Infant school goes to top of the class!

Somercotes Infants and Nursery School is celebrating after government inspectors gave it the seal of approval.

A recent report by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skill (OFSTED) published in June described the school as “good.”

To celebrate, a £5,000 fundraising campaign has been launched to transform part of the grounds into an outdoor classroom.

Headteacher Sarah Sisson, who will spearhead the fundraising by running the Robin Hood Half Marathon in September, said: “We have a super field at the bottom of the school but the whole area needs updating. We would like to open it out so the community can use it. It needs a fence, a big metal container for play equipment and we would like to create a forest area with lots of rocks and planting trees, for an outdoor classroom.”

Sarah estimates the total cost of the project as £10,000, half of which would be match-funded by the school, and is now appealing for help from the community. She said: “If people could donate anything in terms of prizes or sponsorship - anything would be gratefully received.”

OFSTED inspectors graded the school as ‘good’ in terms of overall effectiveness, the achievement of pupils, the quality of teaching, the behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management. The report said: “The school has made significant improvement since the last inspection, particularly in the quality of teaching and, consequently in pupils’ achievement.”

In a letter to the school, lead inspector Andrew Stafford said that to become an “outstanding” school, the school must “improve the quality of writing” and “use every possible strategy to raise attendance.”

Srah added: “I’m over the moon! It’s a reflection of the hard work the staff and governors have put into the school and it’s a big improvement. Our plan for next year is to make a good school even better!”

The school teaches 228 children aged three to seven, with 35 staff.