Excalibur Primary School

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About Excalibur Primary School

Name Excalibur Primary School
Website http://www.excalibur.cheshire.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Juliet Jones
Address Ivy Lane, Alsager, Stoke-on-Trent, ST7 2RQ
Phone Number 01270845781
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 217
Local Authority Cheshire East
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are full of smiles as they arrive at Excalibur Primary School each morning.

Kind and caring staff greet them warmly when they arrive.

Positive relationships between staff and pupils are evident throughout the school. Pupils are confident that staff will listen to them if they have any worries.

Staff deal with any incidents of unkind words or behaviour promptly and effectively. This helps pupils to feel safe in school.

The school has high expectations for the achievement and behaviour of every pupil.

Most pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), achieve well. Children in the early years are ex...ceptionally well prepared for the demands of key stage 1.

Many older pupils take on leadership roles such as diversity champions, peer counsellors and sports ambassadors.

This helps pupils to recognise that they have a strong voice in the school. Pupils spoke about the importance of showing impeccable behaviour, and this is evident in their everyday conduct. They respond admirably to the high expectations of staff.

Pupils' behaviour around the school is excellent.

Pupils understand the importance of knowing that 'everyone is different, and everyone is welcome'. They actively promote their understanding of the differences between people and the value of equality in all that they do.

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

The school has designed and created a well-ordered curriculum which begins in the early years. In the Reception class, the essential knowledge and skills that children require for future learning are well thought out. This means that children are extremely well prepared for Year 1 and beyond.

For the most part, across key stages 1 and 2, pupils continue to build their knowledge in a logical order. Pupils, including those with SEND, acquire a rich body of subject knowledge in most subjects.

Typically, staff have strong subject knowledge.

For the most part, they use this to design learning well and select appropriate activities for pupils. However, in a few subjects, where the curriculum requires further refinement, some staff lack the confidence and skills to deliver learning consistently well. This means that sometimes the activities that staff select do not support pupils to make secure enough connections between earlier learning and new concepts.

Added to this, in these subjects, some staff do not afford pupils sufficient opportunities to revisit and consolidate essential knowledge, skills and vocabulary. This prevents some pupils from building secure foundations and learning as deeply as they can.

The school's assessment systems are well established.

In the main, staff use assessment strategies effectively to skilfully check on what pupils know and remember. They use the information from these checks to design and shape future learning.

The school identifies pupils' additional needs accurately and quickly.

With support from the trust, the school ensures that staff receive appropriate training. This means that staff successfully adapt their delivery of the curriculum, with the needs of pupils in mind, so that pupils with SEND can learn well alongside their peers. When needed, pupils with SEND receive well-tailored, additional support.

The school has prioritised reading and implemented a rigorous approach to teaching pupils how to read. Staff begin teaching children letter sounds as soon as they join the Reception Year. Pupils quickly become fluent, confident readers.

Children in the early years and pupils in key stage 1 read books that are matched to the sounds that they know. Those pupils who need additional support receive help quickly from staff who specialise in early reading. Older pupils talked with enthusiasm about reading.

Pupils are proud of the school library and the opportunity that this offers them.

Pupils show an eagerness to learn. Their excellent attitudes to their education mean that pupils' learning is not disrupted.

This highly respectful behaviour means that classrooms, from the early years to Year 6, are purposeful and productive environments. The school is relentless in making sure that pupils attend school regularly and on time.

Parents and carers praised the school's approaches to communication.

For example, many parents were positive about how well informed they are about what their children have been learning in the early years. This means that parents can better support their child's learning at home.

Pupils appreciate the range of opportunities that are on offer beyond the academic curriculum.

For example, they are eager to go on residential visits and school trips. This allows them to gain an understanding of their local community and the wider world. Pupils thoroughly enjoy the activities available to them at playtime, where their interests and imagination are nurtured effectively.

Governors and trustees are clear about the school's priorities and they perform both their statutory and delegated duties well. They support and challenge both the work of the school and the trust. The school is highly supportive of staff's workload and well-being.

Staff were extremely positive about working at Excalibur and they feel that leaders' actions make them feel valued. For example, leaders involve staff when reviewing policies and procedures.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a small number of subjects, some staff are not sufficiently clear about the important knowledge that they should teach and when this content should be taught. This hinders staff in selecting appropriate learning activities and prevents some pupils from gaining the depth of knowledge that they should. The school should finalise its curriculum thinking in this small number of subjects so that staff are informed well about how to design learning for pupils.

• From time to time, staff do not provide enough opportunities for pupils to revisit the essential knowledge, skills and vocabulary that is most useful for subsequent learning. On occasion, this prevents some pupils from having sufficiently secure foundations on which to build new knowledge. The school should support staff to deliver the curriculum consistently well so that pupils are fully prepared for future learning.

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