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Pupils are truly happy at Haversham. Dedicated staff aim to 'bring out the best in everyone'. Parents and carers are delighted with how the school cares for their children.
Pupils feel secure and safe at school. They very much enjoy school life. Leaders have created a vibrant place with spacious and attractive grounds to get pupils active and play freely.
Children in early years settle quickly and comfortably. Haversham's ethos is one where pupils behave and work hard. Adults teach the youngest children the rules and routines to establish a calm and positive environment.
Older pupils act as great role models through their words and actions. As a result, nobod...y worries about bullying. Where there might be the odd fall-out, staff soothe any anxieties.
This results in friendly pupils who see the good in people.
Staff focus on developing the character of pupils. The school council provides an insightful voice to share views and bring about change for the better.
Pupils love the many enrichment clubs. They can explore their talents in sport, music, cooking and gardening. Pupils cannot wait for the restart of the residential trips in key stage 2 that had to pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
During the past four years, the school has gone through significant change. Admirably, the new headteacher and governing body have steered Haversham through this period, including supporting the school through the challenges of COVID-19. There is a renewed vision at the school.
Staff and parents speak highly about the school's strategic direction. Staff, governors and parents are united in their ambition for a high-quality education for pupils. This is recognised in how excited pupils are to come to school each day.
Governors have a clear understanding of the school's strengths and what the current priorities need to be. They actively test out what they hear in meetings from leaders. They see first-hand the local authority's visit reports on the impact on pupils' education.
Governors firmly hold leaders to account as well as caring deeply about staff's well-being.
Curriculum development has taken great shape. Each subject has ambitious end points to prepare pupils well for when they leave Year 6.
Subject leaders have worked collaboratively with professionals outside of school to select the essential content and knowledge pupils will learn. Leaders know this curriculum journey begins when children start Reception. However, in some subjects, knowledge is not coherently sequenced between early years and across key stages 1 and 2.
Pupils read widely and leave school as confident, fluent readers. Last year, the school implemented a new phonics programme to ensure greater consistency in teachers' practice. Pupils learn to read with books that closely match the sounds they know.
Leaders have timetabled additional sessions for pupils who need extra reading practice. Here, adults help pupils read at greater speed by recapping previously taught sounds. Leaders recognise that all staff would benefit from further enhanced training to deliver the full programme to a higher standard.
Teachers explain new material to pupils with clarity. Their explanations are presented in clear steps to help pupils remember more. Teachers are skilled at revisiting earlier content in the curriculum.
These checks on learning help concepts 'stick' firmly in pupils' minds. Pupils' vocabulary is excellent. They can explain their thinking using language relevant to a particular subject.
Staff quickly identify pupils who may have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Specific support is put in place where needed. This enables all pupils to fully access the school's curriculum.
However, teachers' expertise in ensuring that all pupils learn the planned knowledge needs strengthening. From time to time, teachers can over-adapt tasks for pupils with SEND. This can lead to activities not achieving curricular goals and overloading pupils' memory.
Senior leaders are growing teachers' capacity to be leaders. Through ongoing training, subject leaders are learning how best to check the impact of their curriculum area. These leaders are passionate about their roles and determined to provide an excellent education.
However, not all subject leaders can spot where classroom practice may not enable pupils to learn the planned content successfully.
Pupils learn a high-quality personal development curriculum. They show kindness and empathy towards one another.
Pupils' contributions to school life evoke this. They look to do their utmost. In lessons, pupils focus well by listening to their teacher and only talking to classmates when exploring their learning.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Keeping children safe is at the forefront of staff and governors' minds. Leaders ensure that every adult is appropriately trained to know what to do if they have any concerns regarding the safety and well-being of a pupil.
When leaders are made aware of a possible worry, they probe and act swiftly. They work proactively with external agencies to secure the help that pupils may need. Governors execute their safeguarding duties with rigour.
Leaders are astute to pupils transferring to secondary school. The school's curriculum educates pupils strongly about risks within the local area. Pupils are well informed about how to navigate the online world safely.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In some subjects and areas of learning, not all component knowledge is precisely identified. This means pupils are sometimes not acquiring new information in the right order. Leaders need to ensure that across all subjects, knowledge is well sequenced from the beginning of Reception through to the end of Year 6.
• Subject leaders' skills in checking the quality and impact of the curriculum are at an early stage. Not all leaders are clear about what they should be looking for when monitoring standards. Senior leaders need to continue with the professional development programme in place to enhance subject leaders' knowledge.
• On occasion, teachers can set work which does not closely align to what pupils must know within a subject. This can particularly affect some pupils with SEND. Leaders need to further develop teachers' understanding of how best to deliver the ambitious curriculum to enable all pupils to learn well.
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