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Pupils are happy at Banks Lane Junior School. They enjoy school and attend regularly. Pupils are welcomed every morning with a smile from leaders and staff.
Most parents and carers said their children love coming to school. They would recommend the school to others.
Pupils behave well and develop positive attitudes to learning.
They are polite and courteous. They have a strong sense of respect for others. All staff have pupils' well-being as a priority.
The school's motto is 'Believe to Achieve'. Leaders have high expectations of all pupils. Pupils enjoy celebrating their achievements every week in assembly.
They like seeing their own and ot...hers' hard work, talents and interests being rewarded. Pupils enjoy the wide range of activities on offer. They enjoy attending the variety of music and sports clubs.
They love the school trips, especially residentials like the Year 6 visit to Lakeside.
Pupils know about the different forms of bullying. The pupils that we spoke to said that they feel safe and that bullying is extremely rare.
They reported that teachers deal with any problems straight away. They said there is always someone you can talk to.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The headteacher and deputy headteacher form a strong team.
They have worked closely with governors to improve the school since the previous inspection. They have developed an ambitious, well-designed curriculum. Subject leaders know the strengths and weaknesses of their subjects.
They have made careful plans to ensure that pupils build on their prior learning. Lessons often start with a 'can I still?' question to help pupils to remember what they already know.
In the past, pupils have not attained well enough in reading and mathematics by the end of Year 6.
Leaders recognised that standards were not high enough. They have taken steps to address this weakness by reviewing the curriculum. This has proved to be successful.
Currently, most pupils are doing well. Their work in a range of subjects matches the expectations of leaders' planned curriculum. However, older pupils have some gaps in their learning from when the curriculum was not as well planned.
Leaders have prioritised reading. They have invested in books and the development of the school library. Reading areas in every classroom promote a love of reading.
Pupils speak knowledgeably about their favourite authors. They love listening to their teachers read. Teachers in Year 3 quickly identify pupils who are struggling to read and who do not know all the sounds that letters represent.
Extra phonics lessons and well-chosen reading books help these pupils catch up. Year group leaders are knowledgeable about the teaching of reading. Teachers plan lessons so that learning builds on what pupils already know.
Pupils develop comprehension skills so that they can answer questions about the texts they read. They experience rich opportunities to write in English lessons and in other curriculum subjects.
Pupils enjoy their mathematics lessons.
They know the correct and accurate mathematical vocabulary because teachers make sure that they understand these terms. Teachers make regular checks on pupils' understanding and adapt their teaching accordingly. Pupils use their mathematical knowledge to solve increasingly complex problems.
Pupils' attitudes to learning are good. They try hard to live up to their teachers' high expectations. Pupils show a strong sense of moral purpose.
Staff promote the school's values well so that pupils develop character and resilience. Pupils keep trying even if they get things wrong the first time. Pupils' understanding and appreciation of other cultures and of the fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty and tolerance of others are less well developed.
In the past, some pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) were not helped quickly enough. Some parents were frustrated at the time it took to get extra help. The special educational needs coordinator and her team have made improvements.
Increased engagement with parents, including through regular parents' forums, is helping to improve communication and partnerships between home and school. Pupils with SEND achieve well as a result of the specialist support that they receive to access the broad and ambitious curriculum on offer to all.
The staff team is very strong.
All of the staff who completed the Ofsted survey said that the school has improved since the last inspection. They appreciate the support of the headteacher and senior leaders who take account of their well-being. They value the opportunities for professional development.
Governors are proud to be part of this school. They have the knowledge, skills and understanding to challenge leaders. They recognise the importance of a broad and balanced curriculum.
They have worked with senior leaders to make positive improvements to the school.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
The safeguarding team has created a safe environment and a strong culture of care and vigilance.
There is a caring and nurturing ethos in the school where pupils' safety and their well-being have the highest priority. All staff receive regular training and weekly updates. They are very aware of current policies and practice.
Leaders ensure vulnerable pupils get the help that they need as quickly as possible.
Pupils know that they can share any worries with the learning mentor or a trusted adult. The curriculum helps pupils understand how to stay safe online, in school and in the outside world.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Historically, pupils' attainment and progress in reading and mathematics have not been good enough. The curriculum is now planned more effectively to help current pupils to know and remember more. Leaders need to ensure that the improvements to the curriculum enable older pupils to overcome historic gaps in their learning.
This will ensure that Year 6 pupils have the knowledge and skills that they need to make a successful start to the next stage of their education. . Pupils have a sound understanding and appreciation of the school's 'Learning Powers' and a strong sense of respect for others.
However, their understanding and appreciation of other cultures and of fundamental British values is not as well developed. This does not prepare them as well as it might for modern Britain. Leaders should ensure that the curriculum includes provision to develop pupils' understanding and appreciation of other cultures and of the fundamental British values.
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