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In the relatively short time that the new principal has been working at the school, he has made changes that have significantly improved all aspects of the school. Leaders have focused on the right things in the right order.
They have high expectations of pupils. Because of this, pupils are learning a well-planned curriculum.
Leaders' highest priority is improving reading.
Pupils have access to high-quality books and often read and are read to. Pupils are excited about the new book vending machine that they have raised money to buy.
Leaders have established new ways of helping pupils to improve their behaviour, which all staff follow consistently. .../> Pupils value the new rewards and house systems. Staff quickly deal with any poor behaviour, including any incidents of bullying. As a result, pupils' behaviour is good.
Pupils love coming to school and they attend often. Pupils are excited to tell visitors all about the positive changes that are happening at their school. They especially loved the mobile swimming pool that was brought to school.
Leaders seek and act on pupils' opinions about how to improve the school. Pupils value the fact that they are listened to. They frequently talk about becoming the 'very best version of themselves'.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have a clear vision and relentless drive to ensure all pupils experience the very best education. They are clear about what is needed to make this a reality. Staff have confidence in leaders' vision and fully support the recent changes.
They say that leaders are conscious of their workload and help them to manage it.
Leaders have taken rapid action to ensure pupils at the earliest stages of reading get the help that they need. Texts are carefully chosen to make sure the books that pupils read are carefully matched to the sounds they already know.
Teachers use these stories well to help improve pupils' writing. As a result, those pupils who struggle to read are quickly becoming fluent readers and better writers.
Leaders have established systems so that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are accurately identified and assessed.
Leaders and staff ensure pupils with SEND access the same curriculum as their peers. Teachers make appropriate adaptations to the curriculum with increasing confidence, because of the effective training they have received.
Leaders have made sure that the curriculum is well planned across all subjects.
This helps teachers deliver lessons that build pupils' knowledge of the subject. Where pupils have gaps in their prior learning, teachers provide helpful opportunities in the curriculum for these to be closed. This is helping pupils to make sense of their learning.
In most lessons, teachers have the subject knowledge they need to deliver the curriculum well. However, this is not always the case. Where subject knowledge is not as secure, pupils are not always taught the important things they need to succeed.
Leaders regularly check how well teachers are implementing the new curriculum and provide appropriate support to staff, when needed.
Teachers usually check carefully that pupils have understood the things they have been taught. They spot gaps in knowledge quickly and make sure these are closed before moving on.
However, too often, teachers' use of assessment is inconsistent. Misconceptions are not always identified and gaps in knowledge are not closed quickly enough. This is a barrier to pupils' learning.
Leaders have identified this and begun to take appropriate action to support those staff who need it.
Pupils and staff are unanimous that behaviour has greatly improved recently. Pupils are kind to each other and play well during playtime.
In lessons pupils focus on their learning. Leaders have worked hard to ensure all staff share their high expectations regarding pupils' behaviour.
Leaders provide pupils with a range of appropriate experiences, through school clubs and trips, that help to nurture their personal development.
Pupils especially enjoy the residential trip in Year 6. They value the new roles and responsibilities that they have, for example, peer chaplains and head boy and girl. Pupils also enjoy having time to discuss and debate issues.
They understand other cultures and the importance of respecting one another.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Safeguarding is a priority for all staff.
Leaders review their practices regularly and make any improvements identified. They ensure staff have the training they need to identify potential concerns and how to report these to leaders. Leaders follow up concerns quickly and escalate when needed.
Leaders understand the context of the school community and what pupils need to learn to keep themselves safe. A well-planned curriculum ensures pupils learn about important things, including water safety, as there are many canals and rivers nearby. Pupils speak confidently about what they must do to keep themselves safe.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• The new curriculum is not consistently put into practice by teachers due to their subject knowledge not always being secure. As a result, some pupils do less well than they should. Leaders should ensure that all staff have the required subject knowledge and expertise to implement the curriculum effectively.
• Teachers are not yet using assessment well enough in classrooms to identify and rectify pupils' misconceptions. As a result, some pupils have gaps in learning and are not making the progress they could. Leaders should make sure that all staff understand how to use assessment strategies effectively to check how well pupils are learning the intended curriculum.
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