Meon Junior School: Double success for staff and students

Meon Junior School: Double success for staff and students

Pupils and staff at Meon Junior School in Portsmouth are celebrating after receiving two impressive accolades.

The school has been rated Good by Ofsted in its first inspection since the pandemic began. Inspectors praised the school for its happy and productive atmosphere, and said “pupils learn well across the curriculum” and that “parents thoroughly recommend the school”. The report also highlighted the school’s strength in English, with leaders described as “ambitious” and staff “all enjoying working” at Meon.

Meon Junior School has also been awarded esteemed ‘Thinking School’ status by the University of Exeter’s Cognitive Education Development Unit. A Thinking School is one which takes an explicit, evidence-informed, whole-school approach to developing pupils’ cognitive capability and intelligent learning behaviours. This supports their independent and co-operative learning skills which leads to high levels of achievement, enjoyment and satisfaction in learning.

Sara Paine, Head Teacher at Meon Junior School, said:

“Thank you to all who have been involved in helping us achieve this accreditation. This is a proud moment for us and the result of all the hard work the staff and students have put into understanding and applying the Thinking School ethos into all aspects of school life.”

Good Ofsted for Meon Junior School

Meon Junior’s Ofsted report remarked that pupils enjoy coming to a happy and calm school and they feel safe and well looked after by adults with safeguarding considered effective. The inspector also praised the ‘buzz’ of the classroom with children working productively together and keen to answer questions.

The report went on to applaud the curriculum, stating pupils learn well across a range of subjects. Reading was said to be at “the heart of the curriculum” and teachers were praised for introducing pupils to exciting and challenging books, leading to them becoming increasingly articulate and speaking confidently. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those who are not yet fluent readers are well supported and “quickly start to catch up if they need to.”

Leaders and staff were also commended for having high expectations of pupils and working hard to help pupils achieve their potential and behave well. The inspector added that leaders and teachers make sure pupils’ personal development is very well catered to, including their physical and mental health. The report praised the variety of clubs and enrichment activities on offer at the school.

Achieving the Thinking School Accreditation

Meon Junior School began work to become a Thinking School in 2017 after joining Thinking Schools. It has since implemented a range of initiatives including Thinking Maps.

The report by the University of Exeter praised Meon Junior School for having a clear vision, outlining its beliefs and how to achieve them and for embedding Thinking Skills within the culture at the school. The report also noted that Meon has gone from strength to strength with work surrounding metacognitive development.

Natalie Sheppard, Director of Education at the Thinking Schools Academy Trust in Portsmouth, said:

“Our Portsmouth Schools are passionate about improving life chances for young people and know that this accreditation is key to helping children gain the skills to thrive in their learning journeys. I am incredibly proud to watch Meon Junior School go from strength to strength with work surrounding metacognitive development.”