Ofsted Anniversary

December 20, 2013

You may be aware that it has been one year since Ofsted visited The Lea and judged our school to be ‘Good’. Below is a letter from Nigel McCarthy, our Chair of Governors, and myself, detailing the progress that has been made towards becoming an ‘Outstanding’ school in that time.


Dear Parents and Carers

On Our Way to Outstanding

It is now one year since Ofsted visited The Lea and judged the school to be Good. We thought you would be interested to know what progress has been made towards becoming an Outstanding school in that time.

The actions that were recommended in the Ofsted report are priorities in our School Improvement Plan and are being addressed this year. Over the course of 2013/14, the school will be focussed on further developing progression in spelling for consistency across the school, and encouraging pupils to read more widely and for pleasure, and developing problem solving skills across the school to improve progress and to raise attainment in Mathematics. The governors will monitor progress in these areas as the year goes on and have already been into school in Governor Week to see how Problem Solving is taught, and will look at Reading in the spring term.

Those of you who have been in school recently will have seen excellent examples of marking and feedback in children’s books, examples of the very best handwriting displayed around the school and evidence of problem solving in all classrooms. We have also changed the way children learn spellings in Key Stage 2 so that it enhances the way we teach phonics in Foundation Stage and KS1.

Ruth Cornish, our Hertfordshire Improvement Partner, said at both her summer and autumn term visits that progress is outstanding from KS1 to the end of KS2 and for groups of children across the school. She also wrote in her report that attainment at both KS1 and KS2 is at or above national expectations in all areas and there is an upward trend.

There has been another new Ofsted Framework from September 2013 which has meant that the bar has been raised  yet again, making it a far greater challenge for schools to demonstrate that they are outstanding. At The Lea we have a relentless pursuit for excellence and to improve outcomes for all our pupils and we are determined that, with your help and support, we will be judged to be an outstanding school.

Have a very happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

   Sharon Swinson, Headteacher
Nigel McCarthy, 
Chair of Governors


KS2 Trip to Pantomime

December 19, 2013

Years 3 to 6 enjoyed a Christmas trip to the St Albans pantomime to see ‘Cinderella’ today. They all had a wonderful time (“oh no they didn’t…oh yes they did!”) and their behaviour was impeccable! A big thank you goes to Mrs Davenport for organising the trip.


Christmas Lunch

December 18, 2013

The children enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner today.  A fun time was had by all! Thanks to all our Midday Supervisors and to Mrs Bosher and Ms Shackell in the kitchen.


Hertfordshire Libraries Mini-Reading Challenge

December 18, 2013

If your child enjoyed the Summer Reading Challenge and you would like to encourage your child to keep reading over the Christmas holidays, Hertfordshire Libraries have teamed up with The Reading Agency to run a mini-challenge.

The mini-challenge runs from 12 December to 6 January and all children need to do is register online and then simply read three library books, update their profile with the books they have read and earn a virtual badge as a prize. Plus there will be an exclusive competition too!

End of Term Team Points

December 13, 2013

The team with the most team points this term was Ruby.

Well done to team Ruby who will be rewarded with a fun time playing on the bouncy castle to be set up in our school hall next Monday.

Our Christmas Productions

December 13, 2013

We have been treated to some wonderful performances this week as the children gave their Christmas productions.

‘Away in a Manger’ (Nursery and Reception)

Well done to Nursery and Reception who gave wonderful performances in their Nativity play ‘Away in a Manger’ on Tuesday and Wednesday. We are sure those parents and carers who came along will agree that the children were all fantastic!  They have worked really hard – we are very proud of them.

A big thank you goes to those members of staff who were involved in making the Nativity such a success!

‘Christmas is Coming’ (Year 1 and 2)

On Wednesday and Thursday Year 1 and 2 gave equally wonderful performances in their production of ‘Christmas is Coming’. Well done to the children who have clearly been rehearsing very hard to produce such a fantastic production.

Another thank you to all staff members involved in getting the children ready for their performance.

Year 3/4 Christmas Concert

On Wednesday evening parents and carers came along to our Year 3/4 carol concert at school.  The pupils sang and read their lines beautifully.  Well done to everyone and thank you to all the members of staff involved in helping the pupils deliver such a lovely performance.

Christmas Tree Festival

December 12, 2013

On Monday our School Council went along to St Nicholas Church in Harpenden to decorate a tree as part of the Christmas Tree Festival taking place this week.  Miss Robinson and Mrs Carberry, who accompanied the children, said that the tree looked lovely!

On Wednesday Year 3 and 4 went to the Christmas Tree Festival to take part in a carol service.  They sang beautifully. Well done everyone.