Ferndale Primary School

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About Ferndale Primary School

Name Ferndale Primary School
Website http://www.ferndaleprimary.co.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Ruth Gillett
Address Ferndale Avenue, Great Barr, Birmingham, B43 5QF
Phone Number 01213573326
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 599
Local Authority Sandwell
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils achieve very well at Ferndale Primary School. Leaders have high expectations for what all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), can achieve. The curriculum is ambitious, and pupils study all the subjects in the national curriculum.

Through the 'Ferndale 50', the school undertakes to give all pupils a rich set of learning experiences. These include trips to places of interest such as castles or museums, and residential visits. A wide range of after-school clubs has restarted following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents and carers appreciate the school's inclusive values.

Pupils become thoughtful, articulate learn...ers. Staff teach them to have a keen interest in different cultures.

Pupils develop a deep respect for others. They have good opportunities to take responsibility, for example as school councillors or 'digi-leaders', helping with equipment at school events. Pupils are extremely well prepared for secondary school.

Pupils are eager to learn, and behave very well in lessons and at social times. They read widely and present their work neatly. Classrooms and corridors are calm and orderly.

Pupils know there is always an adult to speak to. Bullying is very rare, and staff resolve any disagreements promptly and effectively. Pupils feel safe and happy.

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

Leaders have planned an ambitious curriculum. From the outset in the early years, the curriculum has been well tailored to meet the needs of the pupils. Teaching is well organised, so that pupils' work builds on what they can already do.

There is a focus on the key vocabulary that pupils must learn. Teachers help pupils to remember the key knowledge in the long term. Leaders have planned activities in the early years that prepare children well for key stage 1.

In some subjects, such as mathematics and art, pupils achieve particularly well. Pupils know the importance of reading. They read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books.

Teachers are knowledgeable. The teaching follows the curriculum that leaders have planned. In general, teachers adapt the work well to meet the needs of different pupils, including those with SEND.

They use high-quality resources, such as the software for graphic design in computing, to deliver the curriculum. Teachers check on what pupils are learning so that they can adjust the learning accordingly. Nevertheless, some minor inconsistencies remain in the skill with which teachers implement the curriculum.

Some leaders have not fully identified and addressed these inconsistencies.

From the start of the Reception year, children follow a structured phonics reading programme. They learn about letters and sounds in a logical order.

Staff use resources in a consistent way. However, there remains some inconsistency in the teaching of phonics. Staff make sure that pupils read frequently to an adult.

Staff help pupils who find reading more difficult to keep up. Books for younger pupils are well matched to their knowledge of letters and sounds.

Pupils follow a comprehensive programme to develop their social and cultural understanding.

Teachers supplement this with work in other areas. For example, pupils read texts about life in other countries and time periods. Pupils learn about the importance of democracy and fairness.

They understand and debate differing viewpoints. Pupils are very knowledgeable and tolerant of people different from themselves. A wide range of after-school clubs adds to the richness of the curriculum.

A high proportion of pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, attend. Pupils and their families benefit from high-quality pastoral care. The school holds the gold Equalities Award.

Pupils understand the school's rewards and sanctions and think that they are fair. They try hard in lessons, and support each other with their work. Any disruption to learning is very rare.

The conduct of those pupils with additional behavioural needs improves over time. The playground is well equipped. This helps pupils to play happily together.

Pupils with SEND, including those in the specially resourced provision, and pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) learn well. This is because, in general, staff understand their needs and how to meet them. Nevertheless, for some of these pupils, leaders do not identify and communicate the next steps for their learning carefully enough.

The headteacher has established a strong sense of common purpose in the school. Teachers believe that leaders are always ready to help and are considerate of their workload. Leaders have a good understanding of the school's strengths and the areas that still need some development.

Subject leaders have adapted curriculum plans well to fit the school's context.

Governors are ambitious to improve the school further. They provide effective oversight of its work.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders make sure that staff are well trained in safeguarding. They provide helpful updates to ensure that staff are clear about their roles.

Procedures for reporting concerns are understood by all. Leaders take the right actions to help children. They take appropriate steps to involve other agencies that work with children.

Teachers make sure that pupils learn about the risks that they may face, including when using the internet.

The school keeps the necessary records of safeguarding checks. Leaders make the required checks on the staff who join the school.

Governors provide effective oversight of safeguarding arrangements.

Pupils have confidence in talking to adults if they are worried. They feel safe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some inconsistencies remain in how teachers implement the curriculum, including phonics, and assess pupils' learning. Leaders should ensure that subject leaders have the skills and opportunities to check on the implementation of their subject curriculum. This will enable leaders to make any necessary refinements to the curriculum and to provide staff with additional guidance.

• Leaders are not consistently setting clear targets for some pupils with SEND or pupils who have EAL. As a result, staff do not know as precisely as they should how to adapt work to best meet these pupils' needs. Leaders should ensure that reliable procedures are in place to assess these pupils' progress, identify their next steps and communicate this information to those who teach them.

Also at this postcode
Junior Adventures Group @ Ferndale B43

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