Buttsbury Junior is a particularly happy and positive school. Leaders and staff have very high expectations of and for pupils. Pupils achieve very well and reach high standards by the time they leave Year 6.
These high standards are not only in English and mathematics, but in a wide range of subjects.
The headteacher is a charismatic, energetic and inspiring leader. However, she is by no means a 'one-man band'.
Her very clear vision for the school is shared by the deputy and assistant headteachers, and everyone who works at the school.
Pupils love their school. Parents and carers too are overwhelmingly positive.
Every one of the many parents... who responded to Parent View said they would recommend the school to others.
Pupils are given an exceptionally wide range of experiences. An enormous number of clubs are provided, before school, at lunchtime, and after school.
The school goes out of its way to make sure that there is something for everyone. As a result, almost every pupil attends at least one club.
Pupils' behaviour is impeccable, both in their classrooms and as they move about the school.
Bullying is something that is extremely rare and is not something that pupils worry about.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
One of the school's greatest assets is the strength of its systems. All aspects of the school are highly organised.
Procedures are clear, known and understood. This means that the school runs very smoothly, and there is great consistency. Pupils get just as great a deal, no matter which class they are in.
The school says that it has a 'mastery' approach to its curriculum. Leaders have a particularly clear understanding of what this means to them. They say that, 'it's not about racing through the curriculum; it's about children developing a deep understanding.'
This is clear throughout the school and in all subjects. Pupils achieve exceptionally well as a result.
Pupils are taught reading skills systematically.
Each skill is built on, step by step. Where pupils still need help with phonics, this is provided in a similarly systematic way. This means that all pupils are competent readers by the time they leave the school.
Most pupils become highly competent readers.
The school encourages pupils to develop a love of reading. The library is a welcoming and inviting space that is always available to pupils.
They choose to come in and read during their breaktimes. Pupils have a huge range of books to choose from. They enjoy lunchtime book clubs, some run by parent helpers and others by pupils in Year 6.
The school has thought very carefully about its curriculum. Pupils learn about the subjects in the national curriculum. Knowledge and skills are built gradually, layer upon layer.
However, the school's curriculum is about much more than this. For example, all pupils undertake first-aid training. Pupils are given a wide range of opportunities to take responsibilities, such as being a monitor or a member of the school council.
The school has a well-established link with a school in Kenya, whose teachers have visited Buttsbury several times.
Teachers know a great deal about the subjects they teach. They continually work on improving their knowledge about how best to teach subjects.
This means that teachers explain things extremely clearly to pupils. Staff are particularly effective in helping pupils to become effective learners. For example, pupils are taught to use 'the four Bs', if they get stuck.
That is, first they think, or use their own brain. Next, they use the boards around the classroom to help them. Then they ask a friend or buddy.
Finally, if they still are still stuck, they ask the teacher (the 'boss'). Inspectors found that pupils routinely use this approach and are eager, independent learners.
Leaders ensure that 'quality first teaching' is in place throughout the school.
They make sure that the teaching in each classroom meets the needs of every pupil as well as possible. This approach is highly successful. It has ensured that all pupils achieve very well, including disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Safeguarding arrangements are exceptionally strong. A key reason for this is the regular and highly effective training that staff are provided with.
For example, every month leaders give staff a quiz to complete on aspects of safeguarding practice. These quizzes are done using online survey software. This enables leaders to easily identify where staff have strong safeguarding knowledge and where they need further training.
As a result, staff are extremely well trained to identify possible signs of abuse and neglect. Concerns about child protection are reported promptly. The school's designated safeguarding leads take appropriate action, where necessary, to protect pupils.