Short inspection of New Scotland Hill Primary School
Following my visit to the school on 30 January 2018, I write on behalf of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills to report the inspection findings. The visit was the first short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be good in June 2014. This school continues to be good.
The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. In the four years since the previous inspection, there have been considerable changes in staffing. Throughout these changes, you have shown strong and purposeful leadership.
You provide a clear focus on achieving the highest quality... of teaching and learning. You, your senior leadership team, staff and governors are very ambitious for the pupils in your care. Staff morale is high and there is a strong sense of teamwork that pervades the school.
New Scotland Hill is a very caring school. All staff and governors are working hard to ensure that every child lives up to the school's motto of 'Enjoying living and learning together'. Relationships between staff and pupils are excellent and, as a result, pupils are proud of their school and work hard.
Parents and carers described the school as 'fabulous', 'wonderful' and 'excellent'. The vast majority believe the school is well led and managed. One parent described the school as 'a warm and positive environment for the children to flourish in'.
At the time of the last inspection, you were asked to improve aspects of teaching and to develop the role of subject leaders. Your work in these areas over time has been effective. Staff said that you support them well and are clear about what the school is trying to achieve.
Senior leaders have an accurate view of the school's strengths and those areas requiring further improvement. Pupils make stronger progress in reading and writing than they do in mathematics. There are some inconsistencies in the degree of challenge in some classes, particularly for the most able.
You have rightly identified that teaching needs to challenge pupils more so that they make faster progress. Safeguarding is effective. There is a strong and effective culture of safeguarding in the school shared by you, staff, the governors and the wider school community.
Working together, you have made it a priority to create a safe and secure environment for pupils to learn and play in. All school staff receive timely and good-quality training to ensure that they are confident in applying the school's policies and guidance in relation to child protection issues. There are effective relationships with other external agencies to ensure that pupils are safe and well looked after.
Most parents completed Ofsted's online questionnaire, Parent View, said that their children are safe and happy. Pupils to whom I spoke agreed that they feel safe in school. One child told me, 'The teachers are really friendly and you don't feel alone because they are very supportive.'
Inspection findings ? At the start of the inspection, we agreed to look at the effectiveness of safeguarding, how effectively you have improved the teaching of writing, the progress of pupils, including girls, in mathematics and the progress in the early years. ? We examined the ways in which you have developed writing. You have introduced a more creative approach to writing, and there is evidence of rapid improvement in pupils' work, such as in the use of vocabulary and grammar.
The use of high-quality texts to engage pupils resulted in a higher proportion achieving the expected standard in writing in the 2017 tests. However, you recognise that there are still some inconsistencies in the quality of the teaching of writing across the school. You and your team are fully aware of these issues.
Support and training are in place to address areas in which pupils' rates of progress are not rapid enough. ? The school was right to focus on improving the outcomes in mathematics in the last academic year. In 2016, pupils' rates of progress had slowed compared with previous years.
You quickly implemented changes and provided staff with high-quality mathematics training that has raised expectations among teaching staff. This resulted in improved rates of progress for all groups of pupils in 2017. However, these changes are not yet fully established across the school.
Last year, the progress of girls in mathematics was slower than that of boys with similar starting points. Current pupils' books and assessments illustrate that you have addressed this difference, and girls are achieving as well as boys. However, you know that teaching in some year groups does not demonstrate the consistently high standards to which you aspire, particularly for the most able pupils in mathematics.
You acknowledge that further work is needed to ensure that the most able pupils in the school make as much progress as they can. ? Pupils make good progress and achieve well in the early years. Your team assesses the children accurately, and this has enabled you to implement changes to the provision to aid better learning and support higher expectations.
These changes have led to improved outcomes. You and your team acknowledge that the outdoor provision is an area that must develop further to ensure that all outdoor learning is maximised. Next steps for the school Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that: ? pupils' rates of progress in mathematics continue to improve, particularly for the most able ? greater consistency in the quality of teaching helps pupils to make faster rates of progress in writing by the end of key stage 2.
I am copying this letter to the chair of the governing body, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children's services for Bracknell Forest. This letter will be published on the Ofsted website. Yours sincerely David Harris Ofsted Inspector Information about the inspection I met with you, members of the senior leadership and your staff.
We talked about the improvements which have been made since the last inspection. Together, we undertook observations of learning in lessons. I examined pupils' work, focusing on writing.
I spoke on the telephone to the chair of governors and talked informally to pupils in lessons. A meeting was held with a representative from the local authority. Before the inspection, I examined a variety of documents including the school's website, published performance data and a summary of your school's self-evaluation document.
I took account of 89 responses to Ofsted's online questionnaire, Parent View, including 40 written comments. I also considered 15 responses to Ofsted's staff survey and 19 responses to the pupil questionnaire. A range of documentary evidence was evaluated, including documents relating to safeguarding and governance.