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Pupils in Uplands are confident, polite and caring.
They are happy in their school and feel safe here. Pupils are proud to belong to this vibrant community. Determined that everyone is treated equally, pupils show high levels of respect for people who are different to them.
One pupil said, 'We treat others as we would like to be treated.' Leaders make sure that pupils are taught about different faiths and cultures.
Pupils say that bullying hardly ever happens.
They know that the strong pastoral team will help them resolve any friendship problems. Pupils focus well on their learning and nearly all pupils achieve well. Staff have high expectations of b...ehaviour, and the school is calm and orderly.
There are many opportunities for pupils to develop their skills and interests. They enjoy a range of clubs such as darts, cookery and construction. Older pupils are expected to take on leadership roles.
They contribute to the community feel of the school by volunteering to be a buddy to the youngest pupils or an anti-bullying ambassador. They describe these roles as helpful and important. Pupils develop their citizenship skills well by singing in the choir, including in a nearby residential home, and litter picking in the local area.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have designed an ambitious curriculum. In most subjects, such as mathematics, leaders have put in place a well-sequenced curriculum, and pupils build on their learning effectively. Pupils are confident mathematicians and achieve well.
Here, teaching focuses on acquiring knowledge and vocabulary. As a result, pupils remember the key ideas well. However, in some areas, the curriculum is not planned clearly enough.
This means that staff do not understand the precise knowledge that should be taught to pupils.
Staff assess effectively that pupils have understood and adapt their teaching accordingly. In some other areas though, pupils are not able to recall what they have been taught as readily.
Checks on learning by staff in these areas are less effective.
Staff have strong subject knowledge and use resources well to help children learn. However, support for some pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is not as effective as it could be.
Some staff's understanding of the best approaches to use is not developed well enough.
Children begin to learn to read right away. In Nursery, they begin to identify some important sounds and then learn phonics from the start of Reception.
Leaders identify children who have fallen behind in reading and provide extra help. Leaders ensure that reading is a priority across the school. Pupils say that reading is really important, and most love reading.
They choose challenging books from the well-stocked library and discuss them enthusiastically.
Leaders are committed to the inclusion of all children in enrichment activities, particularly those pupils who otherwise might not get involved. For example, all pupils, including those with SEND and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, are encouraged to take part in competitive sports.
Pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain because leaders teach them about democracy and equality. Children in nursery and early years learn that families can come in different shapes and sizes. They begin to appreciate different cultures and ethnicities because teachers choose a wide range of books and resources.
As a result, pupils develop mature attitudes and well-considered views. Attendance has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. A minority of children are absent too often, meaning that they miss vital learning.
Leaders are developing plans to improve attendance.
As a result of changes in staffing, leadership capacity was reduced for a period of time. New leaders understand school priorities and are putting in place appropriate plans.
Staff, including teachers who are new to the profession, are wholly positive about working in the school. They endorse the work of senior leaders and are pleased that leaders prioritise their well-being. Governors are skilled and understand their role and statutory duties well.
They take into account staff workload and ensure that new leaders receive support.
Parents and carers value the school and the work of staff. The comment of one parent, 'My child is thriving at the school,' was typical of the views of many parents who submitted comments to the inspection survey.
A small minority of parents, nonetheless, think the school could provide parents with more information about their child's learning and progress.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
There is a culture of vigilance around safeguarding in the school.
Staff know children and their families well. The safeguarding team ensures that any concerns about children's safety and well-being are followed up. Leaders work effectively with external partners to get help for children who may need this.
However, there have been occasions when leaders' actions around safeguarding were not logged in a timely manner. Current leaders have recognised this and have taken action to improve it. Recruitment checks for new staff and volunteers are thorough.
Staff, including new joiners, are trained effectively. Leaders ensure that pupils are taught about potential risks, including online risks.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Not all subject curriculums are as well developed as the strongest.
In a few subjects, leaders have not organised knowledge, skills and vocabulary well enough. Consequently, pupils do not build on their learning as effectively as they could in these subjects. Leaders should ensure that subject content is organised well in all areas of the curriculum.
• Staff's strategies are not effective enough in supporting weaker readers and pupils with SEND in class. This means that pupils needing extra help do not catch up as quickly as they should. Leaders should ensure that all staff are trained in the most effective strategies to support pupils with SEND.
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