Short inspection of St Luke's Church of England Primary
Following my visit to the school on 12 September 2017, I write on behalf of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills to report the inspection findings.
The visit was the first short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be good in July 2013. This school continues to be good. The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.
Leaders and governors have a clear understanding of the school. They have worked strategically to solve past issues in staffing. Leaders have worked effectively to maintain standards in teaching and learning.
As a resu...lt, the attainment of pupils remains high and the school is a positive environment with a clear sense of purpose. Since the previous inspection, turbulence in staffing and leadership has been the main challenge. You have been in post as interim headteacher since January 2017.
Your actions have been central to stabilising the school. For example, you have kept a close eye on the professional development of teachers and have skilfully used a range of expertise to support staff. Furthermore, you are beginning to empower a new leadership team with clear roles and responsibilities.
This has resulted in good opportunities for vulnerable pupils in particular. However, the development of middle leaders to sustain further improvements remains a key challenge. Despite so many changes within a short duration, you have maintained staff morale well.
Teachers are proud to work at the school and value the steadiness you bring. The growth of the school population into key stage 2 has provided you with a particular challenge in developing the curriculum further. Procedures for checking pupils' progress in English and mathematics are secure due to regular monitoring and evaluation.
Work set for pupils in lessons matches their needs, including the needs of those who are the most able. However, much work remains in developing procedures for assessing pupils' progress in foundation subjects. Leaders and governors have an accurate understanding of the school.
Despite challenges to recruitment, they work together well to promote the school's values of faith, hope and love. Pupils demonstrate very good attitudes to learning. Parents agree that their children are safe and well cared for.
Safeguarding is effective. The leadership team has ensured that safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose. Checks on staff before their appointment are robust.
New staff receive safeguarding training in a timely manner and know procedures well. Governors ensure that polices are updated in line with the latest guidance. Records are organised well and easily accessible.
Leaders know individual pupils very well. This allows staff to be vigilant and provide adequate support when required. Leaders make good use of external agencies.
They seek advice from specialists for more complex cases. Parents are involved well, for example gaining a deeper understanding of transition arrangements and online safety. The pupils I spoke to articulated how to keep safe when using a range of electronic devices.
Pupils feel very safe at the school. All pupils I spoke to told me the school was a safe place, where kindness and friendship were key features. Pupils know the school's golden rules and apply them in practice.
Their understanding of keeping themselves safe develops through well-planned curriculum opportunities. These include workshops for pupils around drug awareness and how to deal with peer pressure. Parents and staff agree that the school is a safe place.
Inspection findings ? Leaders and I agreed to look at three key areas. The first of these focused on the high rates of overall absence and persistent absence for disadvantaged pupils. ? Leaders check on attendance with rigour.
They understand the individual circumstances of a minority of pupils with poor attendance. Leaders use a range of strategies to promote attendance. ? Tailored enrichment programmes for targeted pupils are beginning to make a difference.
Leaders use external agencies to aid pupils' attendance. This includes activities beyond the school day. As a result, the attendance rates of the majority of disadvantaged pupils are in line with those of their peers.
• The second line of enquiry focused on the effectiveness of leaders in maintaining standards in teaching and learning. I visited all classrooms and discussed with leaders their actions to support staff. ? The interim headteacher has been pivotal in promoting staff professional development.
She manages detailed support programmes for teachers by using internal and external expertise. These have been successful in eradicating poor teaching and maintaining consistency. ? As a result, the standards continue to remain high.
The proportion of pupils reaching national expectations at the end of key stage 1 is high. This is particularly the case for those attaining above the national standards. ? Leaders check the standards of teaching and learning well.
They have ensured that changes in staffing have not limited pupils' progress. Regular formal and informal monitoring enables staff to reflect on their own practice. Governors share the vision of senior leaders in prioritising teaching and learning.
For example, they take part in learning walks and discuss the school's values with pupils. Governors evaluate the school's standards by using external support. ? Much of the monitoring has focused on English and mathematics.
Leaders' understanding of standards of teaching in other subjects is at an early stage. Given the significant recent changes in staff, middle leaders' ability to check standards remains a challenge. ? In the lessons I visited, pupils enjoyed their learning.
Pupils I spoke to told me that teachers challenge them. They particularly enjoy solving problems. Teachers encourage pupils to work in groups and share ideas with each other.
Teaching assistants provide good support to individual pupils and small groups. They use good questioning skills to encourage pupils to think deeper about their learning. ? My final line of enquiry was around how leaders check pupils' progress across all subjects.
• Leaders make strong use of assessment procedures in English and mathematics. They check the progress of different groups of pupils well. Work set for pupils matches their needs, including those of the most able.
As a result, the progress and attainment of all groups of pupils are similar. Disadvantaged pupils make good progress, and their attainment is high. ? However, the effectiveness of assessment information across other subjects differs.
For example, specialist teachers of music and physical education have not passed on accurate information about pupils' education. In the past, when these teachers left the school, leaders were unable to evaluate pupils' progress accurately. ? Leaders have introduced a new approach to the curriculum.
The whole school uses thematic topics across all subjects. Leaders have decided to raise the profile of humanities by linking it to English. Pupils told me they enjoyed this approach because it aided their understanding of different subjects.
However, it is too early to judge the success of this approach on pupils' progress in all subjects. ? The special educational needs coordinator knows pupils extremely well. She provides a range of strategies to ensure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities make progress.
A wide curriculum allows pupils to receive well-thought-out opportunities. For example, a pupil with complex needs successfully learned about art and design linked to the 'London underground' theme. Next steps for the school Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that: ? the monitoring of standards in teaching and learning across all subjects is developed, particularly by middle leaders ? assessment procedures to monitor pupils' progress and attainment in subjects other than English and mathematics are further developed.
I am copying this letter to the chair of the governing body, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children's services for Camden. This letter will be published on the Ofsted website. Yours sincerely Noeman Anwar Her Majesty's Inspector Information about the inspection I carried out the following activities: ? meetings with you and other leaders to evaluate the school's priorities, including safeguarding, monitoring, attendance and assessment procedures ? visits to classrooms alongside school leaders ? scrutiny of documentation to evaluate the school's priorities, including assessment information, internal and external evaluations of teaching and learning, and how the school dealt with specific safeguarding cases ? meetings with representatives from the governing body, the local authority and the London Diocesan Board for Schools ? analysis of responses to Ofsted's online surveys, including 22 responses from parents and 10 from staff members.