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Leaders and staff encourage pupils to 'aim high' in all that they do.
Pupils use the school's values, known as 'ARCHER' (aspirational, resilient, curious, honest, enthusiastic and respectful), to guide their thinking and learning in and out of school. For example, a group of pupils told us how they aspire to be paramedics or pilots since attending a school careers fair.
Pupils are happy at school.
They enjoy the space and activities on offer at playtimes. Whether pupils are playing sports, reading, using the climbing frame or walking Callie, the school dog, they feel safe and well cared for.
Staff expect pupils to behave responsibly.
Pupils ...say that behaviour has improved over time. Although a few of the older pupils report the occasional interruption in lessons, they know that adults manage this well. Bullying is not tolerated.
Most pupils are confident that adults will help sort out any of their concerns.
Most parents and carers commented favourably on the high levels of support for pupils' social and emotional well-being during the national lockdowns. One parent told us, 'This truly helped my child settle back into the school rhythm, building her resilience and mitigating some of her concerns.'
As a result, pupils settled back to school well.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Learning to read is at the heart of the school's work. The teaching of phonics is well organised from the moment children start in Reception.
There are high expectations that all pupils will be confident and fluent readers. Staff make useful checks on pupils' progress. They ensure that pupils at risk of falling behind receive the precise support they need to keep up.
Leaders' investments in books that will enhance pupils' vocabulary, and in reading resources, are developing a love of reading. As a result, pupils become increasingly confident and fluent readers as they move through the school.
Leaders have thought carefully about the design of the curriculum.
Subject plans are ambitious and detailed. They specify what pupils need to know and do in each year group. Relevant training is helping to build staff confidence and subject knowledge.
Where subjects have received greater attention, pupils learn new knowledge well. In mathematics, for example, staff revisit meaningful learning so that pupils can recall number facts when working out calculations.
Pupils do well in writing.
In Reception, most children can write simple words and sentences using the correct punctuation.
Nevertheless, in other subjects, such as computing and history, many pupils cannot confidently remember what they have learned. Subject leaders do not check routinely how well pupils are doing.
Leaders have plans in place to rectify this, but COVID-19 (coronavirus) has delayed some of their actions.
Leaders offer many opportunities for pupils to realise the 'ARCHER' values. Through the curriculum, staff support pupils to become respectful and well-rounded individuals.
For example, during a discussion, pupils explained the importance of tolerance and why learning to accept the views of others is important. Pupils are curious and keen to find things out. Staff inspire pupils to act and think responsibly.
Since learning about 'Earth Day', pupils are considering how to reduce their carbon footprint.
Overall, pupils conduct themselves sensibly. There is a calm atmosphere throughout the school.
Staff and pupils understand the behaviour systems. Pupils with complex behavioural needs receive strong support from experienced staff. As a result, their behaviour is improving.
Where learning is less engaging, a minority of pupils cause occasional disruption. However, when this happens, teachers re-engage them quickly and effectively.
Regardless of age, pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are involved fully in school life.
Staff know their specific needs well. They are skilled at providing them with the right equipment and support to become independent and resilient learners. However, on some individual plans, staff do not always identify the small steps pupils need.
Trustees and local governors are committed and well informed of the school's priorities. They understand how the quality of education is improving. Governors hold leaders to account.
For example, they scrutinise how additional funding for disadvantaged pupils is making a difference to their learning. Staff appreciate how leaders consider their workload and well-being.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders put pupils' safety at the forefront of their work. Staff have a thorough understanding of the role they play in keeping pupils safe. Adults, including governors, are well trained in keeping children safe.
Consequently, they are vigilant in spotting and reporting any signs of concern. Leaders work effectively with many pupils and families who need extra help and support.
Pupils feel safe in school.
They know that adults will help to resolve any issues or worries. Leaders have created a culture where pupils feel 'safe to tell'.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Leaders have constructed a carefully planned and sequenced curriculum.
In some subjects, teachers do not use assessment well enough to identify which areas of learning need further consolidation. As a result, some pupils have gaps in their knowledge. Leaders should ensure that teachers adapt their plans to build on what pupils know and can do.
• Subject leaders carefully monitor how well pupils are learning in reading and mathematics. These checks do not happen well enough in every subject. Leaders must ensure that subject leaders check the implementation of their plans to ensure that pupils learn and remember more of the curriculum.
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