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South Failsworth is an outstanding school. Its excellent features include outcomes for pupils, the Early Years Foundation Stage, care guidance and support, the curriculum, and all aspects of leadership and management. The inspirational leadership of the headteacher is the driving factor behind the school's success.
His ambitious vision for the school and exceptional understanding of pupils' needs are at the heart of its significant improvement since the previous inspection. Rigorous self-evaluation gives the school a very clear picture of areas for development. Leaders then set highly-focused plans to bring about improvement.
This is exemplified in the way action was taken when a decline in t...he rate of progress in Key Stage 1 was identified in 2009. As a result, progress accelerated and standards rose and have been maintained. Leaders at all levels and the governing body work extremely well together to ensure the school continues to move forward and the capacity for further improvement is excellent.
Children make an exceptional start to their education in the Early Years Foundation Stage and make significant gains in their learning. Pupils in Key Stages 1 and 2 make good progress and by the end of Year 6 attain high standards in reading and mathematics. This represents outstanding achievement from their skill levels on entering school, which are generally below those typical for their age.
Writing is a weaker aspect of pupils' performance in English. Leaders have recently provided training to develop teachers' expertise in improving pupils' non-fiction writing. Nevertheless, there remain inconsistencies between classes in the approach to developing pupils' writing, such as in the way to structure their work, and their verbal communication.
Teaching has many strengths, with examples of outstanding practice. At times, introductions to lessons are overlong and insufficient time given to pupils exploring ideas for themselves. Pupils' behaviour is exemplary and they show much enjoyment in coming to school, which makes a significant contribution to their learning.
The curriculum is planned effectively to provide highly-tailored programmes for a wide range of pupils with different needs. The provision for ICT has been much improved since the previous inspection and standards have risen, particularly in the elements of modelling, control and data-handling. The care and well-being of pupils is at the heart of the school's work and outstanding attention is given to all aspects of care, guidance and support.
Parents and carers greatly appreciate the way the school looks after their children. One comment is typical, 'I think the care of children is first class.'
Information about the school
South Failsworth is much larger than the average primary school.
The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is below average, as is that of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Most pupils are of White British heritage. It is an accredited Healthy School.
Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory and 4 is inadequate Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms
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