Ofsted praises ‘culture of reflection and kindness’ at Fairlawn School

Ofsted inspectors have described Fairlawn Primary School as a welcoming school, which lies at the heart of its local community. In a glowing report, they confirmed that the school, which has 251 pupils, continues to be judged by Ofsted as Good.

Inspector Liz Geller, who visited for two days in October, praised Fairlawn’s “culture of reflection and kindness.”

“Relationships between staff and pupils are strong. The school values, which include respect, responsibility and resilience, underpin these positive relationships,” she reported.

“Staff have high expectations. Pupils understand why these are important. They attend well and value opportunities to share their learning with others. Pupils are inquisitive about the world around them. They benefit from opportunities within the classroom and beyond.”

The inspector reported that the children benefited from a wealth of clubs, such as sewing, coding and drama, and developed confidence and responsibility through taking on leadership roles. “The school has carefully considered how best to support pupils’ wider development. They have a mature understanding of diversity and tolerance and are well prepared for life in modern Britain.”

Ms Geller said that the school was ambitious for all children to succeed and that children in Reception got off to a strong start thanks to a sharp focus on language and communication. The curriculum was described as broad and well-ordered and the inspector noted that pupils developed a love of reading. She also highlighted the good support for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Some improvements to teaching of foundation subjects and further development of assessment were suggested as next steps for the school.

Fairlawn Primary School is part of Venturers Trust, sponsored by the Society of Merchant Venturers and the University of Bristol. The Ofsted report stated that: “The Trust and the local governing body know the school well. They understand the context of the school and its priorities. They bring a range of experiences to their roles and provide appropriate challenge and support for school leaders.”

Headteacher Siobhan Lennox-Brown said: “We are incredibly pleased with the outcome of our Ofsted inspection. It recognises the special community feel that we have established since our school opened in 2015. Everyone here – the children, staff, families, governors, local people and Venturers Trust – works together to make sure that our nurturing and aspirational learning environment is the best it can be.”