Sutton CofE VA Lower School

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About Sutton CofE VA Lower School

Name Sutton CofE VA Lower School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Lucy Chapman
Address High Street, Sutton, SG19 2NE
Phone Number 01767260334
Phase Primary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 4-9
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 68
Local Authority Central Bedfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils really enjoy attending this small, friendly school. It is a close-knit community where everyone looks after one another. Pupils 'live the school's values' through the kindness, respect and care they show for others.

They are confident to share their feelings and opinions. They show respect for other cultures and beliefs and know why this is important.

Leaders are ambitious for pupils in all respects.

Pupils respond well to teachers' high expectations. All pupils want to learn and do their best. They take part in learning activities enthusiastically and learn well across the curriculum.

Pupils concentrate and listen attentively to others in les...sons.

Pupils behave exceptionally well in and out of lessons. High expectations of behaviour are evident right from when children start school and join the Reception class.

Bullying and acts of unkindness are extremely rare.

Pupils know the importance of recognising how they and others are feeling. They use 'talk time' and the 'worry box', and this contributes well to looking after their well-being.

Pupils know that adults will help them with any problems or concerns.

There are a range of clubs, opportunities to be monitors and 'The Sutton Challenge'. These activities and roles enable pupils to follow their interests, act responsibly, volunteer and develop independence.

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

Leaders have constructed a curriculum that provides pupils with a broad education. They have identified what they want pupils to know in each subject as they progress through the school.

Leaders have mostly organised the important subject knowledge that pupils need to learn in a logical way.

Pupils build on what they have learned previously. This is particularly the case in mathematics and reading. In some other subjects, there is still some more work for leaders to do so they precisely identify the knowledge that pupils should learn and the order in which it is taught.

Teachers occasionally plan activities that do not use or build as well on what pupils already know and can do. There are times when pupils have fewer chances to practise and use what they know. Pupils sometimes struggle to remember important knowledge.

However, by the time they leave the school, pupils have the strong foundations they need for the next stage of their education.

Children in the Reception class are introduced to books and stories from the very start. They enjoy reading.

Children especially like the books that teachers read to them. They say they learn new words from these books and use the new ideas in their own writing.

Staff are skilled at teaching phonics and reading.

Pupils use their phonics knowledge to read and spell unfamiliar words. Teachers make sure that reading books are matched to the sounds pupils know so that pupils can read with accuracy and understanding. Teachers quickly spot pupils who struggle with reading.

They ensure that these pupils get the extra help needed to catch up.

Staff know individual pupils well. They know the specific needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Leaders provide the training that adults need so that adults can better support the pupils they work with. Staff ensure that pupils with SEND get the help they need to access the same learning as their classmates.

Leaders enable pupils to learn about values that help to develop character and an understanding of right and wrong.

Pupils know what it means to be a good friend. They respect others and do not accept any form of prejudice or unfairness. Leaders carefully choose educational visits to help pupils learn about communities that are different to their own.

Pupils are very well cared for. They know the importance of keeping fit both physically and mentally. Adults encourage children in Reception to talk about their feelings from very early on.

Pupils and parents gave examples of how staff had 'gone above and beyond' to provide support through difficult times.

Pupils respond well to teachers' high expectations of behaviour and attendance. Few pupils are regularly absent.

Adults model how to behave and interact with others. Pupils are eager to learn and try new things. No learning time is lost because of poor behaviour.

Pupils manage their own behaviour very well.

Staff feel well supported by leaders. Leaders consider staff workload.

Teachers value the training that they have had in teaching English and mathematics. Leaders have firm plans in place to provide further training to support the teaching of other subjects, so that all subject plans are fully implemented.

Governors have the expertise needed for their roles.

Governors make sure that leaders identify priorities that benefit pupils' learning and development.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff are trained and vigilant.

They know the signs that could indicate that pupils are at risk of harm and report these in line with the school's policy. Safeguarding concerns are dealt with promptly. Leaders ensure that pupils quickly receive the help that they need.

Pupils learn how to stay safe when using online technologies. Teaching about online safety is made relevant for pupils of different ages. Pupils know what to do if they receive unpleasant texts or inappropriate images.

Pupils learn about respecting others' personal space in personal, social and health education.

Checks on the suitability of adults to work with children and safeguarding procedures reflect the latest published guidance.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders have not precisely identified the subject-specific knowledge that pupils need to learn and remember in some parts of the curriculum.

Teachers have not had training to enhance their teaching across all areas of the school's curriculum. Some pupils have misunderstandings, which detracts from the progress they could make, or they struggle to remember the important parts of their learning. Leaders should ensure that curriculum plans are clear, and that teachers receive the training planned so that pupils' learning is highly effective and as leaders intend.

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