The full Ofsted report for a Stevenage primary school has described how "pupils enjoy engaging and interesting lessons".

Camps Hill Primary School has been rated good by Ofsted, following the education watchdog's latest inspection. This raises it from the 'requires improvement' rating issued in 2020.

Headteacher Emma Flawn said she and the staff are “delighted” with the result, with one inspector calling the school 'a happy ship'. Read the full Ofsted report below.

What is it like to attend this school?

The school expects all pupils to work hard and learn well. Pupils enjoy engaging and interesting lessons. However, children in early years require more support with their learning to achieve as well as they could.

Pupils are happy and safe here. They are confident that any of the adults they choose would help solve any problems that might occur.

Pupils behave well in lessons and at other times of the school day. There is a calm atmosphere throughout the school. Pupils know what is expected of them.

They believe that the school’s approach to behaviour is fair and they respect the school rules.

Pupils have warm relationships with each other and with the staff. Pupils are polite towards each other. For example, they can disagree on the right answer to a question while remaining courteous towards each other.

Pupils take part in a range of activities that develop their confidence and understanding of how to be healthy and safe. For example, they ‘eat to defeat’ their vegetables to encourage healthy eating. Pupils take part in a wide variety of afterschool clubs.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The school has made positive changes to the curriculum since the last inspection.

The curriculum is ambitious, followed consistently by staff and ensures pupils learn the full range of subjects.

The school has ensured that reading is prioritised for all pupils. It has adopted a well-sequenced phonics curriculum, and children quickly learn the sounds they need to know. Leaders provide training so that staff teach phonics consistently well.

Staff use accurate checks to swiftly identify anyone falling behind in reading. This includes any older pupils who may not have learned all their sounds.

Any pupils who find reading tricky receive extra teaching in small groups to help them catch up.

As a result, pupils learn to read confidently. Older pupils enjoy reading and have impressive knowledge of a range of authors. Teachers read to pupils daily. Pupils enjoy these books, and this develops a love of reading.

In all subjects, the specific knowledge the school wants pupils to learn is set out clearly and builds knowledge in small, logical steps over time.

In addition to this specific knowledge, the school has explicit expectations around the skills pupils should develop.

Teachers have been provided with extensive training. This means that they can confidently and expertly teach the curriculum as intended.

As a result, pupils are attaining well. They can recall what they have been taught, and produce good-quality work which reflects this.

However, in some foundation subjects, checks on pupils’ learning are not sufficiently accurate. This is because the checks that staff use are not yet fully aligned to the updated curriculum.

This means staff do not have a clear understanding of how secure and deep pupils’ understanding of wider concepts is. This prevents some pupils maximising what they are capable of achieving in these few subjects.

In early years, reading and mathematics are taught well. Staff know exactly what to teach and when in these subjects. As a result, children get off to a good start in these subjects.

However, in other subjects, there is a lack of clarity around exactly what children need to learn. This leads to gaps in children’s knowledge.

Additionally, some staff lack the expertise to manage the specific teaching strategies and approaches needed in early years.

Too many children are not well prepared for their learning in Year 1. New leaders are aware of this, and recent changes in early years are starting to stabilise due to their actions. However, this work is still very much in its infancy.

Leaders have high expectations for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). They ensure that teachers carefully adapt the curriculum to address specific needs. For some pupils, this means a very individualised curriculum.

For others, adaptations enable them to learn alongside their peers. Most pupils with SEND make good progress.

The school has a well-considered approach to the personal development of pupils.

Leaders have ensured that opportunities to learn a wide range of real-life skills are woven throughout the curriculum. For example, pupils learn basic first aid in Year 6 and road safety in Year 4.

Governors have a good understanding of their statutory and broader responsibilities.

They have taken timely and impactful actions to support the school to move forward from the last inspection. Along with leaders, they have a clear, strategic plan to build on this momentum.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

The curriculum in the early years does not equip children with all of the subject-specific knowledge they need for their next steps.

This means that children are not as ready as they could be to learn the content in foundation subjects in Year 1.

Leaders should ensure that the early years curriculum contains clearly all of the specific knowledge that children need to know in all subjects by the end of Reception.

Some staff in early years do not have the precise pedagogical knowledge to teach the early years curriculum confidently and well.

This hinders how well children learn and achieve. Leaders should provide tailored training and support for all early years staff so they have the required expertise to deliver the curriculum effectively.

Assessment of pupils’ knowledge in foundation subjects does not always give staff the information they need to support pupils.

Leaders must ensure that checks on learning reflect the updated curriculum ambitions so that they can accurately ascertain how well pupils are retaining the depth of knowledge they want them to have.