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Short inspection of Frizington Community Primary School
Following my visit to the school on 14 March 2017, 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 July 2013. This school continues to be good. The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.
Despite some recent difficulties with staffing beyond your control, you have maintained and improved on the quality of teaching since the previous inspection. Teachers receive a great deal of support and new staff are quickly broug...ht up to speed with school policies and procedures so that there is no negative impact on pupils' progress. You set high expectations of your staff and they rise to these.
You have tackled effectively the areas identified for improvement at the previous inspection well. Your skilled and committed teachers and teaching assistants respond rapidly to support pupils who are at risk of falling behind. This support is targeted accurately where it is most needed.
As a result, pupils are given strategies to help them overcome successfully any difficulties they face. Your pupils appreciate the swift support they are given, with one telling me that: 'If we are getting on OK, adults just check on us. If we find it difficult, we get help.
Adults help us with the methods if we are stuck.' Teachers move learning on through constant assessment during lessons. You, governors and other leaders are not complacent and recognise that the school can be even better.
Your priorities for school improvement are sharply focused on analysis of pupils' outcomes. You have identified the need to increase the proportion of pupils who reach the standard expected for their age in phonics. You also acknowledge the need to increase pupils' progress in writing, so that more pupils reach the expected and higher standards.
Governors have a wide variety of skills which they use both to support and to challenge you and other leaders. Governors value your commitment and describe you as the 'driving force' behind school improvement. They receive good-quality information from you, which means that they have a firm grasp of the school's strengths and weaknesses.
Pupils enjoy school and as a result overall attendance is good. The attendance of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities has improved and is now in line with national averages. Pupils behave well at all times and are attentive in lessons.
There is a consistent approach to behaviour from all adults, which pupils and parents understand. Pupils say that this approach is 'good and fair'. Pupils are polite and well-mannered and were happy to talk and to share their work with me.
Older pupils are particularly sensitive to the needs of the younger pupils. They show patience and understanding and are willing to help and support younger pupils when needed. Your well-planned curriculum ensures that pupils know how to keep themselves safe, including while online.
Pupils can all tell you that when online: 'If there's something I don't want to see, I tell a teacher and press Windows D.' They appreciate the additional opportunities they receive and talked animatedly about visits to museums, theatres and the local area. Pupils have opportunities to study a range of faiths and culture.
Leaders promote equal opportunities well and as a result pupils say that, 'It's OK to be different because if we were all the same, we wouldn't be unique.' Pupils have a good understanding of British values and are prepared well for life in modern Britain. Parents, too, appreciate what you do for your pupils, with one telling me that: 'It is clear that the children's education, health and happiness are at the core of this school.'
Parents also value the way in which leaders are using different ways to improve communication with them. Safeguarding is effective. Your governors ensure that all policies and procedures are in place, including checks on the suitability of teachers and governors to work with children.
Training for staff is comprehensive and up to date. You work closely with other agencies to ensure that pupils and families receive the support they need. You are tenacious in your approach to ensure that safeguarding is a consistent priority and this is something your staff value.
You show great determination to ensure that pupils are kept safe and any unknown absences are followed up swiftly. All safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose and records are detailed and of a high quality. Inspection findings ? Pupils benefit from good teaching at all levels.
Your staff know the pupils well and plan to meet their individual needs. Consequently, most pupils currently in the school, including disadvantaged pupils, make good progress from their starting points. ? Children get a good start to their education in the Reception class.
Adults develop warm and supportive relationships. The environment is stimulating and promotes learning well in all areas of the early years curriculum. Consequently, children in the Reception class make good progress from their starting points.
• A key line of enquiry for this inspection was about the actions taken to reverse the decline seen in the proportion of pupils who reach the standards expected for their age in phonics at the end of Year 1. ? You have ensured that the teaching of phonics is a priority. In the past, the teaching of phonics has not been rapid enough.
You have recognised this and currently this teaching is much more rapid. The impact of the work done when children first start school is positive, and standards in phonics in the Reception class are high. However, you acknowledge that this rate of progress could be improved further in key stage 1 and that currently not all pupils are taught the letter sounds appropriate for their age.
• All staff have recently received additional training to support their teaching of phonics. As a result, adults have good subject knowledge and resources are selected carefully to enhance learning. Teachers bring the teaching of phonics to life through games and activities.
• Pupils who did not reach the expected standard at the end of Year 1 receive additional support from skilled adults. As a result, the majority of these pupils are on track to reach the expected standard at the end of Year 2. The proportion of pupils in Year 1 on track to reach the expected standard is higher than in 2016.
• Another line of enquiry was focused on the progress pupils that make in writing. You and your governors place a high priority on writing. Your English subject leader has a comprehensive plan in place to raise standards.
She has looked carefully at the specific areas which need improvement. As a result, new systems for the teaching of grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting have been introduced. These are having a good impact on pupils' achievement.
• Current pupils make good progress in writing from their different starting points. Disadvantaged pupils make similar progress to their peers. Lower-ability pupils make particularly good progress and many are now working at the standard expected for their age.
The most able pupils make good progress and some are beginning to write with flair. For example, one pupil in Year 6 wrote: 'There, pinned in the beam of my flashlight, I finally saw it…' However, these high standards are not consistent for all the most able pupils across school. Consequently, too few of the most able pupils reach the higher standards of which they are capable.
• Pupils in Year 5 and Year 6 are given opportunities to apply their writing skills across the curriculum. They write reports, recounts, explanations and information texts in history, geography and religious education. However, you acknowledge the inspection findings that pupils in key stage 1 and in Year 3 and Year 4 have fewer opportunities to do so.
• I also looked at how well governors carry out their statutory duties in checking that the website contains all the necessary information, and that pupil premium and sports funding are spent well. Governors have a good understanding of their statutory duties. They ask leaders questions about spending and have ensured that the pupil premium and sports funding impact positively on pupils' outcomes.
Consequently, disadvantaged pupils make good progress and more pupils take part in sports activities than previously. ? Prompt action was taken to ensure that the website contained the necessary information about pupil premium and sports funding spending by the end of the inspection. Next steps for the school Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that: ? pupils' phonics skills are built on rapidly during lessons and across key stage 1 so that a greater proportion reach the standard expected for their age ? the most able pupils make better progress in writing so that a greater proportion of pupils reach the higher standards.
I am copying this letter to the chair of the governing body, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children's services for Cumbria. This letter will be published on the Ofsted website. Yours sincerely Tanya Hughes Her Majesty's Inspector Information about the inspection During this short inspection, I met with you, members of your leadership team, teachers and governors.
I spoke with a representative of the local authority. You and I visited classes to observe learning and you, your leadership team and I looked at work in pupils' books. I met with pupils throughout the day and spoke with three parents in the playground before school.
I considered the 38 responses and the free-text comments made by parents on the Ofsted online questionnaire, Parent View. I also considered the 21 responses to the staff questionnaire and your own pupil surveys. I heard several pupils read and observed pupils on the playground and in the dining hall.
I conducted a detailed review of safeguarding, including checking on the school's policies, procedures and record-keeping. I talked with you, other staff and governors about how the school ensures that children are kept safe. I also considered a range of other documentation, including school improvement planning and information about pupils' progress and attainment.