|Name||Great Finborough Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||24 November 2011|
|Address||High Road, Great Finborough, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 3AQ|
|Religious Character||Church of England|
|Number of Pupils||131 (52% boys 48% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||19.8|
|Percentage Free School Meals||8.3%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||0%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||9.9%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
Information about the school
Great Finborough Primary School is much smaller than most primary schools. Nearly all pupils come from White British families. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is below average, as is the proportion with a statement of special educational needs. These pupils have a range of needs including autistic spectrum disorder and behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. No pupils speak English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is below average. The headteacher has been working in partnership with another primary school. From Easter 2012, when the handover to the new headteacher at that school is complete, he will be full-time at Great Finborough Primary School again. The school has Healthy Schools’ status.
Great Finborough Primary is a good school that fully meets its vision to be an inclusive school. It succeeds in its aim of ‘welcoming and supporting children from all backgrounds, abilities and needs, while ensuring this is not to the detriment of the education of other children’. It rightly has a good reputation for balancing these two goals effectively. Consequently, all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities make good progress from their very varied starting points. Equal opportunities are at the heart of everything the school does. All pupils do well because the school monitors each individual’s progress so that activities closely match their levels and needs. Carefully targeted support enables those who struggle with learning, and those working at higher levels, to do well. On the rare occasion they begin to fall behind, this is quickly spotted through good monitoring. This is an improvement since the last inspection, particularly in mathematics. Furthermore, the school never ‘rests on its laurels’, but rather always strives to improve. This is a crucial key element in achieving consistently above average performance. For example, when teachers analysed pupils’ writing, they raised some relative concerns. As a result they modified the curriculum which rekindled pupils’ enthusiasm for sustained writing and the quality improved again. Pupils’ attendance is high because they enjoy the outstanding creative curriculum and good teaching they receive. Very well planned curriculum activities, for example on visits to the woodland, develop pupils’ life skills very well. Team work, collaboration, independence and resilience all grow as pupils test and challenge themselves. An important improvement since the last inspection is teachers’ use of marking. Pupils now receive a very clear understanding of what they have achieved and what they need to focus on next. In conversation, older pupils particularly are very clear about their targets and have a good grasp of themselves as learners. All parents and carers who responded to the questionnaire agree their children enjoy school. Pupils make an outstanding contribution to the school and village community. For example, they played a key role in designing the new village play area and planting bulbs to beautify it. They also gain much from the outstanding partnership with other local schools and facilities that help broaden and enliven their learning and contribute to their good spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Pupils’ awareness of different cultures and traditions in the United Kingdom and around the world is less well developed because they are given fewer opportunities to gain first-hand knowledge. Great Finborough is a popular school with many parents and carers choosing for their children to travel from outside of the immediate area. ‘It is a wonderful school with exceptional staff,’ was a typical comment from a parent. Pupils are well cared for Parents and carers feel their children are all known as individuals because the school is small. Typical parental comments include, ‘Staff can’t do enough to help,’ ‘The school takes particular care of children’s emotional development,’ and, ‘I am particularly happy with the encouragement and support.’ Pupils themselves feel very safe in school. Their awareness of how to stay safe is outstanding because pupils have many real-life opportunities to discuss safety, such as when climbing trees or building shelters in the woodland. Pupils behave particularly well in lessons. While a very small number of pupils misbehave occasionally, this is mainly during lunch and break times, when the range and choice of activities in the relatively crowded outside space is limited. Nevertheless, staff handled these situations well. Governance is good because the governing body took a strategic approach to the challenges of the proposed re-organisation, and broadened their expertise to better meet them. Although new governors are not yet fully established, already improvements are clear. The governing body works very closely with school leaders so that future plans are carefully costed through prudent management. All resources, including staff, are very effectively deployed so the school gives good value for money. Leaders and managers drive school improvement well. They offer good practical support and guidance to those teachers who are relatively inexperienced. Support with lesson planning, for example, has helped to lay the foundation for good teaching. As a result, the school’s capacity for sustained improvement is good.