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Hendal Primary is a nurturing and welcoming school where pupils feel cared for and valued. Pupils are proud of their school and enjoy learning.
All staff have high expectations of pupils' behaviour and their work. Over time, staff have worked tirelessly to create a calm, supportive environment in which pupils can learn and thrive. Pupils work hard to live up to the school's core values to belong, aspire and achieve.
Behaviour in the school is good. Pupils say bullying is rare. Relationships between staff and pupils are strong.
Pupils know they can turn to any adult for help. As a result, pupils feel safe.
Leaders' work to support pupils' personal dev...elopment is of the highest quality.
Pupils are extremely well supported by staff who provide individually tailored support. Adults provide extensive activities and experiences to broaden all pupils' talents. Pupils have a wealth of opportunities to develop their leadership skills.
All pupils greatly benefit from a wide range of extra-curricular clubs. Pupils visit places of worship to reflect on different religions. The school is a community where people's differences are accepted, respected and celebrated.
As a result, pupils are very well prepared for life in modern Britain.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have developed a curriculum which is ambitious. Pupils have memorable learning experiences, enriched by trips and visitors coming to the school.
Overall, pupils achieve well. However, a minority of disadvantaged pupils are absent too often. As a result, they do not achieve as well as others because they do not fully benefit from the curriculum on offer.
Subjects are logically sequenced and carefully planned. Lesson by lesson, pupils gain more knowledge and develop skills. Pupils remember important information because they have lots of opportunities to practise what they have learned.
Historically, within key stage 1, there were inconsistencies in teachers' expectations. This impacted on pupils' work. Leaders have taken steps to address this.
Leaders are resolute in their focus to develop pupils' reading skills. Throughout the school, there are displays celebrating books and attractive areas to encourage pupils to develop a real love of reading. All staff use a consistent approach to teaching reading skills.
Phonics lessons are very well structured. Teachers quickly help pupils to catch up if they fall behind. Pupils are very enthusiastic when talking about reading and books which they love.
Pupils who are reading ambassadors encourage other pupils to try reading a variety of new books.
Pupils are very polite and welcoming to visitors. They are well behaved, both in lessons and at other times of the school day.
In class, pupils are focused on their learning and work well in pairs and in small groups. They have a thirst for knowledge and really enjoy learning new facts about the world they live in. Staff provide support for those pupils who find it more difficult to concentrate.
The school provides exceptional opportunities for pupils' personal development. Leaders make sure all pupils gain from a huge variety of coherently planned activities. For example, pupils are active members of the local community, raising money for causes of their choice and taking part in a boxing club to help with anger management.
Pupils are able to develop their leadership skills in a wide range of roles, including digital leaders and being part of a very active eco council. Pupils thoroughly enjoyed learning about democracy in National Parliament Week, culminating in a visit by the Lord Mayor.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do well.
Staff are highly skilled in meeting the needs of pupils with SEND. Very well supported by the special educational needs coordinator, staff make sure all pupils are fully included in lessons and other activities. The school is truly inclusive.
Leaders know the school well and continually strive to improve pupils' educational experiences. The headteacher, supported by her leadership team, has built a motivated and enthusiastic team. Subject leaders have taken real ownership of their subjects, resulting in the development of a strong curriculum.
Parents are actively encouraged to be partners in their child's education. Governors support the school and visit regularly. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of the curriculum.
In the early years, children are provided with many exciting activities to help their development, both indoors and outside. Children were fascinated looking at duck eggs in an incubator, eagerly awaiting the eggs hatching. Others were very proud of their creations in the mud kitchen.
Children share equipment and learn with their friends. Staff are calm and very friendly with the children. They sensitively question children to deepen their understanding.
Staff particularly focus on language and they develop children's speaking and listening successfully.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Pupils' welfare and safety are the responsibility of all staff.
Safeguarding procedures are well understood by staff and consistently applied. All concerns are logged and monitored. Checks on all staff and volunteers are carried out before they start work at the school.
Staff undertake regular training to keep up to date with current guidelines.
Staff have developed secure partnerships with families and support agencies. They know pupils well and take prompt action when necessary.
This makes sure families get any help they need.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Leaders focus on the importance of regular attendance. This has brought about improvements.
However, a small number of disadvantaged pupils are frequently absent. This means they do not achieve as well as they should. Leaders should ensure they maintain their drive to improve attendance for disadvantaged pupils so that these pupils fully benefit from the curriculum and achieve their potential.
. In the past there has been inconsistency in the quality of education in key stage 1. This has impacted negatively on pupils' outcomes.
Leaders have stabilised staffing, and they have addressed the issue. They should check carefully that the curriculum continues to be implemented effectively. They should also ensure that pupils achieve their potential.
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