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Pupils thrive in this happy and friendly school. Leaders have established a community where pupils and staff are proud of their school. Pupils work hard and achieve very well.
They are supported in this by an ambitious curriculum taught by caring and well-trained teachers. From the early years up to Year 6, leaders have instilled a strong sense of belonging.
A very carefully considered curriculum ensures that pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education.
The full breadth of the curriculum, with its strong focus on creativity, is accessed by all pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Leaders have e...nriched this curriculum with a range of regular trips and activities. They make sure that these activities are accessible to all pupils.
Pupils are polite, kind and caring. They learn and play together well. Pupils say that bullying is very rare, but they know that teachers will deal with it quickly if it does happen.
Parents and carers feel fully involved in the life of the school. They appreciate the regular communication from leaders, including the very detailed weekly newsletters.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have developed an ambitious curriculum which helps pupils to learn more and to remember more.
Leaders have ensured that pupils achieve very well in their writing, reading and mathematics, and also enjoy a rich and broad curriculum. Subject specialists have put together carefully sequenced curriculum content. This helps pupils to revisit and embed earlier learning regularly, and to make links across subjects.
Leaders enrich and enhance the curriculum. For example, in art, pupils have recently visited the Tate Modern, and pupils are proud to display their own artwork around the school.
The mathematics curriculum is designed so that pupils revisit important knowledge regularly.
This helps them to strengthen their mathematical skills. This means that they become confident in using these skills in a range of different contexts. Across subjects, teachers use a variety of resources and visual reminders to help pupils to understand new content.
This includes making adaptations to support pupils with SEND so that they can access the same broad curriculum.
Reading is prioritised across the whole school. Leaders know the importance of developing a strong start for early readers.
This begins in Nursery, where children experience songs, rhymes and stories. In Reception, staff closely follow the adopted phonics scheme. Daily, structured phonics sessions help pupils to identify letters and sounds confidently from the very start.
Leaders are quick to identify those who need extra help with reading, and they put carefully targeted support in place for these pupils. As pupils get older, they read and analyse chosen books that help them develop an understanding of the wider world.
Pupils' very positive attitude to learning starts in the early years.
A nurturing and vibrant environment helps children to grow in confidence. Teachers in the early years enthuse the children and are quick to identify those who need any additional support. Parents are very positive about the way in which children are welcomed into the school, whether it be in Nursery, Reception or later in the primary years.
In lessons, pupils work well together. There is a strong sense of collaboration between pupils, who support each other to make good choices. Pupils know that unkind or discriminatory language is not tolerated.
High rates of attendance show that pupils enjoy coming to school.
Leaders are committed to promoting pupils' wider development. A carefully sequenced programme of personal, social and health education helps pupils to develop important life skills.
For example, from early on pupils are taught how to stay safe online. Leaders make sure that pupils from different backgrounds have the same access to the school's wide range of clubs and activities – the 'Gayhurst Offer'. This includes sporting clubs, arts and crafts, as well as visits to places of cultural and historical significance.
Pupils enjoy taking on additional responsibility, such as being part of the 'Looking for Learning' council or a member of the school council.
Governors are committed and knowledgeable. They support leaders to deliver their shared vision for the school.
Governors and leaders recognise the importance of reducing unnecessary workload for staff. Teachers benefit from ongoing, high-quality training. This helps them to teach lessons with confidence.
This includes teachers who are new to the profession, who say they are very well supported.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
There is a strong culture of safeguarding across the whole school.
Leaders ensure that staff are regularly and appropriately trained so that they are well placed to report any concerns. Leaders work with outside agencies and are tenacious in securing appropriate support for vulnerable children. Governors and leaders ensure that rigorous employment checks are carried out for all staff.
Pupils are taught about how to stay safe and minimise risk of harm. This includes how to stay safe online as well as in the local area. They know they can talk to any adult in the school if they have any worries.
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