Berry Hill Primary School

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About Berry Hill Primary School

Name Berry Hill Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Amy Pugh
Address Nine Wells Road, Berry Hill, Coleford, GL16 7AT
Phone Number 01594832262
Phase Primary
Type Foundation school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 195
Local Authority Gloucestershire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are safe. They enjoy school, and most attend well. The quality of education pupils receive is improving steadily, but it is not good.

Pupils do study a broad range of subjects. However, many pupils have gaps in their knowledge because the curriculum does not teach pupils some essential subject content early enough.

Many pupils demonstrate good manners.

They hold doors open for adults and engage in conversations politely. However, at times, staff expectations of what pupils can achieve and how they should behave vary. Some pupils behave carelessly when lining up at lunchtime, or they are overly chatty in class.

Staff do not always pick this up ...swiftly. Pupils say that when bullying happens, adults deal with it, but sometimes it can take time to resolve.

There is a range of extra-curricular clubs, including sport, board games and script reading.

Pupils enjoy attending sporting events, such as curling. They like taking part in community events, such as performing with the choir. A highlight for many is taking part in the lantern parade.

However, some aspects of the curriculum to widen pupils' horizons and help them develop personally are underdeveloped.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The new headteacher has an accurate understanding of the weaknesses in the quality of education pupils receive, and why this is so. Nonetheless, it is too early to see improvement.

There are weaknesses in some subject curriculums. Teaching is not always tailored sufficiently well for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). In the past, leaders have been slow to identify when pupils fall behind in learning.

Leaders are identifying pupils' gaps in knowledge accurately now. However, it is early days. As a result, pupils, including those with SEND, do not yet know and remember the depth of knowledge they should across the curriculum.

Nonetheless, leaders and governors are making headway in bringing about some positive change. Leaders are applying the external advice they receive to increase staff's subject knowledge in reading and mathematics and improve the content and sequencing of subject curriculums. Governors are making appropriate strategic decisions.

For example, they have prioritised extra funds to ensure staff have all the resources they need to teach the curriculum well. They have appointed a headteacher with strong understanding of what an effective curriculum looks like.

Staff are implementing a new school-wide phonics programme.

This is starting to make a positive difference. For example, staff ensure that pupils' reading books match the sounds that pupils know. Increasingly, pupils are keeping up with the phonics programme this year.

Recently, the English and mathematics curriculums were not effective in ensuring that pupils learned everything at the right time. Currently, staff are working with determination to ensure that the many pupils in Years 1, 2 and 3 who need to catch up in reading, writing and mathematics are doing so. However, some pupils in Year 1 need extra help to form letters and write simple sentences correctly.

There is not yet a sharp focus on developing children's speaking and early language development. Further up the school, pupils receive explicit teaching in spelling, punctuation and grammar. However, some teaching sequences do not include all the complex subject content pupils need to write consistently well.

Leaders expect staff to check what pupils know and remember within and across sequences of work. However, at times, teaching is not built upon a clear understanding of what pupils know or do not know. Some teaching does not identify and address misconceptions quickly enough, including for pupils with SEND.

What the school calls the 'Life Skills Curriculum' ensures that pupils gain wide-ranging knowledge about how to keep themselves mentally and physically healthy. However, the curriculum to develop pupils' understanding of different faiths and cultures is more limited. The curriculum to teach pupils about protected characteristics is developing.

Over time, governors have not assured themselves that the policies, systems and processes they expect to be in place have become common practice. They have not challenged the root causes of weaknesses in pupils' performance and behaviour stringently. More recently, governors have been working transparently with leaders to take swift and appropriate action to ensure that everything is in place to put this right.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff training is up to date. There is effective pastoral support for the most vulnerable pupils and families.

Staff know how and when to report concerns should they suspect pupils are potentially at risk of harm. Leaders work with external agencies regularly. However, a few areas of the school's safeguarding work could be sharper, including record keeping, but this does not undermine the effective safeguarding culture in the school.

The new headteacher is already putting new systems in place to strengthen record keeping further.

The curriculum ensures that pupils learn about keeping healthy relationships and online safety.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders are only part way through their work to ensure that the English and mathematics curriculums are fully effective.

Some teaching approaches are relatively new. Pupils do not secure all the knowledge they should in reading, writing and mathematics. Leaders need to ensure that all staff implement the reading, writing and mathematics curriculums effectively and consistently so that all pupils learn well in these subjects.

• There are some weaknnesses in the implementation of the curriculum for pupils with SEND. Curriculum content for some pupils with SEND does not meet their academic needs well enough. Leaders must ensure that all staff adapt their teaching, when required, so that all pupils with SEND learn consistently well.

• Some teaching does not use well the information about what pupils know already. Teaching does not deal with misconceptions promptly. Pupils have gaps in their knowledge.

Leaders must ensure that teaching is built firmly on what pupils need to know next across the curriculum so that pupils are well prepared for their next stage of education. ? Leaders and governors do not ensure that all school policies and guidance are implemented as well as they should be. Teachers' expectations of pupils are not high enough in lessons and around school.

Aspects of leaders' record keeping are not sufficiently strong. Leaders must ensure that the recording systems relating to pupils' behaviour and well-being that they expect to be in place are in place. They must ensure that all staff maintain high expectations of pupils' behaviour and apply school policies consistently well.

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