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Pupils said that Gorse Covert Primary School is a happy and safe place to learn. They are warmly welcomed each morning by staff.
Pupils said that adults really care for their well-being.
Pupils respond appropriately to the high expectations that leaders have for their behaviour. Pupils' conduct around the school is calm and orderly.
They are respectful of one another and they work together purposefully. Although there are occasions when pupils fall out with each other, any misbehaviour, including incidents of bullying, are dealt with effectively by staff.
Leaders have high aspirations for all pupils' learning, particularly those with special educatio...nal needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
This includes for those pupils in the specially resourced provision for pupils with SEND (specially resourced provision).
Leaders have designed an ambitious curriculum for pupils. Pupils are keen to learn.
Typically, they achieve well. Children in the early years are well prepared for the demands of Year 1.
Pupils enjoy a range of interesting enrichment activities that have been designed to complement the subjects that they study.
Leaders choose activities carefully to promote pupils' wider personal development. For example, pupils develop their resilience when working on their mental health journals. There is a diverse range of extra-curricular clubs on offer too.
These include engineering, science and judo.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have skilfully redesigned the curriculum offer to ensure that new subject content builds more effectively on pupils' prior learning. The curriculum is broad and balanced, including in the early years.
The curriculum suitably reflects most pupils' learning needs, including those pupils in the specially resourced provision.
In most subjects, leaders have clearly defined what they want pupils to learn. They have established a logical order for teachers to deliver new information.
In these subjects, teachers regularly revisit subject content so that pupils can recall and embed prior learning. For example, in geography, pupils could confidently recall physical features of a place and then transfer these onto their own sketch maps.
In a small number of subjects, however, leaders have not fully defined the key knowledge that they want pupils to learn.
This means that some teachers are unsure of what they should teach and in what order. Consequently, some pupils do not develop the depth of subject knowledge of which they are capable.
Across most subjects, leaders have appropriately focused on developing pupils' subject-specific vocabulary.
This is helping more pupils to explain their thinking in a mature and increasingly sophisticated way. Teachers' checks on pupils' understanding are also typically effective. These checks help most teachers to identify and to reinforce any weaker aspects of pupils' learning before moving on to new content.
As a result, most pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their learning.
Leaders have appropriately prioritised the development of pupils' reading knowledge. For example, in the early years, there is a strong focus on developing children's understanding of language and communication skills.
This starts in the Reception class, where children are well prepared for the phonics programme that they encounter when they move into Year 1.
Teachers check carefully on pupils' learning and address any gaps in their phonics knowledge quickly and effectively. There is suitable support in place to help pupils who find reading more difficult, including those pupils in the specially resourced provision.
By the end of key stage 2, most pupils become confident and fluent readers.
Leaders have clear systems in place to identify pupils who may have specific needs. They ensure that pupils with SEND are supported well to access the same curriculum as their peers.
Leaders ensure that pupils with SEND are included in all aspects of school life. This includes those pupils in the specially resourced provision.
Pupils have positive attitudes towards school and towards their learning.
There is little low-level disruption in classes. Pupils typically focus well on their work and are engaged in their learning.
Leaders and governors have implemented a range of strategies to support pupils' well-being.
Staff continually check on vulnerable pupils and focus on building pupils' confidence and self-esteem. In addition, pupils are given a range of responsibilities around the school, such as digital leaders, playground friends or house representatives. Pupils take pride in carrying out their duties.
The wide range of visits and visitors that leaders organise develop pupils' appreciation of their own and others' cultures.
Staff appreciate the support that they receive from leaders. Staff value the opportunities that they have to learn from other staff across the trust to help them to improve their own practice.
Trustees and governors offer effective challenge and support to leaders. Governors ask pertinent questions of leaders to establish how well pupils learn. For example, governors understand the difference that the specially resourced provision is making for those pupils with SEND.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
The safeguarding training that staff receive ensures that they remain vigilant and that they understand the signs and symptoms of potential abuse in pupils.
Leaders ensure that pupils and their families receive early help and support from outside agencies, when necessary.
Leaders continually review their safeguarding arrangements to improve how well they protect pupils' welfare.
Pupils know how to keep themselves safe in a range of situations. They understand the dangers of technology and social media.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Leaders have not finalised their curriculum thinking in a few subjects. This means that, occasionally, some pupils do not develop the depth of subject knowledge that they could. Leaders should finalise their curriculum thinking in these remaining subjects so that pupils achieve even more highly.
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