Emerson Valley School

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About Emerson Valley School

Name Emerson Valley School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Hayley White
Address Hodder Lane, Emerson Valley, Milton Keynes, MK4 2JR
Phone Number 01908507914
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 7-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 454
Local Authority Milton Keynes
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy and feel safe at this inclusive school.

They learn how to look after their physical and mental well-being. Pupils trust staff to help them sort out any worries or concerns quickly. Behaviour in lessons and around school is good.

Bullying is rare and dealt with appropriately. Pupils take care of each other and form strong friendships. One pupil summed this up by saying, 'If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.'

Leaders have high expectations and ambition for pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Staff and pupils understand the importance of the school values 'community...', 'pride' and 'aspire'. Enrichment beyond the academic curriculum is an important part of leaders' vision.

Pupils enjoy the trips, visitors, special events and clubs offered. They embrace leadership roles and responsibilities with enthusiasm because what they do makes a difference to the school and local area.

Pupils are keen to learn, not giving up when they find work tricky.

They are benefiting from the improved curriculum leaders have put in place. On the whole, pupils achieve well, talking enthusiastically about their learning. Where there are gaps in pupils' knowledge, leaders are working quickly to address these.

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

Since the last inspection, leaders have developed a well-sequenced and ambitious curriculum. This has been further strengthened by subject leaders working closely with feeder infant schools and colleagues from the secondary phase. Leaders ensure that curriculum plans support pupils to secure important knowledge and vocabulary.

They have provided effective training so that staff are confident to teach lessons where pupils can learn and do more. The curriculum is equally ambitious for pupils with SEND. Leaders support teachers to provide carefully adapted lessons that allow all pupils to access the intended learning at an age-appropriate level.

Leaders promote a love of reading across the school. Well-stocked book areas and the school library contain a range of books which celebrate diversity. Teachers read to their class carefully considered texts in an exciting and engaging way.

The help pupils receive to develop their reading comprehension skills is a strength. However, the support provided for pupils who struggle to learn to read is not yet fully embedded. Leaders have selected a robust early reading programme, but not all staff have completed the training to follow it rigorously.

Staff implement the school's behaviour policy consistently and fairly. This ensures that school is calm and orderly. Pupils who find it hard to make the right behaviour choices get the help that they need to succeed.

Social times are positive, and pupils enjoy their time together. They make good use of the extensive school grounds, fitness trails and play equipment available. Occasionally, pupils' behaviour can slip if they think no one is watching.

Leaders are aware of the improvements needed in this area and are ambitious in their vision for pupils giving their very best at all times.

Leaders provide pupils with varied and interesting opportunities for personal development. The personal, social, health and economic education is well sequenced and gets pupils ready for their move to secondary school.

Pupils learn how to stay safe in their local community, as well as when online. They have an understanding of democracy and show respect for other people's points of view. Pupils are kind and think about others, organising several fund-raising events.

They value the extensive range of leadership posts they can apply for and the impact they have on the school and the local community. Leaders are aware of the need to widen the range of non-sports-based clubs and plans are in place to do so. They are passionate about making sure every pupil has access to the visits, visitors, clubs and events that are available.

Governors have helped to secure positive change since the last inspection. They know the school's strengths well and show commitment to further improvement. Governors have become more robust in holding school leaders to account and increased their focus on the strategic leadership of the quality of education provided.

The appointment of the new head of school has strengthened senior leadership. Working alongside the executive headteacher, they are helping middle leaders who require further development. Staff are supportive of senior leaders.

They feel respected and appreciate the consideration leaders place on well-being and workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong culture of safeguarding.

Leaders and staff get to know their pupils and families very well. Staff are alert and recognise the potential signs of harm to pupils. They report their concerns promptly and record these accurately.

When needed, leaders refer any concerns to external safeguarding partners. They actively pursue these referrals to ensure that pupils and families get prompt support. Leaders ensure that staff and governors receive up-to-date training.

This includes any specific safeguarding issues that have arisen in the local area. Minor weaknesses in safeguarding identified during the inspection were swiftly resolved by leaders.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Not all pupils who are struggling to learn to read are catching up as quickly as they could.

This group of pupils require adaptations and additional support when accessing learning. Leaders have correctly identified the next steps for improvement. They must ensure that all staff know how to support this group of pupils as they learn to read and follow the school's agreed process.

• In some of the foundation subjects, teachers do not know what pupils have learned at the end of each unit of work. This means that teachers do not make sure pupils have secured important knowledge before they learn something new. Leaders for every subject should ensure that all staff have the knowledge to check what pupils know and that they are ready to move on with their learning.

• Aspects of leadership and management are not well embedded. This means that some groups of pupils, including the most disadvantaged, are not always achieving the high ambitions of senior leaders. Middle leaders should be supported to think more strategically about their areas of responsibility and consider the way these link to whole school improvement targets.

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