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|Name||Al-Aqsa Schools Trust|
|Address||The Wayne Way, Leicester, LE5 4PP|
|Religious Character||Not applicable|
|Number of Pupils||272 (35.7% boys 64.3% girls)|
|Percentage Free School Meals||0.0%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||0%|
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils are proud of their school. They enjoy attending and say that it is a safe and friendly place. They are well cared for. Staff know each pupil well. Pupils say that staff are always there when they need help.
Staff have high expectations of pupils. Pupils meet these expectations. They achieve well in a range of subjects. Older pupils are proud of the poems their peers have had published in a collection of teenage poetry.
Pupils’ behaviour is good. They are polite and respectful. They apply themselves well in lessons. They are keen to learn. They take pride in their work. They say that bullying rarely happens. They are assured that staff deal with it effectively when it happens.
Pupils gain from a range of opportunities that support their personal development. They develop self-confidence and resilience. They are well prepared for their next steps.
Several parents and carers comment positively about the school. Typically, one parent stated, ‘My child looks forward to going to school.’ Other parents value the family feel, with happy and helpful teachers.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have developed an ambitious curriculum that reflects the school’s values. They provide pupils with subject curriculums that build pupils’ knowledge and skills over time. For example, pupils learn Arabic and develop a sound understanding of linguistics. They become increasingly capable in their use and application of mathematics. Teachers support and challenge pupils to revisit and build on previous learning each term and from one year to the next. Pupils know more and remember more over time.
Leaders identify and assess pupils’ needs effectively. Teachers ensure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are able to access and make progress through the curriculum. Leaders use the help of external professionals to provide specialist support when needed.
The culture of reading is strong. Children in the early years get off to a good start especially in learning to read. Leaders have planned a curriculum that develops pupils’ love of reading. Younger pupils use phonics to learn to read. They use their phonics knowledge and skills to write words, sentences and stories. Leaders are following their plans to strengthen the teaching of phonics. They have plans in place to train staff well and make sure that all books match the sounds that pupils are learning. Teachers have high expectations of pupils’ reading and writing. Older pupils read a range of books that broaden their understanding of the world. Pupils speak knowledgeably about their favourite authors.Staff have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. Pupils have very positive attitudes to their learning and conduct themselves well. Pupils value their education. Leaders continue to support and challenge parents when pupils do not attend regularly. The attendance of some pupils has been affected by the pandemic.
Leaders provide rich opportunities for pupils’ personal development. They provide pupils with a comprehensive personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education. Pupils learn about different aspects of physical and emotional health and well-being. Leaders have developed a well-sequenced and age-appropriate relationships, sex and health education curriculum. Pupils develop a sense of right and wrong. They have opportunities to celebrate their learning and reflect on life’s big questions.
Leaders have developed a strong culture of respect. Pupils show a deep understanding of equality and diversity. They learn about different world views and religions in religious education (RE). Pupils have a mature understanding of difference. Teachers prepare pupils well for life in modern Britain. Teachers encourage pupils to be aspirational. Older pupils receive impartial and effective careers guidance. Pupils are well prepared for their next steps in education or training.
Trustees, governors and senior leaders make sure that all of the independent school standards are met. They ensure that pupils’ welfare, health and safety are paramount. The premises are well maintained. Risk assessments are in place and regularly reviewed. Leaders make sure the school complies with schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010. They make sure that policies are readily available to parents on request and are published on the school’s website. These include safeguarding, behaviour and curriculum policies.
Trustees and governors fulfil their responsibilities well. For example, they deal with any complaints in line with the school’s complaints procedure, which is published on the school’s website. They have an accurate understanding of the school’s strengths and priorities for improvement. They developed an effective action plan following the last inspection. They have taken effective steps to address the areas for improvement reported in the last inspection. Leaders demonstrate a secure capacity to further develop the school.
All staff enjoy working at the school. They are proud to be part of the school. They benefit from a range of professional development opportunities. Teachers new to teaching are well supported. Staff say that leaders are mindful of their well-being and workload. They feel valued by leaders.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
The school’s safeguarding policy is published on the school’s website and reflects the latest statutory guidance. Staff are well trained. They receive regular updates and understand their responsibilities. They are focused on each pupil’s welfare. Safeguarding leaders are decisive in their actions. They make sure pupils receive the help they need. They work with external organisations and professionals. Leaders keep detailed safeguarding records.
Leaders complete all pre-employment checks before adults start working with pupils. Pupils learn about risk and how to keep themselves safe in different situations. For example, pupils are taught about online safety and potentially harmful relationships.Leaders have developed a strong culture of safeguarding. This is much improved from the previous inspection.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and proprietor)
? Leaders promote a love of reading, and pupils learn to read well. However, some pupils do not benefit from a consistent and faithful approach to the school’s chosen phonics scheme. For example, books and resources are not always well matched to sounds pupils are learning, and some staff have not been fully trained. Leaders need to enable pupils to make even better progress with their reading by consolidating the school’s approach to early reading.