|Name||All Faiths Children’s Academy|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||28 January 2020|
|Address||Gun Lane, Strood, Rochester, Kent, ME2 4UF|
|Religious Character||Does not apply|
|Number of Pupils||231 (53% boys 47% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||15.3|
|Academy Sponsor||The Thinking Schools Academy Trust|
|Percentage Free School Meals||26.7%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||22.9%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||23.8%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
What is it like to attend this school?
All pupils experience a rich, diverse curriculum in this highly inclusive school. Pupils rise to the high expectations they are set. They relish the challenges they face in their learning. Most of the time they work with determination and a commitment to do well.
The school is a happy, safe place to be. Pupils’ behaviour in and around the building is calm and orderly. Pupils are polite and thoughtful in their actions. They are kind and considerate towards one another, taking account of other people’s feelings. Bullying is very rare. Pupils show an interest in different faiths and cultures, fostering a respect for people’s differences.
Pupils are proud to ‘think inclusively’ as they approach their learning and their daily lives. They thoroughly enjoy learning British Sign Language (BSL). BSL is taught to all pupils in the school. As a result, pupils are confident to communicate with one another. Pupils who are hearing-impaired and deaf are fully integrated into the life of the school. Furthermore, the school’s award-winning signing choir gives both hearing and hearing-impaired pupils the opportunity to perform in concerts together.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have high expectations, striving to ‘transform life chances for all pupils’. They plan a wide range of challenging experiences to extend the pupils’ learning. The headteacher has built a committed team of staff who share his high expectations. Together they have developed a well-planned, ambitious curriculum. Teachers encourage pupils to use their ‘thinking skills’ to think deeply about the knowledge they acquire, for example by ‘thinking globally’ and ‘thinking healthily’.
Reading is given a high priority. Teachers are skilled at teaching early reading. They skilfully introduce pupils to new phonics. Pupils confidently practise and apply these in their reading and writing. Occasionally, the books teachers select for pupils to read at home are not completely well matched to their ability. This means that, at times, pupils struggle to practise their reading.
Leaders have focused on developing pupils’ vocabulary. Pupils are regularly encouraged to ‘de-bug’ unknown words. They check the meaning of words and then use them in their reading and writing. Pupils in key stage 2 go on to develop secure reading skills. Teachers select books that spark pupils’ interest. Pupils develop a genuine love of reading. They talk passionately about the books they have enjoyed.
Senior leaders and trust leaders have provided teachers with appropriate training and support. Teachers have strong subject knowledge. Most of the time, the school’s planned curriculum is taught well. When teaching new concepts, teachers give clear explanations. Mostly, they design activities that help pupils to learn well, matchingthese carefully to pupils’ abilities. As a result, pupils are motivated to work hard. They show interest in their learning and concentrate on their work.
Occasionally, teachers do not consider carefully enough what pupils have already learned. When this happens, the tasks they plan do not build on what pupils already know and can do. This means that, occasionally, pupils find it difficult to explain their learning and to remember the knowledge and skills they have been taught before. Consequently, some pupils lose focus and become distracted from their learning.
Leaders have given careful consideration to the planning of the early years curriculum. They have created an environment where children explore new things confidently and curiously. Children persevere with the tasks they undertake, showing interest and enthusiasm. Adults provide nurturing support and clear routines that support children effectively. As a result, children do well during their time in early years.
The school’s provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is particularly strong. Leaders have made sure that all staff have training and support so that they are skilled and knowledgeable. As a result, staff provide these pupils with effective support. Pupils with SEND are fully included in all aspects of school life and they do well in their learning.
The provision to enhance pupils’ personal development is exceptionally rich and diverse. Pupils have a wide variety of opportunities to learn about the world around them. They discuss and debate issues surrounding important events happening globally. Pupils learn to be respectful of different faiths and cultures. All pupils are encouraged to ‘be their best self’ by not giving up and always doing their best. Pupils are given the opportunity to become actively involved in school decision-making. They are taught how to become responsible citizens very effectively.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders make pupils’ safety and well-being their number one priority. Leaders make sure that all staff are given detailed training, advice and support so that they fully understand their duty to keep pupils safe. Consequently, staff at all levels treat this part of their work as paramount.
Pupils are taught how to stay safe, including when using the internet. They know that there are adults in school who they can talk to if they have any worries. As a result, pupils feel safe and they have a good understanding of how to keep themselves safe, including when online.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Occasionally, the school’s well-planned curriculum is not delivered effectively enough. Furthermore, at times, home reading books are not used well enough to enable pupils to practise using their developing phonics knowledge. Leaders should ensure that the planned curriculum is delivered consistently well so that pupils are better able to remember and apply their developing skills and knowledge when faced with new learning. They should also ensure that the school’s home reading books are organised more effectively so that pupils are better able to practise their phonics.