Nettlebed Community School

Name Nettlebed Community School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address High Street, Nettlebed, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 5DA
Phone Number 01491641328
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 126 (51.6% boys 48.4% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 17.9
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Percentage Free School Meals 13.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 6.1%
Persistent Absence 12.1%
Pupils with SEN Support 13%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (09 October 2019)
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What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils love their school. To them it feels like a family. They like its small size and the big opportunities it offers. They are particularly proud of their community links, such as the work they do to assist and entertain the residents of the local hospice. Pupils enjoy the wide range of clubs and activities they can get involved in, such as those for rugby, cricket and choir. These opportunities help to nurture and develop their talents and interests. Leaders and staff want the very best for all pupils. They get to know families well and tailor the support they offer.

Pupils behave well in class and are rarely interrupted by others. They are respectful of differing opinions and kind when they disagree. Any squabbles are quickly sorted out without the need for adult support. Pupils say that there is no bullying in school, but they know what to do if they are worried about this. Pupils feel happy and safe here. They are taught how to manage risks both in and out of school.

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

Staff are ambitious for pupils to learn more than the national curriculum. For example, outdoor learning helps pupils to understand how to manage risks and about teamwork. Pupils told us how to light fires, handle ropes and use knives safely.

In many subjects, staff provide clear instruction and assess pupils’ understanding closely, supporting any pupils who need extra help. Staff share common aims in English and mathematics. However, teachers’ understanding of the school’s intended end point in other subjects can vary. Sometimes, they focus on the pupils in their class without fully considering the big picture. This means that they do not always think sufficiently about what they need to teach pupils so they are well prepared for what comes next.

Pupils’ reading contributes significantly to their achievement, enjoyment and personal development. Pupils learn phonics (letters and the sounds they represent) quickly and practise their early reading skills regularly. Staff are highly skilled in teaching pupils to read, and track pupils’ progress carefully, ensuring that nobody falls behind. Pupils beam when discussing their reading. One pupil noted, ‘It’s become second nature to me; I love to read in my spare time.’ Pupils discuss books in class and share recommendations with their teachers and friends. This means they never run out of interesting and challenging texts to read.

Pupils behave well and look after each other. They are considerate of other’s ideas, challenging opinions sensitively and respectfully. This is because all staff follow the school’s behaviour policy. They reward good conduct and seek to understand, then support any pupils who display poor behaviour to change. Pupils love to play in the vibrant outdoor space. Year 5 play leaders organise games for younger pupils and include anyone who is lonely and sitting on the ‘buddy bench’.Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) thrive here. Staff have a strong understanding of these pupils’ needs and work as a team with parents and carers and external agencies to provide support. Pupils with SEND fit in and are valued members of this inclusive school.

Children in early years are well behaved and confident. They learn to work together, speak clearly and are delighted to share their learning with friends and adults. Skilled staff guide children well and make sure they learn the most important skills. They help children to explore their exciting space and constantly interact with children to help guide their development.Pupils love to debate the big issues. Year 6 pupils read Anne Frank’s diary, reflecting on the consequences of intolerance and prejudice. Pupils learn about, and revisit, the school values regularly in assemblies. They consider examples of how others have embodied these values and reflect on their own actions. This helps pupils to understand kindness, humility and courage. Some pupils have not been taught about a range of cultures and religions different from their own. Plans are well under way to help develop pupils’ knowledge of this further.Staff have received training in a range of teaching techniques and to improve their subject knowledge, particularly in English and mathematics. This helps the school to improve its offer for pupils. Leaders have reduced unnecessary workload, such as evening emails, meaning staff can focus on their own families and interests during this time.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff use their training well and quickly notice the small signs that a pupil may need additional help. They pass on information swiftly and sensitively. Leaders deal with concerns immediately. They understand what services are available and work with families to ensure that the support is appropriate and timely.

Governors keep a close eye on procedures to safeguard pupils. They check the site is safe and make appropriate changes when required, for example by reducing the number of cars on the site during drop-off times to prevent accidents. They check that staff are appropriately vetted before they commence employment.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders have developed and improved the curriculum over time, but have not considered, collectively, the exact end points they wish pupils to achieve in some foundation subjects. This means that some sequences of work are not sharply focused on laying the foundations for pupils’ future learning. Leaders should ensure that all staff fully understand how learning should be sequenced in each subject and use the information to inform their teaching. . Some pupils’ understanding of religions and cultures that are different from their own is underdeveloped. The revised personal, social, health and economic education curriculum needs to be fully implemented and kept under review by leaders to ensure it is effective.