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Gatehouse is a thoroughly inclusive school. Pupils are happy and love coming to school to see their friends and staff. Pupils talk with pride about how their school has improved.
They enjoy learning and value the wide range of subjects they study. Leaders are determined for every pupil to be successful. Nearly all parents and carers who responded to the online survey, would recommend the school.
Pupils are respectful, caring and keen to learn. There is very little low-level disruption in lessons. Poor behaviour is not tolerated and pupils know staff's high expectations.
Pupils say that bullying rarely happens. They say that adults care about them and that the...re is always an adult they can share any worries with. Staff are considerate and nurturing.
Pupils value each other's differences. They know that it is alright to be different. Pupils have a strong understanding of tolerance and respect.
Older pupils told an inspector it does not matter who you are or what you believe in. Pupils have many opportunities to take part in local events.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The curriculum has evolved over the last four years.
Leaders have designed a curriculum that enables pupils to develop their knowledge well. The curriculum is meticulously planned from the early years through to Year 6. Leaders have thought carefully about the most important knowledge pupils should learn and in what order.
At the forefront of the curriculum are the needs of disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Consequently, these pupils achieve well. In addition, subject leaders have carefully aligned the curriculum to professional careers.
For example, in science, pupils know they need knowledge of the circulatory system if they want to become a doctor. This ignites their aspirations.
Subject leaders check regularly that their curriculum plans are being realised.
They have made purposeful adaptations to the curriculum to help pupils catch up on any lost learning caused by the pandemic. They have done this well. Pupils who are behind, have a bespoke curriculum and are catching up quickly.
When children join the early years, staff conduct detailed checks on what children know. They use this knowledge effectively to refine the curriculum. This ensures they meet all children's needs.
However, further up the school, the curriculum to support writing is not as ambitious as it could be. Some teaching does not build on what pupils can already do. So, some stronger writers are not reaching the higher standards that they could.
Staff understand that reading is the gateway to the curriculum. Staff work diligently to ensure that pupils develop the knowledge needed to read. Any pupil who is struggling to master their phonics has effective additional support to help them to catch up.
Staff have embraced the recent changes to the school's approach to phonics. Children get off to a flying start. Effective teaching in the early years ensures children develop their phonics knowledge well.
Staff build precisely on what pupils already know. They ensure children are secure in their knowledge before moving on. However, there is not yet complete fidelity to the agreed phonics programme in parts of key stage 1.
Leaders know this and have plans in place to provide further professional development. Leaders have thought carefully about the books older pupils listen to and read. They cover a wide range of topics to help pupils learn about different cultures.
Pupils are enthusiastic about their reading. They read widely and often and enjoy their books.
Pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
Leaders ensure that pupils develop the skills required to be a positive member of society. Pupils have a wide range of opportunities to apply for positions of responsibility, such as being a mental health ambassador, school councillor or head boy and girl. Pupils who take on these roles feel valued.
They say that leaders listen to and act upon their concerns.
Trustees and local governors oversee the work of the school well. They work closely with staff, parents and pupils to ensure that pupils have a good standard of education.
Leaders, including trustees, take into consideration staff's well-being and their workload. Staff welcome the care leaders provide. Leaders recognise how hard staff work.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders ensure that the appropriate recruitment checks are completed for adults who work in the school. Additional safeguarding checks are made by the trust.
Staff work well to keep pupils safe. They are well trained and know what to do should they have a concern about a pupil. Leaders ensure that vulnerable pupils and their families get the support they need.
Pupils learn how to keep safe through their computing and personal, social and health education learning. They have a strong understanding of how to stay safe online, including when using mobile technology.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Changes to the school's approach to phonics are relatively recent.
Teaching for a minority of pupils in parts of key stage 1 does not develop their reading knowledge as quickly as it might. Leaders need to ensure that the teaching of phonics is of an equally high standard across the school. ? The curriculum to support pupils' writing is not as ambitious as it could be.
Teaching does not always take account of what pupils already know and can do.This limits what some pupils can achieve. Leaders need to ensure that all pupils become fluent and confident writers.
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