Somerfords’ Walter Powell CofE Academy

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About Somerfords’ Walter Powell CofE Academy


Name Somerfords’ Walter Powell CofE Academy
Website http://www.walterpowell.wilts.sch.uk
Inspections
Ofsted Inspections
Address Dauntsey Road, Great Somerford, Chippenham, SN15 5HS
Phone Number 01249720797
Type Academy
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 46 (50% boys 50% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 22.9
Academy Sponsor Diocese Of Bristol Academies Trust
Local Authority Wiltshire
Percentage Free School Meals 19.60%
Persistent Absence 0%
Pupils with SEN Support 16.7%
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy school and attend well. They are kind and courteous. Pupils value the school's Christian ethos and appreciate what it means to be part of the school community.

Staff celebrate pupils' efforts to demonstrate the school's values.Pupils feel safe in school. Parents, who completed the online questionnaire, agree.

Pupils know what to do if they have a concern and feel confident that staff will deal it. Pupils behave well in and around school. Bullying is rare.

Staff are quick to respond to bullying, but incidents are few and far between.There have been changes to leadership since the previous inspection. This has slowed the pace of improvement.
...r/>However, this pace has picked up of late. Leaders, at all levels, know the school well. They have prioritised further improvements and are taking steps to achieve these.

Leaders have introduced new curriculum plans. This work is still taking shape. Staff are trying to make these plans fit the school's mixed-aged classes, but this is proving to be difficult.

Staff are working diligently to overcome this by adapting plans as they go, but this is not consistent across the school. The plans are not giving enough consideration to what pupils already know.

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

Leaders have an accurate understanding of the school's effectiveness.

They are beginning to bring about improvements. Leaders, trust representatives and governors work well with one another. They share information to make sure everyone keeps up to date with how well the school is getting on.

Staff work closely as a team and are increasingly sharing best practice with neighbouring schools in the trust.Children get off to a delayed start when learning how to read. They struggle to read whole words, which slows their reading speed.

The number of phonetically decodable books is in short supply. This limits how well children apply their phonic knowledge. Older pupils have positive attitudes towards reading, particularly those who are 'free readers'.

Those who are still reading 'staged books' would like to read more exciting and challenging texts. Teachers decide how to support pupils' reading development class by class. Leaders have not made clear what pupils should know, across fiction and non-fiction texts, as they move through the school.

This makes it hard to build on pupils' prior knowledge.Leaders have adopted a new approach to teaching science and the foundation subjects. Their aim to develop pupils' enthusiasm and a love of learning is paying off.

Pupils told inspectors that they really enjoy these subjects. Staff find it difficult to adapt curriculum plans to meet the school's mixed-aged classes. They are having to think on their feet.

Staff are making changes to curriculum plans to ensure that pupils learn what they should, but there is still more to do. In some cases, staff expose pupils to curriculum content before they are ready. The sequencing of learning is not building on pupils' knowledge well enough.

As a result, not all pupils fully understand what they have learned before moving on.In mathematics, leaders have acted on areas for improvement identified at the previous inspection. Pupils have regular opportunities to develop their mathematical reasoning.

Where teaching is strongest, pupils build on what they know. However, this is not yet consistent across the school. As seen in science and the foundation subjects, pupils struggle because the curriculum does not build on what they already know.

Staff support pupils with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) well. They quickly identify pupils who may need more help and put support in place. They track pupils' progress and access external support when needed.

Staff regularly review pupils' targets to ensure that they remain precise.Pupils have a strong understanding of different cultures and faiths. They know people have different beliefs but know it is important to show respect and understanding.

Pupils know right from wrong. They told inspectors that the school's values help them to make sensible choices.Pre-school provides children with a secure foundation for future learning.

Children access activities that motivate and engage them. This dwindles as they move through the Reception Year, where children do not achieve as well as they could. Children feel safe and adults care for them well, but expectations are not high enough.

Staff do not provide suitably challenging activities. The curriculum is not helping develop children's independence well enough. Adults keep an eye on children's progress but the quality of their assessments lacks precision.

This makes it difficult for staff to match activities to children's emerging needs.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff recruitment processes are robust.

There are suitably trained leaders in place to undertake the shortlisting and interview process. Leaders only appoint staff who are suitable to work with children. Staff access regular training to help them keep abreast of their safeguarding responsibilities.

They know they must pass concerns they have about pupils' welfare on to leaders without delay. Leaders' record-keeping is well organised. This helps leaders to identify patterns or trends.

Although the number of concerns about pupils' welfare is low, staff vigilance is high. Leaders take appropriate action to keep pupils safe, involving external agencies when needed.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Pupil struggle to apply their phonic knowledge when reading.

They find it hard to read whole words, which slows their reading fluency. This is because pupils do not get enough opportunities to blend letters and the sounds they make, and there are few phonetically decodable books at each stage of the phonics programme for them to practise. Leaders need to ensure that pupils keep up with the phonics programme, read a range of suitable reading books and develop increased reading fluency.

. Pupils' reading comprehension is not as strong as it could be. This is because teachers take different approaches in their teaching and assessment of pupils' reading comprehension.

Pupils would also benefit from more challenging books. Leaders need to ensure that there is a clear reading strategy, with high-quality texts at its core so that pupils' reading improves. .

Pupils' knowledge in science and the foundation subjects is improving. Curriculum plans are not yet set in stone, and staff are having to think on their feet when adapting plans to fit the school's mixed-aged classes. This is proving to be difficult.

Leaders need to agree the school's curriculum approach and help staff to sequence learning, so pupils build on what they already know. . Expectations in the Reception Year are not high enough.

Staff do not use precise information about what children know, can do and understand to inform the activities they provide. Children get off to a slow start and are too reliant on adults. Staff need to sharpen the quality of their assessments and provide suitable activities which develop children's understanding and independence.