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About Bulford St Leonard’s C of E (VA) Primary School
Pupils at Bulford St Leonard's are happy to come to school. They are proud of it and eager to explain why.
Staff know pupils extremely well. They form strong relationships and gain the trust and respect of pupils and their families. This means that from the moment they start school, whether this is in early years or later, they are nurtured, well cared for and feel safe.
This is reflected in the views of parents, which include, 'They have been an amazing support to my child and us as a family,' and 'The school has gone above and beyond in ensuring their well-being, happiness and academic performance are the main priorities.'
Pupils enjoy school, behave well ...and are keen to learn. However, leaders recognise that there is work to do to ensure that pupils achieve as well as they can across all the subjects they study.
Pupils are keen to be involved with the wider responsibilities on offer. They value the contributions they can make as school captains, members of the worship team and the pupil leadership team. This empowers pupils to make a difference to the lives of others.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The school has experienced an extended period of turbulence. Leaders have faced a prolonged transfer to a new trust and challenges in retaining and recruiting staff. School leaders recognise the impact of these challenges in driving forward improvements.
School leaders are ambitious for all pupils to receive a high-quality education. They know what needs to be done. However, leaders recognise more work is needed.
In some subjects, teachers are unclear about the knowledge and skills they want pupils to know. As a result, pupils do not build a deep understanding of these subjects.
School improvement plans developed with the trust are not helpful.
The priorities for improvement that have been identified are not sufficiently focused on improving the most significant areas of weakness. This is hindering pupils' progress.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do not learn as well as they could.
While inclusion leaders identify and assess pupils' needs swiftly, the curriculum is not always adapted to meet their needs. In classrooms, environmental adaptations and supportive aids are not consistently in place for individual pupils. As a result, pupils are unable to access their learning fully.
This means that some pupils with SEND do not achieve as well as they could.
Leaders are determined that every pupil will become a fluent reader. Children learn phonics from the start of Reception Year.
Pupils benefit from highly effective phonics teaching. The books that pupils read show a clear progression in phonic knowledge. This helps build their confidence and fluency in reading.
Staff are skilled in identifying any pupil who may be at risk of falling behind. Additional support is in place to enable pupils to catch up quickly. Staff foster a love of reading.
Pupils hear stories every day. These times are special, with teachers creating an atmosphere where pupils become engrossed in the story.
The curriculum for personal, social and health education is planned and sequenced with care.
Pupils, including children in the early years, are taught to work together, listen to each other and respect different points of view. Pupils' knowledge of democracy and equality is strong.
Pupils' behaviour is good.
They fully understand the school's ethos and values. From the time they start school in the Nursery, children quickly learn what is expected of them. They understand the difference between right and wrong.
Pupils learn to support and care for each other. They comment on how the school is a calm and happy place to be. This is reflected in pupils' regular attendance.
Leaders promote pupils' wider development carefully. The activity week is an example of the thought the school puts into widening the opportunities for pupils. This is a firm favourite.
They relish the chance to challenge themselves in activities such as rock climbing, archery and orienteering. Such experiences build pupils' confidence and help develop resilience.
The school supports its families through high-quality pastoral care.
Pupils from service families welcome the opportunity to meet together to share their experiences, for example when their parents are away on deployment. Such well-planned support ensures pupils settle in school and develop their emotional resilience.
Staff enjoy working at the school.
They welcome the openness and transparency of school leaders. They value the support they receive. Staff morale across the school is high.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders are proactive and keep pupils safe. They respond in a timely manner to support pupils and their families in need of help.
Staff carry out the required checks on the suitability of staff to work with children.
Leaders provide a curriculum that teaches pupils to understand risk. Pupils are confident that adults will listen to them if they have any worries and take action.
However, there are examples where safeguarding records lack sufficient detail. This could result in leaders not always having sufficient detail of the actions taken to support pupils and families.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In some subjects, leaders are not clear enough about the knowledge and skills they want pupils to know.
As a result, pupils do not build a deep understanding of these subjects. Leaders must ensure that in all subjects, they identify the knowledge and skills pupils need to learn as they progress through the school. ? Staff do not adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of some pupils with SEND.
As a result, pupils are unable to fully access their learning. Leaders should ensure that staff consistently adapt the curriculum to precisely meet pupils' needs. ? Staff respond to safeguarding concerns swiftly.
However, sometimes the information leaders record about safeguarding incidents lacks sufficient detail. Therefore, leaders could miss crucial information. Leaders need to make sure that records clearly and consistently demonstrate the action taken in response to any safeguarding concerns.
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