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Viking Primary School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils are well looked after in this school. Leaders and staff know their pupils and families well.
Pupils receive effective pastoral support which helps them to feel happy and safe at school.
Leaders aim for every pupil in this school to be the 'best that they can be'. They have high expectations of pupils.
Pupils work hard in lessons. Typically, they are learning the curriculum well across a wide range of subjects.
Pupils treat adults and each other with respect.
Every year, pupils sign up to a charter which sets out how they are expected to behave in sc...hool. Pupils try very hard to adhere to this. On any rare occasions when bullying occurs, leaders deal with it promptly and effectively.
Leaders create many opportunities for pupils to experience the wider world outside their immediate community. Pupils get to understand the world of work as they listen to professionals talk about their respective careers. Recently, the school's junior travel ambassadors have been working with the local authority to create a safer school street.
Pupils experience democracy for themselves as they elect their school council leaders. Other pupil leaders, like the prefects, must go through an application and selection process before being appointed. Through these roles, leaders aim to support pupils to develop their leadership skills.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have put in place a curriculum which is carefully ordered and organised. They have ensured that it includes a wide range of subjects, with each one having ambitious end-points. In most subjects, they have identified the order in which pupils need to learn important knowledge.
However, in a few subjects, leaders have not identified as clearly the concepts pupils need to learn, practise and remember. This reduces how effectively pupils deepen their understanding in a subject.
Teachers implement the curriculum well.
They think carefully about the strategies they use to support pupils with their learning. For example, they help pupils to understand new knowledge by breaking down ideas into small, manageable chunks. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities also benefit from this approach, which enables them to learn the curriculum well.
Their specific needs are identified, understood and met effectively.
Teachers consider what pupils already know and can do before introducing new learning. In history, for example, pupils can successfully place past events on a timeline.
This is because their previous learning has enabled them to develop a secure understanding of chronology.
Gaps in pupils' knowledge are identified through helpful assessment approaches. In mathematics, for example, leaders have identified some weaknesses in pupils' understanding of numbers and place value.
In the main, leaders found that this was linked to disruptions to learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, pupils did not deepen their knowledge of these concepts as well as leaders intend. To strengthen pupils' knowledge, leaders have refined the curriculum and made adaptations to the way it is taught.
This work has been effective and, as a result, pupils across the school understand these concepts better. They can apply their knowledge fluently when solving mathematical calculations.
The curriculum is designed to help pupils to learn important words in a subject.
However, on some occasions, teaching does not ensure that pupils' understanding of subject-specific vocabulary is as accurate as it should be. For example, in mathematics, pupils find it difficult to know when to correctly use terms such as 'sum', 'difference' or 'product'.
Pupils participate well in discussions in lessons.
They collaborate well with each other. Disruptions to learning are rare.
There are many opportunities which aim to enrich pupils' experience beyond the academic subjects.
Pupils enjoy working in the forest school, exploring nature and the environment, in and outside the school's grounds. Visits to galleries introduce pupils to the works of classical and modern artists. They also get to observe artefacts from various historical periods during their educational outings to museums and other places of interest.
Leaders prioritise the teaching of early reading. They have clearly set out how pupils are going to learn to read and have established an ambitious approach to phonics teaching. Staff are trained as expert teachers of reading.
From the time children join the Nursery, they are taught to distinguish the different sounds found in the environment. This prepares them for when they start learning phonics in Reception. By the time they reach Year 1, pupils are fluent at reading books which match their stage in the phonics programme.
Pupils who are falling behind are identified at the earliest opportunity. They receive additional phonics teaching, and they catch up quickly.
Across the school, pupils show a genuine love of reading.
Leaders have recently refurbished the library, which is now an enticing place for pupils to enjoy books and stories. Pupils also get to hear adults read to them regularly.
Staff are happy to work in this school.
They said that leaders are approachable and that they look after their well-being and workload.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff are vigilant.
They know the warning signs that might indicate that a pupil is at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation. Leaders ensure that training is relevant and up to date. Staff are prompt and detailed in reporting any safeguarding concerns.
Leaders work well with external agencies to secure the best possible outcomes for pupils' welfare.
Leaders and governors ensure that the required pre-employment checks are carried out. They ensure that new staff complete a safeguarding induction.
Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe at school, at home or when online. Through the curriculum, they learn about e-safety, stranger danger, consent, privacy and dignity.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In a few subjects, leaders have not identified the important ideas that pupils should learn.
Where these ideas have not been clarified, the curriculum does not support pupils to develop a rich and deep body of knowledge. Leaders should ensure that they are explicit about what pupils should learn and remember in all subjects. ? Occasionally, teaching does not revisit and reinforce pupils' understanding of subject-specific vocabulary.
This means that pupils' understanding of some words is not secured and deepened as effectively as leaders intend. Leaders should ensure that teachers check that pupils have mastered the subject-specific words that they have been taught in order to support them to be successful in their future learning.
When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.
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 first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in November 2017.
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