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St Peter's Church of England Middle School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
St Peter's is a welcoming and nurturing school, where pupils are known as individuals. There is a strong community feel, in which pupils play an integral part. The school values of 'Wisdom, Integrity, Trust, Compassion and Fellowship' underpin learning and daily life.
Leaders have high expectations of how pupils should conduct themselves around the school. Nearly all pupils manage to live up to these expectations. The vast majority of pupils behave calmly and politely.
Pupils appreciate the range of wider opportunities available to them such as Spanish, rowing a...nd DJ clubs. These help to develop pupils' interests well. Pupils love residentials and trips such as visiting parliament.
These experiences play an important part in growing pupils' confidence, resilience and understanding of the wider world.
Teachers expect pupils to work hard and focus on their learning. Pupils value the range of facilities in the school.
They benefit from subject-specialist teaching. In areas such as design technology, pupils relish developing their food and textiles skills. Teachers make sure that projects are relevant and interesting.
There are regular opportunities for pupils to learn about other how people from different cultures or faiths live. Pupils have mature attitudes around equality and diversity. They accept each other and understand that everyone is different.
As one pupil said, 'Every person has good in their heart.'
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders are ambitious that all pupils study a broad range of subjects and achieve well. This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Leaders have planned a curriculum that builds logically on what pupils already know. There is a coherent journey between learning in key stage 2 and key stage 3. During lessons, teachers make it clear what they want pupils to learn.
In some subjects, such as mathematics, leaders also identify the precise vocabulary that pupils should know and use. This approach helps pupils, particularly those with SEND, learn well. However, it is not yet in place across all subjects.
Reading is a priority. Leaders have spotted that some pupils are not yet confident readers. Leaders make sure that they have extra phonics, comprehension and spelling practice.
This helps pupils to develop their reading fluency well. In English, pupils are confident speakers and use an impressive range of vocabulary, notably in key stage 3.
Teachers have good subject knowledge.
Most teachers explain things clearly and check regularly that pupils have understood. However, a small minority of teachers do not teach as well as the best. Sometimes they do not plan activities that help pupils understand and remember important knowledge.
This means that some pupils, including some with SEND, achieve less well.
Pupils are polite and considerate of each other. During lessons, they are keen and interested learners.
However, a very small minority of pupils do not always behave respectfully. Staff act swiftly when this happens. Nonetheless, this poor behaviour has a negative impact on the otherwise calm environment around the school.
Leaders promote pupils' wider development well, including providing strong pastoral support. Pupils serve the local community and undertake fundraising to improve life for other people across the world. Pupils are taught about well-being, managing risks and healthy relationships, which they find helpful.
There is a range of pupil leadership roles such as prefects, librarians and student leaders available to pupils. However, these are not sufficiently well understood by pupils. Pupils want to play an active part in school life and, as such, would like the leadership roles to be clearer.
While the curriculum enrichment offer has now returned following the pandemic, trips and visits for older pupils have been less regular than for younger pupils.
Trustees and local governors have a clear and realistic view of the school. Trust staff provide helpful support to school leaders.
Staff, including those new to the profession, describe the school as a supportive and caring community. They are proud to work here.Most parents support the work of the school.
However, some parents note that further improvements could be made.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
There is a culture of safeguarding vigilance in the school.
The experienced safeguarding team knows pupils well. Leaders make sure that staff have regular training and updates on keeping children safe. Staff feel confident to report any concern, however small, that they have about a pupil.
Staff act appropriately if they have concerns about an adult. Leaders liaise effectively with external partners to get the most appropriate support for pupils and their families. Recruitment checks on staff and volunteers are thorough and timely.
Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe in the local area and when online.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• A small minority of pupils do not always behave well. While staff deal with this when it happens, it nevertheless impacts negatively on the purposeful atmosphere in the school.
Leaders should ensure that effective strategies are put in place to support pupils to improve their behaviour. ? A few teachers do not have strong enough teaching expertise. They do not always use the most appropriate strategies to help pupils learn.
This means that in a few subjects, pupils, including some with SEND, achieve less well. Leaders should ensure that they strengthen teaching so that it is equally strong across all subjects.
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 September 2017.
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