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Pupils feel part of a big team working together to make the school as good as it can be.
Many contribute to school life through the numerous leadership roles they undertake, such as ambassadors and mentors. Bullying and unkindness between pupils are extremely rare. Pupils told inspectors that they feel safe.
The work of leaders and staff contributes significantly to this.
Pupils cannot wait to get to school in the morning, eager to greet their friends and teachers. They are excited at the prospect of new learning.
However, some pupils cannot easily recall what they have learned.
Because staff are so enthusiastic and committed, they have inst...illed pupils with a sense that their education is precious. Pupils value the high standards that staff expect from them.
They try hard in class and behave very well. Staff understand pupils' individual needs. They go to additional lengths to support pupils so that they do not get left behind.
One parent summed it up, echoing the views of many by saying, 'This school goes over and above for all children. My child is very happy here and loves coming to school'.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have high expectations for the range and depth of subject knowledge that all pupils acquire while at the school.
The curriculum is sequenced well. It supports pupils to build their knowledge over time, across a variety of subjects. However, in some subjects, the curriculum does not emphasise the specific knowledge and skills that pupils need to remember long term in order to succeed later.
For instance, in Reception and Year 1, pupils do not go over writing simple words with the letters they have learned enough, or practise number formation enough. This has an impact on the quality of some pupils' writing across subjects, especially pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Similarly, in a small number of subjects, such as geography, pupils struggle to remember important subject-specific knowledge long term.
Senior leaders have ensured that subject leaders receive effective training to enhance their own subject knowledge. Subject leaders support teachers well, making sure that they are confident in the subject content they are teaching. Teachers carefully consider the tasks they set for pupils.
Tasks enable pupils to use their subject-specific knowledge in interesting ways. For example, in science, pupils apply their scientific knowledge in the explanations they give when writing up experiments. These explanations show that, over time, pupils deepen their knowledge of scientific investigation methods.
Across subjects and year groups, including in the early years, the curriculum and teaching focus on subject-specific vocabulary. Teachers ensure that pupils are introduced to subject-specific vocabulary in a logical order. As a result, pupils use appropriate subject-specific vocabulary when completing tasks.
Pupils with SEND are given suitable additional support, such as being introduced to important knowledge and vocabulary prior to lessons. This enables them to better understand what they are taught in lessons. Teachers use a range of assessment approaches to check if pupils have learned key vocabulary.
This enables teachers to identify any vocabulary that they need to re-visit.
The teaching of early reading is effective. The school has successfully introduced a new programme for teaching phonics.
The phonics curriculum is logically sequenced. For example, in early years, children practise initial letter sounds regularly. This enables pupils to blend sounds together to make words when they reach Year 1.
Phonics leaders make sure that pupils who are left behind in their reading get the help they need. Reading books are closely matched to pupils' phonic knowledge.
Staff manage pupils' behaviour very well.
They build strong personal relationships with pupils, reinforcing boundaries in a consistent and friendly manner. In early years, staff ensure that children get time to practise routines so that they become familiar with them. The atmosphere in school is calm and orderly.
Across classes, pupils show dedication to their studies. A higher-than-average proportion of pupils are vulnerable because they have emotional issues. Vulnerable pupils receive excellent support so that they can participate fully in all aspects of school life.
The school provides pupils with an impressive range of wider experiences, such as trips to interesting places and visits from experts. These additional experiences broaden pupils' horizons and provide pupils with a wide range of social, moral, spiritual and cultural experiences. For instance, local police visit the school regularly.
Staff ensure that pupils are prepared well so that trips and visits have the maximum effect on pupils' learning, attitudes and personal development. The curriculum for personal, social and health education is carefully thought through. Teachers give additional emphasis to topics that are especially relevant to pupils' context.
Pupils can speak confidently on important issues, such as what makes for healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Staff praise the support that they get from leaders, including assistance with workload. They feel very committed to the pupils in the school.
The multi-academy trust to which the school belongs provides opportunities for headteachers, deputy headteachers and subject leaders to share their expertise across schools. Trustees keep a close watch on the school and work effectively with local governors.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
The designated safeguarding leader (DSL) puts pupils' safety at the forefront of all she does. She has forged strong relationships with all parents, through home visits and telephone calls. These strong relationships mean that the DSL and other leaders can provide appropriate support for families with safeguarding concerns.
The DSL is extremely knowledgeable about local safeguarding risks. This knowledge informs the training staff receive. Good use is made of external agencies to ensure that pupils receive the help they need.
The DSL carefully monitors the support provided by external agencies, including local authority welfare services.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• The curriculum, especially but not solely in early years and key stage 1, does not always emphasise the important subject-specific knowledge that pupils must embed in their memories. As a result, some younger pupils' struggle with writing and number formation.
Some pupils cannot recall crucial subject-specific knowledge. Leaders should ensure that the curriculum emphasises the 'must-have' knowledge that pupils require to move on. They should also make sure that teaching approaches enable pupils to fix this important knowledge in their long-term memories so that pupils can access it automatically.