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About Woodford Valley Church of England Aided School
Woodford Valley Church of England Aided School is a caring school. Staff are nurturing towards pupils. Staff know the pupils, their siblings and their families well.
As a result, the needs of the pupils are well met and understood. This creates a warm culture across the school.
Leaders and staff work collaboratively to build a diverse and bespoke curriculum.
For example, pupils have a regular practical food technology lesson. However, in some subject areas, leaders have not planned with sufficient detail the knowledge that pupils will learn and build on.
Pupils are respectful of one another.
When a pupil waits at the 'friendship stop', other...s invite them to play. All the year groups play together in a shared space. Year 5 'buddies' meet and play with their 'buddies' in Reception Year.
Pupils say that bullying is rare. They are confident that adults deal with issues promptly.
Pupils live out the 12 school values through their attitudes and actions.
Daily worship celebrates these values. As a result, pupils talk with confidence about their ambitions to help others. There are many ambassador and leadership roles which pupils embrace.
Pupils say they feel listened to. Leaders consider pupils' views when they make decisions about the school.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have planned a broad and diverse curriculum for their pupils.
Subjects such as science and Spanish have suitably ambitious curriculums. From Reception Year, pupils learn a well-planned music curriculum. Song is evident throughout the school.
Leaders are ambitious for all pupils and ensure there are many wider opportunities through cultural trips and events to support pupils' learning. However, in some subject areas, leaders have not identified securely the progression of knowledge that pupils will learn. As a result, pupils do not build consistently on their prior learning.
In mathematics, there is a sequenced curriculum, but this is not always followed. Some pupils do not have sufficient opportunities to apply their understanding to problem-solving. In early years, the curriculum is not planned in a coherent way.
Leaders observe and assess children. They know the progress children are making, but this is not used to adapt the curriculum and build on what children can do. Leaders and staff ensure that children learn about all areas of the curriculum.
However, staff do not always plan to model learning for the children. As a result, children miss opportunities to consolidate and practise what they are learning, such as early writing or early reading.
Relationships between staff and pupils are strong.
In lessons, pupils are enthusiastic about their learning. Staff provide many opportunities for pupils to debate and discuss ideas. When pupils become distracted, they quickly focus back on their learning.
Teachers assess pupils' learning through questioning and quizzing. In some subjects, teachers track and monitor pupils so that they can provide timely intervention.
Leaders have recently changed the phonics programme for teaching early reading.
However, the phonics programme is not followed rigorously enough. Some pupils do not take part as well as they might. Pupils are not always reading books that are matched to their knowledge of phonics.
Once pupils secure their phonics, there are opportunities to read for pleasure and develop fluency.
Leaders have created an inclusive environment for all pupils. Staff receive regular training so they can support pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in their classes.
This means pupils with SEND are well supported and receive the adaptations they need to learn the curriculum.
Leaders are passionate about a wider curriculum that is inclusive and provides far-reaching opportunities for pupils. Leaders provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities, which most pupils attend.
Leaders plan and adapt clubs for all pupils. They include clubs such as sports, choir, Lego and dance. Pupils take part in regular residential trips to enhance their learning.
Pupils are proud to have been part of a cultural performance at Stonehenge and enjoy preparing school productions. Leaders prioritise pupils' physical and mental health. Pupils talk with confidence about keeping well through exercise.
Pupils learn about other faiths and have a well-developed understanding of respecting differences. Through a well-planned personal, social and health education programme, pupils learn about friendship and respect.
Staff feel well supported by leaders and governors.
They say leaders are mindful of workload and well-being. The school works closely with parents and the local community and church. Parents are very positive about the school.
Governors understand their statutory duties and provide support and challenge to leaders about the school's priorities.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders focus on their work to keep pupils safe.
Leaders carry out the required checks on the suitability of staff to work with pupils. Staff have up-to-date and relevant training so that they know how to identify any concerns. Reporting processes are well implemented and concerns are reported promptly.
Leaders, including governors, understand their responsibilities in ensuring pupils are safe. Leaders make sure vulnerable pupils and their families receive the support they need.
Pupils have a good knowledge of how to stay safe online and how to keep themselves safe in the community.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• The early reading programme is not rigorously implemented. The books pupils are given to read are not well matched to the sounds pupils are learning. As a result, some pupils who are struggling to read do not receive the precise support they need.
Leaders need to ensure there is a consistent approach to the early reading programme and that pupils read books that match the sounds they know. ? In some subjects, the curriculum is not clearly sequenced. Leaders have not identified with detail the important knowledge they want pupils to learn.
As a result, it is not evident what cumulative knowledge pupils are building up over time. Leaders need to make sure that the detail of the curriculum is clear so that pupils learn more and remember more. ? The early years curriculum has not been planned in sufficient detail to adapt quickly to children's development.
Children are not regularly guided to adult-initiated activities. As a result, opportunities for children to consolidate and practise learning are sometimes missed. Leaders should ensure that the early years curriculum deliberately plans for children as they develop and meet different milestones.
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