Littleborough Community Primary School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils, staff, parents and carers are proud to belong to this happy and exciting school.
Relationships between staff and pupils are warm and caring. Staff have high expectations of pupils. Teachers work together to achieve the school's vision to 'bring out the best in every child'.
Pupils are a credit to the school. They behave well and show genuine care for each other. Older pupils relish their different roles, such as school council members and playground leaders.
At playtime and lunchtime, pupils include everyone in their games. In class, they work hard ...and cooperate well with each other.
Leaders have created a curriculum that provides opportunities for all pupils to be successful.
Pupils study a wide range of topics across the curriculum. They learn about other cultures and different faiths. They enjoy trips that support their learning, such as to museums and the local library.
They take part in lots of clubs at the end of the school day, especially sports. Pupils are very proud to be in the school musical theatre group and brass band.
Pupils know how to keep themselves safe.
Pupils I spoke with said that bullying rarely happens. Staff work as a team to support pupils' well-being.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have carefully planned the curriculum across almost all subjects.
The knowledge that pupils need to remember in each subject is clear. Teachers ensure that pupils learn almost all subjects in a logical order, so that they build on what they already know. This helps pupils to have a secure understanding of what they are learning and achieve well.
Their good behaviour contributes to their learning positively. For example, in history, Year 3 pupils understand how the Bronze Age links to the Iron Age and Roman Britain. Most pupils achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Year 2 and Year 6.
Leaders have placed great importance on pupils learning to read from an early age. Through lessons in reading and phonics, teachers make sure that pupils gain the knowledge they need to read with fluency. They support pupils well if they fall behind and make sure that they catch up quickly.
Older pupils are very good at finding out more complex meanings in the books they read. Staff and pupils share a love of reading.
The early years curriculum is well planned to meet the needs of children.
Teachers organise what children need to know in a logical order. This helps them build up their knowledge to make sense of the world around them. The indoor and outdoor learning environments support children's learning well.
Staff ensure that from the day the children start school they learn new vocabulary so that they get better at communicating. The children have fun and are confident learners. They get the knowledge they need to help them later in school.
Pupils have a thorough understanding of mathematics. Pupils build up their knowledge, step by step, based on what they already know. Teachers respond well if pupils do not understand something.
For example, pupils were previously struggling with arithmetic. Teachers now include regular arithmetic sessions and opportunities for problem-solving. These are helping pupils to fill the gaps in their knowledge and skills.
Leaders of art and music are new to their posts. They have suitable plans for the curriculum in their subject, but these are not fully in place. They have not been clear enough with teachers about what they should teach and when.
Because of this, pupils are not as sure about what they are learning as they could be.
Pupils enjoy a broad curriculum that goes beyond academic subjects. For example, they learn about healthy relationships, democracy, rights and responsibilities.
Pupils have many opportunities to develop their social and leadership skills and discuss moral issues. Pupils enjoy taking part in a wide range of interesting after-school clubs and trips. This sparks their interest and helps their learning.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do well. Teachers adapt their planning to meet the wide range of needs in their class. Staff work well with other professionals to set and review appropriate targets for pupils.
Feedback from parents of pupils with SEND is very positive.
Leaders are careful to consider the workload of staff. In return, staff dedicate themselves to helping pupils succeed.
Staff who spoke with me all agreed that leaders care about them. Governors are proud of the school. They challenge leaders and give support when needed.
Parents are positive about the school.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Senior leaders make sure that staff and governors receive regular training and updates.
Staff know the signs of child abuse and the school's procedures for reporting any concerns. The school keeps detailed and well-organised records. Staff understand and follow the school's policies and procedures.
Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe in lessons in personal, social, health and economic education. When new risks arise, like the inappropriate use of social media, teachers make sure that pupils and parents are aware. Parents trust staff to keep their children safe.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Leaders have developed effective plans for all areas of the curriculum. However, the detailed curriculum planning and assessment procedures have not had sufficient time to become embedded in practice across the school in art and music. This is because these subject leaders are new to their post and plans for these subjects are not fully secure.
Teachers are not clear enough about the sequencing of these subjects. As a result, pupils do not achieve as well as they do in other subjects. Leaders should ensure that the curriculum plans for these subjects are securely in place, drawing on the effective practice that is already evident in other subjects.
Leaders should equip these subject leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to ensure that these curriculum plans are followed precisely by all teachers. Leaders also need to check the pupils' knowledge in these subjects and how this builds over time.
When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.
This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.
Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.
This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged Littleborough Community Primary School to be good on 15 June 2015.