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Clough Head is a very nurturing and welcoming school where pupils feel valued.
They are proud of their school.
Staff have high expectations of pupils, both in terms of their work and behaviour. Pupils talk enthusiastically about their learning.
One pupil said, 'Lessons are great, and the teachers give us a real thirst for learning.' Pupils work hard to live up to the school's core values, which include trust, tolerance, honesty and resilience.
Behaviour in the school is good.
Pupils say there is no bullying. Relationships between staff and pupils are strong. Pupils know they can turn to any adult for help.
As a result, pupils feel v...ery safe.
Leaders' work to support pupils' personal development is good. Adults provide a range of opportunities to broaden all pupils' talents.
Older pupils have various roles, including organising activities at lunchtime. Pupils respect everyone's differences.
The school is at the heart of the community.
Pupils contribute to local charities and have organised their own fundraising activities. Parents talk very positively about the school and appreciate how all staff are approachable.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The headteacher and staff have worked hard to develop the curriculum.
Leaders gathered the views of parents and pupils. They used this to create a curriculum which is stimulating, ambitious and unique to the context of the school. Overall, pupils achieve well.
Subjects are logically sequenced and carefully planned. There are many opportunities for pupils to revisit knowledge and practise skills. This helps pupils to remember the most important information.
For example, there are short, focused sessions to help pupils remember mathematical facts. However, there are too few opportunities for pupils to fully develop their mathematical reasoning skills.
The development of pupils' reading skills is a key priority of the school.
Leaders and teachers are determined for pupils to be confident readers. Teachers share their love of books with pupils, reading to them daily. Phonics lessons are well structured, and teachers help pupils catch up quickly if they start to fall behind.
Pupils talked enthusiastically about their favourite authors, such as JK Rowling and Michael Murpurgo. Parents are encouraged to be involved with their child's reading. They receive a dedicated reading newsletter and have the opportunity to attend reading workshops.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do well. Staff are well trained and skilful in supporting the needs of pupils with SEND. The school is truly inclusive.
As a result, all pupils are fully included in lessons and other activities.
Pupils value the opportunities to contribute to the life of the school. For example, pupils elect school councillors.
Also, older pupils are sports leaders who organise games for younger pupils. The school offers a wide range of clubs, which are well attended. Pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
Pupils have participated in a project which involved working with pupils from differing backgrounds.
Leaders know the school well and are highly reflective. They continually seek to improve the educational offer for pupils.
After a period of staff turbulence, the headteacher has built a motivated team. Staff feel proud to work at the school and value the training and support provided by leaders. Governors fully support the school and visit regularly.
They are closely involved and are knowledgeable about all aspects of the curriculum.
Parents and carers are very supportive of the school. One parent, reflecting the views of many, stated, 'Clough Head is a wonderful school and I'm so glad my children get to spend their school years here.'
Staff work very closely with families and children in the early years. The youngest children listen carefully and follow instructions well. They enjoy listening to stories, such as 'Three Billy Goats Gruff', and investigating a crime scene based on the story.
Children are provided with many activities to help their development. However, there are limited opportunities for children to practise their writing skills independently. Children learn to share equipment and to work with their friends.
Staff check on children's learning accurately and quickly identify those who need extra support.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Safeguarding procedures are well understood by staff, who undertake regular training to keep up-to-date with current guidance.
Appropriate checks are made on all adults who work in the school, including volunteers.
Pupils learn about the risks they may face in a range of contexts, including online.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
In key stage 2, the knowledge and skills pupils need in mathematics are coherently planned and sequenced so that pupils know more and remember more over time.
However, pupils have too few opportunities to develop their reasoning skills. This means that pupils do not consistently develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts. Leaders should ensure that pupils have more opportunities to further develop their reasoning skills.
They should also ensure that teachers have high expectations of pupils' reasoning work. . Teachers do not consistently provide enough opportunities for children to mark make and write in the early years.
This means that children do not develop their writing skills as quickly as they should. Teachers need to plan more activities that develop writing skills, to enable children to practise and consolidate what they have learned. Leaders should check that this is the case.
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