trust, school leaders and those responsible for governance ensure that staff workload and well-being are considered. They provide appropriate resources and give those teachers at the beginning of their careers the necessary help to ensure that they are effective.”

Jonathan Culpin, CEO of Anglian Learning, said: “I am pleased to note that the report underlines our commitment to continuous growth and excellence within our community, emphasising our concerted efforts in supporting our teachers and providing personal development opportunities for our staff. We remain dedicated to creating a nurturing and encouraging environment that supports both pupils and educators alike.

“I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to everyone involved, from the diligent staff and dedicated parents to our ambitious pupils. We will push forward in our commitment to further enhancing the educational experience for all.”