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Following my visit to the school on 23 February 2017, I write on behalf of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills to report the inspection findings. The visit was the first short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be good in December 2012. This school continues to be good.
The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. You have created a school community where pupils are eager to learn and keen to achieve their very best. You are highly ambitious for the pupils and school community as a whole.
Your settled staff and strong team of teaching assistant...s contribute to school improvement well through strong teamwork. Effective discipline policies are used well alongside detailed pastoral care processes. A rich and engaging curriculum maintains pupils' outstanding behaviour, personal development and well-being.
Parents and governors are fully supportive of your actions and share in your ambitions for the school. Your accurate understanding of the school's strengths and weaknesses ensures a clear direction and enables accurate priorities for improvement to be set. You draw on the good knowledge, skills and expertise of your staff to maintain and, in some instances, improve the quality of teaching.
This is particularly evident at key stage 2, where good use of information on pupils' progress is made to plan activities and interventions that help pupils catch up when necessary. You have successfully tackled the areas for improvement identified at the time of the last inspection in 2012. By the end of Year 6, standards over time have been well above average in reading, writing and mathematics.
Pupils' standards in other year groups currently in the school are equally impressive. For example, standards have improved in Reception. Pupils use their good language skills and knowledge of angles and degrees well to create animation scenes when using computers and other devices.
Pupils' handwriting and presentation have also improved and are good across the school. Safeguarding is effective. All involved in the school community are committed to keeping pupils safe.
You make sure that all necessary checks are made to confirm that those who wish to work with children are suitable. Training for safeguarding and child protection is up to date, regular and welcomed, enabling staff and governors to fully discharge their duties. Pupils and parents are confident that issues are followed up.
Pupils are knowledgeable about matters of safety through activities planned in the curriculum. For example, routine activities such as walking to St Andrew's Church are used well to reinforce aspects of road safety. Your strong emphasis on pupils' personal development promotes their positive behaviour, with respect and courtesy as the norm.
On the very rare occasions required, pupils are successfully helped to adopt de-escalation strategies through your behaviour approaches. Effective links with outside agencies help to cater for vulnerable pupils. Your strong commitment to pupils' safety is demonstrated through your plans to further develop your work on e-safety.
While this work is perfectly adequate, you feel greater involvement from staff, pupils, parents and governors would further enhance the support. Overall, the leadership team has ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose and of a high quality. Inspection findings ? One area we explored was how well the most able girls in key stage 2 were being pushed in mathematics.
Your analysis of girls' performance, following results from the 2016 national tests, revealed that while girls' attainment was good, they were reluctant to risk error in mathematics. This hindered them from learning from mistakes and bettering their performance. Your emphasis on developing pupils' mathematical language and reasoning is ensuring that more girls are on track to go on from their high starting points and reach the higher standards or 'greater depth' than in 2016.
• The curriculum in mathematics is not, however, enabling more pupils of average prior attainment to reach the higher standards. Across the school, concepts are not developed sufficiently well for these pupils. Topics jump from one area of mathematics to another and present as a 'piecemeal' approach.
As a result, not enough of these pupils are progressing as well as their more able peers. You have clear plans in place to address this issue. ? Some good examples exist, for instance in Years 3 and 4.
Complex problems are set which challenge pupils' thinking well, such as requiring pupils to add up five numbers in a cross shape on a 100 square. Pupils demonstrated good reasoning skills when required to explain why the total of the numbers when divided by the number on the cross always results in the answer being the middle number. Some pupils applied early stages of algebra to explain their thinking well.
• Despite these deficiencies in the quality of the curriculum, discussion with some of the most able Year 5 girls indicates their good understanding of mathematical concepts. Girls challenged each other well to explain the conundrum of why six divided by a half results in a larger answer, despite it being a division calculation. Girls demonstrated good reasoning skills when articulating the different operations required between 'taking away' and 'taking away from'.
• Detailed and accurate assessments underpin teaching and learning activities in Reception that push children's learning on rapidly. You also use the information gained at the end of Reception to set appropriate and detailed targets for pupils' progress. Half-termly meetings with teachers are used to check how well pupils are progressing and address any concerns quickly.
In mathematics, not enough attention is paid to pupils' prior attainment at the ends of each academic year. Therefore, some pupils do not get off to as rapid a start as they might at the beginning of Years 1 and 2 because they repeat work or engage with concepts they have already acquired. ? Another area we looked at was why a number of pupils in key stage 1 last year did not make the progress expected, when compared to the national average, from their starting points at the end of Reception.
Your detailed evaluation and 'question level analysis' pinpointed some variation in practice. You have, however, tackled many aspects of weaker performance through effective training and support. As a result, current pupils write well.
They demonstrate good understanding of sentence construction, punctuation and grammar across a range of genres and when writing in other subjects as well as English. Interesting activities develop their understanding of text purpose and organisation well, such as when writing newspaper articles as part of a study of the Ancient Egyptians. ? Younger pupils also read well and achieve high standards by the end of Reception and key stage 1.
Year 1 pupils read with confidence and are technically accurate. Pupils show some early signs of developing more complex reading skills such as inference and deduction. However, in some cases, pupils do not routinely use their good knowledge of phonics to aid them when writing and spelling.
At times, spelling and phonological errors go unnoticed in pupils' work. Consequently, as work in pupils' books illustrates, some pupils are repeating the same mistakes. ? This characteristic of pupils' writing is not evident in key stage 2.
Pupils in Year 3 use techniques such as personification well to select words for effect to create character descriptions. Older pupils study texts from classic authors such as Robert Louis Stevenson. The contents are used well to develop complex skills of inference and other ways of interpreting texts.
Pupils use the findings of their analyses well when writing and demonstrate confidence in their own creative choices. This is a positive step forward from last year, where some Year 6 boys demonstrated weaker resilience when tackling the increased demands of the national testing. Your whole-school focus on 'G.
(Goals. Resilience. Outstanding.
Wonder.) is bearing fruit. ? The most able pupils at key stage 2 are being stretched well.
Pupils we spoke to about geography showed a good understanding of contrasting localities and map work. They have, through historical enquiry, acquired a good knowledge of how Britain shaped the world. Pupils are familiar with key people in history, such as Sir Tim Berners Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web, and major events, such as the break with Rome during Tudor times.
Pupils enjoy the new approach adopted to challenging their learning in daily lessons. Pupils' progress is improving because they are guided well by teachers to select from a range of problems and activities at increasing levels of difficulty. Next steps for the school Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that: ? the most able pupils at key stage 1 continue to be fully stretched in their learning ? pupils in key stage 1 use their good knowledge of phonics and spelling to write more accurately ? the curriculum in mathematics is developed so that understanding of concepts is fully developed within and across year groups and all pupils are supported to reach even higher standards.
I am copying this letter to the co-chairs of the governing body and the director of children's services for Swindon. This letter will be published on the Ofsted website. Yours sincerely Richard Light Her Majesty's Inspector Information about the inspection During the inspection, I held meetings with you, your deputy headteacher and the leaders for English and mathematics.
Three members of the governing body, including the co-chairs, met the inspector to discuss the actions taken since the last inspection. A discussion was held with a representative from the local authority. The views of a number of parents were gathered through their responses to Ofsted's online questionnaire, Parent View.
Visits to all classrooms were conducted jointly with you and your deputy headteacher to evaluate the impact of teaching on pupils' learning, to review the quality of pupils' writing over time, and to listen to pupils read and to talk informally with them about their experiences of school. A range of documentary evidence was evaluated, including documents relating to safeguarding and governance. The inspector met with a group of girls from Year 5.