Rush Common School

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About Rush Common School

Name Rush Common School
Ofsted Inspections
Acting Headteacher Mr Kristen Fawcett
Address Hendred Way, Abingdon, OX14 2AW
Phone Number 01235533583
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 378
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Rush Common School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils love coming to Rush Common School.

Within this nurturing environment, they are able to 'dream, aspire and succeed'. Happiness is all around. Adults show exceptional care to children.

It is as if pupils have an extended family at school. Pupils feel safe knowing that staff will do all they can to protect them.

Staff are ambitious for pupils to do well.

Pupils benefit from a rich curriculum that ignites their knowledge and talents. Opportunities to develop in the arts and competitive sports are plentiful. Pupils and staff play together in the school orchestra..../>
In addition, older pupils learn Mandarin Chinese, and they are offered the chance to take an international Chinese language exam.

Pupils behave very well. Most of them diligently follow the school rules of 'be safe, be kind and be respectful'.

Pupils look out for each other. One child said, 'There is not one bully in this school.' They feel confident in the school's anti-bullying pupil ambassadors, and feel confident that any adult would help them if needed.

Nearly all parents surveyed would recommend the school. One parent, reflecting the views of many others, said that their children are becoming well-rounded individuals who love learning. The parent also said, 'I couldn't ask for more.'

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

The school's curriculum challenges pupils' thinking and prepares them well for the next stage of their education. Subject leaders have taken the reins to ensure that staff are clear about what they must teach, and when. Knowledge is logically sequenced in all subjects from Reception to Year 6.

Some content is being taught for the first time this year, but the revamped curriculum is helping pupils to make strong connections with what they have previously learned. Many older pupils speak eloquently on a range of topics. Children in early years get off to a flying start.

Teachers are knowledgeable about the subjects they teach. They explain ideas in a way that pupils can understand. Vocabulary is an important feature of lessons.

Pupils learn ambitious words and they practise these regularly. Teachers are skilled in facilitating class discussions which get pupils to think deeply about new concepts. Despite this, staff, at times, do not expect enough of pupils in their work.

This is because some of the activities chosen are not well thought out to help pupils acquire detailed knowledge. Pupils' opportunities to write at length are limited in the wider curriculum subjects, and staff do not always ensure that pupils' handwriting is the best it can be.

Leaders have worked hard to instil a reading culture that motivates pupils.

The books that older pupils read for pleasure are thought-provoking and widen their horizons. In the library, there are books that represent different cultures and themes.

Leaders are currently using their own scheme to teach pupils to read.

Children are taught to read from the start of Reception. Any child who is not where they should be in reading is provided with extra practice. However, some of the books that pupils read are not yet closely matched to the sounds they know.

Leaders are aware, and are taking action to sort this out and move to a full systematic phonics programme.

Pupils are eager to do their best in lessons. They are well motivated to learn.

Sometimes there are a small number of pupils who can become distracted and disturb others. When this happens, staff do not always spot it quickly enough. Consequently, some pupils miss important points in some lessons.

Leaders wholly adopt an inclusive culture where pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well catered for. Staff are adept at picking up early signs that a child may have additional needs. Leaders work effectively with other professionals to ensure that the right provision for pupils with SEND is put in place without delay.

The trust and school leaders look after staff very well. They check in on how staff are feeling, and consider workload. Leaders are committed to training and developing the staff's teaching skills.

Many of those who work in the school spoke of a wonderful culture where they are valued and respected.

The chief executive of the trust robustly holds leaders to account for pupils' education. Trustees delegate core duties to the local governing board.

Governors fulfil these duties well, and they ensure that they check how well pupils are learning the curriculum.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The school's designated safeguarding team is highly skilled.

The team members know exactly what to do to keep children safe. The training and information they deliver to staff are exemplary. Adults are clear that if they have a concern, no matter how small, they go straight to the designated safeguarding lead.

Leaders' decisions and actions are swift. They ensure that records are accurate, with a clear chronology. They are relentless in getting the right help for children and families.

The trust makes sure that safeguarding is at the heart of all it does. It rigorously reviews procedures and practice.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Sometimes teachers plan activities that do not expect enough from pupils, including those with SEND.

This limits pupils' development of detailed knowledge across the curriculum. Leaders need to ensure that staff are well trained to implement the curriculum effectively and set the highest of expectations for all pupils.


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 first section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good in January 2017.

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