Ofsted Good School
On December 10th 2019, the school was visited by a team from Ofsted for a Section 8 two day school inspection under the new EIF. The inspection continued to judge the school as Good with the recommendation that they would return for a two day Section 5 inspection.
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils are proud of their school. They describe it as a welcoming and friendly place to be. They feel safe in school. They know that if they need help, an adult will be there for them. Relationships between staff and pupils are a real strength of the school. Staff care about pupils and support them well.
Pupils behave well. They are respectful and polite. They listen carefully to staff, take care with their work and try hard. Bullying is rare and pupils trust adults to sort it out quickly if it occurs.
Leaders have high expectations of pupils. They encourage them to do their best. Pupils told me that teachers help them to ‘learn and remember’. Pupils told me that they learn something new every day.
Pupils value the wide range of visits and activities that their teachers provide. They enjoy the after-school clubs and they like taking part in sports with other schools. Older pupils enjoy taking on responsibilities and helping younger pupils.
Leaders have developed a strong sense of teamwork across the school. Staff share leaders’ high ambitions for pupils. Leaders provide staff with training and support to help them improve their teaching. Teachers model new ideas to pupils well. This helps pupils to learn and understand.
Leaders have started to look closely at the curriculum and to set out the key knowledge and skills that they want pupils to learn. They have done this clearly in some subjects, such as science and geography, but not in all the others.
Teachers set clear routines and high expectations for pupils’ behaviour in class. Pupils concentrate on their work. They behave well and listen to their teachers.
Mathematics is taught well. The mathematics leader has a clear plan of what she wants pupils to learn and be able to do. Teachers follow the detailed plan and ensure that pupils build up their mathematics knowledge each term and year-on-year. Pupils use what they already know and understand to help them grasp their next steps in their learning. This helps all pupils to achieve well.
Leaders want pupils to become confident readers. They have a plan in place to improve the teaching of reading. This includes developing pupils’ vocabulary so that they will enjoy reading even more.
Leaders have developed a ‘Passport for Learning’. This sets out some of the experiences pupils can have during their time in school. These include: residential visits, raising money for charity and working with artists. Pupils can also learn to play a musical instrument and take responsibilities that help the day-to-day running of the school.
Leaders are mindful of staff workload. Staff appreciate the creative ways that leaders support their well-being. They feel they are valued in their work.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders ensure that safeguarding is a high priority for all staff. Staff know pupils well and provide them with a high level of care. Staff are well trained and aware of the signs that a pupil may be at risk of harm. They know how to report their concerns. Leaders act quickly to seek advice and support from other agencies. They make sure that pupils and families get help when they need it.
Pupils know that there is always a trusted adult in school that they can go to for help. They understand how to stay safe online.
What does the school need to do to improve?
The school’s curriculum is not yet sufficiently coherently planned and sequenced in some subjects. Leaders need to ensure that they identify the precise knowledge that they want pupils to acquire and remember at the end of each series of lessons across all subjects.
Leaders have begun to improve the teaching of reading. They must now improve the teaching of phonics for pupils who are at an earlier stage of reading. They need to ensure that teachers receive the training they need to do this well. They should ensure that the reading books pupils are given match their level of phonics understanding so that they can catch up quickly and develop confidence and accuracy in reading.
Leaders have ensured that pupils with SEND are identified. They provide staff with training and they work with external agencies and parents to put in place a range of support for pupils. However, although pupils receive support, it is not always consistently well tailored on a day-to-day basis to meet their needs effectively. Leaders should ensure that learning activities match pupils needs accurately, so that pupils with SEND can become more independent and achieve well.