Forest View Primary School

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About Forest View Primary School

Name Forest View Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Ben Lyons
Address Latimer Road, Cinderford, GL14 2QA
Phone Number 01594822241
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 368
Local Authority Gloucestershire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Short inspection of Forest View Primary School

Following my visit to the school on 6 February 2019, I write on behalf of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills to report the inspection findings. The visit was the first short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be good in June 2015. This school continues to be good.

You and your leadership team have maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. You are an experienced headteacher, having been in post for eight years. Assisted by the deputy headteacher, you continue to bring about many positive changes to the school and the education it provides.

Since the previous inspe...ction, you have ensured that teachers have the highest expectations of what pupils can achieve. As a result, pupils leave the school well prepared for secondary school. We observed teachers challenging pupils to achieve more.

Your staff talk excitedly about how they work together to improve learning. Recently, the school has grown rapidly, and new pupils have been joining the school in most year groups. Since the beginning of last year, leaders have prioritised welcoming new pupils and their families to the school.

Teachers have quickly assessed the abilities of new arrivals so that they can plan to address the pupils' needs. You have made sure that pupils, parents and carers quickly understand the routines and expectations of their new school. Leaders' plans to accommodate the new pupils have been managed well.

Parents of pupils new to the school commented, for example, that the school 'has been so welcoming and the staff are great'. School governors have a strong knowledge of the school through the visits they make and the reports they receive from the headteacher. Governors make sure that they keep up to date by attending regular training courses and by meeting with governors from other schools.

Because governors are knowledgeable and well informed, they are able to check that leaders are performing well and that children are getting a good deal. Different members of the school community hold the school in high regard. Pupils feel safe and learn well, while staff are proud of the school and happy to work there.

Parents would recommend the school to others, stating, for example, 'Forest View is a wonderful school' and 'We are so grateful for the high standard of care given to our children.' You and your leadership team are keen that pupils should not only receive a high standard of education but should also learn to be healthy, respectful and engaged members of society. All pupils take part in the daily mile and have many opportunities to be involved in competitive sport.

Learning often takes place outside, in the community and on school trips. Together with your leadership team and the governors, you have built a learning community where staff strive to help all children learn and develop. Safeguarding is effective It is clear as soon as you arrive at the school that the top priority for you and your staff is to ensure that pupils are safe and well cared for.

You and your senior team have ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose and records are detailed and of high quality. The arrangements for checking the suitability of staff to work with children meet requirements. Your records show that staff are vetted carefully prior to beginning employment and that checks on visitors are robust.

New members of staff are carefully inducted into the safe working practices at the school. You have a dedicated team of staff who liaise with parents and work with outside agencies, including social services and healthcare professionals. Staff consult these agencies with speed and persistence so that pupils and families receive appropriate support.

Staff are well trained and vigilant. They understand how to keep children safe and, as a result, any concerns are quickly dealt with. Pupils talk confidently about how the school keeps them safe.

Governors carefully check that pupils are kept safe through regular visits. Inspection findings ? The inspection's first line of enquiry was to consider how well you and your team have ensured that pupils make the best possible progress in their reading. You had identified this as a high priority in your development plan, as reading outcomes in the 2018 national tests were not as high as they had been in recent years.

Some time ago, you set up a speech and language department in the school and ensured that teachers in Reception classes and key stage 1 teach pupils effectively about the sounds that letters make. As a result of your actions, many children catch up and achieve well in the phonics screening check. You are now extending these approaches to the older pupils and have introduced changes to the way that reading is taught in order to increase pupils' exposure to a wide vocabulary.

We observed this new way of teaching reading and noted how pupils were practising using new words to answer questions well. However, this change has not been fully implemented. Pupils' vocabulary needs further development across the school so that pupils have the tools to make even better progress in all subjects.

• Leaders have involved parents more in reading with their children through Friday reading sessions, which are well attended. The library is well resourced and teachers carefully monitor what pupils are reading to make book suggestions that will provide challenge and provoke pupils' interest. Pupils have been motivated to read more by the newly improved rewards system.

As a result of these changes, pupils are reading more often and are exposed to a wider range of books. ? You have identified improving boys' literacy as a key area of development, due to larger gaps between boys' and girls' performance than is the case nationally. On arrival at the school, boys often have much weaker speech, language and literacy skills than girls.

Teachers work hard to improve these skills so that boys can achieve well. Leaders have been working with staff in pre-school settings and seeking to involve parents more in activities which develop these skills. ? The school's curriculum is carefully planned so that there is a range of topics that motivate both boys and girls.

There are now more role models visiting the school regularly to inspire boys and girls. You have prioritised overcoming any barriers that boys may face that prevent them from learning well. Teachers have adopted a successful approach to learning that encourages pupils to cooperate, to learn from their mistakes, to be independent and to be resilient.

This is working well, and we could see from the pupils' work that both boys and girls are achieving well as they move up the school. ? The last line of enquiry was to consider how effectively leaders are tackling low attendance. Leaders and staff work relentlessly to improve levels of attendance but, in the past, a higher proportion of the pupils at this school have been missing substantial amounts of school time than is the case nationally.

Leaders have established rigorous systems to follow up any attendance concerns and they work hard to establish positive relationships with parents. Staff routinely follow up absence and make referrals to the local authority where appropriate. The school policy is to send a graduated series of letters to parents if attendance is getting very low.

However, parents are only sent second letters raising concerns about their child's unsatisfactory attendance when the school intends to take further action. These letters have not been used well enough to act as warnings to alert parents prior to action being taken. ? Teachers and leaders work hard to make coming to school exciting and interesting.

Pupils receive rewards for high attendance in order to encourage them to develop good habits. Recently, leaders have worked with other agencies to ensure that guidelines are clear for all members of the school community. As a result of the actions that leaders have taken, figures for this year indicate that attendance is improving.

Next steps for the school Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that: ? action is taken earlier to alert parents when a pupil's attendance is getting very low ? they sharpen the focus on actions to build pupils' vocabulary. I am copying this letter to the chair of the board of trustees, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children's services for Gloucestershire. This letter will be published on the Ofsted website.

Yours sincerely Tom Morrison Ofsted Inspector Information about the inspection During the inspection, I met with parents, pupils, staff and governors. Together with your deputy headteacher, I observed learning across the school and looked at pupils' work to see the changes that had been made to teaching and learning. I examined a variety of documents, including leaders' evaluation of the performance of the school, development plans, assessment information and the school's website.

I also examined records of the checks that leaders make on the suitability of staff to work with children. I took account of the views of parents from the 37 responses to the Ofsted online survey and from meeting some parents before school. Staff views were assessed by meeting a group of staff and from the 38 responses to the staff questionnaire.

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