Wickham Church of England Primary School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Love, courage and respect are woven into the fabric of this warm, friendly, caring school. A high level of care and support permeates Wickham. As a result, pupils happily attend school.
They say that they feel safe here. One pupil, when asked to describe the school, said, 'The best thing about this school are the memories you make.'
Dedicated staff provide a highly personalised approach, which means that pupils are treated as individuals.
Staff take the time to get to know each of the pupils and understand their unique qualities.
Pupils are full...y invested in all that Wickham has to offer. They enjoy getting involved in a wide range of clubs, including the 'reforestation' club.
The school's personal, social, health and economic programme teaches pupils about many important topics and issues that will affect them in their lives.
Pupils behave well and are thoughtful and kind. Sometimes they disagree and fall out with each other.
However, they are given the tools and support they need to be able to recognise other people's points of view and find a happy solution. Pupils say that bullying is very rare. They have confidence in their teachers and support staff to help as needed.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Wickham's ambitious and deeply committed headteacher took up his post in January 2020, following several changes of leadership and staffing. Supported well by a team of senior leaders, he quickly brought staff together with a renewed focus on improving many aspects of the school. One parent echoed the views of many, saying: 'My children are thriving at Wickham.
They love their teachers and are supported well by all adults. The improvements made over the last couple of years are evident.'
Leaders have developed an ambitious and well-thought-out curriculum.
Pupils enjoy a range of different subjects. Their knowledge and understanding of many topics, concepts and ideas develop as they move through the school, from the early years to Year 6. Children get off to a good start in the early years because of the many exciting and engaging learning experiences they have.
Consequently, they are prepared well for what will come in Year 1 and beyond.
In reading, English and mathematics, staff successfully check what pupils know and remember before they teach new concepts and ideas. However, in other subjects, not all teachers use assessment information well enough to adapt their lessons.
This leads to some pupils moving on before they have the building blocks they need to tackle new learning.
Staff know that reading is key to pupils being able to learn. A well-stocked library has a range of high-quality books, providing ample opportunity for pupils to read different genres of books, and most do so daily.
Leaders have rapidly improved the teaching of phonics. They have achieved this by introducing a new phonics programme. Staff have been trained well, which means that the phonics programme is taught consistently.
Pupils, including weaker readers, now read confidently and fluently. The books pupils read are carefully matched to the sounds they know. When pupils struggle to read a word, they use their knowledge of phonics to help them.
Those who need more help with phonics receive focused support from staff.
A highly inclusive approach means that leaders and staff are committed to making sure that all pupils make good progress. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are carefully identified with the help of the school's highly knowledgeable special educational needs coordinator (SENCo).
This careful identification leads to support for each pupil that is well matched to their needs. When pupils require support from other professionals, leaders work well with them to ensure that it is timely and effective.
Staff have high expectations of pupils' learning and behaviour.
A simple behaviour system means that pupils know what is expected of them. They understand and follow the three rules of 'ready, safe and respectful'. Staff quickly identify barriers to learning that sometimes lead to pupils losing focus.
They ensure that the needs of these pupils are well met. Consequently, pupils behave well in lessons and around the school.
Staff who responded to Ofsted's confidential staff survey said that they are well supported by leaders and that leaders take their workload and well-being seriously.
Some staff have been supported to become subject leaders. These staff help senior leaders to check and improve the quality of education. However, senior leaders know that further changes to how subject leaders monitor what happens in the classroom will help them to improve the curriculum even more.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
A strong culture of safeguarding leads to pupils feeling happy and safe. Governors, leaders and staff take their safeguarding responsibilities seriously.
Recruitment checks on adults working at the school are thorough. Regular training for staff means that they know when a pupil may need help and protection. They routinely report concerns to the school's designated safeguarding leads (DSLs).
These DSLs take swift and appropriate action, keeping detailed records, to ensure that pupils and their families get the help they need quickly. While leaders keep staff training records, they know that these records could be further strengthened.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In the foundation subjects, some teachers do not use assessment information precisely enough to inform what they will teach next.
This means that pupils sometimes learn new concepts and ideas without having a firm foundation on which to build, which leads to further gaps in their learning. Leaders should ensure that teachers' understanding of assessment in the foundation subjects is further developed so that they know how to use this information more effectively. ? Leaders do not systematically monitor the implementation of the school's curriculum.
This leads to informal monitoring by subject leaders that does not monitor precisely enough how well the curriculum is being delivered. Leaders should further develop their approach to how they monitor the implementation of the curriculum.
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 December 2012.