Following my visit to the school on 5 June 2018, I write on behalf of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills to report the inspection findings. The visit was the first short inspection carried out since school was judged to be good in January 2014.
This school continues to be good. The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. In the relatively short time since your appointment as headteacher, you have quickly and accurately identified the strengths and weaknesses of the school.
You have a strong leadership team that shares your ambition for the school. You have e...nsured that standards are maintained, despite significant staffing changes. The school's building work has been managed effectively; you have ensured that this work does not disrupt the good quality of learning experiences the school provides for its pupils.
Pupils are happy at school. They are very well behaved and eager to learn. They show enthusiasm when talking about the variety of things they learn at school.
During one of my discussions with pupils, they beamed with pride while talking about how the girls' football team won the local authority championships this year. They appreciate the content and the effective delivery of the well-planned curriculum. As one pupil commented: 'The school makes me realise how good I am in subjects like history and geography.'
School leaders have addressed the areas for development identified in the previous inspection. You have taken action to raise the level of challenge presented to pupils in lessons. However, you recognise that most-able pupils, including the most able disadvantaged pupils, are still not being challenged enough to attain the high standard in mathematics and reading.
Governors have a good understanding of the school's strengths, but are also realistic about the need for further improvement. They have reviewed their membership to ensure that, collectively, they have the right set of skills to support and challenge the school. They have used their expertise to offer sharp and timely challenge to school leaders.
Safeguarding is effective. The leadership team has ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose. You and the school's governors are clear about your responsibility to ensure that pupils are safe at school.
You have established a strong safeguarding culture by training and developing staff and governors, using the most up-to-date national safeguarding guidance. Staff know what to do if there are any concerns about a pupil. Records show that they make high-quality and timely referrals.
Records relating to the safeguarding of pupils are detailed and well maintained. Pupils say they feel safe at school. They are confident that they have someone to talk to if they are worried or concerned.
Pupils are adamant that bullying does not exist at school. Records show that school leaders deal rapidly and effectively with conflict or potential bullying situations, should they arise. Inspection findings ? During our initial discussion, we agreed to look at the progress children make in the early years.
This was because in 2016 and 2017 the proportion of children who achieved a good level of development was below the national average. ? Leaders have reviewed the school's approach in the early years foundation stage. They have established a shared understanding of the progress that staff should expect of children in each of the areas of development, and have put in place effective actions to help children achieve these goals.
• Adults are skilled at engaging with children and they know precisely when to intervene to extend their language, learning and play. They know all the children really well and skilfully plan a wide range of activities to make sure that all children enjoy learning; children are highly motivated and curious as a result. Teachers plan many chances for children to listen to stories and join in with words or actions.
This helps them to develop good communication skills. Staff take great care to help those children who speak English as an additional language to develop and expand their vocabulary. Effective teaching of mathematics enables children to solve simple problems.
The environment, both indoors and outdoors, provides learning spaces for children to develop both their vocabulary and their understanding of numbers. ? Children are confident as they are routinely encouraged to explore their learning, and to follow their interests and curiosities. The school's current assessment information shows that a higher proportion of children than previously are achieving a good level of development.
• We also agreed to look at the actions taken by leaders to improve the progress and attainment of pupils in key stage 1. This was because in 2017 a lower proportion of pupils than found nationally met the expected standards, both in the Year 1 phonics screening check and the Year 2 end-of-key-stage tests. This was also the case for the disadvantaged pupils.
• Leaders have reviewed the teaching of phonics in key stage 1. To ensure that teaching is well matched to pupils' needs, they are now taught phonics in smaller groups. This is complemented by additional intervention sessions to support those pupils who need to catch up.
As a result, pupils now demonstrate strong knowledge of phonics, which they use well in their reading. ? Pupils in Year 1 and Year 2 are also making good progress in writing. They are learning to write longer pieces, maintaining style, language and tense throughout.
They produce different writing types, including narratives and information articles. They use their strong phonic knowledge to check that their spellings are accurate. ? In mathematics, teachers provide pupils with plenty of opportunities to practise and consolidate their understanding and skills.
Pupils show strong arithmetic skills. They are able to reason mathematically, and are getting better at using the correct terminology when talking about how they work out calculations. Pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, are now making strong progress in mathematics over the key stage.
• Finally, we looked at the progress and attainment of most-able pupils, including the most able disadvantaged pupils, in key stage 2. In recent years there have been relatively few pupils with high starting points and the proportion of these going on to achieve the high standard at the end of Year 6 has been low. We therefore looked at how well these pupils are challenged to achieve as well as they can in reading, writing and mathematics.
• Teachers have high expectations of pupils' writing, including accuracy in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Pupils respond well, relishing the challenge they receive from their teachers. The most able pupils, including the most able disadvantaged pupils, are now producing writing of high quality.
The vocabulary they use is ambitious and they take risks in writing sentences which are often complex and adventurous. ? Teachers are beginning to develop the more advanced skills in reading. This includes opportunities for pupils to develop and practice the more sophisticated skills of deduction and inference.
However, this needs to be more consistent to enable the most able pupils, including the most able disadvantaged pupils, to achieve the high standards in reading. ? In mathematics, teachers sometimes give activities which challenge pupils' mathematical thinking. This includes, for example, presenting problems in a variety of ways to probe pupils' level of understanding.
As yet, however, the most able pupils, including the most able disadvantaged pupils, are not challenged enough to achieve the high standards in mathematics. Next steps for the school Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that: ? teachers challenge the most able pupils, including the most able disadvantaged pupils, sufficiently so that a higher proportion of them achieve the high standard in reading and mathematics. I am copying this letter to the chair of the governing body, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children's services for Camden.
This letter will be published on the Ofsted website. Yours sincerely Edison David Ofsted Inspector Information about the inspection During this inspection I discussed the work of the school with you and with members of the senior leadership team. I spoke to a number of pupils to discuss their experiences in lessons, the extent to which they feel safe, and their views on learning and behaviour.
I held discussions with a representative of the local authority. I spoke to the chair of the governing body by phone. I also considered documentation provided by the school and information posted on the school's website.
I looked at the single central record of staff suitability checks, and the school's analysis of pupils' attendance. Together with school leaders, I visited classes to observe learning and I looked at samples of pupils' work across all subjects. I listened to pupils read from across the ability range.