Hope Community School Southampton

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About Hope Community School Southampton

Name Hope Community School Southampton
Ofsted Inspections
Mr Steve Wright
Address Central Hall, St Mary Street, Southampton, SO14 1NF
Phone Number 02380385122
Phase Academy
Type Free schools
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Christian
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 188
Local Authority Southampton
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Hope Community School is a welcoming and supportive place for pupils to learn. Pupils thrive despite learning in temporary classrooms.

They enjoy coming to school and appreciate how their teachers help them. Staff expect them to concentrate and try their best. Pupils work hard to meet these expectations and so they learn well.

Pupils warmly accept the diversity in the school and get on well together. This helps children who are new to make friends quickly. As one pupil commented, 'When children arrive without speaking English, we help them.'

From the start of Reception, staff use the 'golden promises' to help pupils learn how to behave. This suppor...ts pupils to make the right choices and behave well. Bullying rarely happens, but pupils trust adults to listen to them if they have concerns.

They know staff will act swiftly to help sort any problems. This helps pupils to feel safe.

Staff encourage pupils to be proud of and contribute to their community.

For example, they raise funds to buy hats and gloves for homeless people who visit the church café based in the school building. Pupils enjoy the range of clubs and school trips to theatres, parks and the science centre.

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

Leaders and staff are ambitious for pupils.

They equip pupils with knowledge and experiences to help raise their aspirations. Parents appreciate their efforts. As one parent commented, 'Hope is so much more than a school – it's a family!' Staff are proud to work at the school and feel empowered by leaders' support.

Children often join Reception with underdeveloped language skills. Some pupils join other year groups with limited knowledge of English. Consequently, leaders and staff keep a strong focus on improving pupils' communication and developing their vocabulary.

For example, during the inspection, staff in Reception modelled and encouraged the use of accurate language when pupils discussed aeroplanes following a visit from a pilot.

Reading is prioritised by leaders. Staff are highly trained and have the resources they need to teach early reading well.

From the start of Reception, staff follow the school's phonics programme closely. They check pupils' progress carefully. Struggling readers, including those new to speaking English, are given support to help them keep up.

Staff read aloud high-quality books from a range of authors. This develops pupils' love of reading and exposes them to texts they might not read themselves. As a result, pupils get off to a strong start in learning to read.

In mathematics, staff follow well-structured plans to help pupils recap prior learning before moving on to new content. For example, pupils in Year 3 practise counting in fives before revising telling the time at five-minute intervals. Teachers accurately explain new vocabulary.

They carefully check pupils' understanding and use this information to inform their teaching. Consequently, pupils learn the mathematics curriculum well.

Leaders have ensured that there is planning in place for all subjects from Reception onwards.

In some subjects, such as science, leaders have precisely identified the knowledge and skills they intend pupils to learn from Year 1 onwards. Staff follow the planning closely, which means that pupils build on what they have been taught before. Teachers carefully check that pupils have remembered the most important content.

In a few subjects, leaders are still refining the essential knowledge and skills they want pupils to learn and remember. The curriculum thinking for Reception is not as well developed.

The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) ensures that any additional learning needs pupils have are identified swiftly.

Training is provided for staff to help them meet pupils' needs. Staff adapt their teaching skilfully in mathematics and English so that pupils learn well. Leaders recognise that the support in other subjects needs to be strengthened.

From the start of early years, children settle quickly and calmly and follow the daily routines. Leaders ensure that all staff use a consistent approach to encourage positive behaviour. Staff are swift to support any pupil who makes the wrong choice.

As a result, poor behaviour rarely disrupts learning.

Leaders prioritise developing pupils' confidence and resilience. Staff are effective role models of these qualities for the pupils.

This helps pupils to understand the 'power of yet'. Pupils describe how they might not be able to do something at first, but with practice, they know they will improve.

Governors know the school and its strengths well.

This helps them to provide effective support in most respects. Governors acknowledge that they need to improve their knowledge of the curriculum beyond English and mathematics in order to further hold leaders to account. Trustees provide effective support and challenge so as to develop the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff, including the Family Liaison Officer, know the families well and this helps them to notice when pupils may be at risk of harm. Leaders provide regular and effective training for staff, so they understand how to help keep pupils safe.

Staff report concerns swiftly and record-keeping is comprehensive.

Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe, including when online, and in emergency situations, such as when there is a fire. From Reception, pupils learn the correct names for parts of the body so that they have the correct language to report any worries.

Governors diligently assure themselves that safeguarding is effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a few subjects, leaders' curriculum thinking is not precise enough. Teachers are not clear on what they must make sure pupils learn and remember.

Leaders should make sure that in all subjects they precisely identify the key knowledge and skills they want pupils to learn from Reception onwards. Leaders have already taken action to remedy this. For this reason, the transitional arrangements have been applied.

• In a few subjects, pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are not supported as well as in other areas of the curriculum. Consequently, pupils do not always achieve as well as they could in those subjects. Leaders should ensure that staff know how to adapt their teaching so that pupils with SEND learn well across the whole curriculum.

• Governors do not have a strong enough oversight of the whole curriculum. This means that they are unable to offer sufficient challenge to leaders about this aspect of the school's work. Governors should ensure that they have the right information about the curriculum so that they can effectively hold leaders to account.

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