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The Cedars Primary School continues to be an outstanding school.
There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of outstanding as a result of this ungraded (section 8) inspection. However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now. The next inspection will therefore be a graded inspection.
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils who attend The Cedars Primary School are happy and safe. Pupils enjoy their lessons and like the clear routine that the school provides. Leaders have high expectations that pupils should work hard, do their best and behave well, both in school and ...in the community.
Pupils join the school because they need extra help to manage their feelings and emotions. Leaders provide a positive, nurturing and well-organised environment. The curriculum helps pupils learn how to work and play alongside others.
They develop strategies to regulate their behaviour independently as they progress through the school.
Pupils take part in a wide range of activities, including sporting events, cultural visits and trips to the local shops. Pupils learn about important British values, such as tolerance, respect and the difference between right and wrong.
The school is a calm and orderly place to learn. If a pupil does get upset or emotional, adults help them to become ready to learn again as soon as possible. Bullying does not happen very often, and, if it does, staff sort it out straight away.
There is a positive and respectful school culture, which is shared by all.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The school's curriculum is ambitious and takes into account pupils' complex needs. Leaders place a high priority on the wider development of pupils, as well as their academic work.
Pupils achieve well while they are at the school. However, some pupils do not achieve as well as they could because teachers' regular checks on pupils' learning lack accuracy. Leaders have not identified the key content they expect each pupil to learn in each subject.
Pupils' long-term goals are set in their education, health and care plans (EHC plans). However, sometimes, these are not broken down by staff into smaller steps, and pupils repeat activities too often. When this happens, staff do not precisely identify the knowledge and skills that pupils need to meet their long-term goals, including in their social and emotional development.
Leaders have recently reviewed the teaching of the curriculum and have identified the key strategies that best support pupils' learning. Leaders are starting to provide teachers with training and a range of resources to help pupils to know and remember more. For example, leaders have introduced a new approach to teaching mathematics since the last inspection, and this is well established.
Leaders have identified that pupils learn and remember better in mathematics with more practical activities and a wider range of resources.
Reading is prioritised, and there is a wide range of high-quality books for pupils to read in school and to take home. Leaders have ensured that there is an appropriate, structured programme for teaching reading.
There are phonics lessons every day for pupils who need them. All staff have had basic training in the phonics programme. However, on a few occasions, staff do not clearly identify the sounds that pupils need to learn and practise.
This slows pupils' development of reading accuracy and fluency. Leaders are taking appropriate actions to address staff training needs in this regard.
In personal, social and health education (PSHE), pupils learn important knowledge and skills that will help them thrive in the future.
For example, pupils are taught about safe use of the internet and how to look after their physical and mental health. Lessons also help pupils learn about positive friendships and relationships. The curriculum includes a range of opportunities for pupils' wider development.
For example, in religious education, pupils learn about ethical issues, such as 'treating people how you would like to be treated'. Pupils develop an understanding of, and a respect for, different people's faiths, feelings and values.
There is very little disruption to lessons because of pupil behaviour.
When it does happen, staff work in a professional and consistent way. Staff treat pupils with dignity and respect.
The school has a skilled and motivated staff team, who enjoy working there.
Staff and leaders consider workload together and have found positive solutions to support staff well-being. Staff feel valued and supported by leaders. They feel able to approach them if they have any concerns.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
All staff have regular training on the latest statutory guidance and how to recognise the signs that a pupil may be being harmed. They know how to report concerns.
Leaders who are responsible for safeguarding take quick action to get the right help for pupils. Leaders are improving the quality of recording so that details of staff actions are documented accurately. A small number of administrative shortcomings in safeguarding records were put right during the inspection.
Leaders have robust recruitment processes for vetting candidates' suitability to work with pupils. They understand the action they should take if there were any allegations or safeguarding concerns about staff.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In some subjects, leaders have not ensured that there is sufficient precision in identifying the key content to be taught.
This means that in these subjects pupils do not achieve as well as they could. Leaders should ensure that there is greater clarity in the bespoke curriculum that pupils are following so that their learning can be assessed accurately and they can meet their potential. ? The lessons and activities that teachers design to address the needs identified in pupils' EHC plans sometimes lack ambition and are repeated too often.
This means that pupils do not make as much progress towards the goals in their EHC plans as they could. Leaders should make sure that the broad, longer-term goals set in EHC plans are broken down into more dynamic and relevant stages, which are directly aimed at preparation for the next stage of education.
When we have judged a school to be outstanding, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains outstanding.
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 outstanding in June 2014.
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