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Lympstone is a warm, friendly and welcoming school. There is a strong community spirit where pupils feel valued. Pupils and staff are proud of their school.
Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the school.
The school's values permeate the school. Pupils treat each other, and staff, with respect.
New pupils are welcomed and quickly settle. Pupils behave well around the school. They help each other out when at play or in lessons.
Pupils get on with their learning in lessons.
Pupils feel safe and well looked after. Bullying does not occur often, but if it does pupils say staff will act quickly.
Children in the early years get off ...to a flying start. They quickly become confident and inquisitive learners, keen for a challenge. Pupils love learning.
They enjoy learning to read, and they are keen to work out problems. They help each other to be creative and to come up with solutions.
Leaders encourage pupils to take on leadership responsibilities.
Older pupils take their buddy role with younger children seriously. Pupils enjoy a wide range of opportunities to develop their talents and interests. They talk enthusiastically about sport, contributing to the church and the local community, linking with Uganda, and learning about their place in the world.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The headteacher has driven improvement at the school with great determination. Leaders, including governors, have a clear and ambitious vision for the school that is shared by staff. Staff have worked with determination to strengthen the curriculum.
This is having a strong impact in mathematics and early reading.
The school provides a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils. Staff have established a purposeful environment that is helping children to learn well.
Leaders in the early years have created an ambitious curriculum for children. Children get off to a strong start. Leaders carefully plan interesting and purposeful activities that encourage and support children to explore and find things out.
This is helping children in the early years to flourish.
The curriculum is designed well in many subjects. Where there are strengths in the curriculum, such as early reading, mathematics and physical education, pupils carefully build their knowledge and understanding over time.
Pupils can recall securely what they have learned. For example, pupils use concepts accurately in mathematics and physical education to explain what they are learning. Children in the early years talk confidently about what they have learned.
They use subject-specific vocabulary accurately, for example to talk about dinosaurs, number bonds and the postal service. However, pupils' subject knowledge is not as secure across all subjects. Where it is not as strong, this is because the essential knowledge that pupils need to learn is not always clear or well sequenced.
In such cases, pupils do not recall or build on knowledge as confidently. Leaders have made inroads to develop the curriculum but know there is more to do so that the precise knowledge they want pupils to learn is identified clearly.
Leaders make sure that reading is a priority.
Staff promote a love of reading from the moment children start school. There is a systematic and sequenced approach to the teaching of reading. Staff have been well trained in the new reading curriculum.
As a result, it is delivered effectively so that pupils quickly learn to decode words and to build up their fluency. Books are carefully matched to pupils' phonic knowledge. Leaders use regular assessment to spot any pupils who are at risk of falling behind with phonics.
Pupils receive appropriate additional support to help them to become stronger readers.
Teachers know pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) well. Pupils' needs are identified quickly in the early years so appropriate support can be put in place.
This helps to prepare children for their next steps. Leaders ensure that teachers are well informed about useful strategies. Staff use this information to help pupils with SEND to learn well.
Leaders provide many opportunities to enhance pupils' personal development. The school makes effective use of close links with the local church to develop pupils' understanding of faith and the community. The personal, social and health education programme is developing.
However, content relating to growing up, relationships and protected characteristics is not always taught at a time that would be most useful to pupils. Pupils are encouraged to discuss important global issues. They have a secure understanding of British values such as democracy.
For example, the school council leads pupil discussion around a wide range of issues relating to the school's 'Rights Respecting' work.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders ensure that all staff have up-to-date safeguarding training.
Staff are well trained and know what to do should they have a concern about a pupil. Leaders know the local community well. Leaders are tenacious in seeking support for vulnerable pupils and families, so they get the help they need.
Pupils know how to keep themselves safe and they understand how to stay safe online.
Governors are well trained and regularly check on the effectiveness of the school's safeguarding systems.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Some subject curriculums are not as well developed as those in the core.
In such cases, the essential knowledge that pupils need to learn is not always clear or well sequenced. This means that pupils do not always recall or build on knowledge confidently. Leaders have taken steps to develop the curriculum and it is important that they consider carefully how to strengthen these areas.
• Leaders should ensure the personal development curriculum is well sequenced. Content relating to growing up, relationships and protected characteristics is not always taught at a time that would be helpful to pupils. Leaders need to ensure that pupils are taught essential knowledge at the right time.
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