St Michael’s Church of England Controlled Junior School

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About St Michael’s Church of England Controlled Junior School

Name St Michael’s Church of England Controlled Junior School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Jenny Jones
Address Church Lane East, Aldershot, GU11 3SS
Phone Number 01252322933
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary controlled school
Age Range 7-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 363
Local Authority Hampshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy to attend this caring and welcoming school. They appreciate the staff, who are always kind and help them if they are worried or sad.

Pupils learn to treat each other with kindness, for example, through being play leaders organising games at lunchtimes. Some pupils act as young interpreters for those joining their class at the early stages of learning English. Pupils are also taught to show kindness and contribute to the wider community through donating items to the local food bank.

Pupils develop the core virtues of respect, courage and resilience which run through the school's curriculum and daily assemblies. Through consistent modelling from leaders... and teachers, pupils learn there are different faiths and opinions, and that differences should be celebrated. They are encouraged to be brave and determined when learning is difficult.

Pupils visit museums, the science centre, and places of historic interest to widen their range of experiences.

Behaviour is consistently calm and purposeful. Pupils are polite and courteous, opening doors for visitors and greeting them with 'Hello, how is your day going?' Bullying happens rarely, but if it does, teachers deal with instances quickly through restorative conversations.

Pupils live up to the strong expectation that everyone is valued here.

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

Leaders have worked tirelessly to refine the well-sequenced curriculum already in place. The key knowledge has been precisely identified and teachers know exactly what they must teach and when.

Teachers' subject knowledge is strong in all areas because leaders accurately feed back development points from curriculum monitoring visits. Leaders also give regular coaching and high-quality training to develop their staff continually. As a result, staff have the expertise to ensure pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), learn the curriciulum well.

Pupils find their learning interesting, so they focus and behave well in lessons.

In consultation with staff, leaders have introduced new ways of delivering and assessing the curriculum. These initiatives have reduced teachers' workload as well as better supporting pupils to remember the key information they are taught.

At the beginning of every lesson, pupils revisit what has been taught before by using 'Can I still remember?' recap sessions. Teachers ask questions thoughtfully, so pupils are challenged to articulate what they know. Any pupils at risk of falling behind are methodically targeted for support during the lesson or in the next lesson, when they are retaught key concepts.

However, a small number of teachers do not yet do this consistently.

Reading is taught well. Teachers assess pupils new to the school and quickly identify any who need to catch up.

Pupils have daily phonics lessons and practice until they are fluent readers. All staff are trained to teach reading, though a small minority do not always sound out letters precisely. Once pupils are fluent, reading continues to be a high priority.

Teachers further develop pupils' reading skills through daily comprehension lessons. Pupils, including pupils with SEND or those at the early stages of learning English, succeed because anyone needing support is prepared for lessons by learning new vocabulary and practising reading the text. Staff promote a positive reading culture through regular use of the well-stocked school library and weekly reading incentives.

Whole-class reading sessions are a high point of every day. Teachers make reading to their classes enjoyable and memorable.

Leaders prioritise pupils' personal development.

They create an inclusive culture in the school, where pupils learn, for example, that there can be many types of families. Pupils know that it is never right to leave anyone out or to be unkind because they are different. They learn about democracy through elections to roles of responsibility in school, where pupils' voices are heard.

They know how to look after their physical and mental health and how to use the internet safely. Pupils have many opportunities to widen their interests through clubs such as drama, design technology and mindful drawing.

The governing body supports and holds school leaders to account effectively.

Governors carry out their statutory responsibilities well and champion the shared vision for every pupil to succeed.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure all staff are trained to identify any pupil who may need help.

Staff know how to report any concerns, no matter how small, about pupils or adults. Leaders carefully consider anything reported and take swift action to support pupils and their families. Leaders regularly review any pupils needing help and refer to external agencies in a timely way.

Careful tracking enables leaders to anticipate possible further needs and put pre-emptive actions in place.

Pupils are taught how to keep safe in their local area and on the internet. They learn how to keep themselves physically and emotionally healthy.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• A small number of staff do not deliver the school's phonics programme precisely enough. As a result, weaker readers do not always hear sounds enunciated correctly. Leaders should ensure all staff are experts in teaching phonics.

Some staff do not consistently check pupils' understanding of the concepts taught. This means that misconceptions are not always identified. Leaders should continue to monitor how teachers are using assessment as new systems become embedded.

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