Abbeywood First School

Name Abbeywood First School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 28 March 2011
Address Wood Piece Lane, Church Hill, Redditch, Worcestershire, B98 9LR
Phone Number 0152763007
Type Academy
Age Range 3-9
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 256
Number of Pupils per Teacher 14.7
Academy Sponsor Central Rsa Academies Trust
Local Authority 885
Percentage Free School Meals 15.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 14.8%
Persisitent Absence 11.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 10.5%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

Abbeywood is a smaller-than-average school. Most pupils are White British in origin and a few pupils are at the early stages of learning English as an additional language. The largest group of ethnic minority pupils is Polish. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is slightly above the national average, as is the proportion of pupils who have a statement of educational needs. The proportion known to be eligible for free school meals is above the national average. Early Years Foundation Stage provision is provided for children in the Nursery and Reception class. Pupils in Key Stage 1 are taught in mixed-age classes. There has been a significant change in the teaching staff since the last inspection, with only one third of the staff remaining. The school has achieved the national Healthy Schools status, Leading Parent Partnership Award, Artsmark Gold and Activemark.

Main findings

Abbeywood provides a good quality of education within a safe, welcoming and caring atmosphere, where children love learning and are justifiably proud of their achievements. As one child said, ’I love learning because the teachers make it interesting and fun.’ Parents and carers are very pleased with the quality of education that the school provides and the school vigorously pursues the exemplary links it has with them. It helps them to support their children in their learning, so that they feel confident and competent to provide the help their children need. Children get off to an excellent start in the Nursery and Reception, where they make at least good, but often outstanding, progress in all the areas of learning. The excellent quality of provision and leadership of the Early Years Foundation Stage lead to children’s outstanding outcomes. Good progress continues in Years 1 to 4 and, by the time pupils move to middle school, their attainment is above average overall. Since the last inspection, the school has successfully accelerated pupils’ progress and significantly improved writing at both key stages, so that it is now broadly in line with national expectations. The school has experienced some turbulent staffing difficulties over the last three years. Throughout this time the strong and focused leadership, motivated by the inspirational headteacher, remained completely focused on the drive to improve standards so that attainment and pupils’ progress have risen rapidly. Progress in mathematics has accelerated and attainment is now above the national average by Year 2 and pupils are on track to meet their challenging targets in this subject and in English in Year 2 and Year 4. However, opportunities are missed in mathematics to raise standards further because not all teachers are replicating the good procedures that are in place for English, where the use of success criteria in lessons helps pupils to take control of their own learning and to accelerate progress. In addition, pupils are not given enough opportunities to develop their skills of reasoning in mathematics. English is above national standards, because of the good reading standards and the significant improvements that have taken place in teaching and learning, particularly in writing. The good practice needs further time to embed to show even greater improvement. The good leadership record, together with its accurate self-evaluation and the rapid rise in attainment, particularly in Key Stage 2, shows the school’s good capacity for continued improvement. Most aspects of pupils’ personal development are good or better. They feel very safe in school and do their best to keep healthy. Pupils behave well. They have positive attitudes towards learning and enjoy school. Pupils’ spiritual moral, social and cultural development is excellent and the outcomes in this area are supported by the outstanding curriculum. Highly effective partnerships, particularly with neighbouring schools, make a very strong contribution to pupils’ learning and well-being. Pupils make an excellent contribution to their school and wider community. The good teaching enables pupils to make good gains in their learning. Teachers use resources, such as computers, to make work interesting and relevant, such as a data logging exercise. Occasionally, the pace of learning slows during a lesson, typically when teachers interrupt pupils when they are working on independent tasks. In some lessons, there is insufficient challenge to accelerate the progress of more-able pupils. The vibrant and exemplary curriculum supports good learning and progress for all groups of pupils and adds to pupils’ enjoyment of school. Staff use their detailed knowledge of each child skillfully to provide a good level of care and personal support. The staff enthusiastically share the headteacher’s clearly articulated drive to improve the school. Middle leadership is good and middle leaders are now taking responsibility for standards in their areas.