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The atmosphere is calm and purposeful and there is a well-established culture of learning. Pupils love coming to school, arriving each morning full of enthusiasm for the day ahead.
Pupils strive to achieve well because of the high expectations staff have of them.
Lessons are rarely disrupted by poor behaviour and relationships are respectful. Pupils are kind and care about each other. They feel happy and safe as bullying is not tolerated.
Pupils know that any issues would be quickly resolved by adults. Leaders provide effective support for pupils' mental health and well-being. A recent assembly educated pupil...s about what it means to be a young carer.
Pupils are keen to encourage and support their young carer friends, including through the young carers club.
Personal development at the school is first class. Leaders' ambitious vision of 'I can, I can, I can' encourages pupils to be resilient and 'become the very best version of themselves'.
Pupils talk excitedly about the wealth of opportunities they have to pursue their interests. They relish the leadership positions available to them and are encouraged to become active, responsible citizens. Pupils are proud of their school and of their work with their local MP to generate improvements to the community.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Children get off to a great start from the first day in Nursery. They receive highly personalised support to ensure they achieve highly across the curriculum. The early years classrooms are a hive of activity.
Leaders have made good use of indoor and outdoor spaces, creating exciting areas where the children can play and learn safely. Children are encouraged to be curious learners and are keen to share their learning with adults and friends.
Leaders have designed an ambitious and well-sequenced curriculum, giving all subjects equal consideration.
The early years curriculum is exceptionally well-planned and links well with what pupils will learn in key stages 1 and 2. Leaders have carefully identified what pupils need to learn and remember at each stage, so that all pupils achieve well. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) thrive at the school.
Staff know exactly what their needs are. They ensure that pupils with SEND receive the right support to enable them to learn well. Teachers and teaching assistants receive high-quality training to expertly deliver the curriculum.
There are regular, planned opportunities for pupils to revisit prior learning, so that they develop their knowledge over time. Pupils benefit from high-quality discussions in class. Teachers explain new learning clearly.
However, on occasion, staff do not pick up on misconceptions and some gaps in knowledge are not identified. Leaders have rightly prioritised effective feedback as an ongoing area for development.Pupils love reading and value the many opportunities to read across the curriculum.
They become immersed in daily story times, enthusiastically joining in with familiar stories. Leaders prioritise reading across the school. They have a sharp focus on ensuring that all pupils learn to read.
Staff receive regular training on how to teach early reading well. There is a well-structured approach to whole-class, small groups and individual reading sessions. This helps pupils to quickly gain the knowledge and skills needed to become confident, fluent readers.
Where a minority of staff are less confident delivering these sessions, pupils do not benefit from the same expertise as their peers. In these instances, leaders quickly identify and arrange individual staff training and provide ongoing support. Pupils receive additional interventions and continue to receive tailored support as they move up the school.
Opportunities for pupil's personal development and enrichment are exceptional. They are woven through the curriculum. Pupils learn about different religions and cultures and benefit from mindfulness sessions focused on keeping themselves mentally and physically healthy.
Pupils feel they are treated equally and are valued. As one pupil said, 'People who are different aren't treated differently here.' Responsibility is taught from an early age.
Every pupil has an identified role in their class and most pupils participate in the many extra-curricular activities on offer. The student council plays an active role in school improvements. Year 6 pupils proudly showed inspectors their designs for the new playground, talking animatedly about future projects being developed with school leaders.
Staff enjoy working at the school and feel well supported. They appreciate leaders' investment in their professional development. The local governing committee is effective and works in close partnership with school leaders and the trust.
Everyone is driven in their ambition to provide the best possible chances for the pupils. It is a team effort. As one parent summarised, 'Sayes Court is a well-led school with a place for everyone and a strong sense of community.'
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders prioritise safeguarding through regular staff training and meetings. Safer recruitment checks are robust.
Staff are knowledgeable about safeguarding risks and have an understanding of specific issues in the local area. Staff know how to identify and report these risks, being clear that no concern is too small. Leaders manage safeguarding records very well.
They work effectively with external agencies to ensure that necessary support is quickly put in place. Pupils are taught about keeping safe and their right to be safe. Parents are kept well informed about 'hot topics' and are confident that their children are safe at school.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In a minority of subjects, teachers do not always check pupils' understanding carefully enough. This means that, sometimes, gaps or misunderstandings go unaddressed. Leaders should make sure that teachers routinely check pupils have retained the important learning and use this information to adjust teaching as needed.
• At times, there are inconsistencies in how well the early reading interventions are taught. This means that some pupils are not getting the support they need to become confident and fluent readers. Leaders should ensure that all staff are well trained to confidently teach all aspects of the school's phonic programme, including within individual reading sessions.
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