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Pupils at East Boldon Infants' School enjoy coming to school.
This is a friendly school with kindness at its heart. Adults show pupils how to build and maintain relationships based on respect. This helps pupils form strong relationships with trusted adults and each other.
Pupils feel safe. Most parents and carers are positive about the school. This includes parents who have children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Pupils study a broad range of subjects. Leaders are ambitious in their expectations of what pupils can achieve, including those with SEND. Pupils respond well to this.
Most pupils work hard and enjoy talking about... what they have learned.
Pupils' behaviour is good. From the start in early years, children are polite and display good manners.
Pupils say bullying does not happen. They know that adults will deal with incidents of poor behaviour. Pupils trust adults to help them with any concerns or worries that they may have.
Pupils enjoy taking part in the range of activities on offer, such as gymnastics, dance and drama. They like the opportunities that are available. Pupils take on extra responsibilities as playground buddies and by being part of the school council.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Children make a strong start in the early years. Teachers respond well to children's needs. They plan interesting learning opportunities to ensure children explore, play and ask questions.
Many children in the early years gain independence quickly. Planned activities interest, as well as educate, them. For example, children use toothbrushes and foam to 'clean' pictures of teeth.
Leaders make clear the knowledge, skills and vocabulary they want pupils to learn. They have ordered the curriculum content from Reception to Year 2. The curriculum builds on what pupils know.
It is ambitious. It gives pupils the knowledge they need to achieve well. Leaders ensure that curriculum subjects link together where relevant.
In history, pupils explain how Captain Scott was not successful in his expedition. They know, from geography, that the South Pole is very cold.
In physical education (PE) teachers work with specialist coaches.
This improves their subject knowledge. Leaders visit lessons to check how well pupils remember what they have learned. They have discussions with pupils to find out what they know.
This helps teachers to adapt the curriculum. As a result, most pupils keep up with their learning. In some subjects, including mathematics, teachers do not use assessment sharply enough to inform them of what pupils already know.
These pupils have 'keep up' sessions after the lesson. In these sessions, pupils do gain the knowledge they need.
Recent changes to the mathematics curriculum make sure pupils develop their understanding of number.
There are opportunities to do this through problem-solving activities. Leaders adjust the mathematics curriculum after checking what pupils have learned. They make sure that children in Reception are ready to use symbols and written mathematics in Year 1.
However, leaders' checks on how well the new reading curriculum is being implemented for older children are not as effective. On occasions, the reading activities set for pupils are not sufficiently demanding.
In early years there is a focus on ensuring children learn to read right from the start.
Children enjoy familiar stories and rhymes. Children say they love books. Pupils enjoy reading stories to 'Book Bunny' at home.
The well-chosen books in the school's mobile library help to broaden pupils' reading. The new approach to teaching phonics is having a positive impact. Staff make sure pupils practise saying the sounds as well as writing them.
Pupils receive support to catch up if they need it. The effective teaching of phonics supports all pupils to learn to read.
Pupils are polite and respectful of others.
They are keen to do their best. Pupils respond well to the high expectations that staff have of them. At times, a small number of pupils struggle to meet these expectations.
Most staff support these pupils well.
Leaders ensure staff know how to identify pupils with SEND. Teachers make adaptations to learning so all pupils can take part in the full curriculum.
Adults support pupils well. They help pupils revisit their prior learning to ensure they have understood the content. Leaders work well with specialists to ensure every pupil achieves as well as they can.
The curriculum ensures pupils understand what it means to be responsible citizens. Pupils learn about Rosa Parks and civil rights in history. They know what is fair.
Pupils learn about important British Values. For example, they learn about democracy by voting for the school council. This is helping to prepare them for life in modern Britain.
Pupils celebrate difference. They understand about disabilities and religious beliefs different to their own.
Governors know the school well.
They make regular visits to school. However, the checks they make do not always give them clear information about how well changes to the curriculum are being implemented. Most staff are proud to work at the school.
They feel supported by leaders.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders ensure that all staff know how to keep pupils safe.
Staff are vigilant. They know the pupils and their families well. Training ensures staff know the safeguarding risks that pupils may face.
Clear systems are in place for reporting concerns. Leaders make sure pupils and families get the support they need when they need it. Governors understand their safeguarding responsibilities.
Leaders follow safer recruitment procedures. They make the right checks on adults who work at school.
Pupils learn about risks and dangers, such as those they may experience online, in age-appropriate ways.
Leaders ensure pupils know what to do and who to talk to if they have concerns.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Leaders, including governors, have made some recent changes to the curriculum and to the policy for behaviour. The checks leaders carry out on the impact of these changes are not consistently effective and do not inform the training needs for staff.
Leaders should ensure that they use checks on new initiatives in more focused ways to secure further improvement ? On occasion, teachers do not check what pupils have learned before teaching new subject content. When this happens, gaps in pupils' knowledge are not clearly identified. Leaders should ensure that teachers check pupils' understanding of key knowledge more consistently so that misunderstandings are promptly addressed.