Stevenage school in 'area of huge deprivation' wins national award

Outside Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School in Stevenage

Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School in Stevenage has won the Early Years Foundation Stage Setting of the Year award in the TES Schools Awards 2022 - Credit: Google Maps

A school in "an area of huge deprivation" in Stevenage, which has "a significant number of children entering the setting with poor language skills, limited vocabulary and an inability to articulate their thoughts," has won a national award for its provision.

Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School in Bridge Road West has won the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Setting of the Year category of the TES Schools Awards 2022.

The annual awards celebrate the work and achievements of teachers and schools across the UK, with the winners determined by a panel of expert judges - including school leaders, inspectors and education researchers.

A spokesman for TES - formerly the Times Educational Supplement - said: "Woolenwick has a significant number of children entering the setting with poor language skills, including poor listening skills, limited vocabulary and an inability to articulate their thoughts.

"By introducing quality-first teaching, creative approaches to curriculum delivery and innovative targeted provision strategies, the school has raised the attainment, progress and outcomes for the most vulnerable children, and has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted.

"Supported by educationalists and artists in residence, projects are led by the questions and curiosities of children, where their thoughts are taken seriously and they are encouraged to build on their discoveries and enquiries by exploring alongside skilled educators. Children are recognised as being full of potential and capable of constructing their own learning."

Eunice Lumsden, judge and associate professor and subject lead for childhood, youth and families at the University of Northampton, said there was “clear evidence of a setting that is focused on the holistic development of children, with real community engagement and collaborative working”.  

Most Read

She said: “In an area of huge deprivation, their outcomes are above local and national averages, which says an awful lot about the experience those children are having in the EYFS in that setting and a testament to their pedagogical approaches.”

Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School's headteacher, Usha Dhorajiwala, said: "We are delighted to have been recognised with this prestigious accolade. Thank you to our children who inspire our practice each and every day. Finally, thank you to the amazing Team Woolenwick. This is only possible because of our outstanding team."