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Leaders have created a happy and vibrant place for pupils to learn at Featherstone Academy.
Pupils enjoy coming to school and attend regularly.
Pupils recognise many positive changes, such as the school library. They describe it as the 'heart of the school'.
Many pupils choose to spend their breaktimes enjoying books there.
Some pupils are given a range of responsibilities. For example, the 'eco-council' members walk around the local village and pick up litter.
They raise money for their local church. This teaches pupils about respecting and helping their community.
Pupils are calm and orderly around school.
At playtime, th...ere are a range of activities for pupils to choose from. Adults teach pupils how to play games. Pupil playtime monitors remind pupils to walk sensibly in and out of the school building.
Bullying is not tolerated by staff. Any incidences are dealt with quickly. Pupils are safe at school.
They are confident to speak to a trusted adult if they are worried.
Leaders and staff want the best for their pupils. They have designed a well-structured curriculum.
In mathematics and English, assessment is used to understand what help pupils need. However, in other subjects, assessment is not always used well enough.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The headteacher leads the school with care and ambition.
Leaders and staff have high expectations of pupils, including in the early years. Most pupils achieve well as a result. The curriculum is continuously revised and adapted.
Leaders have set out the key knowledge and vocabulary they want pupils to learn over time. This is clearly sequenced across the curriculum. Subject leaders are given opportunities to evaluate their subject area.
However, in subjects other than English and mathematics, they do not know how to evaluate the impact of their subject area on pupils' learning. Subject leaders understand how learning in their subject begins with the youngest children in school. Transition arrangements between the different early years phases and into key stage 1 are effective.
Teachers' subject knowledge is mostly secure across the curriculum, including in the early years. They provide regular opportunities for pupils to recap their learning. However, in subjects other than English and mathematics, teachers do not always check pupils' understanding well enough.
This means pupils can move on to new learning without secure understanding. Pupils use subject-specific vocabulary when explaining their work. For example, in science, pupils know the different phases of the moon.
Most pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive the support they need in class. They learn alongside their peers. They are given additional resources to help with their learning, such as planning tools and vocabulary lists.
Leaders have successfully fostered a love of reading in pupils across school. Pupils experience a wide range of books and authors. These have been carefully selected by leaders.
Phonics begins from the start. Children in Nursery are introduced to sounds. Most adults teach phonics with accuracy.
Leaders provide helpful ongoing training for staff. Effective systems are in place to track pupils who are falling behind. Many additional reading opportunities are given to pupils who need them.
Pupils catch up quickly as a result. Pupils read accurately and fluently. Books match the ability of most pupils.
Systems for identifying SEND are robust. Pupils' needs are reviewed regularly. Parents and carers are regularly involved in reviewing their child's needs.
Leaders and staff support pupils with additional needs with care and consideration. They take part fully in wider school life.
Pupils behave very well in class and around school.
They work hard in lessons and concentrate well. They are polite and welcoming to visitors. During playtime, older pupils take care of younger pupils.
They are positive role models to them. Pupils who need help with their behaviour are supported well and consistently by staff.
Pupils have a broad range of wider experiences.
These include visits to art galleries and museums, and after-school clubs. Pupils have a strong understanding of what it means to be a good citizen. They understand how people are different and show respect to others.
Leaders provide planned opportunities for pupils to broaden their knowledge of diversity and cultures. Pupils are beginning to understand a range of cultures different from their own as a result.
Trust leaders and governors provide appropriate challenge and support.
This includes help with staffing and subject knowledge training. Most staff feel supported with workload. Staff and teachers who are early in their careers feel well supported by leaders.
Parents and carers value the range of opportunities to be involved in their child's learning.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders and staff understand a range of risks, including domestic abuse, online dangers and neglect.
Leaders regularly check the safeguarding knowledge and understanding of staff. They use this information to provide regular and effective training. Staff are vigilant and know how to quickly identify pupils who are at risk of harm, as a result.
Processes for reporting and recording concerns are consistent and thorough.
Recruitment checks are robust. All adults receive rigorous checks before entering the school.
This includes volunteers and visitors.The curriculum contributes well to keeping pupils safe online. Pupils can name trusted adults who can support them.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Subject leaders do not evaluate the impact of the curriculum effectively, in subjects other than English and mathematics. They do not know how the curriculum impacts on pupils' learning, as a result. Leaders should ensure subject leaders evaluate the impact of the curriculum on pupils' learning.
• Teachers do not use assessment procedures well enough to identify and address pupils' misconceptions, in subjects other than English and mathematics. Some pupils are moved on to new learning without teachers checking effectively what pupils have learned and understood. Leaders should ensure that teachers are using the school's assessment procedures effectively to check pupils' understanding in these subjects.
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