Our school is outstanding, says Ofsted

The parents knew it. The children knew it. The staff knew it. Now Ofsted knows it! Castlethorpe First School has just been judged to be an Outstanding school in their latest Ofsted report.

The report shows that 100% of pupils attained Level 2 or above in the key stage 1 reading, writing and mathematics assessments, putting the school in the top 20 per cent of schools in the country.

Headteacher Julie Baldwin received a phone call from Ofsted at lunchtime on March 5 and at 7.50am the next morning the inspector arrived at the school. He observed lessons in all year groups, looked at children’s books, heard some of the children read and talked to them about the school. He considered the views of parents from the Parent View website and met with the teaching staff and later a group of governors, as well as looking at the progress and attainment of all the children.

By the end of the inspection the inspector found that the achievement of pupils, the quality of teaching, the behaviour and safety of pupils and the leadership and management were all outstanding.

The highlights from the report say that:

  • Leadership is excellent,
  • The governing body is very effective
  • Staff work together to ensure that pupils get an excellent education.
  • Teaching is never less than good and much is outstanding.
  • All groups of children are supported well and make outstanding progress.
  • The curriculum is well-organised, following common themes and shared experiences
  • Behaviour is exemplary. Pupils want to learn and show respect to each other at all times.
  • Standards at the end of Year 2 are consistently well above average in reading, writing and mathematics

You can read the full report on the Ofsted website and there’s more information about the school on the school website.


Castlethorpe Pre-School

We are a small, friendly, village pre-school. Initially children from Castlethorpe attended Hanslope playgroup. In September 1972, with the encouragement of the leader of the Hanslope Group, Rosemary Otter (the then Vicar’s wife), Margaret Wilson, Gill Wilson (Sibthorne) and 15 children moved into the Village Hall. The Playgroup opened on two mornings each week.

Over the years thanks to many village residents, the Playgroup, later Pre-School, developed to be a very successful village provision. Numbers vary according to the birth rate. At present the Pre-School is registered for a maximum of 26 children at any one time.

The Pre-School is administered by a committee of volunteers who are responsible for the management of the provision. In recent years as a result of government initiatives, the Management’s role has grown considerably. The Pre-School Manager has responsibility for day to day running.

We meet at Castlethorpe Village Hall Monday to Friday 9:15am – 12:45pm (3.00pm on Wednesdays) during term time. All children between 2 and 5 years of age are welcome and funding is available for all children over the age of 3, with limited funding available for 2 year olds.
The children have an opportunity to participate in a variety of educational, social and physical activities.
All aspects of the OFSTED requirements are covered to ensure a rounded curriculum. We are fortunate to have an excellent outdoor garden and play area made possible by the joint efforts of a parish councillor, parents and villagers.

The Pre-school is OFSTED regulated. All staff are well qualified and have considerable experience. The adult to child ratio is well above statutory requirements. Parents are encouraged to become involved and visitors are welcome.

For more information please contact Tina Sylvester (Manager) on 07508 399783 or castlethorpevillageps@gmail.com.


Acorn Nursery

The children’s day nursery in Castlethorpe is situated in a converted Wesleyan Chapel in South Street, backing onto the school and with access into the school playground. It was established in 1989 and caters for up to 36 babies and children from 4 months to 4 years. Catering for working parents, the nursery is open for 51 weeks of the year, from 7.30am to 6.15pm.

The nursery is one of eight run by Acorn Childcare in Milton Keynes and Northants. The Head Office is situated on the first floor of the Castlethorpe nursery. The aim of the nursery is to offer the flexibility and individuality of a small, homely nursery combined with the professionalism and facilities you’d expect from a larger one. The nursery also provides a Breakfast Club, After-school Club and a Holiday Playscheme for children aged 4 & 7. The nursery cook prepares healthy meals on site and also provides cooked lunches for children attending Castlethorpe School.

The nursery offers a range of activities and facilities, including weekly trips to its own Forest School in Salcey Forest. Forest School has been developed to offer learning opportunities in a woodland environment and has proved very popular with the children.

The nursery is also linked to Tall Oaks Training, based in Hanslope, which offers training for Early Years staff. Based on a farm smallholding, this is being developed into a field centre which the nursery will also be able to access to extend its outdoor activities.

The nursery is also hoping to develop its links with the local community, building on the links already in place through nursery families and staff who are also village residents.

Contact Zoe Raven Telephone 510309

More information at Acorn Childcare