Limpsfield C.E. Infant School

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Limpsfield C.E. Infant School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

www.limpsfield.surrey.sch.uk

LIMPSFIELD C.E. INFANT SCHOOL | 1
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2021
Established in 1832, Limpsfield Church of England Infant
School is a small village school, situated within the National
Trust’s Surrey Hills at the foot of the North Downs.
Run as a two-form entry school, it has 160 children on role
between the ages of four and seven. Limpsfield was judged to
be “outstanding” in both its most recent Ofsted and SIAMS
inspections. Headteacher Cheryl Hudson explains more about
the progressive and forward-thinking attitudes that have been
central in establishing a vision for continued success.
The natural beauty and historic significance of Limpsfield Common, an area of
outstanding beauty that was recorded in the Domesday Book, is enhanced by our
school building – which has kept many of its original features that have since been
combined with 21st century facilities. This is the backdrop for all the good work
that we complete.
Taking inspiration from nature
To take advantage of our unique setting, we have developed a strong emphasis on
outdoor learning including Forest School. Having strong links with the community,
we have established a Forest School site in the local National Trust woodland. We
have a designated specialist Forest School team and leader that co-ordinate a
diverse and exciting outdoor learning programme. This supports the acquisition of
specific knowledge and practical skills, as well as enhancing the wider curriculum.
Our outdoor provision helps children to experience first-hand the awe and wonder
of the natural world and to develop their social capital.
FACTS ABOUT
LIMPSFIELD C.E. INFANT SCHOOL
»Headteacher: Cheryl Hudson
»Established in 1832
»Based in Limpsfield, Oxted
»Type: Infant
»No. of students: 160
Limpsfield C.E.
Infant School
Children exploring in Limpsfield Community Orchard
Learning about pollination
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
2 | LIMPSFIELD C.E. INFANT SCHOOL
We believe that as the role of
technology grows, especially in
childhood, children need the freedom
to explore and get up close to nature.
This time outside is also very beneficial
to the mental health and wellbeing of
our children, something that has
become even more apparent since the
closure of schools due to the Covid-19
pandemic. As such, our outdoor
learning is more than an occasional
treat; it is an essential part of our
curriculum. The quality, and necessity,
of outdoor learning is of paramount
importance, and we ensure that
sessions are regularly timetabled.
A specialism in science
In terms of our core curriculum, science
is a particular strength. We are one of
only a few infant schools to have
achieved Primary Science Quality Mark
Outreach, a testament to our
specialisation in science. In order to
sustain and improve our own provision
and that of other schools, the science
lead engages in outreach across Surrey
and Sussex, as well as working with the
Primary Science Teaching Trust
nationally.
To enhance our curriculum provision,
we engage in a variety of whole school
science, technology, engineering, and
maths projects such as the Primary
Engineer Projects
and the Hitachi Rail
Project.
We celebrate the development
of scientific pedagogies on site and
have had several papers published as a
result. Our efforts have been
recognised by the Royal Society of
Chemistry, who sent us a letter
congratulating us for encouraging
children to become inspired by science
from an early age. We integrate STEM
into our whole curriculum, breaking
down any stereotypes, and in all areas
of STEM we aim to pioneer new
approaches even if they are more
commonly seen in Key Stage 2
provision.
Our outdoor
learning is
more than an
occasional
treat; it is an
essential part
of our
curriculum
Science investigation -
solids and liquids
LIMPSFIELD C.E. INFANT SCHOOL | 3
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2021
Developing our curriculum
We continue to look at ways of
improving our curriculum and building
upon previous success. As such, we are
currently further enhancing our reading
and writing by ensuring that our English
curriculum is underpinned by high-
quality texts that are inclusive and
representative of modern-day Britain.
Our teachers create a “hook with a
book” to provide children with an
engaging starting point at the beginning
of an English unit. This provides
opportunities for children
to make inferences and predictions. The
teaching of spelling, punctuation and
grammar is embedded through the high-
quality texts and then children apply
these skills in writing. This provides a
purpose and a better awareness of
audience. At the end of a learning
sequence, our children edit, redraft, and
publish their work so that they gain an
understanding of what it is like to be an
author.
To build a growth mindset, we
champion the “Limpsfield Learning
Powers” which encompass four key
strengths that as a school we believe a
child needs to learn optimally. These are
to have a go, resilience, have ideas and
share them and have curiosity. We
believe that alongside well-being, quality
texts, rich language and outdoor
learning, the LLPs will enable every child
to excel through enquiry, promoting a
real “I can” attitude to learning.
One of our priorities moving forward is
embracing sustainability. We have signed
up to a project called Less CO2 and Let’s
Go Zero 2030, which looks at how we
can engage children alongside the wider
school community to integrate
sustainability into our lives. In looking at
ways to reduce our energy consumption
and educate the children on the need for
sustainability and protecting our
environment, we aim to develop a
strong feeling of belonging and care
to ensure they understand the need to
safeguard the planet for future
generations.
Spreading the word
As a village school, the biggest
challenge we face is pupil numbers.
This issue is exacerbated in our local
area as there is already a surplus of
places. A key result of falling pupil
numbers is a reduction in funding,
which can present further challenges.
We are a small school that embraces
and nurtures every child as being a
whole and unique person. To grow
and continue to thrive as a distinctive
infant setting, we are working hard to
appeal to a wider area. As part of this
effort, we have adapted our
curriculum to ensure it is geared
towards specialism, specifically in early
years education. By adopting this
focus, we can differentiate ourselves
from other schools. We are working
hard to spread awareness of our
school, and situated on the border
between Surrey and Kent, we are
confident that efforts will continue to
bear fruit.
We are one of
only a few
infant schools
to have
achieved
Primary
Science
Quality Mark
Outreach
Minibeast investigating
in Forest School

www.limpsfield.surrey.sch.uk

This article was sponsored by Limpsfield C.E. Infant School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.