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Everyone is welcome at Hollinsclough, it is a happy place to be.
Many things make this school unique, which is why many families travel long distances to attend. The staff are nurturing and caring. Pupils feel part of a 'big family' and say that they all get along well with each other.
As one parent, typical of many, said 'the children are friends with all children of all ages, the older ones help the younger ones and the younger ones know they are supported and look up to the older ones.'
Staff take the time to get to know the pupils well and want them to do their best. Pupils know that staff will help them in any way if they need it.
The school's ...timetable enables pupils and their families to combine learning at home and at school. For many pupils, this provides a lifeline in developing successful attitudes to formal education.
Pupils enjoy taking on extra responsibilities such as being house captains or class monitors.
They are accepting and curious about the wide range of faiths and cultures in the world and enjoy learning about and discussing these during 'faith walks'.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The school has developed a curriculum that builds in a logical order. This curriculum also takes in to account the mixed-age classes that pupils are in.
Over the last year, the school, with the support of the multi-academy trust, has introduced new curriculums in some subjects. Teachers have recently begun to deliver the subjects in this new way. Subject leaders have not yet been able to carry out work to ensure that the essential knowledge pupils are expected to learn is being delivered effectively by staff and learned by the pupils.
Staff regularly check on pupils' learning in lessons and adapt their teaching to respond to any gaps in pupils' learning and to identify pupils who may be stuck. The multi-academy trust has provided 'end point' assessments for teachers to use in subjects to check pupils' learning. These then help teachers to plan future learning in the subject.
Children in the early years settle quickly when they join the school. Staff spend time to get to know them. They develop children's early communication skills well by asking lots of questions and consistently demonstrating to children how to speak in full sentences.
Staff plan learning for pupils based on their needs. They make sure children learn across all areas of learning. However, in some areas of the curriculum, leaders have not identified the precise knowledge they want children to learn in order to prepare them well for key stage 1.
This means that some content pupils learn in reception does not always prepare them fully for learning new concepts in key stage 1.
Leaders promote reading well. Pupils relish opportunities to read including when a mobile library visits the school every fortnight.
Over last 18 months the school has implemented a new system for teaching phonics. Staff are well trained in the system and pupils get the support they need to learn letter sounds. They get many opportunities to practise through sessions and using the books they read.
Parents receive useful guidance on how to support their child's reading when at home. As a result, pupils in Reception and Year 1 learn to read well. Furthermore, older pupils who find reading more difficult are supported well to catch up if needed.
Pupils behave well in and around school. They are very keen to learn. On occasion their excitement spills over and they shout out or talk to a friend about the subject.
Staff do not always consistently address pupils' behaviour when this occurs. This occasionally slows pupils' learning.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are supported well.
The trust has provided support to make sure their needs are identified early. They receive extra adult support in lessons to help them learn. Effective training has been provided for staff on a wide range of need.
Leaders have ensured that staff are able to support pupils with anxiery issues or autism.
The school celebrates diversity and uniqueness. Pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
Educational visits, such as to a copper mine engage pupils in their learning. The school encourages pupils to 'see wonder in the world' through using the local environment, forest school and an annual 'outdoor week'.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• The school has recently established new curriculums in some subjects. The evaluation and monitoring of these subjects is still at an early stage. Therefore the school does not know how well some subjects are delivered.
The school should ensure that all subjects are monitored effectively so as to bring about further improvement. ? The early years curriculum does not clearly set out the important knowledge children are expected to learn over time in nursery and reception in some areas of learning. This means that some content pupils learn in reception does not always prepare them for learning key stage 1.
The school should identify all the important knowledge that children need to learn across the early years. Occasional low-level disruption limits pupils' learning in some lessons. The school needs to ensure that its behaviour management systems are applied effectively and consistently, with all staff having the necessary skills to manage pupils' behaviour well in lessons.
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