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There is a real sense of community at St Paul's Church of England Primary School.Parents and carers are extremely positive about the school's work. One parent's comment echoed the views of many others when they said: 'It really feels like a family, where all faiths are welcome and my children thrive.'
Staff know pupils well. Pupils are kept safe and feel happy in this caring school.
The school has high expectations of all pupils.
The school has an ambitious and inclusive curriculum that meets pupils' needs, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Pupils achieve well across many subjects.
Pupils enjoy coming to this... school.
Their behaviour is exemplary in lessons and at playtimes. They are polite and well mannered. Pupils are encouraged to learn from and live out the school's vision and values of 'excellence, understanding, joy and faith'.
There are many opportunities for pupils to be role models. This includes being a member of the school council, acting as a 'playground friend' or being a 'house captain'. Pupils benefit from the large number of visits and residentials on offer.
The school community celebrates and takes pride in its local links, including to the abolitionist William Wilberforce, whose money built the school and the neighbouring church.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The school provides an ambitious and well-sequenced curriculum that aims to build pupils' knowledge from Reception Year to Year 6. In most subjects, pupils demonstrate a robust understanding of what they have been taught.
Pupils achieve well overall. However, there are some inconsistencies in how the curriculum is delivered in a few subjects, including how the school checks what pupils know and remember. This sometimes leads to gaps in pupils' learning.
Where this is the case, pupils occasionally struggle to remember subject content. School leaders have credible plans in place to embed the changes that have been made.
Children in the early years make a very strong start to their schooling.
They quickly settle in well and learn appropriate routines. The learning environments, both indoors and outdoors, promote children's learning and development well. This is particularly evident in mathematics.
For example, children used their knowledge of numbers to add and subtract different amounts to twenty. They quickly identified the properties of a wide range of shapes. Children play and learn happily together.
They are prepared exceptionally well for Year 1 and beyond.
Right from the start of Reception, pupils learn to read using phonics. Staff teach the new phonics programme with precision.
Pupils, including those at the early stages of reading, develop the phonics knowledge and skills they need to read with fluency.Staff make sure that pupils read books that closely match the sounds they know. The school swiftly identifies and supports pupils who struggle.
This helps pupils to become confident readers. The school promotes a love of reading across all year groups. For example, staff select texts from a carefully chosen and diverse range of authors.
The school is ambitious for pupils with SEND. Staff make use of 'individual learning plans' to identify and meet these pupils' needs. They adapt teaching skilfully to support pupils' learning and development needs.
Pupils' behaviour and their attitudes to learning are major strengths in the school. Attendance rates are high and rates of persistent absence are low. Pupils' excellent behaviour ensures that lessons are not disrupted.
Pupils contribute readily to the calm and respectful atmosphere in all parts of the school.
Leaders have prioritised pupils' personal development. Pupils are taught about themes such as democracy and respect.
They are encouraged to become good citizens and to understand their rights and responsibilities. Pupils take part in a range of outings and clubs outside of lessons. The school makes sure that all pupils can join in.
These wider experiences, such as visits to museums, sporting events and music concerts, all link together coherently to enhance pupils' learning and all-round development.
All those responsible for governance fulfil their responsibilities in the best interests of the pupils and local community. School leaders are mindful of staff workload and well-being.
Staff, including those new to the school, enjoy working at St Paul's.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• The school has made changes to the curriculum in a few subjects.
Some of these changes are in the early stages of being implemented. As a result, there are some inconsistencies in how well these subjects are delivered, including how the school checks what pupils know and remember. The school should ensure that the changes to the curriculum are firmly embedded, including the use of assessment to address gaps in pupils' knowledge.
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