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Newlands Primary School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Every pupil is treated as an individual at Newlands. Staff–pupil relationships are good because leaders have created a culture where understanding every pupil is important.
Staff quickly find out about each of them.
Expectations of pupils' learning and behaviour are high. This means that pupils behave well and make good progress.
Pupils who do not behave as well are supported by skilled staff. Passionate teachers deliver exciting lessons that keep pupils interested in what they are learning. One pupil, who spoke to the lead inspector, said, 'The best thing about this scho...ol is the learning.'
Another, with a huge smile on his face, said, 'The best thing for me is the food.'
Many parents describe Newlands as a big family, where there is a real sense of community. Pupils feel happy and safe at school.
They enjoy spending time with their friends and most get on well with each other. Pupils say that bullying is rare and dealt with quickly by staff.
Pupils are proud of the school.
They actively get involved in the many clubs and leadership opportunities. For example, some become team captains, school council representatives and buddies. Some pupils lead lunchtime clubs.
They take these responsibilities seriously.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Since the headteacher and his deputy arrived at the school, the school's curriculum has rapidly improved. Leaders have thought very carefully about what they want pupils to learn.
They have ensured that pupils study a broad range of subjects during their time at Newlands. Lots of time and energy has been put into deciding what should be taught when in each year group from Reception to Year 6. As a result, each subject is well organised and pupils' knowledge and skills build on what they already know and can do as they move up the school.
Each subject is led by a subject leader. The deputy headteacher has worked closely with each of these leaders to ensure that they have a good understanding of their subject and how it fits into the curriculum. Some of this subject leadership is excellent.
However, leaders know that the quality of subject leadership is not yet consistent in every subject. This is something leaders are already working to improve.
Reading is a key part of the curriculum.
Staff know that it is very important for pupils to be able to read fluently and confidently. They understand that pupils need to be able to read so that they can learn. Staff are trained well in the teaching of phonics.
This leads to phonics being taught consistently well. Teachers in the early years waste no time starting to teach phonics when pupils join the school. Staff read to pupils in a passionate and engaging way.
Pupils listen attentively and follow what is happening in stories. Books that pupils read on their own carefully match the sounds that pupils know. When pupils can read independently, they have opportunities to read many interesting and engaging books and do so daily.
These books are carefully selected with the pupils at Newlands in mind.
During lessons, pupils listen to each other and to teachers. They are keen to learn and regularly share, discuss and debate their ideas and thoughts.
For example, in a Year 6 English lesson, two boys were discussing a poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelley called 'Ozymandias'. They were engrossed in discussing the meaning of the poem. Teachers ask pupils questions, and they happily give thoughtful answers.
If pupils make mistakes, staff are quick to help them so that they make as much progress as possible.
Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well known to the special educational needs coordinator (SENCo). The SENCo is very knowledgeable about SEND.
Identifying pupils' individual needs is a key part of his role. He carefully thinks about the barriers facing each pupil and works well with parents and other professionals to put the right support in place for them. He carefully monitors whether this support is making a difference to each pupil.
Where it is not having maximum effect, he makes sensible changes as needed. The SENCo works well with teachers to make sure that these pupils are supported well in class.
Staff working at Newlands are passionate about their work.
This means that they are really invested in what they do. Their focus is on ensuring that pupils are happy, safe and learn well. Governors and leaders are mindful of staff workload and how staff feel.
They put things in place to make sure that workload is sensible.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Pupils' safety and well-being are paramount.
Recruitment processes are thorough. Staff know pupils and their families. Regular training means that staff know what to look for and swiftly share concerns about pupils with leaders.
Leaders have a good understanding of the local 'thresholds of need'. They refer to external agencies as needed. However, leaders know that records of the actions they have taken are not systematic or thorough enough.
Safeguarding is high priority for leaders and governors. Governors understand their duties and carry out their roles professionally. While they regularly discuss pupils' safety and well-being, they recognise that they need to provide much more challenge to leaders to ensure that the school's record-keeping processes are being followed consistently.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• The quality of subject leadership is not yet consistent in every subject. This means that not all subject leaders have the skills and expertise to ensure that their subject improves as rapidly as some others. Leaders need to continue to strengthen subject leadership across the school.
• Leaders' record-keeping of the actions they take to safeguard pupils is not systematic or thorough enough. Governors do not challenge leaders well enough to check that the school's record-keeping processes are consistently applied. Consequently, leaders do not have a clear enough record of their response to concerns or their decision-making.
Leaders must ensure that records of the actions they take are clear, detailed and well organised. Governors must check that leaders apply the school's record-keeping processes consistently.Background
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 or outstanding school, because it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, 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 deem the section 8 inspection as a section 5 inspection immediately.
This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good in October 2011.
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