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Pupils, regardless of their background, flourish at Wilton. The Christian ethos of courage, kindness, love, perseverance and respect runs like a stick of rock through the school. Relationships between staff and pupils are warm and nurturing.
Leaders have established a highly inclusive culture. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) experience the same broad and balanced curriculum as their peers. They enjoy opportunities beyond the classroom to develop their character, such as residentials and productions.
This includes pupils with highly complex needs.
Pupils feel safe and happy. Leaders have ensured the behaviour policy, 'The Wilto...n Way', is clear and understood by staff and pupils.
As a result, pupils behave well in class and at social times. Staff support those who need help to manage their emotions. Pupils show kindness and tolerance towards each other.
They say that bullying is rare. However, pupils trust staff to sort it out if it happens.
Parents speak highly of Wilton and its staff.
They appreciate the many changes that leaders have made. One comment, typical of many, was 'The school have been incredibly supportive in building my child's emotional well-being and helping with their learning'.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have transformed the school since joining the trust.
Staff morale is high. They share the same ambitious vision. Leaders have high expectations of pupils and staff.
They have developed a carefully sequenced curriculum which matches those expectations.
Leaders strive for constant improvement. They prioritise actions.
In conjunction with the trust and governors, leaders make rigorous checks on the curriculum. Consequently, they know the strengths and weaknesses well. When they spot areas that have fallen below the standards they expect, they work quickly to address them.
There is now an emphasis placed on vocabulary, which is having an impact on the language pupils use and understand. For example, in early years, staff were expecting children to use the terms 'past' and 'future'.
Staff use agreed teaching approaches to introduce new concepts to pupils.
They explain them clearly. As a result, pupils have an impressive recall of what they have learned. In history, they talk knowledgeably about how people lived during different eras, such as the Shang Dynasty and the Stone Age.
In mathematics, pupils solve problems using their knowledge of fractions confidently.
Leaders have prioritised reading throughout the school, including in the resource base. They have introduced a highly structured phonics programme.
This means that pupils learn phonics in a consistent way as they move through the school. They learn to read more quickly than in the past.
Children in the early years learn to read from the moment they start school.
Staff establish clear rules and routines. This means children are engaged and ready to learn.
Leaders have ensured that all staff are trained in the teaching of phonics.
They have clear systems for identifying pupils who fall behind in reading. Staff provide additional opportunities for these pupils to practise their phonics. However, some pupils read books that are too difficult and not well matched to the sounds they know.
As a result, some pupils struggle to sound out words accurately and read fluently.
Teachers read regularly to pupils from a carefully planned selection of books. This means that pupils are exposed to a wide variety of themes and genres over time.
Pupils say these sessions develop their own love of reading. Some say it has inspired them to read more books by particular authors.
Staff regularly check what pupils know across the curriculum.
In mathematics, teachers ask pupils routinely what they have learned in the past. This ensures that they identify gaps in knowledge swiftly. However, a minority of pupils do not attend well.
Consequently, these pupils miss important parts of learning. While leaders have increased their efforts to improve attendance, it is too early to see an impact.
Leaders have made the resource base a thriving part of the school.
They ensure that pupils are not left behind and develop their academic talents. For example, pupils attend mainstream lessons such as mathematics or physical education. In all classes, staff adapt lessons for pupils with SEND skilfully.
Leaders promote personal development well through all aspects of its work. Pupils learn about topical and moral issues in assemblies. Through the personal, social and health education curriculum, pupils study age-appropriate topics such as bodily changes and dangerous substances.
Leaders emphasise the importance of contributing to society though raising money for charities such as Children in Need.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders have created a strong culture of safeguarding.
They ensure staff receive regular training and check its impact. Staff know pupils and families well. They note any concerns about pupils.
Leaders make referrals to the local authority as necessary. They produce clear follow-up actions. Staff work with multiple agencies to ensure vulnerable families get the support they need.
Governors make regular checks on safeguarding procedures.
Pupils know how to stay safe online and in the local area. They know the importance of reporting anything that concerns them.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Some pupils who have fallen behind in their reading do not read books that match the sounds they know. As a result, pupils struggle to sound out words accurately and read fluently. Leaders need to ensure that pupils' books are well matched to the sounds they know.
• A minority of pupils are persistently absent. Consequently, they miss important learning. Leaders need to continue to work with families to ensure pupils attend school regularly.
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