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Golcar Junior Infant and Nursery School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils at this school describe it as a happy place to be.
They feel safe and cared for. One pupil explained that this school is about 'learning and friendship'. Pupils know that their teachers want the best for them.
Pupils and staff alike celebrate achievement. Positive relationships between staff and pupils are evident throughout school.
Leaders and staff have high expectations of what pupils can achieve.
Pupils are keen to meet these expectations. Leaders explain their aspirations for broadening pupils' experiences and making sure that they are... provided with the best start in life. Leaders have made links with a local university so pupils are encouraged to aim high.
Pupils enjoy the wide range of visits and extra-curricular activities the school offers, including cooking, computing, choir, leadership, orienteering and a wide range of sports.
Pupils regularly receive clear messages about bullying from school. They explain how they should treat each other with respect.
They also explain that they should challenge bullying if they see it. Pupils all understand how to report bullying and agree that teachers would take it very seriously. Pupils agree that bullying is rare and tackled by staff if it occurs.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have undertaken significant curriculum improvement. They have planned carefully what pupils will learn. Detailed curriculum plans ensure that pupils can build knowledge over time and make links to prior learning.
In key stage 2, pupils understand how different periods of history influence each other. They use timelines to build a secure understanding of chronology. Across subjects, teachers use 'paddling', 'snorkelling' and 'diving' activities to make sure that pupils gain a deep understanding of topics.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well supported to access the curriculum alongside their peers. Teachers ensure that classrooms are inclusive and all pupils are enabled to succeed.
Teachers plan opportunities for checking what pupils know through quizzes and questioning.
However, assessment in foundation subjects is not closely matched to the new curriculum plans. It does not allow teachers to check exactly what pupils have remembered over time.
Leaders are committed to developing pupils' literacy.
Vocabulary has been prioritised across the curriculum. Leaders ensure that ambitious vocabulary is included in knowledge organisers that pupils use across a range of subjects. Pupils in all year groups enjoy daily story time and explain what lessons those stories teach them.
Leaders have very recently introduced a new phonics scheme for teaching early reading. All staff have undergone training to deliver the new scheme. However, staff still have varying levels of expertise.
Pupils are able to use their phonics knowledge to decode books, and there is regular support in place for pupils who struggle.
Parents praise the support the school provides for pupils with SEND and their families in quickly identifying and meeting pupils' potential needs. This is particularly evident in the early years.
Leaders communicate closely with parents of pupils with SEND to ensure that they can remove any barriers to success. Following the pandemic, leaders have recognised the increasing need for additional mental health provision. A counsellor and behaviour and inclusion worker provide much-valued support for pupils.
Pupils behave well in lessons. They are generally engaged and focused on their learning. Any low-level disruption or inattention is challenged by teachers.
Pupils who find it difficult to manage their emotions are provided with targeted support to help them succeed in school. Pupils cooperate and treat each other kindly at social times. They play together and make sure that no one is left out.
Pupils understand how to be a good friend. Even the younger children refer to the school rules of 'ready, respectful, safe'.
Leaders have ensured that important messages around diversity and respect are threaded through all subjects, as well as being explicitly taught in personal, social, health and economics education lessons.
Leaders plan that the topics and stories that pupils encounter will teach them important lessons about tolerance and celebrating difference. One pupil explained that 'diversity is the one true thing we all have in common'. Pupils describe school as a caring and safe place.
Pupils are encouraged to develop their independence and resilience. They embrace challenges and mistakes as a 'chance to get better'. Children in the early years are encouraged to try and solve problems for themselves.
The interim leadership team have guided the school through a period of transition. Staff feel well supported while recognising the challenges of recent years. Staff agree that leaders listen to their concerns and consider their well-being.
They are proud to work at this school.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Pupils learn about how to keep themselves safe, particularly online.
Parents are also included in digital well-being workshops. Pupils are clear about how to report any worries or concerns. They all have a trusted adult in school.
Leaders have robust systems for monitoring pupils who might be vulnerable. Leaders ensure that these pupils and their families receive additional support where needed. Leaders keep detailed logs of actions taken to keep pupils safe.
Leaders use a wide range of external agencies to educate pupils about the risks they might face. Safer recruitment practices are in place and records are accurately kept.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Currently, not all staff deliver phonics with the same level of expertise.
This means that pupils do not all get the same level of support to help them learn to read quickly. Leaders should ensure that all staff have sufficient training to deliver phonics to the same high standard. ? Assessment in foundation subjects is not closely aligned to the ambitious curriculum leaders have created.
This means teachers are not always able to check precisely what pupils remember over time. Leaders should ensure that assessment is closely matched to what pupils have learned.
When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.
This is called a section 8 inspection of a good or outstanding school, because it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.
Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the section 8 inspection as a section 5 inspection immediately.
This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good in March 2017.
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