Verwood Church of England First School

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About Verwood Church of England First School

Name Verwood Church of England First School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Katharine Anstey
Address Howe Lane, Verwood, BH31 6JF
Phone Number 01202822652
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 2-9
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 310
Local Authority Dorset
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils learn well at this school. The ambition for every pupil to succeed has been the trust's vision through a period of significant change.

The school has recently made the expectations of pupils' behaviour and attitudes to their learning clearer. As a result, pupils know the rules, rewards and consequences. In most cases, pupils behave well and meet these high expectations.

Children in the early years already know the daily routines. They follow instructions and listen well. Sometimes, pupils do not produce the work they are capable of.

The new expectations are beginning to address this across the curriculum.

Pupils feel safe. Relationships are st...rong between adults and pupils.

This means that pupils trust adults if they have a problem. Pupils like the 'kindness monsters' which are available in each base. They use them to share any worries, and know that adults will help them to resolve them.

Pupils learn how to be good citizens through experiences such as recycling and tree planting. The eco-committee members were particularly proud of their Green Flag award. Pupils understand that people are different.

They say that everyone is unique and treated equally. Pupils live out this belief in this inclusive school.

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

A love of reading is visible across the school.

In Nursery, children enjoy joining in with rhymes and familiar stories. This enthusiasm continues as they move through the school. Texts become longer and more complex as pupils get older.

Pupils enjoy listening to adults read but also develop the skills to read these books themselves.

In the Nursery, children begin to hear and identify sounds. This sets them up well for Reception, where they start learning phonics straight away.

They quickly learn the knowledge to be able to blend these sounds together to read simple words. The school has recently moved to a different phonics programme. This has been well managed.

Staff have the expertise to deliver phonics effectively. This means that most pupils keep up. Those who struggle receive the support they need to catch up.

The curriculum is ambitious. The school has considered the local context when deciding on the content. For example, in history, pupils learn about local significant figures.

In art and design, they learn about artists from other cultures. Trips and visitors enrich learning. Consequently, pupils build a strong cultural capital that expands their understanding of the world they live in.

The school has identified the specific knowledge and vocabulary it wants pupils to learn. In the early years, this knowledge has been broken down into small steps so that staff are clear about what the two- and three-year-olds should know and how the three- and four-year-olds build on this. This sequencing continues through each year group.

This means pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), build on what they already know. For example, children in the early years learn how they can make a ball travel. They build on this in further years so that, in physical education (PE) in key stage 2, pupils can use this knowledge when playing carefully selected ball games.

Learning is adapted for pupils with SEND so that they can take part and be successful.

Children in the early years transition into the Nursery and Reception carefully. They settle quickly because adults help them to feel comfortable.

They learn confidently inside and outside. Activities are motivating so that children are keen to have a go. There are opportunities to practise new knowledge and skills, which builds their understanding across the areas of learning.

In a few subjects, the way the curriculum is sometimes implemented does not help pupils to grasp and recall key knowledge. This is particularly the case in some areas of mathematics, where pupils struggled to accurately recall units of measure. The school does not have an accurate enough evaluation of how well pupils learn across the curriculum.

Support from the trust is helping the school to evaluate pupils' learning more precisely.

Morale is high in the school. Staff, including early career teachers, feel well supported.

Staff are positive about the opportunities they have to work with colleagues from other schools. They find this supports their workload as well as their professional development.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The curriculum is not always implemented as the school expects. Pupils learn less well when this is the case. The school needs to develop teaching so that pupils learn well across the curriculum.

• The school does not always have an accurate evaluation of the impact of the curriculum on pupils' learning, including those with SEND. Therefore, it does not have the information to drive improvements. The school needs to ensure it has a precise understanding of strengths and weaknesses so that pupils know more and remember more across the curriculum.

Also at this postcode
SCOOSC Emmanuel Middle Church of England Middle School

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