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Pupils at Gawthorpe Community Academy are happy and considerate. Staff encourage pupils to welcome others and embrace difference.
Pupils are proud of their school. One child, who represented the views of many, told inspectors, 'We have people from around the world. People feel safe, welcome - the same as everybody else.
No one is treated differently.' Staff create a calm and orderly atmosphere around the school. Pupils are respectful towards adults and other pupils.
Staff motivate pupils to learn and behave well.
Pupils feel safe at school. Bullying is rare.
Pupils trust adults to deal with any issues which may arise. Adults build positive r...elationships with pupils. They teach pupils how to be good friends.
Pupils enjoy the many roles and responsibilities that they can take on. They like being able to be librarians, school captains, councillors, and buddies to younger children. This results in a sense of community across school.
Leaders, including trustees and governors, are ambitious and have high expectations. Pupils rise to these expectations. This is evident in their behaviour and in the work that they produce across a range of subjects.
This starts with the youngest pupils, who are curious and confident. The oldest pupils are mature, tolerant and keen to talk about what they have learned. They know about the artists they are studying and can recall the books that they have enjoyed.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have high ambitions across the curriculum. This is particularly evident in the teaching of early reading. Leaders prioritise reading.
Staff are well trained and share their subject knowledge carefully with children. Teachers provide pupils with repeated practise of sounds to help them remember what they are being taught. Additional reading sessions help pupils who need extra help to catch up quickly.
As a result, pupils learn to read with fluency and confidence.
Leaders have carefully planned the books that pupils will read. Pupils become familiar with books that develop their understanding of diversity and the differences between people.
However, there is some variance in how well adults hold pupils' interest in storytelling sessions.
Staff provide pupils with many opportunities to develop their knowledge across the curriculum. They design careful sequences of learning.
For example, in art, pupils develop an understanding of artists such as Rousseau and Hokusai and create work in their style. Pupils build deeper understanding over time. They enjoy opportunities to debate and explore ideas.
The teaching of mathematics is strong. Pupils enjoy mathematics. Leaders ensure thatthere is a consistent and ambitious approach to developing core mathematical knowledge from early years to Year 6.
Leaders have made some recent changes to the curriculum to address gaps in pupils' arithmetic knowledge. Teachers model concepts clearly and check carefully to make sure that pupils are keeping up. Pupils are given opportunities to retrieve and build on their prior knowledge.
This helps them to remember what they are being taught.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well supported. Leaders and teachers ensure these pupils access the same curriculum as their peers.
For example, teachers ensure that pupils have additional resources or repeated opportunities to learn key knowledge. Parents of children with SEND appreciate the support that leaders provide.
Some leaders are very new to their post.
They are being supported by senior leaders to develop the knowledge and skills they need to lead their subject or area. There remains some variation in how well different subjects and areas are led and implemented.
Children get off to a strong start in the early years.
Leaders have established an ambitious early years curriculum. They have looked at best practice in other schools to develop their own provision. Adults interact well with children in the purposeful environment.
Children make good progress across all areas of learning as a result. This means that they are prepared well for key stage 1. Children are respectful and make appropriate choices when working independently, both in the classroom and outside.
Pupils' personal, social and emotional development is an emerging strength of the school. In early years, pupils access independent activities with confidence and curiosity. Pupils are able to talk about British values.
By Year 6, they have a good understanding of the Equality Act and most protected characteristics. Pupils understand that people should not be treated differently because of these. Staff from a local premier league football club support the teaching of mental health to older pupils, who enjoy this work.
Trustees and leaders from the multi-academy trust (MAT) know the school well. Together with members of the local governing body, they provide effective support and challenge for school leaders. Leaders ensure that staff well-being is carefully considered.
Support for staff's ongoing continuous professional development is effective, including that provided to early career teachers.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
There is a strong culture of safeguarding in the school.
Leaders provide regular safeguarding updates to staff, which gives them the knowledge they need to identify if a pupil is at risk of harm. When staff have a concern about a pupil, leaders take effective action to make sure that pupils and families get the support that they need. Leaders from the MAT provide effective oversight of the school's safeguarding procedures.
Safeguarding is taught throughout the curriculum. Children learn about issues such as the dangers posed by gangs, forced marriage, radicalisation and online harms. Pupils can identify the safety systems in place in school, such as the use of different coloured lanyards to identify visitors.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Some leaders are very new to their role. On occasions, they lack the knowledge and skills they need to lead their subjects or areas consistently well and to check the impact of improvement actions. Leaders should further develop the expertise of new leaders to enable them to lead their subjects or areas in a consistently effective way.
• There is a variance in the quality of storytelling sessions. This means that some children's interest is not sustained and they do not develop a love of reading. Leaders should provide training for all staff so that they deliver storytelling sessions that develop pupils' enjoyment of reading for pleasure.
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