Bracebridge Infant and Nursery School


Name Bracebridge Infant and Nursery School
Website http://www.bracebridge.lincs.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 17 September 2019
Address Francis Street, Bracebridge, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN5 8QG
Phone Number 01522520591
Type Academy
Age Range 3-7
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 95 (46% boys 54% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 17.5
Local Authority Lincolnshire
Percentage Free School Meals 32.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 37.9%

Outcome

Bracebridge Infant and Nursery School continues to be a good school.However, inspectors have some concerns that standards may be declining, as set out below.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy coming to school. They told us that friendships are important to them. We saw pupils playing together happily at breaktimes. They share equipment, take turns and look after each other. Pupils, parents and carers told us that there is no bullying. Pupils feel safe in school. They say that they can tell staff about any worries and they will get sorted out.

Pupils’ well-being is very important to leaders. Staff care about all pupils. Parents appreciate this. They see the school as ‘one big family’. Leaders make sure that the school is welcoming and friendly. Pupils behave well in and around school. They enjoy getting prizes from Mrs Wilson’s ‘Peter Rabbit box’ when they choose to do the right thing or for working hard. They are polite and respectful. We saw pupils saying hello to adults and helping to tidy up at lunchtime.

Pupils should be doing better than they are by the end of each year. Leaders and teachers do not always have the highest ambition for what pupils can achieve. In reading and mathematics, teachers are not sure what pupils need to know and remember. This is true of some other subjects as well.

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

Leaders ensure that pupils study a wide range of subjects. However, their plans to improve the curriculum are not ambitious enough. This is particularly the case in reading and mathematics. Leaders are not clear what knowledge pupils will learn or when they will learn it. Teachers do not plan well-sequenced lessons in these subjects. Some pupils are not taught the knowledge they need to be well prepared for the next stage of their education.

Teachers’ subject knowledge is not always strong enough, particularly in mathematics.Some teachers do not model or explain learning well. They do not understand what knowledge pupils already have. This means that some pupils’ work is too demanding, while others’ work is not demanding enough.

Leaders are improving the quality of education in physical education (PE). Specialist teachers plan and deliver lessons alongside class teachers. Activities are interesting and build upon what pupils already know. Pupils achieve well and gain good knowledge and skills in this subject.

The teaching of phonics is improving. Children in the early years get off to a flying start. They learn to hear sounds quickly in the Nursery class and to read simple words in the Reception class. The subject leader understands what pupils should know at each stage of the phonics programme. However, teachers and teaching assistants do not have the same knowledge. They have not received the training they need to know how to teach pupils to read well. Teachers do not ensure that the books pupils read match the sounds they are taught. There are some pupils in Year 2 who cannot decode and read words fluently.

The headteacher works hard to increase the wider opportunities available to pupils. Pupils told us that they enjoy attending Lego, gardening and multi-sports clubs. Leaders offer these clubs free of charge. This helps the most disadvantaged pupils to attend.

Leaders ensure that pupils behave well. Staff are well trained in managing pupils’ behaviour. Pupils understand and follow the school rules. There is very little disruption to lessons. Pupils listen well and are ready to learn.

Teaching assistants provide sensitive support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). They encourage pupils to join in and remember key information. Some pupils receive extra help, particularly in phonics. Sometimes, teachers do not have high enough expectations of what pupils with SEND can achieve in a range of subjects. When this happens, these pupils can lose interest in learning and switch off.

The headteacher ensures that staff workload is a high priority. She reduces workload burdens, in consultation with staff. Staff feel well supported by the headteacher.

The board of trustees has not considered the workload of the headteacher. Trustees do not ensure that she receives enough support. They do not have the knowledge and skills needed to hold leaders fully to account.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that pupils are safe in school. Staff receive regular training on issues such as radicalisation and domestic abuse. They are aware of the signs that a pupil may be at risk of harm. They are vigilant and report all concerns.

Leaders make timely referrals to the local authority. They seek early help when concerns about pupils’ safety arise. Leaders contribute to plans to support pupils on the childprotection register. They share information with other agencies and work hard to engage vulnerable families. Leaders check that pupils remain safe following a safeguarding incident at weekly ‘safe and well’ meetings.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The school does not provide a good quality of education in all subjects. The curriculum for PE is effective but the curriculums for reading and mathematics are not. Leaders should develop a more ambitious curriculum. They must identify the most important knowledge that pupils should learn in each subject and by when. Teachers must understand so that they are able to plan well-sequenced lessons that build pupils’ knowledge over time. Trustees need to check that this is happening and hold leaders to account.

Teachers’ subject knowledge is not consistently strong. Leaders should ensure that staff receive the training they need to improve their subject knowledge, including in phonics. Leaders should also ensure that teachers know how to model and explain learning.

Leaders should ensure that teachers are clear about the best way to sequence pupils’ learning over time. Leaders should ensure that teachers plan work that is demanding for all pupils, including those with SEND. Subject leaders must check that this is happening.

Some Year 2 pupils are not able to decode words accurately or quickly enough. The books that some pupils read are not well matched to the phonics they have been taught. Teachers must take more care in checking what pupils can read and understand. When pupils fall behind, teachers need to plan support that helps them to catch up more quickly. Teachers also need to make sure that reading books are well matched to what pupils are learning in their phonics.

The trustees have not ensured that the headteacher has a manageable workload. She has too many responsibilities. Trustees should ensure that the headteacher has the support she needs to focus on improving the quality of education.

Background

When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good. This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection. Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged Bracebridge Infant and Nursery School to be good on 24 November 2011.