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About West Ashton Church of England Primary School
West Ashton Primary School provides a calm and safe place to learn. Children in the early years are enthusiastic about their learning and enjoy coming to school.
They are keen to share what they have learned. This level of enthusiasm is not always evident in the older year groups, for example in reading. However, pupils are beginning to enjoy the extra sport and music activities that are on offer, besides their lessons.
Pupils know that they can talk to an adult if they have a worry or a problem. Older pupils think that they should sort out problems with friends themselves. They recognise that this does not always work.
Pupils spoke about areas of the playgro...und where misbehaviour occurs. Some pupils talk about bullying in the school, but they know that leaders are working hard to stop this.
Subject leaders are developing the curriculum.
They acknowledge that there is more work to do. Expectations for pupils' learning varies across subjects. Too few subjects build on what pupils know and can do.
When pupils do not build on their knowledge, they are not as interested in their learning and do not achieve as well.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
School leaders have identified that the development of reading is a priority. Children in the early years show a keen interest in early reading and enjoy their phonics lessons.
Teachers' knowledge of how to teach phonics is strong. They notice when children need more help and make sure that they have extra phonics sessions. As pupils approach the upper school, they choose their own books from the 'free readers'.
Pupils say that they do not always read books that will challenge them. For some pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), the texts are too hard to read. Leaders recognise that books need to match older pupils' reading abilities and ages more closely.
The English and mathematics leaders are currently trialling new systems, for example using whole-class reading to teach reading skills. These appear to be helping pupils' learning, but it is too soon to be sure that pupils are learning and remembering more.
In some subjects, such as science, curriculum plans are complete.
However, this is not the case for other subjects. For example, the geography curriculum is not taught consistently across the school. Some classes teach geography through a topic, others as a stand-alone subject.
It is not clear how pupils' learning will build on what they already know. This inconsistent approach leads to gaps in pupils' knowledge.
Children in the early years class are eager to learn.
The early years curriculum sets out what children will learn but it is not clear what children are expected to remember and how it will build on their previous learning. However, phonics and early mathematics lessons build on children's knowledge. This prepares them for the next stage and the move to Year 1.
Pupils are supported to develop an understanding that difference is positive, but there is still more to do. The recent 'show racism the red card' event and anti-bullying week helped with this. Pupils who have been excluded are successfully reintegrated into classes.
However, although leaders record incidents, they do not use this information well. They do not know why incidents are taking place and, therefore, how they may be prevented from reoccurring.
Pupils with SEND are supported well with their learning.
Teaching assistants help pupils as they arrive at school each morning, so that they are ready for learning. A life-skills curriculum supports pupils to develop their reading, writing and mathematics skills alongside life skills such as woodwork. A range of suitable strategies help pupils with SEND learn.
They work with teaching assistants or teachers to practise skills before lessons start. When all pupils are helped in ways like this, their behaviour and attitudes to learning are strong.
The headteacher has supported families to improve attendance.
Parents and carers report that they now know more about what their children are learning. They appreciate time to talk with teachers and attend workshops. This information encourages parents to make sure that their children attend school whenever possible.
Leaders, including curriculum leaders, do not know the impact of new systems on pupils' learning. They do not know how effective their work has been. Leaders' development plans do not identify clearly what needs improving and why.
Trustees do not meet their statutory obligations well enough. They have not checked the difference that the pupil premium or sport premium funding makes on pupils' achievement.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders carry out the necessary checks to ensure that adults who work and volunteer in the school are suitable to work with children. The trust reviews records of these checks regularly. Staff complete training to help them identify any concerns about pupils' welfare.
They understand their responsibilities to pass on concerns. Leaders take appropriate action when they have a concern about a pupil.
Most pupils say that they feel safe, although a few worry about some behaviour incidents that happen at lunchtimes.
Leaders are addressing pupils' concerns with more staff on duty at lunchtime. Pupils are helped to understand how to keep themselves safe, for example when online.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Leaders' development plan is not yet clear in outlining the actions that need to be taken to improve the school.
As a result, improvement work is not targeted precisely enough to address key weaknesses effectively. Leaders need to identify important next steps and outline these clearly in improvement plans. .
All leaders, including those responsible for governance, do not have clear and reliable systems for monitoring and holding staff to account for the quality of education that pupils receive. Trustees do not have a clear enough view of the difference that additional funding makes on pupils' achievement. As a result, they are not able to identify important next steps.
Leaders, including those responsible for governance, need to be more rigorous in their checking of the impact of their strategies on the quality of education for all pupils and hold staff to account. . The school's curriculum is not yet complete in foundation subjects, such as geography and personal, social and health education (PSHE).
This means that pupils are not acquiring knowledge well enough. Leaders need to identify, sequence and be more precise about the key knowledge that they expect pupils to remember across the whole curriculum, including in the early years. .
Leaders have made some changes to improve pupils' behaviour. They have recently set clear expectations about behaviour such as bullying. While they record behaviour incidents, leaders do not analyse the information.
As a result, pupils' behaviour is not good. Leaders need to ensure that staff maintain high expectations for pupils' behaviour and make use of information about poor behaviour to help prevent further occurrences. .
Leaders have not yet invested in reading books that match the reading skills, abilities and interests of pupils in Years 5 and 6. This reduces pupils' learning. Leaders need to provide the oldest pupils with appropriate reading books so that all pupils can develop their reading fluency and comprehension skills further.
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