This is a good school that has demonstrated rapid improvement since the last inspection. Dynamic and outstanding leadership is focused on driving up standards while ensuring that individual needs are met, with effective support from committed staff.
The governing body is fulfilling its legal responsibilities well, including duties for safeguarding and for promoting community cohesion. Children get off to an excellent start in Reception, where virtually all achieve their Early Learning Goals. They are happy and confident learners, acquiring the skills to support effective learning.
Provision has improved since the last inspection and is now outstanding. In the main school, the pattern of decli...ne seen at the last inspection has been reversed. Improvement in each subsequent year now sees Key Stage 1 attainment significantly above the national average, a pattern replicated in Year 5 after which pupils leave for Middle School.
Pupils acquire knowledge and understanding, and learn effectively. They enjoy their learning and a large majority make good or outstanding progress. Effective tracking of individual progress allows teachers to be held responsible for meeting the learning needs of all their pupils.
This ensures that those with special educational needs and/or disabilities are able to make progress in line with that of their peers. Pupils say they feel safe and behaviour is outstanding. When incidents do occur they say that adults deal with them effectively.
The school works hard to help pupils understand and engage with the wider world, and to engage in a range of cultural, artistic and sporting activity. Attendance is good because pupils enjoy going to school and being such effective learners brings positive rewards. This helps them acquire the skills needed for later life.
Teaching is good and some is outstanding. Teachers enthuse and challenge, supporting the good progress of their pupils and helping them reach challenging targets. Most reach or surpass the expected national levels.
Assessment and tracking are detailed, but the information gained is not always used fully in reading. Marking and target setting are used effectively to help pupils know how they can improve and here the school is refining its good practice. Resources, including the outstanding use of teaching assistants to support teachers and the effective use of technology to promote individual learning, help to boost individual achievement, which has improved since the last inspection and is now good.
The curriculum is largely topic based and teachers take great care to ensure that due weight is given to the acquisition of the key skills in literacy and numeracy. Very good enrichment provides opportunities for developing wider skills and interests. Outstanding arrangements for care, guidance and support, including provision of a Family Support Worker, contributes to well-being and promoting effective learning, especially for those pupils whose circumstances might make them vulnerable and in need of support.
Links with parents and carers are generally very positive, although a small number prove difficult to reach and are not fully engaged in the education of their children. Effective partnerships are used to promote learning and wider enjoyment through providing extra expertise. Equal opportunities are supported by the detailed knowledge of every pupil, so that all can fulfil their potential, while good value for money is secured by careful financial management and a relentless focus on achieving successful outcomes.
This is especially effective in the targeting of resources, such as staff, into classrooms to best support teaching and learning. Promoting community cohesion has been a priority for the governing body and this is now effective in developing pupils' understanding of their world at local, national and international levels. Outstanding leadership, illustrated by accurate self-evaluation and the focus on successfully raising standards, the ambition and commitment of governors and staff, and the rapid progress made since addressing issues from the last inspection and moving forward, demonstrate an outstanding capacity for continuing sustained improvement.
Information about the school
Ashton-under-Hill is much smaller than average, serving primarily the village and its surrounding area, but with increasing numbers coming from further afield. Virtually all pupils are of White British heritage. The proportion known to be eligible for free school meals is well below average, while the proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is around average.
There are currently no pupils with a statement of special educational needs. The school has been awarded the Activemark and has achieved Healthy Schools status. The local authority has given it awards for Effective Practice in Early Years and for Working Towards Extended Schools.