Crags Community School

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About Crags Community School

Name Crags Community School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Elizabeth Normington
Address Strauss Crescent, Maltby, Rotherham, S66 7QJ
Phone Number 01709812729
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 432
Local Authority Rotherham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The school is a calm and encouraging environment for pupils and their families. Parents are kept well informed about what and how their children are being taught and so many continue to help them at home.

This relationship starts in the early years with 'stay and play' and reading events.

Children in the early years learn and follow routines exceptionally well. They learn how to read well from an early age.

However, this strong start is not built on successfully in some parts of English other than phonics. Some pupils are not as confident in their reading and writing as they need to be.

Relationships across the school are strong.

Pupils are ...happy and settled. Staff use these relationships well to ensure pupils are attentive and committed to their learning. The school has high expectations of what pupils can do and how they should behave.

Pupils usually rise to these expectations.

There are a host of opportunities for pupils to show their leadership potential. For example, the 'artists in residence' give support and advice to younger pupils.

The members of the 'mini-police' encourage others to not drop litter and look after their local environment.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders have a detailed knowledge of their community. The school has responded to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic well.

It has focused on ensuring that pupils are in school and focused on their learning. There is currently a focus on developing pupils' spoken language due to the gaps in their speaking and understanding that many pupils have.

This focus on children's communication and language starts in the early years.

Staff are expert at improving pupils' speaking and listening. Children are exceptionally interested in their tasks throughout the early years. All of this contributes well to the success that children have in many areas of their education at the start of their time in the school.

The school builds on these early successes through a well-crafted early reading offer. Children quickly learn the phonics that they need to read words. Any children who are struggling are given the right help to support them catching up.

This also applies to any older pupils who need to continue to practise their reading.

However, outside this strong offer for early reading, pupils do not achieve as well in other parts of English. In 2023, outcomes for pupils in reading and writing were lower than the national average.

Leaders have a curriculum for English but teachers do not consistently use it well. Pupils are sometimes asked to do too much all at once. Some pupils are not secure in basic skills such as using full stops or forming and joining letters correctly.

Some pupils cannot fluently read the texts that they are studying. Leaders are aware of this. They have focused on early reading and mathematics and have plans to improve the teaching of other aspects of English.

In mathematics, pupils' outcomes in 2023 were also low. However, pupils in school are building up their mathematical knowledge successfully. Teachers follow the set curriculum and address gaps in pupils' understanding when needed.

In other subjects, pupils are supported to develop their knowledge and skills. For example, in art and design, pupils produce high-quality pieces that they can create independently. All subjects have been clearly mapped out and teachers mostly follow the curriculum.

In some subjects, teachers occasionally choose activities that do not help pupils to accumulate the knowledge that they need.

The school has clear systems for identifying any special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) that pupils have. Staff support pupils with SEND well and help many of them to keep up with the curriculum.

As with other pupils, some pupils with SEND struggle a little in their written English and this is sometimes a barrier to their learning in other subjects. However, the school does support these pupils well across other subjects and enables them to be successful in those lessons. The school's focus on improving pupils' spoken language benefits all pupils.

Pupils have plenty of time to grow their enjoyment of the arts. They learn about different musicians each term. Pupils are respectful of others and learn about the differences in society.

There is a wealth of clubs that pupils can attend and the school makes sure that there is something for everyone to go to if they want.

Leaders know the context and needs of the pupils in the school. The school has worked successfully with many families to improve levels of engagement.

This is having a positive impact. Attendance has improved. Leaders have also provided high-quality pastoral support for many pupils with SEND.

Pupils with SEND feel well cared for. Many pupils, including some pupils with SEND, have improved their behaviour markedly. Suspensions are very low.

Pupils are happy and well-behaved throughout school.

Staff thoroughly enjoy working in the school. So much so, that many of the teachers previously had other roles in the school before being inspired to train to teach.

Leaders support staff with regular training that develops their confidence to carry out their roles. Directors have a clear and accurate picture of what is happening in the school. Through their work with the academy council, they challenge leaders where needed and have ensured the school has the resources that it needs.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In English, some tasks are not broken down into small enough steps. Pupils are often asked to do too much all at once and do not secure some of the basics needed.

Pupils' reading and writing attainment is too low in key stage 1 and key stage 2. Leaders need to ensure that teachers are breaking down the knowledge and skills in English lessons, as set out in their curriculum, and that pupils are securing important basics before moving on. ? Handwriting is not taught consistently well across the school.

Some pupils are not able to write confidently and automatically. This can also limit their success in other subjects. Leaders should ensure that there is a clear and coherent curriculum for transcription and that this is followed successfully by teachers.

• At times, teachers do not choose appropriate learning activities in some subjects. Pupils do not accumulate the knowledge and skills that they need to over time. Leaders should continue to provide training for all teachers to select purposeful and appropriate activities as they develop and improve the curriculum.

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