|Name||Seal Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||03 October 2011|
|Address||Zambra Way, Seal, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 0DJ|
|Religious Character||Church of England|
|Number of Pupils||319 (47% boys 53% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||19.6|
|Percentage Free School Meals||16.9%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||9.2%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||10.5%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
Information about the school
Most pupils in this smaller than average-sized primary school are from White British backgrounds, but other ethnic heritages are represented in small numbers. Very few pupils speak English as an additional language. The percentage of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is high, and the proportion with statements of special educational needs is above average. The proportion of pupils who join or leave the school during their primary education is high. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are taught in two Reception classes. A second class was created for September 2011 at the request of the local authority to meet the increasing demand for school places in the area. The school’s roll has risen steadily for the last five years. Pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6 are taught in mixed-age classes, reflecting the lower numbers in these year groups. The school provides a breakfast club three days a week. A pre-school, run by a private provider, operates on site and this is subject to a separate Ofsted inspection. The school has a number of awards for its work, including Activemark, Travel Plan and Primary Languages awards.
Seal Church of England Primary School is a good school with an inclusive, caring ethos. The school has developed well since its last inspection, so that most aspects of its work are now good. There has been a steady improvement in pupils’ attainment, representing good progress for pupils from their starting points in the school, either in Reception or when they join through their primary education. The improvements are largely a result of the hard work and dedication of the headteacher, governing body and staff team. They have undertaken rigorous and accurate evaluations of the school’s work and used this information effectively to make the changes which have the greatest impact on pupils’ achievements. For example, a focus on improving attainment in mathematics over the last two years has brought about a significant improvement. A greater proportion of pupils this year reached the higher levels in the Year 6 tests than nationally. There is an awareness of the need to improve pupils’ writing skills in a similar way. As a result, initiatives are being systematically and carefully embedded in the school’s practices. This record demonstrates the school’s good capacity for sustained development. The good start children get in Reception gives them a firm foundation for later learning, and all groups of pupils make good progress through the school. Over the last three years, the gap between school and national performance levels in the Year 6 tests has steadily narrowed, and attainment is broadly average in English and mathematics. A similar improvement in attainment at the end of Key Stage 1 shows that pupils now have a stronger basis for Key Stage 2 learning, helping to boost performance further. Pupils’ numeracy and reading skills are stronger than their writing skills. During the inspection, many examples were seen of activities which enabled pupils to talk through their ideas before writing. However, this was not consistent across the school, occasionally limiting pupils’ opportunities to test out and reflect on their own ideas and achievements. Similarly, not enough attention is given to implementing the handwriting policy to help pupils develop fluency in recording their ideas on paper. The acceleration in pupils’ achievements since the last inspection is a result of good teaching and an interesting curriculum which ensures that pupils enjoy school and their learning. Pupils get on well together and are tolerant of difference. They actively uphold the school’s clear values and rules, seen in their good spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and promoted well through the ‘spiritual box’ in each classroom helping pupils to reflect on wider social and ethical issues. Pupils reflect maturely on matters that have an impact on their own lives and, as they broaden their understanding of the wider world, begin to participate in local activities. For example, the eco club actively supported a local initiative to improve the environment by planting flowers in the village. Teachers manage their classes well so that even those pupils who have emotional and behavioural difficulties behave well because they have a clear understanding of consequences and set appropriate standards for themselves. Pupils say they are free from bullying and that minor incidents of inconsiderate behaviour are dealt with quickly and effectively by adults. Although the vast majority of pupils attend well, the attendance of a few pupils is too low and has a detrimental effect on their achievement.