Brookhurst Primary School

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About Brookhurst Primary School

Name Brookhurst Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Headteacher Angela Stanton
Address Ullswater Avenue, Leamington Spa, CV32 6NH
Phone Number 01926420051
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 412
Local Authority Warwickshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Short inspection of Brookhurst Primary School

Following my visit to the school on 10 January 2019, 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 October 2014.

This school continues to be good. The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. You have put a clear and successful focus on developing the skills of other leaders in the school.

Leaders feel empowered and make successful improvements in their areas of responsibility. Staff, pupils, parents and governors work toget...her extremely well. A sense of community permeates the school.

You make sure that pupils have a rounded educational experience. Consequently, the school's motto 'A place to think and grow' is successfully delivered. Pupils enjoy the thoughtfully planned curriculum topics.

For example, during the inspection, older pupils in the school spoke knowledgeably about the Second World War and their re-enactment of Victory in Europe Day. Music and sport are an important part of the school's work and contribute well to pupils' personal development. Pupils play a range of instruments and are able to access individual music lessons.

The choir relish the opportunities that they get to perform to a wider audience. The physical education (PE) and sport premium is used well to raise participation rates in competitive sport and to improve physical activity levels. The lunchtime 'marathon challenge' provides pupils the opportunity to walk or run laps each day and work towards achieving an award.

Pupils are motivated by this challenge and a high number choose to take part each day. Pupils' good behaviour is a positive feature of the school. They are respectful, caring and work hard in lessons.

You have made sure that pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is at the forefront of the school's work. Pupils have a good understanding of other faiths and cultures. During the inspection, older pupils in the school demonstrated mature and tolerant attitudes about people's different beliefs.

Your self-evaluation document demonstrates an effective understanding of the school's strengths and weaknesses. However, the weaknesses that you highlight in your self-evaluation do not translate into precise enough targets in the school improvement plan. Furthermore, the success criteria used in the improvement plan are not sufficiently measurable.

As a result, you cannot evaluate some aspects of school improvement effectively enough. You and the leadership team have improved the system for assessing pupils' attainment. Leaders and staff have a good understanding of pupils' prior and current attainment.

You use this information well to identify gaps in pupils' learning and put in place successful additional support to help pupils make good progress. Attainment at the end of the early years and key stage 1 is high. There is pride and purpose in the learning environment in this phase of the school.

Pupils' work is celebrated on display and the work in their books is of a high standard. High expectations enable pupils to progress very well from their starting points. However, expectations are not always as high in Key Stage 2.

Sometimes, pupils in key stage 2 are not sufficiently challenged and, as a result, their progress is not as strong as it should be. The governing body is strong and well led. Members are skilled, astute and knowledgeable about the school.

They provide excellent capacity and carry out their statutory responsibilities well. They are acutely aware of where attainment is not high enough and provide a high level of challenge. You have taken successful action to address the areas for improvement identified at the previous inspection.

Teachers and teaching assistants have regular opportunities to discuss planning and pupils' learning. Teaching assistants are used well in lessons to develop pupils' learning. Your marking policy has also been adapted.

Teachers now prioritise 'in the moment' verbal feedback to respond to pupils' misconceptions or mistakes. Safeguarding is effective. You have ensured that all the arrangements for safeguarding are fit for purpose.

Leaders with responsibility for safeguarding take their roles very seriously. They follow up concerns quickly and appropriately. If leaders have more serious concerns, external services are swiftly involved.

Staff are kept up to date through regular training sessions and, as a result, have a good understanding of their responsibilities. Checks carried out to ensure the safe recruitment of staff are thorough. A comprehensive focus on safety in the curriculum ensures that pupils have a good understanding of how to keep themselves safe.

Pupils are clear about the dangers associated with the internet and know what to do if they have a concern. Visits from professionals such as the police and the fire service help to deepen pupils' understanding of risk. Inspection findings ? At the end of key stage 2 in 2016 and 2018, pupils' progress in mathematics was not strong enough.

You highlighted this as an issue in your self-evaluation and have started to put in place some positive new strategies. During the inspection pupils spoke about how much they enjoy learning practically through 'active maths' sessions. For example, pupils used their mathematical understanding of perimeter and area to estimate and measure different objects in the outside environment.

A clear focus on developing pupil's calculation skills is having a positive impact on pupils. They use efficient methods and calculate confidently with the four operations. ? Sometimes, in key stage 2, pupils carry out mathematical work that is not challenging enough.

This is particularly the case for middle- and high-attaining pupils. When this occurs, pupils carry out work that they can do easily and do not apply their understanding to more complex problems. Some teachers put in place good opportunities for pupils to prove their mathematical understanding through reasoning.

However, this is not consistent across all classes. ? At the end of key stage 2 in 2018, the proportion of pupils attaining the expected standard in reading was just below the national average. You have started to trial a new approach to teaching reading in Year 6, where a rich and challenging book is studied as a whole class.

The text is read together and follow-up activities test out pupils' understanding of the text. This approach has had a positive impact so far and attainment is rising. During the inspection, pupils in Year 6 shared their enthusiasm and understanding for their current class book, 'Goodnight Mr Tom'.

• Other classes are continuing with a group reading structure until the whole-class approach is spread wider. You recognise that historically some pupils have not been given challenging enough texts to read during group reading sessions. This has since been improved and pupils are now reading more engaging age-appropriate texts.

However, sometimes follow-up activities in key stage 2 group reading sessions do not stretch pupils' thinking in reading comprehension skills such as inference. ? You have ensured that the culture for reading has been improved. The library is well resourced and used well by pupils.

Pupils enjoy reading a good mix of contemporary and classical books. They were clear about their favourite authors, such as Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and JRR Tolkien. Pupils who do not read regularly at home are targeted for additional individual reading sessions with adults in school.

• By the end of the last academic year, some pupils in the Year 6 cohort who were on the special educational needs (SEN) register had not made strong progress across key stage 2. However, there were significant and valid reasons for their slower progress. Pupils with SEN and/or disabilities are well provided for through additional support and in class.

Procedures for identifying pupils who may need to go on to the special needs register are robust and well organised. Leaders have a clear vision for SEN provision. Staff make sure that pupils do not become over-reliant on adult support by providing pupils with resources and strategies to develop their own independence.

Next steps for the school Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that: ? Pupils' attainment in key stage 2 rises by: – improving the level of challenge for pupils in mathematics, particularly for the most able pupils – further developing pupils' reading comprehension skills such as inference. ? Teachers provide sufficient opportunities for pupils to apply their mathematical understanding through reasoning problems ? The school improvement priorities are precise and that the priorities in the plan can be successfully measured for impact. I am copying this letter to the chair of the governing body, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children's services for Warwickshire.

This letter will be published on the Ofsted website. Yours sincerely Matt Meckin Her Majesty's Inspector Information about the inspection During the inspection, I held meetings with you, several other leaders and six governors. I spoke to pupils informally and formally.

We made short visits to 11 lessons and looked at a range of pupils' books. I spoke to parents at the start of the day and considered 79 free-text responses to Ofsted's online questionnaire, Parent View. I also considered the responses from Ofsted's online questionnaires for pupils and staff.

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