|Name||La Petite Ecole Bilingue|
|Address||22 Vicar’s Road, London, NW5 4NL|
|Number of Pupils||92 (48.9% boys 51.1% girls)|
|Percentage Free School Meals||0.0%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||1.1%|
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils are safe, happy and enjoy their learning. Pupils told us that they enjoy having half their lessons in French and the other half in English. Teachers’ expectations are high across the two languages. Staff work together well and help all pupils to learn a wide range of subjects. By the time pupils leave at age 11, they are ready for the challenges of secondary school.
Pupils get on very well with each other. They are keen to learn and persevere even when activities are tricky. We saw pupils’ positive attitudes and good behaviour in every lesson. Any incidents of bullying are dealt with well. Relationships between staff and pupils are positive. Pupils told us that staff listen to them and that their worries are taken seriously.
Pupils really like Wednesday afternoons. This time enriches their personal development. They take part in activities like sports, dance, arts and yoga. Staff take advantage of the school’s central location. They make the most of London’s museums, farms and other places of interest, to enhance what happens in school.
Parents and carers are extremely positive about the school. They told us how pleased they are with their children’s achievements across all subjects in both languages.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The proprietor and leaders ensure that the school meets all the independent school standards. They make sure that the school complies with the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010.
All staff have high expectations for pupils’ learning and achievements. Over the last few years, leaders have carefully created an ambitious curriculum which offers pupils a broad range of subjects in both French and English. There is a lot to fit in. Occasionally, staff are unable to cover in enough detail all that is planned. Although pupils do not build up deep enough knowledge in some units of work, they do well overall in both the English and French curriculums.
Teachers make learning fun and interactive. Science, in particular, is well planned to include many investigations and hands-on activities. We saw how well pupils apply their understanding of the water cycle as they created their own gardens. They watched the effects of water on the growth of seeds they had planted.
Many pupils join the school part way through their primary education. Staff are welcoming and support all pupils well. They help pupils to gain the skills needed to become fluent in both languages.
From the early years to Year 6, pupils read well. The school’s phonics programme plays a significant part in supporting pupils to read and write in English. Once they are fluent, pupils develop their comprehension skills using a wide variety of texts, including poetry. We saw older pupils grappling with Shakespearean language. They enjoyed the challenge of finding modern-day equivalents to different words from extracts of ‘Macbeth’.
The French mathematics programme is slightly different to the English one. Teachers make a success of both. Pupils acquire an impressive range of effective approaches to tackling calculations and solving problems. In mathematics, as in all other subjects, teachers promote pupils’ language and vocabulary well. We saw children in the early years learning and using the language of subtraction as they built towers and ladders of cubes.
Children in the early years are inquisitive and eager to learn. They respond to teachers’ tasks and challenges with enthusiasm. Children develop good foundations in literacy and numeracy. They learn to take turns, share and be imaginative. In the pretend post office, we saw children playing cooperatively as they prepared letters for the customers. Children develop skills across all areas of learning. Staff take children’s interests into account. For example, they ask children to choose stories and songs for the class to enjoy. Staff sometimes miss opportunities to promote children’s independence. For example, when adults complete tasks for children that the children could do for themselves, including writing activities.
Pupils are proud of their school. They told us that staff listen to their ideas and take their views on board, including through the school council and the suggestions boxes. Pupils are respectful. They behave well. Staff are quick to sort out any problems that occur, including any rare bullying incidents. Lessons are hardly ever disrupted because everyone is focused on learning and following the rules. Staff promote pupils’ social skills effectively. Pupils work well in pairs and small groups. They share their work willingly and give constructive feedback to their peers.
Pupils are happy here and so are the staff. Staff told us that leaders are extremely supportive. As a team, everyone works together well to provide pupils with a well-rounded education.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders understand their responsibilities in keeping pupils safe. Staff are trained in the latest statutory safeguarding guidance. They know how to report concerns about pupils’ well-being. Leaders ensure that risk assessments are used effectively in order to keep pupils safe, including visits to the playground and educational visits. Pupils understand how to keep themselves safe online. They know not to share personal information with strangers, for example. Leaders use assemblies to explain the importance of keeping mentally and physically healthy.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and proprietor)
What pupils learn in both French and English programmes is broad and ambitious. There is a lot to fit in. As a result, sometimes teachers do not have time to cover topics or units of work in depth. When this happens, pupils do not acquire a secure and deep understanding of what teachers intend them to learn. Leaders should refine the curriculum further so that it is manageable and covers concepts in sufficient depth. . Staff in the early years do not make the most of opportunities to develop children’s independence. Often, staff complete tasks for children rather than encouraging them to do things for themselves, including in writing activities. Staff should promote children’s independence in all areas of learning.