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Katherines Primary Academy and Nursery is a fully inclusive school where everybody is made to feel special. Pupils love coming to school.
They are proud of their school and welcome visitors with a smile.
Pupils receive a consistently good quality of education. They enjoy their learning.
Pupils link new learning to their own life experiences. They confidently share new knowledge they have learned. They say that they want to be 'historians' and 'mathematicians'.
Pupils value the wider curriculum. They take part in 'Katherines' got talent' and 'Katherines' 100 things'. This helps prepare pupils for life outside school.
Pupils understand and ris...e to the high expectations of learning and behaviour. They follow the school's behaviour systems and enjoy the rewards, such as receiving a 'pen licence' or a yellow pin badge.
Pupils say that they feel safe in school and trust the adults who care for them.
Bullying or unkindness rarely happens. If it does occur, pupils know that staff will deal with it straight away.
Parents were overwhelmingly positive in their responses about the school.
They particularly value the school's support of the 'whole' child. Many commented that they feel nothing is too much trouble for the staff.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have designed an ambitious curriculum.
Teachers ensure that pupils revisit important knowledge over time. This deepens and embeds learning so that pupils do well. For example, a history theme is leadership.
Each class is named after an inspirational young leader. This helps pupils place well-known historical figures each year in context.
Leaders ensure that staff have secure subject knowledge across the curriculum.
Teachers make sure that previous learning is built on in each lesson. They check pupils have a clear understanding of new vocabulary and concepts. This checking informs teachers effectively, so they know what pupils need to learn next.
Pupils can talk about what they have learned in detail. This shows that they have remembered key facts. For example, they recall why Henry VIII changed from being a catholic to a protestant.
Staff teach reading well to the majority of pupils. Pupils throughout the school read a wide range of high-quality books. This improves their vocabulary.
Pupils show a love of books and enjoy listening to teachers reading to them.
Children settle well when they first join school in the Nursery. This helps to ensure they are ready to learn.
While leaders have created an environment that supports the ambitious curriculum in the Reception classes, this is less developed in Nursery and has been identified as the next priority for the school. Curriculum plans in the Nursery are not fully in place. Therefore, staff are not always clear about the intentions of the learning in Nursery.
Consequently, some children are not as well prepared for future learning as they could be.
In the Reception Year, children get off to a good start learning sounds to help them read, and they accurately spell using the sounds they know. Staff are well trained to use the chosen phonics scheme.
Leaders identify pupils who need to catch up. These pupils receive extra phonics and reading sessions. These extra sessions address these gaps well.
On occasions, pupils who speak English as an additional language and are new to the school do not have enough opportunities to improve their fluency in reading. This means they are not learning to read quickly enough.
The behaviour and attitudes of pupils are a strength of the school.
Pupils feel part of the Katherines School community. They value the relationships they have with each other and staff. Pupils are able to self-regulate and quickly focus on their learning.
They are polite and respectful to each other and adults.
Leaders have ensured there is a strong focus on the wider development opportunities for pupils. Staff intentionally provide opportunities to enhance pupils' cultural experiences.
For example, pupils visit museums and theatres linked to their learning.
Leaders ensure that all pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities have the right support to access the same aspirational curriculum as other pupils. Sometimes staff need to make adaptions for pupils to succeed in their learning.
Staff do this with sensitivity and skill. Disadvantaged pupils produce work of an equally high standard to their peers.
The members of the local governing body are thorough in carrying out their statutory and monitoring duties.
They regularly challenge leaders.
Staff are very appreciative of the collaborative support that the trust provides and the opportunities for extra training. These supports staff well to implement the chosen curriculum.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff have regular and up-to-date training on all aspects of risk, such as the 'Prevent' duty and county lines. Staff are vigilant about reporting concerns, and leaders follow up these concerns promptly.
Leaders ensure that pupils are receiving the right support to keep them safe.
Teachers use the relationships and sex education (RSE) and the personal, social and health education curriculum effectively to teach pupils about online risks and about emotional and physical safety. This positively supports the pupils to keep safe and know how to stay safe.
Pupils are able to recall knowledge learned about managing risks.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Leaders have ensured that the phonics programme is delivered with fidelity to all pupils. However, this is not working for a few pupils who are new to English and new to the school.
Leaders must ensure that staff know when to use additional strategies to give these pupils even more opportunities to increase their reading fluency. Leaders must do more regular checking to make sure that these strategies are working for pupils who speak English as an additional language and those pupils who are new to the school. ? Staff and leaders are not clear about the intentions of the curriculum in Nursery.
This is because plans are still being developed. Leaders must ensure that the ambitious curriculum plans that have started to be used in the Reception classes are developed to include the Nursery. Leaders must ensure that staff understand the plans and are trained to deliver these plans effectively so that the children are better prepared for their Reception Year.