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Westvale Primary School is a place where everyone matters. Pupils grow in confidence due to the care and support that staff provide.
Pupils know that there are many trusted adults to talk to if they have a worry or concern.
They feel happy and safe. There are a small number of pupils and parents who feel that their concerns about bullying are not always dealt with well enough. However, inspectors found that leaders and staff take decisive action to quickly and effectively nip any bullying or unkind behaviour in the bud.
Leaders have high aspirations for their pupils. They expect pupils to work hard and to treat each other with respect. Pupils proudly live up ...to the school's motto, 'Striving for Excellence, Caring for All'.
Pupils value taking part in different events and activities. For example, they enjoy showcasing their talents in the 'Westvale's got talent' annual competition. They also enjoy attending many clubs run by staff.
Despite the recent improvements, some pupils do not achieve as well as they should in some subjects.
Pupils spoke very warmly about staff in school. Many parents and carers, who shared their views with inspectors, welcome the changes that have taken place since the arrival of the new headteacher.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
In most subjects, leaders and staff have considered what they want pupils to learn and when they will learn it from the early years to the end of Year 6. They have high ambition for all pupils, including the youngest children and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). However, until recently, some subject leaders have not had the opportunity to check how well their subjects are being taught.
In some subjects, leaders have not identified clearly enough the most important content that pupils need to have mastered over time. This means that teachers do not always emphasise the most crucial content that they want pupils to know and remember. Some pupils struggle to recall prior learning in some subjects or build on work covered earlier in the curriculum.
In most lessons, teachers explain new learning to pupils carefully. They use assessment methods well in some subjects. However, leaders and staff do not check well enough what pupils have understood over time.
This means that some pupils have misconceptions that have not been fully addressed.
Pupils by the end of key stage 1 do not achieve well enough, particularly in writing. That said, by the end of key stage 2, pupils achieve well in most subjects.
Leaders have significantly strengthened their early reading programme. Staff teach this programme well. As a result, pupils who are in the early stages of learning to read get off to a strong start.
They enjoy sharing books and joining in with songs and rhymes in the early years. Pupils read books which are well matched to their current understanding of sounds. Any pupil who may struggle to keep up with the programme quickly receives helpful support and guidance.
The oldest pupils have very positive attitudes to their reading. Pupils told inspectors that they love to read because 'you can let your imagination run wild'. They read well with expression and understanding.
Pupils are very proud of their new school library.
Pupils know that it is important to follow the school rules. They display lovely manners and behave well.
The youngest children learn new routines quickly. Pupils' learning is rarely disrupted by other pupils. However, a few pupils do not attend school often enough.
This hampers their progress through the curriculum.
Staff identify the needs of pupils with SEND effectively. They quickly get the help and support they need so that they learn the same content as their peers.
Pupils feel a valued part of the school community.
Pupils are proud to represent their school in different competitions and activities. Girls who spoke with inspectors told us that they have the same opportunities as boys.
They value being part of the girls' football team. Pupils enjoy attending residential visits. These help them to grow in confidence and maturity.
Older pupils enjoy acting as buddies to the younger children. Pupils also enjoy keeping fit and healthy. They like to participate in the school's daily mile.
Since the previous inspection, governors are more informed about the school's strengths and weaknesses. Together with the new headteacher, they have created a tight-knit team. Staff are very positive about the many improvements that the new headteacher has made.
They now feel proud to attend the school. Staff feel valued. Their workload is well considered.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders make sure that staff have a secure and up-to-date knowledge of a range of safeguarding issues. Staff are alert and vigilant to the slightest concern about a pupil's welfare.
They work effectively with different external agencies. Staff know their pupils and families well. They go out of their way to provide practical and emotional support.
Pupils are taught about different aspects of safety. They know about the importance of not giving out personal details when using the internet. Pupils also learn about stranger danger and road safety, as well as learning about the dangers of smoking or taking illegal drugs.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In some subjects, leaders have not identified clearly enough the most important content that pupils should remember. This means that staff do not have enough guidance about the key content to emphasise in lessons and in the longer term. Leaders should identify the key content that pupils should learn and check that pupils have retained this content over time.
• Teachers do not always use assessment information as well as they should. This means that some pupils develop misconceptions. Leaders should ensure that assessment information supports teachers to address misconceptions and to shape future teaching so that pupils learn the curriculum well.
• Some leaders have only recently been given the opportunity to check how well their subjects are taught. This means they do not have an up-to-date understanding of the strengths and weakness in their subject areas. Senior leaders should implement plans to enable subject leaders to check that their curriculums are being delivered effectively.
• Pupils at the end of key stage 1 do not achieve as well as their peers in published outcomes in writing. This means they are not as well prepared for the next stage of their education as they should be. Leaders should ensure that the recent improvements made to the writing curriculum result in these pupils achieving at least as well as other pupils nationally.
• A few pupils do not attend school often enough. This hinders their progress through the curriculum. Leaders should ensure that recent improvements are built on so that these pupils come to school regularly and on time.
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