Homer First School and Nursery

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About Homer First School and Nursery

Name Homer First School and Nursery
Website http://www.homerfirstschool.co.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss Vicky Brand
Address Testwood Road, Windsor, SL4 5RL
Phone Number 01753867436
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-9
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 207
Local Authority Windsor and Maidenhead
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Homer First School and Nursery continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

The school's values and motto, 'Be kind and work hard', are reflected in everyday life at Homer. Pupils are happy and feel safe. They know that their teachers are always there for them.

During lunch and breaktimes, pupils enjoy playing with their friends. Older pupils love getting active and navigating their way along the outdoor trim trail. Bullying isn't a problem.

Pupils told the inspector that any fallings-out or occasional upsets are quickly sorted out. Usually, everyone gets on well together.

Pupils rise to their teachers' high expectations and most behave se...nsibly.

They enjoy school and are interested in what they are learning. Pupils readily get stuck into their tasks and are keen to contribute to discussions. They also like helping out in class and around the school, such as being assembly or register monitors.

Pupils appreciate the many different times they get to read and know how important it is to read every day. Some older pupils described the way they like to lose themselves in a good story. They explained how books can paint a picture in your mind.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders have put in place an interesting and varied curriculum. They have focused on improving English and mathematics and pupils continue to do well in these subjects. They have recently introduced a new mathematics curriculum.

This has breathed fresh life into the subject and provides clearer guidance for teachers. There is now a more consistent approach to mathematics throughout the school.

Leaders have moved phonics up a gear.

Younger pupils now have two phonics sessions every day. This is to reflect pupils' missed schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic and to sort out gaps in their learning. From the start of Nursery, listening to and enjoying stories feature daily.

Phonics teaching gets going as soon as children join Reception.Teachers put in place extra catch-up sessions if they think that pupils are not keeping up. Books are well matched to pupils' reading knowledge.

Staff make sure that pupils use their phonics knowledge to work out new words. The school's virtual library provides a good range of audiobooks for pupils to enjoy listening to with their parents and carers at home.

The school's recent restructuring and the pandemic have stalled leaders' curriculum development plans.

They have made a good start with physical education and music. However, the school's plans for most subjects do not yet include the detailed knowledge that leaders want pupils to learn and remember. Some important building blocks are being missed out and pupils are not achieving as well as they could.

Nonetheless, subject leaders are knowledgeable. They have high ambitions to strengthen the curriculum in their areas of responsibility. Following recent training, governors understand the need to now focus their attention on the curriculum.

This is an inclusive school. The school's provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is carefully thought out. Pupils are supported well in class and teachers adapt activities well to cater for their needs.

Staff are kind and sensitive to the social and academic needs of pupils with SEND.

Typically, teaching is engaging and teachers explain new concepts well. During lessons, they regularly go back to check that pupils have understood new content.

The 'flashback four' sessions in mathematics help pupils to remember important number facts. However, sometimes activities do not support pupils' learning quite as well as teachers intend. This is because some activities focus pupils' attention on the activity, and not what their teachers want them to learn.

Pupils behave well and the school is a settled, happy community. Pupils like the way everyone is different and that they get to learn about other pupils' customs and beliefs. The school's personal, social and health education curriculum helps pupils to learn how to keep healthy and safe, including when online.

Pupils learn about important safety rules, such as not communicating with people they do not know. Before the pandemic, the school offered lots of different clubs. Football has started up again and leaders are keen to get more clubs going as soon as possible.

Staff enjoy working at the school and feel supported by leaders. They appreciate the change to the school's marking policy. Teachers say that this has reduced workload and also improved the feedback they give to pupils and their parents.

Many subject leaders are new to role. They value the meeting time leaders are ring-fencing, so they can focus on developing the curriculum.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff and leaders are committed to pupils' well-being and safety. Regular training ensures that staff are knowledgeable about safeguarding arrangements. Leaders make sure that concerns about pupils are noted and followed up.

They keep in regular contact with the local authority's safeguarding team. When needed, they enlist the help of specialist services. Leaders carry out appropriate checks for new staff.

However, some aspects of the school's record-keeping are not systematic enough. This includes the record of recruitment checks. Governors have not kept sufficient strategic oversight of this aspect of the school's safeguarding arrangements.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school's curriculum is not yet planned and sequenced well enough in a number of foundation subjects. Some subject plans include broad topic areas but not the key knowledge leaders want pupils to learn and remember. Some important component knowledge is being missed out.

This means that pupils are not building on their learning securely year by year. Leaders should ensure that the curriculum for all subjects identifies precisely what knowledge and important concepts they want pupils to learn and remember. It is clear from leaders' plans that they are in the process of improving the curriculum.

For this reason, the transitional statements have been applied. ? Governors have only recently turned their attention to the school's wider curriculum. As a result, they do not yet have a good understanding of the quality of the curriculum and how well pupils are learning in foundation subjects.

Governors need to implement their plans to improve their knowledge of the school's curriculum so they can sufficiently hold leaders to account for the quality of education. ? Sometimes, learning activities are not well matched to what teachers intend pupils to learn. As a result, some activities lead pupils to divert their attention to the activity and not to the intended learning.

Leaders should make sure that learning activities are chosen carefully so they are consistently well matched to the intended learning and do not unintentionally divert pupils' focus. ? Some aspects of record-keeping with regard to safeguarding are not systematic enough and leaders have not kept a close enough check on this. This risks important checks or information being inadvertently omitted.

Leaders should take action to ensure that record-keeping is systematic and kept up to date. Leaders and governors need to ensure that they maintain better oversight of this vital aspect of the school's work.Background

When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called a section 8 inspection of a good or outstanding school, because it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the section 8 inspection as a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good in May 2013.

Also at this postcode
The Gap Club Breakfast, After School & Holiday Club @ Homer First School, Windsor.

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