|Name||St Cedd’s Church of England Primary School|
|Address||East End Road, Bradwell-on-Sea, Southminster, CM0 7PY|
|Religious Character||Church of England|
|Number of Pupils||105 (49.5% boys 50.5% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||15.7|
|Academy Sponsor||The Diocese Of Chelmsford Vine Schools Trust|
|Percentage Free School Meals||14.3%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||0%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||15.2%%|
|Catchment Area Indicator Available||Yes|
|Last Distance Offered Available||No|
Highlights from Latest Inspection
information about the progress pupils are making, which leaders present in an honest
and straightforward way. Governors test out the accuracy of this information.
However, as the school’s improvement plans are not focused well enough on pupils’ outcomes, governor monitoring has not always been sufficiently sharp, for example on checking on the impact of funding to improve the outcomes of all disadvantaged pupils. As the local hub takes shape, governor minutes will need to better reflect the levels of strategic work they undertake so that parents are better informed about the decisions they make for the school’s future. The work across the trust, with the diocese and the local authority, with whom the school continues to have good links, is improving staff development opportunities and training.
This has enabled staff to share best practice and to continue to improve teaching and middle leadership. Safeguarding The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. Safeguarding is a high priority among governors and staff.
Governors’ monitoring of safeguarding is rigorous. Records of safeguarding are detailed and show that leaders take appropriate actions in a timely fashion. Leaders know individual pupils who may be vulnerable, including those children who are looked after, very well and share information appropriately and sensitively.
Staff have a good understanding of how pupils may be vulnerable and know what to do if they have a concern about a pupil’s safety or welfare. All staff are acutely aware of the difficulties faced by some pupils and their families. The culture of care and protection extends beyond that of fulfilling statutory requirements.
Leaders are not only proactive, but are dogged in their determination to ensure that they address these needs. Warm relationships and a sense that everyone knows everyone in the ‘St Cedd’s family’ and plays an active part in each other’s welfare are palpable. Leaders ensure that the appropriate checks are made on adults’ suitability to work with children.
All staff are provided with regular training about how to safeguard and protect pupils from a wide range of risks. Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Good Teaching, learning and assessment are good. As a result, the majority of pupils achieve well.
Some most-able pupils attain very well across the school but not all make as much progress as they are capable of, because teachers in a minority of classes do not have high enough expectations. Relationships between staff and pupils are consistently good. Pupils clearly enjoy their learning, find lessons interesting and behave well.
One pupil commented, ‘Teachers make things fun. You don’t really know you’re learning but you are!’ The vast majority of teachers have high expectations and plan learning that matches the needs of pupils. Teachers and learning support assistants work seamlessly together to ensure that pupils concentrate fully on their work and are successful in their learning.
As a result, pupils are engaged and interested in what they are learning, and enjoy challenging themselves and their classmates. Teachers give precise instructions to pupils and have well-established routines. Pupils enjoy the school’s ‘fix-it’ sessions at the beginning of the day and respond well to teachers’ comments.
This is having a positive impact on pupils’ learning and understanding. Many adults seen during the inspection were particularly effective in helping pupils to develop, consolidate and deepen their knowledge and skills. Some teachers’ modelling and challenge was a real strength.
In one combined science/English lesson, the teacher asked, ‘What would your bug be called if it had a venomous sting? Turn your lightbulbs on and share your ideas with your partner.’ As a result, pupils debated animatedly in their ‘learning conversations’ and voted for the best name; ‘green-headed stinger’ was the clear winner. Much has been done by the English leader to ensure that reading is taught effectively and pupils enjoy reading.
They say they do, with great enthusiasm. ‘My bedroom is like a library because I like the experience of reading all the time,’ commented one pupil. Pupils who read regularly at home can earn jelly beans for their class, the largest number being celebrated in collective worship.
The recently developed library is proving very popular with pupils, who ‘read to relax’, as one commented. Pupils were involved with designing the attractive mural that a learning support assistant painted. A link with the council library has ensured that all Year 3 pupils now have a library card, and, as the library is not nearby as in other villages, the library bus regularly visits St Cedd’s.
Whole class novels are used by all teachers from Reception to Year 6 to stimulate pupils’ love of reading and help them to learn more about the authors’ different ways of writing. The considerable emphasis that has been put on reading is clearly paying wider dividends. In their writing and with increasing confidence and regularity, pupils are using really effective authorial techniques and language they have experienced.
Pupils are rightly proud of their work. ‘Ask yourself, is this work Year 6 worthy?’ asked the teacher as pupils did their ‘free-writing’, which they say they really enjoy. The quality of work on many occasions was very high.
What is more, pupils could not only say why they had chosen the particular area to write about, they could explain what they hoped to develop in so doing. The inspector asked pupils if they felt they had improved since they came into Year 6. They commented, ‘The books speak for themselves.
We’re much more confident.’ Pupils strive to have their work displayed on the ‘hall of fame’ in some classes, inspired by the class key texts. Teachers are working hard to ensure that they challenge all pupils, and in particular the most able pupils, to achieve as well as they can.
This was evident more in some classes than others. However, pupils say they like to be challenged, especially in mathematics. The mathematics subject leader has put in place a variety of initiatives to not only support teachers’ subject knowledge, but also inspire pupils to become ‘mathematicians’.
The evidence seen during the inspection was very strong. The inspector was particularly struck by the enthusiasm and determination with which the vast majority of pupils approached their work. They make good use of prompts on their desks, clear reminders on the white board and the support of their classmates to ensure that they are understanding and successfully completing their tasks.
They are equally keen to move on to an even more challenging task, ‘because it pushes us to the limit’. Staff are determined to ensure that pupils have a secure understanding of basic literacy and numeracy skills. This has been fundamental in maintaining standards in early years and key stage 1, and continuing the improvement in key stage 2.
Effective phonics teaching ensures that pupils have a very good start in their early reading. However, grammar, punctuation and spelling are not taught consistently well across the school. Teachers in key stage 2 particularly, do not routinely correct spelling of high frequency words, allowing pupils to repeat their mistakes.
Nor do teachers insist on pupils using sometimes very basic punctuation, or employing more sophisticated punctuation in Years 4 and 5. Teachers make increasingly effective links across the curriculum, particularly in writing and mathematics. For example, in one English lesson the teacher made very good use of an interactive computer program and science to develop writing skills, which included specific scientific language.
This being said, leaders are aware that teachers do not create as many opportunities for the development of English and mathematics in some areas of the curriculum, for example geography and religious education. Personal development, behaviour and welfare Good Personal development and welfare The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is good. Pupils are interested in learning and work very well together.
The school’s focus on improving pupils’ thinking skills has been successful in ensuring that pupils talk about their learning with increasing confidence. This is particularly so in their ‘learning conversations’ with their partners. Pupils say that they feel safe, including when they are online or using a mobile phone.
They know who to go to if they have any worries and say that adults take their concerns seriously, even if ‘it is a little thing’, as one pupil commented. Parents who completed Ofsted’s online questionnaire say that pupils are happy and safe, and enjoy coming to this, in their own words, ‘amazing, fantastic, creative’ school. They say that leaders are caring and supportive of their children in every way possible.
One parent commented, ‘Our two children that attend St Cedd’s have received the best we could wish for and beyond.’ Pupils enthuse about the wide range of sporting opportunities the school offers, including after-school clubs. They are very proud of their achievements, for example in reaching the final in netball this year and coming second in the Dengie athletics competition in 2016.
They are equally proud of the responsibilities they have as play leaders, school or learning council members or toilet monitors, ‘because we are trusted’. The majority of pupils’ attendance rates are above the national average. However, there remains a group of pupils whose persistent or unauthorised absence is still above the national average.
The executive headteacher is relentless in working with parents to ensure that pupils attend regularly. A few families resist this well-targeted and appropriate support. As a last resort, leaders unashamedly put in place penalty fines to ensure that parents understand the impact that poor attendance has on their children’s learning.
Behaviour The behaviour of pupils is good. Pupils behave very well during lessons and when moving around the school. Pupils say behaviour is generally good, although, as one pupil said, ‘Some people let us down.
’ That phrase in itself epitomises the pride pupils feel and the sense of right and wrong that the school emphasises in two of its six values: friendship and wisdom. Playtimes and lunchtimes are very well organised. Pupils have many activities that they can take part in, and numerous areas of quiet and shade.
Midday assistants ensure that pupils are safe, checking regularly on the many areas in which pupils could hide, should they choose. However, pupils prefer to have their turn in the ‘mugger’ or on the climbing equipment, or catch up with their friends in the music and drawing areas. The school emphasises respect for others and taking care of each other.
This was beautifully demonstrated in collective worship when pupils were encouraged to think about how they can ‘serve’ others. Pupils put forward many suggestions. Looking after friends if they are lonely, doing things for others or helping out at home were among the many responses.
Pupils know what bullying is. It is when ‘someone is being mean continuously’. They say that bullying is very rare and that there ‘used to be bullying but it has stopped now’.
Leaders take any concerns very seriously and ensure that pupils understand the consequences of any bullying. The views expressed by parents who completed the Ofsted online questionnaire are that pupils behave well. The majority reported that any concerns they had are addressed well by the head of school.
Outcomes for pupils Good Pupils in key stage 1 have attained above the national average in reading, writing and mathematics since the school opened as an academy in 2014. A small number of disadvantaged pupils did not do as well as their peers nationally in reading in 2016. The vast majority of key stage 1 pupils, including those who are disadvantaged, currently in the school are making good progress from their individual starting points.
The teaching of phonics is effective. This has had a positive impact on pupils’ past achievements as well as on pupils’ current outcomes. The proportion of pupils achieving the expected standard at the end of Year 1 is above the national average.
Leaders were rightly disappointed with the 2016 outcomes for pupils in key stage 2. The combined subjects of reading, writing and mathematics were below the national average. This included a small number of disadvantaged pupils.
Attainment in reading and mathematics was weaker than in writing. Slower progress made by some middle-attaining pupils worsened the attainment in mathematics. Leaders have successfully addressed these weaknesses, which did not mirror the very positive picture of Year 6 outcomes in 2015.
Work in pupils’ books, the school’s own assessment information and the teaching seen during the inspection evidence that pupils in Year 6 are making good progress. This is because the teacher sets work that is now better suited to their needs. The majority of current pupils are on track to attain well this summer.
However, a few most-able pupils, including a small number who are also disadvantaged, could make even more progress than they are. The inspector viewed numerous writing and mathematics books from key stages 1 and 2, saw a variety of lessons and checked the school’s own assessment information. The proportion of pupils working at age-related expectations in the vast majority of classes is high.
Pupils across the school are largely making good progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Most pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities make similar progress to other pupils. In many lessons, the inspector observed very effective and well-planned support and intervention to help pupils to be successful in their learning.
Individual plans for these pupils show that the special educational needs coordinator and external specialists undertake regular reviews to ensure that any barriers to learning are addressed quickly and effectively. Pupils’ achievement in subjects other than English and mathematics is evident in topic books, and in displays of pupils’ work in classrooms and in communal areas in the school. Pupils’ English and mathematics skills are used well in subjects like history and science.
Early years provision Good Children enter St Cedd’s with skills and knowledge that are below those that are typical for their age. This is particularly so in communication and language. However, strong teaching over time ensures that all children in Reception get a very good start to their education.
As a result, they make good progress from their starting points. The proportion of children who achieve a good level of development at the end of their time in the Reception class is above the national average. The vast majority of children are, therefore, well prepared for their move into Year 1.
A number exceed the standards expected of them at the end of the early years. The school makes every effort to ensure that transition arrangements are effective. Parents are viewed as an essential part of their children’s development and parents say their views and input are valued.
Some parents make valuable use of the online shared area to which they can contribute their observations of their children’s progress and also see the progress their children are making at school. The early years leader ensures that, from the moment they come to school, the children are assessed so that everyone knows individual children’s welfare needs and they settle quickly into school life. Leaders ensure that children are nurtured within a caring environment.
Adults take care to ensure that all children are included in activities that are appropriate to their stage of development. Children, therefore, behave well and are able to move from one activity to another having had a positive experience. Children play well together and on their own.
The inspector watched a group of children not just playing with a target net and bean bags, but designing and developing a competition to see who could score the most. Clearly, children make choices about what to do and are given the freedom to collect, move or change equipment as their play develops. Children keep themselves safe by considering possible risks.
Leaders have already begun to plan for an even more stimulating and developed area for outdoor learning. This is being designed to further widen and develop children’s learning experiences and to better match the learning environment in the bright, inviting classroom. Adults teach phonics effectively, enabling children to write with a degree of accuracy.
In one phonics session, children were learning the new sound ‘ea’. The learning support assistant skilfully tested children’s grasp of the sound using words like ‘meat’, ‘seat’ and ‘tea’, before showing them pictures to affirm their understanding. A delightful conversation then ensued between children about having a cup of tea with custard cream biscuits on their school picnic! Children are developing a good understanding of number.
They enjoy using the variety of equipment to learn to, for example, share 20 cubes between two plates. Equally, children use fruit and vegetables to create repeating patterns in paint. Most children can count up to 20, and some beyond, and were keen to show the inspector how they could count objects correctly.
Opportunities for children to practise their writing skills and number bonds are provided for effectively in the outdoor area. Children do, however, choose to use the bikes, practise their throwing skills or play with the water tray when they are free to do so. As a result, their physical skills are developing well, as is their ability to share activities with their friends.
The early years curriculum captures children’s interests well. Children are offered a wide range of experiences to further explore their interests. As one parent commented, ‘St Cedd’s is a place that I would have loved to attend myself as a child.
’ What a glowing endorsement. Safeguarding arrangements are effective. At the time of the inspection, there were no breaches to statutory welfare requirements.
School details Unique reference number 140844 Local authority Essex Inspection number 10031338 This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005. Type of school Primary School category Academy converter Voluntary aided Age range of pupils 5 to 11 Gender of pupils Mixed Number of pupils on the school roll 143 Appropriate authority The governing body Chair Mike Simmonds Executive headteacher Pauline Ward Telephone number 01621 776 219 Website www.st-ceddsprimary.
co.uk Email address [email protected]
sch.uk Date of previous inspection Not previously inspected
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school The determined and committed leadership of the executive headteacher and the senior leadership team has ensured that the relentless drive for improvement is shared by all. There is an absolute belief that all pupils deserve the very best to achieve their best.
Leaders have an accurate and realistic picture of the school’s strengths. They use training well to address weaknesses. However, the school’s plans for improvement are not always focused enough on pupil outcomes.
This hinders governors’ ability to question the impact of the school’s work. Outcomes at the end of Years 1 and 2 have been above the national averages for the last two years. There was a dip in outcomes at the end of key stage 2 in 2016.
However, pupils achieved well in 2015 and look set to do so in 2017. Teaching is good. As a result, pupils’ progress is largely good across the school.
There are some missed opportunities to challenge the most able pupils. A minority of disadvantaged pupils do not make enough progress from their starting points. Middle leaders are developing their roles well.
This is because they have good role models and ready support from senior leaders and their colleagues. Some teachers’ expectations are not as high as they could be. However, there is good evidence to show that leaders provide good support for teaching and learning to ensure that this does not impact negatively on pupils’ outcomes.
The teaching of grammar, punctuation and spelling is not as effective as it should be. As a result, pupils do not achieve as well as they should and their written work sometimes belies their ability. The curriculum is varied and offers pupils rich and exciting opportunities to learn.
Pupils’ interests in subjects such as geography, religious education and science are not always used to provide activities that are as stimulating as those in other subjects. Children get a great start to their education in the Reception class and achieve above the national average despite their often low starting points. Attendance of the majority of pupils is in line with the national average.
However, there is a small group of pupils who are persistently absent or whose absence is unauthorised. Parents are very positive and supportive of the school. However, some do not always feel that they are as informed as they would like to be about leaders’ decisions and actions.