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Whitegrove Primary School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils enjoy coming to this school. Families gather at the entrance of the school every morning and talk excitedly about the day ahead.
One parent, typical of many, told the inspector, 'This school is our extended family.' From the minute pupils arrive at school, teachers have high expectations of them. Pupils rise to these expectations.
Pupils feel safe here. They can share concerns, using a 'things I want my teacher to know about me' box. Pupils support each other.
Pupils say there is no bullying at the school, but if there were, they are confident a member of staff w...ould help them sort it out straight away. Some pupils train as peer mediators to help others with friendship issues. Other pupils train to be play leaders.
They love to help supervise play at lunchtimes.
There is a plethora of clubs and activities to take part in. For example, some pupils play chess, join the school choir or learn to crochet.
Many pupils take part in physical activity. Staff encourage pupils to represent the school in a team. All pupils represent their class in some form of competition.
This teaches pupils important life skills, with the motto, 'If you're not winning, you're learning.'
Pupils behave well at school. In lessons, they concentrate and work hard.
At lunchtime, pupils sit and eat together and learn good table manners.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders are ambitious for pupils. The early years curriculum aim of 'ensuring every child has the best possible start to thrive' is realised as a result of carefully planned and well-executed teaching.
Leaders responsible for reading share their genuine passion for books with pupils. The recently introduced, new phonics scheme has not yet been fully embedded across the school. Even so, children learn to read well.
A wide range of books are well matched to the sounds pupils can read. Support is available for those who have fallen behind. Leaders are aware that some of the adults who help the weakest pupils to read have not yet had enough training.
A strength of this school is the breadth of the curriculum. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education because of the careful thought put into the subject content that they study in each year. Teachers select activities that help pupils remember critical information and build on what they know.
For example, in mathematics in the early years, pupils are taught how to use mathematical equipment to help them understand complex number concepts. As pupils grow through the school, carefully planned activities using the equipment enable pupils to develop a secure understanding of key mathematical concepts and knowledge. In a small number of subjects, leaders are aware that the curriculum is not quite as effective.
There are no barriers to success for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) here. Everyone strives for them to achieve the best possible outcomes. Staff receive appropriate training to support pupils with SEND in lessons.
Extra support is available for those who need it.
Pupils at Whitegrove are well prepared for life in modern Britain. They learn about democracy through student council activities.
Here, they feel that they can make a positive contribution to the school; for example redesigning activities for 'wet play'. Pupils also learn about diversity and equality. In 'Diversity Week', pupils take part in activities that help them understand and celebrate differences.
One pupil told the inspector, 'It's ok to be whoever you are, no matter where you were born or what your gender is.'
The well-being of pupils and staff is prioritised. All staff work as a cohesive team and are proud to work here.
Staff feel supported and value the professional development they receive. Senior leaders are doing all they can to further develop the school and strengthen all aspects on returning from the pandemic. Governance is strong.
Governors share leaders' aspirations and high standards. They provide effective challenge and support to the school. There is a strong sense of partnership between members of staff and families whose children attend the school.
This enables everyone to work together to support pupils to learn as best they can. One parent said, 'The staff are amazing and really work hard with you and your child on a very personal level.'
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Strong relationships underpin safeguarding. Staff respond to potential concerns they may have because they are well trained. The safeguarding team meets regularly and reviews cases on an individual basis.
Leaders, including governors, are meticulous in their oversight of safeguarding. Procedures are clear. Support is offered in a timely manner.
Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe through the well-planned personal, social and health education curriculum. Pupils learn valuable lessons about internet safety in computing lessons.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• The recently introduced phonics scheme is not yet embedded effectively.
Some staff who support the most vulnerable pupils to learn to read are not sufficiently well trained in how to use effective strategies and techniques. Leaders must ensure that the new phonics scheme is effectively implemented and that staff receive detailed and tailored training as soon as possible. ? The curriculum in some subjects, for example design and technology and music, is not yet as strong as in other areas.
As a result, pupils do not build deep knowledge or skills as well as in other subjects. Leaders need to strengthen their curriculum thinking and professional development for teachers in these areas.
When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.
This is called a section 8 inspection of a good or outstanding school, because it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.
Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the section 8 inspection as a section 5 inspection immediately.
This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good in January 2017.
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