Falconbrook Primary School


Name Falconbrook Primary School
Website http://www.falconbrook.wandsworth.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 05 February 2020
Address Wye Street, Battersea, London, SW11 2LX
Phone Number 02072287706
Type Primary
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 276 (54% boys 46% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15.2
Local Authority Wandsworth
Percentage Free School Meals 51.6%
Percentage English is Not First Language 69.2%
Persisitent Absence 12.1%
Pupils with SEN Support 14.1%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils like coming to this school. They feel happy because teachers understand their needs as individuals. Pupils believe the school is a safe place for them. They said that the school teaches them to be kind and caring to each other. Leaders are ambitious for their pupils. Pupils also have high expectations of themselves and put effort into their learning. They achieve well.

Behaviour in classes is exemplary. Pupils behave well and concentrate on their lessons. They help each other. At breaktimes, they play well together. Pupils said that there are not many problems with bullying. They are confident that staff take any problems seriously and sort them out. There is an emphasis on pupils learning self-discipline, not just behaving well to earn rewards.

Leaders have made sure there is an atmosphere of mutual respect in the school. Relationships are strong. Pupils have lots of opportunities to learn responsibility. For instance, they can be ‘eco-warriors’ or ‘PATH pals’. Teachers understand that not all pupils get the chance to take part in activities outside school, so they give pupils lots of experiences that broaden their knowledge of the world. Special events such as storytelling week, science week and enterprise week add to pupils’ enjoyment of school.

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

Leaders introduced a new curriculum plan in September, building on previous schemes of work. Staff have thought carefully what pupils in each year group need to know to be successful. This has resulted in a well-planned curriculum where learning builds on what children already know. Lessons are interesting. Pupils are enthusiastic and engaged, and their excellent behaviour also contributes to effective teaching. Pupils remember previous learning very well. For instance, Year 3 children could talk about what they had learned about Guy Fawkes in Year 2. They understood the reasons for his actions. The same kind of in-depth understanding of historical events also came through when they talked about Year 3 work on Boudicca. They understood why she wanted to fight the Romans. However, it is not yet possible to see the full impact of the new plans on pupils’ achievement in all subjects.

Leaders think through and evaluate changes they make to the curriculum. They make sure that teachers receive high-quality training and coaching for different subjects. The result is that teachers have a common understanding of the school’s approach. This is one of the reasons pupils produce a high standard of work. For example, in mathematics a consistent approach to teaching new concepts enables all children to solve problems successfully. Pupils move from using concrete objects, to visual representations to conventional recording. This helps them to consolidate their learning in mathematics. They have regular opportunities to revise and practice their fluency in number work.

Leaders put great importance on making sure that pupils learn to read as fluently as possible. They have made sure all staff who teach reading have high-quality training. Teachers assess children frequently, so that they know exactly what to teach them. Good training and accurate assessment mean that pupils move through the school’s phonics programme rapidly. Teachers have developed an approach to the teaching of comprehension which staff from Nursery to Year 6 understand. This means that pupils throughout the school develop good comprehension of texts. Leaders organise workshops to help parents support their children’s learning. They make sure that pupils hear a wide range of stories. Pupils read books matched to their broad level in reading. However, the least able children and pupils do not always have books accurately matched to the sounds they have learned.

In Nursery and Reception, the school’s focus on improving children’s language is particularly strong. Teachers know how to extend children’s language and thinking. They foster children’s confidence and ability to speak very well. They plan interesting activities, which motivate children to ask questions.

Planning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is a strength of the school. Staff make sure that pupils access the same work as others when appropriate and encourage them to be independent in their work. The school’s approach to behaviour supports all pupils to improve, including those with SEND.

Leaders believe that many pupils come to school with a narrow range of experiences. They make sure that pupils take part in visits and activities to compensate. Leaders have made sure that pupils have access to a broad range of activities beyond the curriculum. More than two-thirds of children take part in an activity club through the school. An innovative partnership project with an independent school helps prepare Year 6 pupils for the move to secondary school. Pupils take part in events with arts organisations such as the Royal Ballet and Tate Britain. In Year 5, all pupils take part in chess lessons. Projects linking faith and art contribute to pupils’ understanding and respect for each other. One pupil said, ‘We all believe different things, but we can learn from each other.’

Leaders, including governors, have a clear vision for the school. They want it to improve pupils’ life chances. They have found solutions to some of the challenges they face. Governors monitor the school’s work and hold leaders to account effectively. They do not always fully appreciate its areas of strength.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders carry out all necessary checks on people working in the school. Staff receive a broad range of safeguarding training. They are well informed about the risks their pupils may face outside school. Staff know what signs should cause concern about a pupil. They understand how to act on and report any concerns. Leaders have created an ‘early help hub’ to support families before difficulties escalate. This hasreduced the number of pupils at risk substantially. The school works effectively with outside agencies when they believe pupils are at risk.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The curriculum is well planned and well structured. It meets the needs of pupils in the school. However, although it builds on the previous schemes of work, the current version of subject planning has only been in place since September 2019. Leaders need to continue developing and refining these plans so that they support pupils’ high achievement across all subjects. . Pupils take home books that are matched to their broad reading level, but not closely to the sounds they know. This means that they are not able to practise applying the sounds they have learned in their phonics lessons. Leaders need to make sure that pupils, especially the least able, have regular opportunities to take home books matched to the sounds they know.