Knowsley Junior School

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About Knowsley Junior School

Name Knowsley Junior School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss Vanessa Payne
Address Stoneleigh Road, Springhead, Oldham, OL4 4BH
Phone Number 01616334433
Phase Primary
Type Foundation school
Age Range 7-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 298
Local Authority Oldham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils help to make this school the friendly place that it is. They welcome visitors and are keen to share their learning with them. Pupils are respectful towards each other and to adults.

They are polite and thoughtful. Pupils behave well in lessons, at playtimes and when moving around school.

Staff have high expectations of all pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Pupils try their best to meet these expectations. They are attentive in lessons. Pupils support each other well with their learning.

They offer their ideas in discussions and take on board the ideas of others. Pupils' positive attitudes to le...arning help everyone to achieve well.

Pupils enjoy taking on responsibilities, such as being members of the junior leadership team.

Leaders value pupils' opinions and listen to their suggestions. This helps pupils to feel fully involved in school life. Pupils spoke enthusiastically about the range of clubs and opportunities available to them.

Older pupils are eagerly anticipating their forthcoming residential visit.

Pupils feel well supported and cared for by the adults in the school. They said that staff help to sort out problems well, including if bullying happens, though pupils were adamant that bullying does not occur.

Pupils trust staff with their worries. They feel happy and safe at school.

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

Leaders have designed a well-thought-out curriculum that matches the ambition of the national curriculum.

They have reflected carefully about how to make this curriculum meaningful and interesting to pupils. All pupils, including those with SEND, are supported well to make connections between different subjects and topics. Pupils achieve well as a result.

In some subjects, leaders have taken their curriculum thinking one stage further. They have broken down the important knowledge that pupils need to acquire into well-ordered steps. Teachers carefully introduce and frequently revisit this knowledge.

They check that pupils know and can remember what they have been taught. This helps pupils to build their knowledge well over time.

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that some leaders have not developed their subject curriculums to this same level of detail.

In some subjects, leaders have not established the order in which they want smaller components of new knowledge to be taught. They have not provided teachers with the guidance that they need to enable them to build on pupils' learning across key stage 2. However, leaders are well on their way to ensuring that these curriculums are finalised within the next year.

In subjects where the curriculum is still under development, leaders' approaches to assessment are also in the early stages. As a result, teachers' checks on what pupils know and can remember are not as effective as they should be. This means that in these subjects, pupils' learning is uneven.

Leaders ensure that all pupils leave the school in Year 6 being able to read, write and communicate well. Pupils read widely and often. They are confident and enthusiastic readers.

Pupils make ambitious vocabulary choices when writing. They use a wide range of punctuation accurately. Pupils demonstrate well developed spoken language.

They listen carefully to the viewpoints of others and justify their own responses well.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted pupils' learning. Some pupils in Years 3 and 4 have missing phonics knowledge.

This affects their ability to read fluently. Leaders have taken effective action to address these knowledge deficits. They have ensured that pupils who need help to catch-up benefit from daily phonics sessions.

Leaders have trained staff to deliver these sessions well. They have invested in books that match the sounds that these pupils are learning or already know. This is helping pupils to catch-up quickly.

Leaders have carefully considered how best to prepare pupils for their future lives. Leaders identify pupils with SEND accurately. They ensure that staff meet the needs of pupils who are disadvantaged, or those with SEND, successfully.

Pupils are taught to respectfully consider moral issues. They embrace difference. Pupils spoke positively and sensitively about different kinds of families.

They also develop a strong sense of their personal identity. Pupils show a mature understanding of each other. This supports pupils to behave well and focus on their learning in lessons.

The members of the leadership team are knowledgeable and committed. They benefit from the informed challenge and support offered by governors. Staff, including those who are new to teaching, feel valued and well supported.

They are proud to work at the school. Staff appreciate that leaders are highly considerate of their workload and well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders, including governors, ensure that all safeguarding policies and procedures are in place. They train staff well. Staff are vigilant and take appropriate actions to keep pupils safe.

Leaders make sure that pupils benefit from effective pastoral support. Staff know how to identify pupils who may need help with their mental or emotional health. Leaders put this support in place quickly.

Staff teach pupils how to stay safe and behave responsibly in different situations. Pupils develop a secure understanding of what is right and wrong. This includes when thinking about issues such as knife crime and substance misuse.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, leaders are in the process of refining the sequence in which teachers deliver the essential knowledge that pupils need to learn. This means that some teachers do not enable pupils to build on their prior learning effectively enough. Leaders should finalise their curriculum thinking and ensure that all teachers have the information that they need to deliver the curriculum well.

This will enable pupils to build a rich body of knowledge across all subjects. ? Leaders' approaches to assessment in some subjects are in the early stages. This means that teachers' checks on how well pupils have learned the curriculum are not as effective as they should be.

Consequently, in these subjects, pupils' learning is uneven. Leaders should ensure that there are effective assessment systems in place that help teachers check whether pupils have learned the intended knowledge across the curriculum. ? The school's curriculum is not yet sufficiently well planned and sequenced in some subjects.

However, it is clear from leaders' actions that they are in the process of bringing this about. Leaders need to complete the process of reviewing the curriculum in all subjects within their identified timescale. For this reason, the transitional arrangements have been applied.

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