Overstone Combined School

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About Overstone Combined School

Name Overstone Combined School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Kirsty Eales
Address Church Street, Wing, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 0NY
Phone Number 01296688799
Phase Primary
Type Foundation school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 212
Local Authority Buckinghamshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy their school. Teachers care about their needs and keep them safe. Leaders have prioritised pupils' personal development, and pupils enjoy a wide range of clubs and activities from football to coding.

Bullying is rare and if it does happen, adults and anti-bullying ambassadors will sort out any problems.

After a period of considerable turbulence, new leaders have established high expectations and clear routines that support learning. Teachers are working hard to implement these consistently.

Many pupils respond to these expectations, but too often pupils' behaviour disrupts the day-to-day life of the school.

Pupils enjoy learning about th...e world, particularly in the natural environment of the forest school. Leaders are ambitious for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

However, weaknesses in the curriculum mean that too many pupils in key stages 1 and 2 do not achieve well enough. In some subjects, leaders have not precisely selected the knowledge they want pupils to remember. Some teachers do not have secure knowledge in some subject areas.

When this is the case, teaching does not help pupils to recall key information.

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

Since the last inspection, there have been many changes of leadership in the school. During this period, expectations and standards of behaviour declined.

New leaders have focused on improving behaviour across the school. The number of incidents of poor behaviour has reduced. Specialist staff from the pupil referral unit outreach team have provided staff with important training in behaviour management.

Staff have put in place new strategies which they use every day. However, although behaviour has improved, it is not yet good. Too many lessons are disturbed by pupils calling out, becoming distracted and not focusing on their work.

During break- and lunchtimes, pupils are closely managed by staff, However, the play is overly boisterous, and a number of pupils find it hard to regulate their own behaviour.

Since the arrival of the current headteacher, the curriculum has been totally redeveloped. The new and ambitious curriculum for all pupils, including those with SEND, is broad and inspiring.

Leaders are enthusiastic and keen to implement the curriculum because they want the best for pupils. However, in some subjects, leaders have not yet identified the important knowledge they would like all pupils to learn and remember. This means that that in some subjects in key stages 1 and 2, the knowledge pupils learn does not build over time and the work for those with SEND is not always adapted appropriately.

In some subjects, the knowledge of staff is not as strong as it could be, and this means that they find it hard to identify gaps in pupils' understanding. Therefore, pupils do not achieve as well as they could.

Leaders have prioritised reading, and staff have been trained to deliver the carefully sequenced phonics curriculum.

Pupils in the early years read to an adult every day and they enjoy the opportunity to practise their new skills. Staff read to pupils regularly and these story times help pupils to develop a wide and interesting vocabulary which they use in their writing. The well-stocked library is at the heart of the school and pupils are keen to talk about their favourite books and authors.

Teachers know their pupils well. Families appreciate the time and care that all staff take to work with pupils to support them through times of trouble. This individualised approach means that staff identify the needs of pupils with SEND quickly and accurately.

Leaders are tenacious in seeking support from external professionals to enable pupils with SEND to progress well in their learning and development.

The curriculum in the early years is well designed and skilfully delivered. Children build language well, because it is prioritised by every adult they work with.

Children listen carefully to stories and talk with the adults who support them in their play. They quickly begin to develop their understanding of the world. This is because teachers present new knowledge clearly.

They provide children with many activities so that they can explore what they have learned further.

The school's work to support pupils' wider development is a strength. Pupils enjoy a variety of carefully planned opportunities that enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

This helps pupils to be ready to take the next steps in their education and beyond.

Leaders have established a culture where staff and pupils are encouraged to work hard and show kindness and respect. Teachers are proud to work at the school and know that their work is valued by the leaders who listen to them.

Governors undertake their roles diligently and have secured the senior leaders who are leading the school on a journey of improvement.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff know who to report concerns to and how to record information accurately on the school's system.

Leaders meticulously and promptly follow up concerns they have about pupils. Leaders work hard to support the most vulnerable pupils and families, so they get the help that they need. All staff know about the latest safeguarding updates and the signs of abuse.

Governors ensure that policies and procedures are followed. Teachers make sure that pupils are taught age-appropriate content about how to keep themselves safe online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, leaders have not precisely selected the knowledge they want pupils to remember over time.

This means that teachers do not know what the most important things are for them to teach. Leaders should continue their work to develop their curriculum thinking so that the content and sequence of learning are clear. ? Teachers' subject knowledge is variable in some subjects and some areas of learning.

Therefore, teachers do not always spot gaps in pupils' understanding or address misconceptions swiftly. Leaders should ensure that all teachers receive the support they need to develop their expertise. ? There is too much variability in leaders' approaches to the improvement of the quality of education.

This means that they do not always accurately evaluate the performance of pupils and take actions to ensure that all pupils achieve well. Leaders should ensure that there is a more coherent approach to improving the curriculum. Additionally, they should provide training for subject leaders so that they can contribute effectively to leaders' work to improve the curriculum.

• Although behaviour has improved, it is still not good in all year groups. Low-level disruption and boisterous play often disturbs the day-to-day life of the school. Leaders should continue to embed the newly introduced strategies so that behaviour further improves.

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