St Nicholas Church of England Primary School, Porton
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About St Nicholas Church of England Primary School, Porton
St Nicholas Church of England Primary School, Porton
St Nicholas Church of England Primary School, Porton continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils thrive at this friendly and welcoming school. They are well cared for by staff who take the time to develop respectful and positive relationships with pupils.
The new headteacher has brought about positive change.
She is ambitious and has high expectations of staff and pupils. Pupils love learning from the well-constructed 'global explorer' curriculum. Leaders carefully weave big ideas such as being 'creative' and 'worldly' throughout subjects to make learning memorable.
Pupils live up to the school's Christian values. These run through... everything the school does. They guide pupils towards making the right choices about their behaviour and conduct.
Staff encourage pupils to 'use their voice' if issues arise. Leaders follow up promptly and effectively on the small number of reports of bullying.
Pupils proudly take on many responsibilities across the school.
For example, Year 6 pupils enjoy being 'Badger Buddies' to the Reception class. They look out for and act as role models to the younger children. Pupils discuss and debate important themes such as disability and tolerance with compassion.
Most parents and carers comment positively on the school's work. They say that the school is a place where staff provide love and care alongside a stimulating curriculum.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders place reading at the centre of the curriculum.
The school's revised approach to phonics teaching is working well. In Reception Year, children quickly develop a secure understanding of phonics. Pupils read books that match the sounds they know.
This helps them become confident and fluent readers. All staff are trained to teach phonics. Staff use assessment well to identify when pupils fall behind.
They provide extra sessions to help them catch up. Teachers use a range of carefully chosen texts, including Shakespeare and poetry, to motivate pupils to read and write. As a result, many pupils become avid readers.
Pupils benefit from a rich and engaging curriculum. Leaders have mapped out the key concepts pupils will learn in each subject. In history, for example, pupils understand chronology.
They can use dates and terms to describe events. In mathematics, teachers check pupils' understanding regularly. They plan opportunities for pupils to revisit and practise what they have learned.
The 'wizard warm-ups' help the most important knowledge stick in pupils' memory. Despite the curriculum's strengths, leaders have not clearly emphasised the crucial concepts that pupils need to remember and revisit across all subjects. This hinders pupils' ability to build on and make connections with future learning.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) get the right help to learn alongside their peers. Staff identify pupils' needs early. Teachers adapt their teaching to support these pupils to achieve well.
Staff work in tandem with parents when planning and evaluating support. Parents value information-sharing at SEND coffee mornings.
Pupils' conduct is positive.
Consistent routines begin in Reception Year. Children learn how to share and follow instructions straight away. This continues in other year groups.
Pupils respect the rules and take responsibility for their actions. For example, they say it is important to 'forgive and start again when we make the wrong choices'. Across the school, relationships between staff and pupils are warm and encouraging.
Leaders bring the curriculum to life by organising trips, events and experiences. To broaden their cultural awareness, pupils sing in a cathedral, perform in plays and learn musical instruments. Various sports clubs, from mini marathon to rugby, keep pupils active.
The 'big ideas' curriculum days are a highlight for many. For example, during the 'resourceful' day, older pupils used teamwork and resilience skills to solve an escape room challenge. Pupils study Rosa Parks and Black history to help them appreciate and respect diversity.
They are developing into responsible young people.
The governing body shares the passion, commitment and ambition of leaders. They hold senior leaders to account effectively.
The new headteacher has increased training for teachers so that they are experts in the subjects they teach. Leaders take steps to make sure that staff workload and well-being are prioritised. As a result, staff morale is high.
The school is now well placed to bring about further improvements.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders place a high priority on ensuring that pupils are safe.
They make sure that staff receive relevant safeguarding training. Staff know the signs that indicate a pupil might be at risk of harm. Leaders act appropriately when staff or pupils raise concerns.
Governors test out the school's procedures. They check that staff employed at the school are suitable to work with pupils.
Pupils feel safe.
The curriculum helps them learn to stay safe on the roads and online. Pupils know that adults will listen to them if they have any worries.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In a few wider curriculum subjects, leaders have not made explicit the most important concepts that pupils need to remember and revisit.
This makes it more difficult for pupils to build on or connect what they already know to new learning. Leaders should ensure that they emphasise the essential knowledge and concepts and then check that pupils make deeper connections with their learning over time.Background
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 second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in February 2013.
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