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Pupils at Hopton Primary School are safe and happy. They enjoy coming to school and attend regularly.
They get on well with each other and are respectful towards members of staff. A comment from one pupil, typical of others, was that 'This is a safe place to learn and make friends.'
The vast majority of pupils behave well in and out of lessons.
There have been no suspensions or exclusions for many years. Occasionally, however, pupils' behaviour does not meet leaders' expectations. When this happens, support is put in place to address concerns.
Pupils say that bullying is infrequent and concerns are managed well by leaders. However, the records leade...rs keep on these incidents, as well as other incidents of poor behaviour, could be more robust.
Pupils study a range of subjects.
The plans in place for each subject are detailed and well thought through. The majority of lessons are exciting and challenging, but this is not always the case. Although the amount of time some pupils have to learn subjects such as modern foreign languages and computing has been limited, leaders have clear plans to address this.
Pupils are taught to read very well from an early age. The books they read match the sounds they have been taught. However, most younger pupils are unable to take these books home to further embed this learning.
Many parents and carers are frustrated by this.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
One of the major recent priorities for leaders has been to review and relaunch the school's curriculum. Extensive work has taken place to consider the ways topics are taught across different year groups and how topics are best sequenced.
Subject leaders have been guided to ensure that their subject plans are detailed, with the most important aspects of learning prioritised and revisited. These plans are now in place for most subjects, and build up from learning in the early years.
Pupils' experiences in lessons are mostly positive.
However, there is variation in the implementation of teaching plans within lessons. Some teachers, for example, do not follow the plans with fidelity, which limits the progress pupils make in individual subjects. Some pupils have limited opportunities to write at length.
Others do not study subjects such as music and computer science as often as leaders have planned. As a result, some pupils are not fully benefiting from the overall curriculum ambition.
Earlier this academic year, leaders changed the approach taken to teaching pupils to read.
Staff and pupils have bought into the new scheme with gusto. Although the books younger pupils read in school match the sounds they have been taught, the majority of pupils in key stage 1 only have access to electronic copies of these books to read at home. Many pupils are not benefiting from this option, and leaders' plans to address this are of utmost importance.
Notwithstanding this limitation, pupils are taught well to read.
In the early years, leaders have linked key topics with the local context in which pupils live and learn. The 'water' topic, for example, has explicit links to the local canal.
Staff interactions with children are positive, and high levels of staff presence help to ensure that children are fully engaged in their learning. Leaders are continuing to develop their 'milestone' points, which are used to help monitor the progress children make in the early years setting.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive effective help at school.
Leaders work with pupils, parents and external agencies to ensure that pupils' needs are met. Leaders have plans to broaden SEND training for staff. This is to help ensure that they continue to meet the increasing needs of pupils.
Pupils have access to a range of opportunities to enrich their learning at school, including through the personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) curriculum. Pupils enjoy it when they go on trips, and many are excited about the forthcoming visit to the Great Yorkshire Show. There are several extra-curricular opportunities on offer, including running, boxercise and gardening clubs.
However, some pupils do not feel that the options are fully aligned to their own interests and talents. Pupils know about the values it is important to show when living in modern Britain. However, their awareness of the similarities and differences between different faiths is limited.
Pupils, parents and staff all speak favourably about the way the headteacher has created a supportive, welcoming and calm school environment. Staff enjoy working at the school, and embrace the school's values of 'respect', 'honesty' and 'effort'. The headteacher and other school leaders are supported by a dedicated group of governors.
They bring both academic and wider commercial expertise to support leaders with school improvement. Leaders are regularly challenged by governors, who are keen for the school to be as good as it can be.
Parental engagement with school is well embedded.
One comment from a parent, typical of many others, was that 'This school is a credit to everyone that works within it and we as a community are so proud to have it.' Large numbers of parents and other family members come into school regularly to listen to their children read.
Some parents, however, find the multifaceted methods of communication difficult to keep on top of.
They find it difficult to find information on the school website. Leaders have planned changes to the structure of classes for the next academic year. There remains work to do to ensure that the curriculum is fully prepared for these changes.
Some parents do not yet understand the rationale for these changes and how their child will benefit from them.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Pupils are taught about how to stay safe at school, in the community and online.
A recent rail safety event, for example, highlighted the risks of playing on or around train tracks. This is important, as the school is situated adjacent to a busy railway line. Staff are aware of the signs to look out for that may suggest pupils need additional help.
Safeguarding leaders ensure that pupils receive the help they need, including from external agencies where necessary. Leaders ensure that staff are suitable to work with children before they are appointed to their posts. Minor administrative errors in the recording of these checks were corrected during the inspection.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Aspects of the school curriculum are very new. Although plans are in place to ensure depth and quality in terms of what is taught, these are not currently being implemented consistently in the classroom. Some pupils have limited recall of some of what they have been taught, including aspects of computing and languages, and their knowledge of different faiths is minimal.
As a result of these shortcomings, the impact of the curriculum is limited. Leaders should ensure that these points are addressed as they embed their new curriculum plans. ? Parental engagement with the school is strong.
However, some parents are anxious about the planned changes to combine classes across year groups. Others struggle to access the information they need from the school website. Many are disappointed about not being able to take physical books home to help embed the learning of phonics.
Leaders should further understand the frustrations some parents have, and put plans in place to address these matters. ? Leaders take appropriate actions to respond to incidents of bullying and poor behaviour. However, the associated record-keeping is limited.
This is restricting the knowledge leaders have of the type and frequency of incidents. It limits the ability of governors to monitor the actions leaders are taking. Leaders should review how they record incidents and use this information more strategically to help further improve standards of behaviour at the school.