William Gilpin Church of England Primary School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Everyone at William Gilpin is welcoming.
Kindness is shown to new pupils and any visitors to the school. Pupils are eager to share what they believe to be special about their school community. This includes how proud they are of how everyone looks out for one another.
Currently, pupils are very excited about the ever-growing number of trips and extra-curricular clubs that are being reintroduced. This includes cooking and craftwork on a Friday afternoon in forest school, as well as playing different sports at a local secondary school.
Parents are un...animous in their positive view of the education on offer.
As one parent described, 'The school is a rare gem hiding in the forest.' They value how nurturing the school is and how the well-being of pupils is at the forefront of adults' minds. This includes the thoughtful provision that is in place for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Staff have high expectations of both pupils' academic achievement and behaviour. Pupils strive to meet these, knowing they have a role in helping everyone to learn and flourish. The older pupils take their roles of responsibility, such as being a house captain or an eco-warrior, very seriously.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The headteacher, his staff and the governing body are ambitious for every single pupil in their care. Alongside wanting all pupils to be confident readers, writers and mathematicians, teachers also develop pupils' thinking and understanding of the world. Pupils are encouraged to be curious as soon as they join Reception.
Adults work skilfully to help the youngest children develop their speech, language and communication skills. This focus continues as pupils move up into the older classes. Here they are regularly encouraged to voice their opinion and ask questions about the different topics they study.
Leaders have prioritised this work over the past year. They feel this is helping pupils regain any confidence lost because of the disruption caused by COVID-19.Leaders have thought carefully about how to organise the curriculum so that it meets the needs of pupils from different age groups who may be in the same class.
Staff meet regularly to develop this across every subject. Teachers have detailed subject knowledge that they use to make learning engaging and effective. In mathematics, pupils grapple with problems skilfully and confidently.
Pupils develop their scientific knowledge through cleverly designed experiments that help them learn about the different states of matter. While the curriculum in the foundation subjects has also been precisely planned, leaders know their next step is to implement a system of checking what pupils can remember from a previous lesson or topic. This will ensure that any gaps in learning are quickly identified so pupils can increase their knowledge and understanding.
Leaders are determined to ensure every pupil becomes a confident and eager reader. Learning to read starts as soon as children join Reception. The recently introduced programme is further strengthening the teaching of phonics so pupils can read accurately.
Weaker readers read to an adult daily to help them build fluency in their reading. Teachers use rich and interesting texts to help pupils find out about the world around them. This includes reading about journeys to exciting countries or finding out about the lives and experiences of a diverse range of people.
Pupils are polite and courteous. Staff are quick to re-engage anyone who is distracted or less focused. Pupils follow the well-established routines in the school, meaning that learning is rarely disrupted.
Leaders have prioritised supporting the positive mental well-being of pupils. Sessions on mindfulness, as part of the school's personal, social and health education (PSHE), have supported this. Extra help is given to pupils with SEND when this is required.
This includes additional outdoor learning as part of the forest school provision.
The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils is a strength of the school. The distinctive Christian character of the school is celebrated daily.
Teachers explore with pupils their 'moral compass'. They encourage pupils to reflect upon worldwide environmental issues, such as deforestation. As a result, pupils demonstrate a strong understanding of how to be a respectful and responsible citizen.
The governing body is rightly proud of the work of the school staff. Governors work closely with leaders to provide effective challenge and support. Staff unanimously enjoy working at the school.
They are very proud of their 'close-knit team'. They also appreciate the valuable professional development that drives the school's continual improvement.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff know their pupils exceptionally well. Adults are alert to any changes in behaviour that may indicate concerns about a pupil's safety or well-being. Safeguarding records are detailed.
They show how leaders work closely with external agencies to provide additional support for families when required.
Teachers have prioritised aspects of the PSHE curriculum to ensure pupils know how to stay safe. This includes how to learn and play safely online, as well as key road safety tips.
Pupils are confident that there is always a trusted adult available to listen and help them with any worries they may have.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Assessment within the foundation subjects is not yet in place. As a result, teachers are less confident in accurately checking how pupils' knowledge and understanding within some subjects are developing.
This means it is difficult to determine where further support may be required. Leaders should carefully monitor the implementation of assessment processes to ensure that pupils know and remember more across the school's 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 February 2013.