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Pupils are happy and enjoy attending Walwayne Court School. Pupils are strong ambassadors for the school's inclusive culture.
They are polite, friendly and respect one another. Staff know and care for the pupils well. Pupils trust adults and feel safe.
Pupils and adults live by the school motto: 'Together we are stronger'.
Pupils demonstrate positive attitudes to learning. The curriculum is designed well.
However, teachers do not check pupils' learning through the curriculum accurately enough. As a result, pupils have gaps in what they know, can do and understand.
Leaders set high expectations for pupils' behaviour and conduct.
Duri...ng social times, pupils play together harmoniously. They enjoy a range of activities available to them, including tricycles and the trim trail. Behaviour has improved and pupils say that bullying is rare.
They are confident that adults will sort out any problems quickly.
Leaders have put much in place to help pupils develop personally. There is a strong emphasis on supporting pupils' mental health and well-being.
Pupils talk positively about the help they can request and receive.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders are making the necessary changes to improve important aspects of the school. Their actions have had a positive impact on pupils' behaviour and the number of suspensions has reduced considerably.
Staff, parents and governors are proud to be part of the school community.
Leaders are ambitious for most pupils. They have clear aims for the curriculum.
Content is sequenced from early years to Year 6. Learning builds on what pupils should already know. However, assessment does not accurately identify what pupils know and can do.
Some pupils have gaps in their knowledge. Teachers do not adapt learning to rectify this. In mathematics, for example, some pupils cannot recall basic number facts and times tables easily.
They rely on inefficient and time-consuming calculation strategies. This lack in fluency means that pupils struggle to complete more challenging concepts. It hinders the progress they make through the mathematics curriculum.
Leaders prioritise and promote the teaching of reading. Pupils talk enthusiastically about books by their favourite authors. Children start learning phonics early in Reception Year.
Leaders have placed a strong focus on oracy. As a result, pupils get off to a strong start in developing language and communication. The content of the phonics programme is well sequenced and structured.
However, support for pupils who struggle to read in key stage 1 and Year 3 is not consistently effective. Some pupils read books that do not build on what they already know. This hinders their ability to read with fluency.
Leaders responsible for special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) accurately identify and support pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs well. However, leaders do not identify other additional needs appropriately. Some targets lack precision and do not match the needs of pupils well.
They are not ambitious about what pupils can achieve. Teachers have limited information about pupils' needs and this does not help teachers to adapt learning effectively. In some cases, targets are not considered and pupils do not make as much progress as they could.
Leaders' commitment to pupils' wider development is a considerable strength of the school. Pupils explain the importance of respect. They celebrate difference and diversity.
Pupils know that they have a right to an opinion and that others might not always agree with them. They are well prepared for life in modern Britain. Pupils understand what makes a good friend but also recognise the importance of consent and personal space.
Pupils know how to keep themselves healthy and understand the impact of drugs and alcohol on the body. They enjoy the many clubs that are on offer and the trips and visits that are organised, including a visit to the national art gallery. Pupils enjoy the school rewards system, such as postcards that go home and 'Hot chocolate Friday', for demonstrating the school values.
Governors, some of whom are new to the role, are committed to the school. They are determined to make the necessary changes to improve the quality of education. Leaders engage well with staff.
Staff feel valued and listened to. They appreciate the training and support they receive.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff are well trained to recognise the signs of a pupil at risk of harm. They know how to report a concern. Leaders respond to concerns quickly.
They work with external agencies to support pupils and their families successfully.
Pupils are knowledgeable about risks they may face, including when they are online. Through the teaching they receive, they know how to keep their personal information safe and to report any concerns to adults.
Leaders' employment checks to establish the suitability of staff to work with pupils are robust.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Assessment is not used effectively to identify gaps in pupils' knowledge. Teachers continue to deliver the planned curriculum without awareness of the gaps.
As a result, pupils struggle to remember what they have previously learned and build new knowledge. Leaders need to make sure that assessment is used to adapt the learning and close the gaps in pupils' knowledge so that they know and remember more. ? Leaders do not consistently identify some of the needs of pupils with SEND with precision.
Some pupils do not make the progress they are capable of because targets lack ambition. Leaders need to accurately identify pupils' needs, set ambitious, precise targets and ensure that staff adapt learning so pupils can learn well. ? Pupils who have fallen behind with their reading are not catching up quickly enough.
Books are not always well matched to their needs. This prevents them from practising the sounds they have learned and hinders their fluency. Leaders should ensure that pupils who have fallen behind get the help they need to become confident, fluent readers.
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