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About Dr Radcliffe’s Church of England Primary School
Pupils rightly value how everyone is included in their school community.
They learn about a wide range of aspects of equality and diversity. Pupils understand how harmful discrimination of any kind can be and make sure, along with their teachers, that it does not happen. This serves pupils extremely well.
One pupil's view is shared by many others: 'I am getting the tools I need for life.'
Pupils show high levels of respect for each other and for adults. Pupils care for and help one other, which builds on the very strong support that staff give pupils.
Pupils behave extremely well and bullying is incredibly rare. This makes for industrious, inquisiti...ve classrooms where pupils rise to teachers' expectations. Pupils play together harmoniously and they justifiably feel safe at school.
Pupils attend regularly.
Leaders are ambitious both for pupils' academic and personal achievements. They communicate this vision successfully to parents and carers, who are hugely supportive of the school.
All of the parents who responded to Ofsted's online questionnaire, Parent View, would recommend this school to other parents. One parent summed up: 'We cannot speak highly enough of the school… I believe this is down to strong, compassionate leaders and the community they foster.'
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Provision for pupils' personal development is superb.
Parents understandably prize this aspect of the school's work. Pupils' moral, spiritual and cultural understanding is at the core of the curriculum. Pupils experience a wide range of visits, speakers, special events and activities in and out of school, including fundraising for charity.
Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, leaders have resumed this important aspect of the school's work very swiftly.
Pupils have high-quality opportunities to develop and stretch their talents. The vast majority of pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, participate in extra-curricular activities.
As well as a number of sports teams and other groups, there is a strong emphasis on the performing and creative arts. For example, Year 6 pupils performed two of Shakespeare's plays outdoors last year in accomplished productions. Pupils hold valuable leadership roles.
For example, the school's eco leaders are exploring ways in which pupils can make the school and their community more environmentally sustainable. Also, the school council is establishing a 'mindfulness bench' in the playground to support other pupils' well-being.
Pupils learn a broad range of subjects through an engaging curriculum.
Children get off to a great start in Reception, underpinned by effective teaching of early reading. Leaders make sure that this strong focus on reading continues throughout the school. Pupils become avid readers who enjoy discussing the wide range of stimulating texts and literature that they encounter.
Teachers constantly seek to make learning interesting and relevant for pupils. Teachers gauge pupils' learning in a range of ways, which they then use to plan subsequent learning. This makes sure that pupils' learning builds securely on what they already know, from early years through to Year 6.
Pupils achieve well overall from early years onwards. This includes, importantly, pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Staff identify these pupils' individual needs accurately and teachers and teaching assistants know what to do to support them effectively.
Although some pupils achieve exceptionally well, including some pupils with SEND, this is not consistently the case for the majority of pupils. This is because the curriculum is not as deep or challenging as it could be across subjects. For example, in art and design, pupils learn a great deal about practical skills and knowledge.
Pupils therefore produce some excellent artwork. Their learning about art, artists and what constitutes high-quality artwork, while secure, is not as strong. Equally, the curriculum that leaders are developing in early years makes sure that children are ready for their learning in Year 1.
There is scope, however, for leaders to focus even more on making sure that the curriculum helps children achieve highly by the end of Reception. Crucially, while weaker readers in key stage 2 catch up in their reading, some of whom are pupils with SEND, this could be even faster if the support they receive were even more precise.
Leadership is strong.
Leaders, trustees and local governors know the school well. They have steered the school through the challenges of COVID-19 effectively and together are highly ambitious for all pupils. They rightly recognise that this ambition could have even more impact in practice, for example by prioritising improving the achievement of pupils with SEND more prominently.
The trust commissions excellent support for the school, and leaders and local governors could sharpen further the way in which they use this.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders make safeguarding a top priority.
Staff are trained effectively and local governors and trustees understand and discharge their responsibilities well. Leaders make the necessary checks on staff before anyone starts working at the school. Staff know the signs to look out for if pupils are at risk and report any concerns promptly.
Records of any issues and leaders' subsequent actions are organised and clear. Leaders involve external agencies when appropriate. Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe, including learning about how to approach potentially risky situations as they get older.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• While some pupils already achieve exceptionally well, this is not consistently the case for pupils across the school. Leaders need to improve the depth and challenge of the curriculum further, so that pupils, including those with SEND, make excellent progress in the subjects they study. ? The early years curriculum is not yet fully developed to enable children to achieve highly ambitious end-points across all seven areas of learning.
Once this is complete, leaders should make sure that the curriculum is implemented consistently well. ? Weaker readers in key stage 2 are supported to catch up, but this is not as effective as it could be. Leaders should ensure that the help pupils receive is more precise, so that these pupils make even more rapid progress in reading.
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