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Following my visit to the school on 25 September 2018 with Andy Phillips, Ofsted Inspector, 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 February 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 built an effective team of leaders who share your ambition for continual improvement.
The senior leadership team has a clear understanding of the school's strengths and weaknesses. Your ...actions ensure that areas for development are addressed effectively. Staff and leaders are a united team who work strategically and effectively to ensure that pupils make strong progress in all subjects and at all stages.
Your vision and passion for improving pupils' learning experiences is evident. You have clearly focused on the correct priorities and, therefore, take effective action to address weaknesses. This results in improved progress for pupils.
The school's work with pupils who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities is also a strength. Staff give effective care, guidance and support, which helps most of this group of pupils make strong progress from their respective starting points. Consequently, by the time they leave Cherry Lane Primary School, pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities are often able to make the same progress as other pupils nationally.
The previous inspection recommended that pupils' achievement in writing needed to improve. You have addressed this effectively so that writing is now taught well and pupils write competently across different genres. Pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, make strong progress in their writing over time.
Another area for improvement identified in the previous inspection was to raise the achievement of higher-ability pupils. Your efforts to focus on this group of pupils has paid off. National test results show that a higher proportion of pupils achieve the higher standard in reading, writing, and mathematics than that seen nationally.
Recent assessment information, including work sampling, also shows that a high proportion of disadvantaged pupils are working at greater depth in reading and writing. However, school leaders need to ensure that disadvantaged pupils are sufficiently challenged in mathematics so that more of them achieve the higher standard by the end of key stage 2. Leaders and teachers make sure that pupils behave well and try hard.
As a result, pupils focus and engage well in lessons. They are polite and friendly, and they speak with clarity and confidence. Pupils relate well to adults and to visitors, and they talk enthusiastically about their work.
Governors receive and scrutinise timely and relevant reports from the school, which they use strategically to support improvement. Minutes of governors' meetings show that governors challenge school leaders at an appropriate level. They expect leaders to secure pupils' progress, including that of disadvantaged pupils.
Governors understand clearly their responsibility for monitoring the use of the pupil premium funding. They receive regular reports on the impact of this funding on pupils' progress and attainment. Safeguarding is effective.
Leaders have created a strong culture of safeguarding and arrangements are fit for purpose. Staff are clear about their responsibilities. As a result, records are up to date, detailed and organised.
Leaders and governors ensure that checks on the suitability of staff are robust. Staff members prioritise pupils' safety and welfare. They care deeply about pupils and want them to flourish.
Staff know pupils and their families well. The pastoral team ensures that agencies work together well to secure the best outcomes for pupils in their care, particularly vulnerable pupils. On the rare instances when parents express concerns, school leaders are quick to respond and take effective action.
The curriculum strongly supports pupils' safety. Pupils have the opportunity to learn about how to stay safe and look after themselves. They can talk about how to keep themselves safe at school, at home and online.
Pupils are confident that an adult at school is available for them if they have any concerns or worries. Inspection findings ? During our initial discussion, we agreed to look at the attainment and progress of disadvantaged children in reading, writing and mathematics in key stage 2. This was because in 2017 and 2018, the proportion of disadvantaged pupils reaching the higher standard in these subjects was below other pupils nationally.
• Schools leaders have invested heavily in staff training and resources, resulting in improved teaching of reading across the school. Teachers relentlessly focus on developing pupils' reading skills. They ensure that pupils access high-quality reading materials which expand their vocabulary.
Staff support pupils effectively to develop the more sophisticated skills of inference and deduction. As a result, pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, make strong progress in reading. Current assessment information and work sampling indicate that a higher proportion of disadvantaged pupils are working at the higher standard in reading.
• In writing, teachers ensure that pupils write extensively across different writing types. Pupils use spelling, grammar and punctuation skills well to produce extended pieces of writing. Teachers are ambitious for pupils and provide effective guidance.
As a result, more pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, are writing at the higher standard. ? Teachers in mathematics give pupils opportunities to practise their calculation skills. As a result, pupils demonstrate mastery over time.
Leaders have prioritised developing pupils' mathematical reasoning skills as an area of focus. This is having a positive impact, as pupils can talk about mathematics in detail. More pupils than those nationally, including disadvantaged pupils, are meeting the expected standard in mathematics.
However, disadvantaged pupils still need to be sufficiently challenged so that a higher proportion of them meet the higher standard by the end of key stage 2. ? We also looked at the early years foundation stage as our second key line of enquiry. This was because in the past three years, the proportion of children achieving a good level of development has been improving to match national averages.
We explored the effective actions that leaders have taken to bring about this improvement. ? Leaders and teachers have created a nurturing and exciting learning environment in the early years foundation stage classes. Children feel safe, secure and excited when exploring learning, both indoors and outdoors.
Teachers plan engaging activities. As a result, children learn very happily together, taking turns and sharing. Teachers and adults model and demonstrate well, using all opportunities to develop and expand children's language and vocabulary.
• The early years team recognises the importance of developing and learning together. Teachers share best practice across all classes and they collaborate with practitioners from other settings. School leaders and governors have also invested in additional staffing in the setting.
Therefore, the proportion of children, including disadvantaged children, achieving a good level of development is now close to national average. ? Our third line of enquiry considered whether leaders are taking appropriate action to improve pupils' attendance rates and to reduce persistent absence. You have carefully analysed the attendance information, and you work closely with families and external agencies.
School leaders ensure strategies are in place which leave no stone unturned to ensure that pupils attend on time. Consequently, attendance rates have been improving over the past three years. However, persistent absence remains above the national average, and leaders recognise this is an ongoing focus of their work.
• The proportion of pupils who are persistently absent has also reduced. This reflects the relentless work of the pastoral team, using their extensive knowledge of pupils and their families to tailor effective interventions. Next steps for the school Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that: ? Disadvantaged pupils are stretched and challenged enough so that a higher proportion of them achieve the higher standard in mathematics in key stage 2.
• Actions are sustained to improve pupils' attendance and to reduce persistent absence further. I am copying this letter to the chair of the governing body, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children's services for Hillingdon. This letter will be published on the Ofsted website.
Yours sincerely Edison David Ofsted Inspector Information about the inspection During this short inspection, we discussed the work of the school with you and with members of the senior leadership team. We also considered 21 responses to Parent View, Ofsted's online survey. We spoke to a number of pupils to discuss their experiences in lessons, the extent to which they feel safe, and their views on learning and behaviour in general.
We held a discussion with a representative of the local authority. We met with governors, including the chair of the governing body. We also considered documentation provided by the school and information posted on the school's website.
We looked at the single central record, and the school's analysis of pupils' attendance. Together with school leaders, we visited classes to observe learning, and we looked at samples of pupils' work. We listened to pupils read from across the ability range.
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