This is a happy and welcoming school. The Christian ethos underpins the climate within the school.
Adults and pupils show a deep level of respect and care for one another. Everyone is highly valued.
The headteacher has transformed the school.
Pupils are at the heart of every decision made. There is a clear sense of direction and all staff are committed to ensuring that pupils achieve well. School opens early so that pupils can come in early to get extra help with things they find difficult.
Leaders have improved the curriculum. This has helped pupils know more and remember more. However, there is still work to do in some subjects.
Pupils are... doing well in reading and mathematics, but younger pupils need more time to practise their writing. Pupils enjoy school but there are still some who do not attend regularly.
Pupils behave well and feel safe.
Pupils understand what bullying is. They know that senior leaders act quickly and speak to parents if this happens. Pupils respect differences.
This is because difference is celebrated, and any form of discrimination is not tolerated.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
School and trust leaders have worked hard to improve all aspects of the school against a backdrop of the pandemic. They have invested heavily in staff development.
All teaching staff receive weekly coaching sessions from leaders to help improve their practice. Staff value this support and recognise the impact it has on their teaching. As a result, their subject knowledge has improved and gaps in pupils' learning are closing.
The curriculum is broad and interesting. Leaders have thought carefully about what they want pupils to learn. They have reviewed this recently and made improvements.
Many subjects are well planned and sequenced, including mathematics, art and science. However, some leaders are new to their role and gaps remain in pupils' learning in subjects such as history. Leaders are keen to develop the leadership skills of all subject leaders, for example when evaluating the impact of their work, to raise achievement across the curriculum.
Leaders know the importance of teaching children to read from the outset. Children in Nursery practise their listening skills so they can hear and recognise early sounds and letters. Pupils build on this because of effective phonics teaching in Reception and key stage 1.
However, less focus is given to pupils practising and applying the sounds and letters they learn in their writing. This affects their spelling and ability to present their work neatly.
The school environment is calm and orderly.
Quality displays celebrate pupils' achievements in different subjects. Well-resourced book areas around school encourage pupils to read.
The early years outdoor areas have been carefully planned and recently redesigned.
The school presents exciting invitations to children to play and learn. Adults are highly attentive and take many opportunities to talk to children. This helps develop their communication and language skills.
Children have settled quickly to being at school. High levels of concentration and increasing independence were evident during the inspection.
Leaders are determined that all pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, will succeed.
Their efforts can be seen in the good-quality support these pupils receive. Pupils who are struggling with reading benefit from daily practice. Others come into school early to receive individual support.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are identified early through teacher observations and regular checks of their learning. The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) is skilled at tracking their progress and supporting staff to create well-matched plans and targets to meet pupils' needs. A good number of specialist professionals work with individuals.
As a result, these pupils achieve well.
Leaders and staff manage and deal with behaviour well. They recognise pupils' strengths and try to identify the cause of any poor behaviour.
This works well. Recorded incidents have reduced dramatically and disruption to lessons is rare. Pupils have positive attitudes to learning.
Their smart appearance and conduct are a credit to the school.
Attendance is improving, albeit slowly. Nevertheless, some pupils have high rates of absence and too many are persistently absent.
This creates gaps in their learning and slows their progress.
Leaders provide a wide range of opportunities outside of lessons. Clubs, visits and school events enrich the curriculum and add to pupils' enjoyment of school.
Subject experts are invited into school to talk to pupils about their passion for their subject. These are carefully selected role models who come from a range of backgrounds. Celebrating difference is a strength of the school.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
There is a strong culture of safeguarding and effective systems are in place to keep pupils safe. Robust checks are carried out to ensure that staff appointed are suitable to work with children.
Staff are well trained in safeguarding procedures. They are vigilant and know what to do if they identify any potential risks to pupils. School records show that the school responds immediately to concerns raised.
Pupils are taught to keep themselves safe through curriculum activities and visiting speakers. This includes being aware of their personal safety and appropriate relationships.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Leaders have established an ambitious and well-sequenced curriculum.
However, the evaluation and monitoring of some subjects is still at an early stage. Senior leaders should ensure that subject leaders receive the support needed to carry out their roles effectively and bring about sustained improvement in all subjects. ? Staff place a strong emphasis on teaching pupils to read early letters and sounds in phonic sessions but less emphasis on writing.
As a result, younger pupils make good gains in reading but some struggle with letter formation and applying their phonics knowledge when writing independently. Spelling and handwriting are not, therefore, as good as they could be. Leaders should ensure that teachers place an equal balance on reading and writing in phonics and provide pupils in the early years and key stage 1 with frequent opportunities to practise letter formation and spelling patterns when learning new letters and sounds.
• Too many pupils continue to be persistently absent. Leaders do not systematically check which pupils' attendance is improving or where it is deteriorating. Leaders should track attendance more closely to detect where further action or support is needed.