St James Church of England Controlled Primary School

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About St James Church of England Controlled Primary School

Name St James Church of England Controlled Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Miss Jill Pearce-Haydon
Address Bellevue Lane, Emsworth, PO10 7PX
Phone Number 01243372715
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary controlled school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 222
Local Authority Hampshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


St James Church of England Controlled Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils arrive to school gleefully. They are very keen to start their school day.

This is a harmonious place, where pupils are kind and considerate to one another. There are warm, respectful, and inclusive attitudes between everyone. Leaders and staff promote the values of the school consistently: 'Loving learning, loving life and loving God's word'.

Behaviour is exemplary. All staff consistently apply the school rules and follow the 'relentless routines'. This helps pupils feel safe.

Pupils know that the adults care about them. They know who t...o talk to if they have any worries or concerns. Pupils know that adults will help them sort out any difficulties they may have.

Incidents of bullying are very rare, and staff deal with them quickly.

Leaders and teachers have high expectations for all pupils. This includes disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Teachers plan lessons that encourage pupils to contribute their own ideas, and to be independent. Pupils say that learning is fun. They work effortfully and are proud of their accomplishments.

Parents and carers are overwhelmingly positive about the school. One parent, typical of many, said, 'this school is a gem.'

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

The curriculum is ambitious for all.

Leaders ensure that learning in every subject starts in the early years and progresses logically to Year 6. Leaders and staff worked together to identify the most important concepts pupils, including those with SEND, should learn in each subject. This means that learning builds progressively from what pupils know and need to be able to do as they move through the school.

In the early years, the caring environment ensures that children settle quickly. Staff confidently build knowledge and skills across all the areas of learning and develop children's curiosity. Consequently, children in Reception are being well prepared for Year 1.

Teachers choose high quality and appropriate resources and provide pupils with a stimulating learning environment. Lessons are not disrupted, and pupils show great enthusiasm for learning. Staff model their high expectations and positively reinforce these to keep the focus on learning.

Sometimes, in foundation subjects, the tasks that pupils complete are not considered well enough to help emphasise the most important knowledge. This makes it harder for pupils to learn. In phonics and mathematics, leaders have put checks in place to make sure that pupils are retaining important knowledge over time.

There is not the same consistent approach to assessment in foundation subjects to know what pupils have learned. This means that some gaps in learning may go unnoticed.

Reading is a priority in the school.

From the moment pupils join the school in the early years, they begin learning to read in a very structured way. Pupils use their knowledge of phonics to sound out unfamiliar words. Books are closely matched to the letters and sounds that pupils are learning.

Staff have received extensive training and have high levels of expertise. Staff regularly check how successfully pupils learn new sounds. They are quick to provide support if pupils fall behind.

Nothing is left to chance. Leaders are absolutely determined that all pupils will read well. Pupils say that they enjoy reading.

Leaders have seized every opportunity to foster the love of reading. For example, the outside reading gazebo is a special space, where older pupils are proud to read to and listen to younger pupils read during social times.

Pupils with SEND learn and achieve well alongside their peers.

Teachers adapt the curriculum effectively to meet these pupils' needs. Staff help them overcome challenges and access their learning. Leaders are zealous in providing extra opportunities to support pupils.

Pupils speak with enthusiasm about how the reading summer school helped them feel very confident. Parents have strong faith in this work.

The programme for pupils' wider development is strong.

Leaders have curated a wide range of educational visits, such as visiting a local farm as part of 'children's amazing animals' work. Pupils know how to be healthy and have a strong appreciation of the importance of mental well-being. They learn to celebrate the diversity and values of modern Britain and talk respectfully about different faiths, cultures and lifestyles.

Leaders, including governors, are considerate of staff well-being. Professional development of staff is a priority for leaders. Staff are very appreciative.

They feel well supported and valued. Governors know what the school does well and know what needs further improvement. This is a school where all staff are happy and proud to work.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that a strong culture of safeguarding underpins the work of the school. Staff know pupils and their families well.

Staff receive regular training to ensure they are up to date with statutory guidance. They are swift to act on any concerns. They work with parents and external agencies to make sure that children are safe.

Thorough checks are made on the suitability of adults who work with pupils.

Pupils are very aware of the risks they might face online and are confident in their strategies to manage these, including when online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, staff give tasks that do not precisely focus on the most important knowledge that they want pupils to learn.

This makes it harder for pupils to learn key knowledge over time. Leaders should ensure that staff know how to emphasise the essential knowledge and skills they intend pupils to learn and remember. ? Teachers do not use assessment as well in the foundation subjects as they do in core subjects.

It does not help them to adjust activities to match what pupils know and what they need to know next. Leaders should ensure that assessment is used consistently well, across all subjects, to identify gaps in pupils' learning and to inform teaching.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in March 2017.

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