|Name||Milton Park Primary School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Requires improvement|
|Inspection Date||09 October 2019|
|Address||Eastney Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO4 8ET|
|Religious Character||Does not apply|
|Number of Pupils||381 (54% boys 46% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||19.2|
|Percentage Free School Meals||24.9%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||17.3%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||15.5%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
What is it like to attend this school?
This school has made big strides forward since the headteacher started in April 2018. Because staff have much higher expectations of pupils, there are better outcomes across the school.
Pupils enjoy coming to school and like learning new things. They feel well supported by their teachers and friends. One boy said, ‘Teachers make pupils happy, because they make learning fun.’ Pupils love the various trips they go on, locally and further afield.
Behaviour has improved in the school and is now good. Teachers know how to help pupils behave well and how to deal with any misbehaviour in class. The school’s systems of rewards and sanctions work well.
Pupils feel safe from bullying. They understand it but say that it hardly ever happens. When it does, someone reports it and staff sort it out quickly.
All pupils know that if they come to school anxious or worried, there is always an understanding adult to turn to. Staff are well trained and skilled in listening to pupils. They talk through any concerns that pupils might have.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
In the past, pupils have not achieved well enough. Pupils are doing better now. The headteacher has raised expectations of what pupils should achieve. She has the full support of other leaders, teachers and support staff. Parents and carers feel more included in their children’s education.
Leaders have started to implement a curriculum that follows the national curriculum. However, these plans are still in their early stages. Leaders have only recently started to focus on developing the wider curriculum. Learning is too often planned around visits, special occasions or activities. Pupils certainly enjoy their learning and are proud of their work. However, plans do not always have a clear structure to make sure that pupils build on their earlier learning. Some subject leaders have little experience and are new to their role.
Leaders are determined that pupils will read, write and use mathematics confidently. These subjects are improving and are planned with care. It is helping pupils to become more confident and successful. Outcomes in phonics (letters and the sounds they represent) improved sharply last year, although were still below the national averages. By the end of Year 2, pupils had caught up. There is still work to be done to further strengthen phonics, especially in key stage 2. Some pupils are given books that are too hard for them to read. Also, too few teachers in key stage 2 are skilled in teaching phonics. Teachers are not well equipped to meet the needs of pupils who are not confident readers by the time they reach Year 3.
Leaders and teachers assess pupils’ learning carefully. Teachers step in if any pupils start to fall behind. In lessons, staff explain things clearly, taking time to make sure that pupils have understood. If pupils still do not understand, they receive extra help before the next lesson. This is helping pupils who start to fall behind to catch up. Other pupils who previously were not achieving age-related expectations are now back on track in English and mathematics.
Senior leaders have high expectations for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Whenever possible, pupils from the inclusion centre are included in lessons. Staff adapt the curriculum where necessary, so that all pupils with SEND are included and succeed.
The school is a warmly inclusive community which provides well for pupils’ personal development. Leaders understand pupils’ needs very well. The word ‘kind’ is displayed prominently around the school. Pupils try to live this out. They accept each other’s ideas and beliefs. Classrooms are places where pupils get on happily and want to succeed. Pupils follow the school’s golden rules of being safe, respectful and always doing your best. Pupils enjoy taking on various positions of responsibility. These include school councillors and ‘eco hunters’. These roles help pupils to be actively involved in improving their school and community. Leaders make sure that disadvantaged pupils take on some of these roles.
Children get off to a good start in the early years. The curriculum enables children to be ready for Year 1. From the start, children learn to read using phonics. Teachers plan interesting activities across the early years curriculum. Staff ask good questions and model spoken English well. Children respond enthusiastically, showing interest and curiosity. Children enjoy playing and learning together, sharing resources and taking turns.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Pupils are safe in school. Senior leaders make sure that all who work in the school understand how important this is. All adults know what to look out for and what to do if worried about a pupil.
Senior leaders provide detailed, up-to-date training. Training takes local issues into account. Leaders quiz staff, checking that everyone has really understood what they have been taught.
Pupils learn how to stay safe, including on the road and when online. Pupils talk about when they have felt unsafe online, and how they have spoken to an adult about their concerns.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
The school has come through a turbulent time, during which there has been considerable turnover of staff. It is now more settled. Senior leaders have made sure that pupils are starting to be more successful in the core subjects of English and mathematics. However, pupils at the top of the school have had a legacy of weak teaching over time. Consequently, these improvements have not had time to be reflected in outcomes at the end of key stage 2. Leaders should strengthen and fully embed the improvements in the core curriculum and in teaching so that outcomes across the school continue to rise. . Senior leaders should develop subjects in the wider curriculum. Most subject leaders of these subjects are new to the role. They need training and support so that they have excellent subject knowledge and understand how to structure and sequence the curriculum in their subjects. This will enable pupils to build their knowledge and skills in a wide range of subjects. . The teaching of phonics is improving. More pupils achieved the expected standard in the Year 1 phonics screening check in 2019, although the proportion was still below the national average. Leaders should further improve the teaching of phonics, especially in key stage 2. Staff should be very clear about where children will be up to in the school’s phonics curriculum at the end of each term, from the start of early years to the end of key stage 1. At times, pupils struggle to read the books that they are given because they contain words that they cannot sound out. Leaders should ensure that the books pupils take home provide opportunities for them to apply the phonics knowledge they have gained at school. . Leaders should make sure that all staff in the school, including those in key stage 2, are skilled in teaching phonics. This will help pupils to continue to strengthen their knowledge and use of phonics as they go through the school. It will enable them to become more confident, capable readers. It will also enable teachers to better meet the needs of pupils who join the school during key stage 2.