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Following my visit to the school on 4 October 2018, I write on behalf of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills to report the inspection findings. The visit was the first short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be good in September 2014.
This school continues to be good. The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. As you appointed new senior leaders, you have been careful to ensure that their different areas of expertise will further improve teaching and learning.
Subject leaders use their expertise well to help staff teach pupils the skills they nee...d to do well in different subjects. When taken alongside the improvements in pupils' progress since the previous inspection, all of this shows the school has strong capacity for further improvement. This is a happy school where there is much laughter among pupils, who are keen to learn, and staff, who are keen to help them learn well, personally and academically.
Staff and governors, parents and carers all share your determination to help pupils succeed. Virtually everyone with whom I spoke said they were proud to be part of the school. Parents are very satisfied.
They very much appreciate how you and the staff are approachable and willing to help. They say their children make good progress. They praise staff for how quickly they help children to become confident learners, able to speak, listen and communicate well with others.
You instil in the pupils a desire to do well. Pupils in Year 2 were anxious to tell me about their ambitions to go to university. They know they need to work hard to get there and very much want to do so.
Pupils are happy and settled in school. The behaviour I saw when we went around the school was excellent. Pupils readily follow instructions and they quickly become absorbed in their learning.
They are curious about learning. Staff pick up well on their curiosity, helping them to take their learning further. This was demonstrated when pupils found a slug and insects under the leaves they had collected for an observational drawing session.
The ensuing discussion helped to enhance the pupils' observational skills and further their understanding of minibeasts, which is part of the science curriculum. At the previous inspection, you were asked to improve the quality of teaching through using assessment information better to help pupils learn faster, and to make sure pupils edit and correct their work to learn from their mistakes. You have tackled both of these things well.
Pupils throughout the school make good progress. However, as you rightly identified, there is more to do to ensure that all pupils capable of doing so achieve greater depth in their learning. You were also asked to continue to raise attendance.
You have reduced the amount of persistent absence and brought overall attendance up to the national average. You clearly have a continuing battle with parents who take holidays, including extended holidays, during term time. You are doing everything you can to impress upon these parents why good attendance is important for good learning.
Some, but not all, are beginning to respond. Safeguarding is effective. The culture of safeguarding is strong.
Leaders and governors have ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose. Records are detailed and of a suitable quality. You monitor closely that the agreed systems and procedures are always followed.
You are vigilant in tackling issues in a timely manner to avoid escalation wherever possible. All training, including for first aid and child protection, is up to date. All staff and governors are vetted to make sure that they are suitable to work with children.
Suitable risk assessments are in place for all relevant activities. You ensure that pupils receive and understand guidance on how to keep themselves safe in or out of school, including when online. Pupils talk about the dangers of chat rooms and the importance of keeping themselves safe, wherever they are.
For example, they said, 'but we are always safe in this school' and 'We would always tell a teacher if something was wrong.' Parents agree that their children are safe at school. They talk very positively about how you help them understand how to keep their children safe online, including at home, for example through workshops and opportunities to become digital champions.
Inspection findings ? My first and second lines of enquiry in this inspection were to investigate what leaders are doing to help more pupils reach greater depth in their learning, and how well teachers are using assessment information to plan work that challenges all pupils to do well. ? We visited several phonics sessions together. It was clear from this and other evidence that the teaching of phonics is strong and that pupils use their phonics knowledge well when reading and spelling.
Staff are vigilant in ensuring that pupils understand the words they are learning, and that they pronounce them properly. ? As we visited other sessions, I could see that staff ensure that pupils learn the vocabulary they need for different subjects. Staff constantly check that pupils, the vast majority of whom speak English as an additional language, understand and use new vocabulary correctly.
• Pupils have many opportunities for extended writing. The build-up to writing, through encouraging pupils to talk and develop a range of vocabulary prior to writing, is proving successful. Pupils were keen to show how they draft and edit their writing and do their corrections.
They explained that, by doing so, they make faster progress. In lessons, teachers constantly check how well pupils are doing. ? Teachers use assessment information well in lessons and in their planning for different groups and for individuals.
They are increasingly mindful of all pupils, from the least to the most able, and, for the most part, ensure that work is at the right level of challenge for them. ? You have rightly identified that not enough Year 2 pupils reached greater depth in their learning in 2018. You are keeping a close eye on how well staff understand what greater depth means at different ability levels, and when it is right to move a pupil on or give them more time to deepen their understanding.
• The work you are doing with the group of schools to which your school belongs is helping staff to develop the expertise they need to understand greater depth. Additionally, the expertise in moderation you now have on the staff is helping to ensure that assessments are accurate and well founded. ? My third line of enquiry was to check how well the curriculum is planned to ensure that pupils make progress in a wide range of subjects.
You, the staff and the governors have given a great deal of thought to the curriculum to ensure that it meets the needs of the pupils in your school. Thus, it includes many memorable experiences that enrich and enhance pupils' learning in different subjects and through extra-curricular activities. ? You have ensured that British values are fully integrated into the curriculum.
You check regularly that pupils understand life in Britain today and how to make a positive contribution to it. Pupils show respect and tolerance for others and for different faiths and beliefs. ? The enthusiasm of subject leaders shone through in their discussion with me.
While they are at different stages of development, they are, in their words, 'All on the same pathway', determined to ensure that pupils make good progress in the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to have in each subject. Next steps for the school Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that: ? staff help pupils to make even better progress so that more reach greater depth in their learning. I am copying this letter to the chair of the governing body, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children's services for Blackburn with Darwen.
This letter will be published on the Ofsted website. Yours sincerely Doris Bell Ofsted Inspector Information about the inspection I carried out a variety of activities during the inspection. I met with you throughout the day.
We observed together in early years and in Years 1 and 2, and together we looked at the work in pupils' books. I examined the range of assessment information you sent me prior to the inspection and we discussed it during the day. I looked at a range of documents, including your self-evaluation and your school improvement plan.
I also scrutinised a range of documents relating to safeguarding and attendance. I met with governors, with a representative of the local authority and the school's external consultant. I also talked to a group of pupils from Years 1 and 2 and observed pupils at play and lunchtime.
There were too few responses to Parent View, the online questionnaire for parents, to analyse the outcomes. However, I did take account of the nine comments that parents added to their responses, all of which were positive. I also spoke with parents as they brought their children to school.
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