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Pupils' rights and responsibilities are at the heart of this school community. They have a voice in the school. Pupils know that they can make a positive difference to school life through the wide range of opportunities offered to them.
They are proud of being pupils at Dundonald.
Leaders and staff have high expectations of pupils' behaviour and learning. Pupils rise to the expectations set for them and achieve well overall.
Class charters are developed jointly by pupils and teachers. These charters outline the expectations for behaviour and learning. Staff use them effectively to foster a calm and orderly environment....
Pupils behave well, in lessons and around the school. They said that bullying rarely happens and that they can talk to trusted adults who would listen. Any concerns are acted on swiftly.
Pupils from Years 1 to 6 take on roles of anti-bullying ambassadors. Pupils in Year 6 are appointed as peer mediators who pupils can talk to if they are worried.
Pupils respect and celebrate diversity in school.
They also learn about these ideas through the curriculum. For example, each month a different language is celebrated. Pupils are also taught about artists and musicians from different cultures.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have skilfully created an ambitious curriculum which focuses on ensuring that all pupils achieve well, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The school's 'seven Cs', which include, for example, communication, confidence and creativity, are embedded in the school's broad and rich curriculum.
Teachers explain new learning effectively.
They use their checks on pupils' understanding to ensure that they have learned what leaders and teachers intend. Pupils achieve well.
Pupils' learning is typically well sequenced.
Leaders are clear about the key knowledge that they want pupils to learn and remember over time. For example, children in Reception are taught about the world around them. They learn to make comparisons between this country and others and find out about different environments and seasons.
This knowledge helps to ensure that children are prepared well for their future learning in Year 1 and beyond.
As pupils progress through each stage of the curriculum, they build up their knowledge successfully. In Year 6, for example, pupils used what they had previously learned in geography to understand subject content related to climate, biomes, and vegetation belts.
Nevertheless, in some subjects, leaders have not considered fully how what pupils learn in Year 1 links with the curriculum in the early years. This means that, at times, pupils' previous learning is not built upon sufficiently well.
Reading is a top priority in the school.
Sufficient time is given to the teaching of reading. Leaders have ensured that there is a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics and early reading, using the school's chosen programme. Staff are skilled at supporting pupils to use their phonic knowledge to decode unfamiliar words and develop reading fluency.
Both at home and at school, pupils read books specifically chosen to support them to practise the sounds that they have learned. If pupils fall behind in their phonics and reading in Years 1 and Year 2 they are given timely and regular support to catch up. In a few instances, however, this support is not sharply targeted on helping these pupils to become fluent readers quickly.
During lessons, pupils show good attitudes to their learning. Pupils are polite and work co-operatively with one another. In the early years, children respond well to the established routines and structures.
Leaders make excellent provision to promote pupils' personal development. They provide pupils with plentiful high-quality opportunities which aim to help them to become active citizens. Pupils are taught how to respect their own and others' views and rights.
They learn about how to keep themselves safe, and about being reflective learners. This threads through every aspect of school life. Pupils are also taught about concepts such as healthy relationships, consent and privacy in an age-appropriate way.
All pupils from Years 1 to 6 are given opportunities to develop their leadership skills in many roles, including as eco warriors and school councillors. Older pupils are given further opportunities, including becoming digital leaders. They share their learning about rights and responsibilities with other pupils in local schools.
Pupils' learning is enriched beyond the classroom through educational trips and a variety of clubs, such as yoga and chess.
Leaders and other staff work closely to identify and assess the needs of pupils with SEND, including in the early years. These pupils are given additional support to meet their needs.
Teachers adapt their classroom strategies so that these pupils can access the same learning as their peers.
Leaders and governors ensure that teachers' workload is manageable. Staff said that leaders are supportive and mindful of their well-being.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff are well trained and know how to spot signs that may indicate that pupils are at risk of harm. They know and follow the school's internal procedure for raising and responding to concerns, should they need to.
Leaders ensure that they secure the help that families may need to ensure pupils' safety and well-being. They work closely with external agencies to safeguard pupils.
Leaders ensure that all the pre-employment checks are completed in line with statutory requirements prior to staff starting work at the school.
Pupils are taught about how to stay safe. They have trusted adults with whom they can talk should there be anything that worries them. There are worry boxes in each of the classrooms for pupils to post their concerns for teachers to address.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In some subjects, leaders' curriculum thinking has not clearly defined how learning in Year 1 should build progressively on what children have learned in the early years. This affects how well pupils are able to develop and deepen their knowledge in these subjects. Leaders should refine the curriculum thinking so that staff are clear about how children's learning in the early years provides the foundations for future learning in Year 1 upwards.
• In a few instances, some pupils find it hard to keep up with the school's programme for phonics and early reading. While these pupils are identified and supported, occasionally the help that they receive is not adapted precisely to meet their needs. Leaders should provide staff with further guidance on how to make best use of the school's catch-up programme for reading so that it is routinely effective in helping these pupils to build up reading fluency quickly.