Inspector praises ‘happy and joyful’ Yate infant school

TWO schools in Yate have joined forces as a “campus for learning”.  

Broadway Infants and The Ridge Junior School, which share extensive grounds on Broadway at the entrance to the Ridge estate, have formed the Bridgeway Federation.

Both schools will retain their names, budgets, staffing and uniforms, but will now share some resources with a single governing body.

The news comes as Broadway Infants has been judged ‘good’ all round in its latest Ofsted report.

The inspection in July found Broadway to be a “happy and joyful school”. 

Lead inspector Jason Edge said: ”Pupils enjoy attending because they feel well cared for.

“They eagerly and confidently share their pride in the school with visitors.”

The report, published in late September, said there was clear a transition processes for children starting in Reception, which helps them settle quickly and “get off to a flying start”. 

It praised leaders, including school governors, for knowing the school well and establishing a “well sequenced curriculum” through the school. 

The inspector said: “Leaders have created plans that clearly identify the knowledge they want pupils to learn.

“This helps support teachers in knowing precisely what to teach and when.”

The inspector said school leaders “ensure that reading has the utmost importance within the curriculum”, and had introduced a new phonics scheme to help pupils learn to read. 

The school also uses trips to help support pupils’ learning in the curriculum, helping them to apply what they already know and deepen their knowledge further, and organises clubs, including art, choir and sports clubs to develop their talent beyond the curriculum.

To further improve the inspector said teachers and subject leaders needed to use assessment systems in other subjects better, to identify how well pupils learn key content across the curriculum, find gaps in knowledge and adapt future learning. 

Head teacher Miss Jodie Tumelty said she was proud of the school community.

She said: “I feel the inspection was an accurate representation of Broadway, and of all the hard work we have done. 

“Many of our parents wrote wonderful comments in their feedback to the inspectors, saying their children ‘go to school every day with a smile on their face’.”

Chair of governors Carol Warrant said: “The report truly reflects our school. Governors are extremely proud of our staff and children.”

Ridge Junior School headteacher Philip Boult said the joining of the schools in a federation followed many years of strong links between them.

He said: “We have long regarded the school site as a ‘campus’ for learning.

“Whilst retaining their special identities as infant and junior settings, which parents value, a lot of work has gone into making the learning as ‘joined up’ as possible. 

“This has been very successful and recognised in positive Ofsted reports over the years.

“The next step is a federation led by a single governing body. This will take the collegiality of provision forward for even better outcomes and experiences for pupils and parents.”

The schools held a celebration event for the new federation at the end of September, with a cake, new school banners, commemorative pencils and stickers.

Mrs Tumelty said Broadway Infants was delighted with the move, which she said would help the schools work together to serve the local community.