Vallis First School


Name Vallis First School
Website http://www.vallisfirstschool.org
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 16 September 2014
Address Milk Street, Frome, Somerset, BA11 3DB
Phone Number 01373462657
Type Primary
Age Range 5-9
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Somerset
Percentage Free School Meals 16.3%
Pupils with SEN Support 16.3%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Vallis First School is similar in size to an average-sized primary school. Most pupils are taught in mixed-age classes. The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is 17%, which is similar to that found in most schools. The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds, including those who speak English as an additional language, is below average. A large minority of these pupils join or leave the school between Reception and Year 4. A very small minority of pupils are of Traveller heritage. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium is well above the national average. This is additional government funding to provide extra support for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and those who are looked after. The headteacher is a local leader of education (LLE). Vallis is a member of the Frome Community Learning Partnership and staff work closely with other local schools in monitoring and development work. The headteacher is part of a team researching provision for looked after children. There have been a number of staff changes and some lengthy absences since the previous inspection. This is mainly due to the retirement of long-term members of staff. At the time of the inspection there was an acting deputy headteacher in post.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. The skilful leadership of the headteacher, with very effective support from other senior leaders and governors, is a great asset to the school. Their shared vision to ensure that each pupil achieves well successfully underpins all aspects of their work. Systems for monitoring and checking the school’s work and pupils’ progress are thorough and rigorous. Development planning is very effective. The rate of improvement accelerated well last year. The school is very well placed to improve further. Overall achievement is good. Throughout the school pupils’ achievement in reading is excellent. By Year 4, attainment in reading is above that expected for this age. Attainment in writing and mathematics is in line with what is expected. Reception children get off to a good start, especially in reading, and the majority of them reach the level of development expected for their age by Year 1. Supported by excellent relationships between adults and pupils, teaching is uniformly at least good. Reading is exceptionally well taught. The school makes excellent use of additional government funding. As a result, the pupils who receive it achieve exceptionally well. They rapidly catch up with their peers. Pupils’ behaviour in classrooms and around school is good. They enjoy lessons. By the time they leave pupils are confident and engage well in learning. Safeguarding arrangements are very thorough. Pupils feel safe and secure in school. Parents and carers are confident that their children are well looked after. Senior leaders and governors employ a comprehensive and thorough programme to help judge teaching quality. This has resulted in an improvement in teaching and achievement across the school. Governors are very well informed and carry out their statutory duties effectively. Staff are rigorously held to account regarding their impact on pupils’ achievement. Governors’ support for helping the school to improve is especially good. It is not yet an outstanding school because: There is not enough outstanding teaching to ensure all pupils’ progress is rapid in every class. Pupils’ attainment in writing and mathematics is not as high as in reading. Not all opportunities are taken for advice and best practice to be fully shared as a means of improving teaching further.