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Acres Hill Community Primary is a school where pupils feel safe.
They care for and respect each other. Pupils are polite and friendly to staff and visitors.
Leaders have high expectations for pupils.
They are determined to give them lots of memorable experiences, including visits linked to what they are learning. The headteacher, leaders and staff want all pupils to do their best. They provide support to make sure this happens.
Staff encourage parents and carers to be involved with their children's education.
Pupils' behaviour has dramatically improved. Relationships between staff and pupils are strong.
Pupils are confident to talk ...to an adult if they have any worries. Pupils told us that incidents of bullying are rare. They feel that adults are good at dealing with bullying when it happens.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The headteacher and staff have developed an effective curriculum. In addition to what is taught in lessons, a range of trips and visitors to the school make learning memorable. Teachers plan lessons which build on what pupils already know.
In history, this helped pupils to gain secure knowledge, such as putting historical events in chronological order. In their art sketchbooks, pupils had learned specific skills, such as perspective and cross-hatching. They enjoyed explaining how they used these to produce some high-quality artwork based on the artist Henry Moore.
Staff know their pupils well and understand individuals' needs, particularly those who need extra help. Staff have had training to make sure their support is helpful. If pupils struggle in a lesson, they get help the very same day.
Teachers make sure that pupils have time to practise new skills to help them become confident when using them. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do well. Staff find out why these pupils sometimes struggle to learn and find ways to help them.
Teachers make sure that the curriculum is accessible to all pupils.
Leaders prioritise learning about phonics and the development of early reading skills. Pupils read books which focus on the sounds they are learning.
Because of this, pupils become more confident and fluent readers. Pupils who do struggle receive support from well-trained staff. Due to this, they improve quickly.
Pupils enjoy reading. They also look forward to adults reading to them, particularly when adults use different voices for different characters. Pupils talked with great enthusiasm about their favourite authors like David Walliams, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo.
Pupils behave well in lessons and at breaktimes and lunchtimes. There are some pupils who find it difficult to manage their feelings. The behaviour of these pupils has improved because of the support they receive.
Staff have worked both with pupils and with families to highlight the importance of attending school regularly.Pupils' attendance has significantly improved, but leaders know this needs to be even better.
In the early years, staff help children to develop their communication skills well.
They learn to play with their friends and share equipment. For example, we saw them working well as a team, building a tower out of blocks. Children listen and follow instructions.
There are clear routines which the children know well. Children are enthusiastic in their learning. The outdoor area contains equipment which has been well used.
Some of these resources are worn and now need replacing.
The school offers pupils a range of clubs, including choir, sport and science. Pupils respect each other's cultures and backgrounds.
Pupils care for each other and there are opportunities for them to contribute to the daily life of the school. The school council, by sharing its views and suggestions, helps staff improve the school.
Leaders know the school well and are always looking for ways to make it even better.
In the past, there have been a lot of staff changes, but now the headteacher has an enthusiastic and motivated staff team. Staff value the training they receive. They appreciate how leaders are considerate and supportive of their workload.
Some subject leaders need the opportunity to check on the quality of education in their subjects. They would then be able to improve their subjects more effectively.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders make sure the right checks are carried out on adults before they start working in the school. Staff have regular training to keep up to date on current guidance for keeping children safe.
Staff take pupils' safety very seriously.
All concerns are logged and monitored carefully. Staff have good partnerships with outside support agencies. Because of this, they make sure families get the help and support they need.
Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe. For example, Year 6 pupils attend workshops where they find out more about keeping safe online and how to keep healthy.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Leaders need to continue to improve pupils' attendance.
There are still a small number of pupils who are frequently absent. . Leaders have supported curriculum leaders to develop the curriculum in their subjects.
Curriculum leaders now need greater opportunities to check the quality of education in their subjects to support further improvement.The trust board has supported improvements to the learning environment. However, the outdoor area within the early years needs improving further to support children's learning.