Ofsted Report

Monday 12th June 2023

Ofsted Inspection information letter for parent and carers

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are now in a position to share with you that the full Section 5 Ofsted Report from our two-day inspection in April is now available and will be released on the Ofsted site within the next five days.
Our school has been graded as ‘Requiring Improvement’

The process was very detailed and rigorous. The report is brief and does not fully convey all the positives that were fed back to us over the two days about our school. We would like to thank all those who took part in the inspection, staff, governors, parents and pupils alike.

The report accurately describes that the many changes in headship since the last inspection has had an impact on the rate of improvement. Inconsistencies and changes impact on leadership at all levels. All staff have worked hard to keep the school moving forward. Additionally, it also recognised that leaders are ambitious for all pupils.

Improvement work had begun in the school. At the time of the inspection our work on the curriculum (a key factor which supports the judgement about the quality of education) was in progress. Inspection does bear in mind that developing and embedding an effective curriculum takes time and that leaders may only be part-way through the process of adapting or redeveloping the curriculum. This was recognised by the inspectors and our school improvement planning evidenced this. Work to develop subjects within the wider curriculum is in its infancy and subject audits carried out in the spring term identified the key areas for development.

We are very pleased that the hard work undertaken by all in the school community has been recognised. This includes the following:

  • High expectations for pupils’ behaviour and conduct is enabled by all staff who make sure that pupils follow appropriate routines.
  • Our pupils feel safe
  • Warm and caring relationships exist between adults and pupils
  • Our pupils enjoy a wide range of rich experiences and trips
  • Leaders prioritise reading
  • Books match the sounds the children know
  • We have good quality books in our school
  • Our children learn to read as soon as they start in Reception
  • There is a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics and pupils receive support if they fall behind
  • Our curriculum in maths is well designed, children progress well through the maths curriculum
  • Pupils’ personal development is a school priority and the school focuses well on this
  • Via the parental survey 100% parents said they would recommend our school
  • Safeguarding is effective in our school
  • “Many changes have impacted on the work of the curriculum. Staff have worked hard to keep things going” (stated by the lead inspector in her verbal feedback)
  • “All teachers in the school see themselves as leaders, they take responsibility for developing the
  • school” (stated by the lead inspector in her verbal feedback)
  • Our children know how to keep mentally well, they understand moral dilemmas. They stated, “It is ok to have different opinions” and “Everyone is welcome in our school”

We would certainly agree that there is further work to be done to develop subjects within the wider curriculum and as a result of this, subject leadership will be further enhanced as we implement and capture the impact of the work that is done following the implementation of a newly updated coherently planned and sequenced curriculum. This curriculum will detail the clear knowledge and skills that we want children to know and identify what they should be able to do as they move through the school from year to year.

Work on SEND provision in our school is also developing. The impact across the whole curriculum is not yet fully evident. However, in their verbal feedback the inspectors shared that there was clear ambition for SEND learners in maths. All children are accessing the maths curriculum and achieving well. SEND pupils are well supported and not over-scaffolded by adults who work with them.

Ofsted recognised we have passionate leadership in our Early Years. Many strengths were identified in our EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) provision in our verbal feedback as follows:

  • Phonics is taught systematically. Our children are keen to read
  • There is a strong focus on communication and language
  • Mathematics learning is clear, the knowledge is clear
  • Clear routines are well established
  • The leader clearly understands Early Years
  • The teaching approach(pedagogy) towards teaching maths and phonics is really clear
  • The children are excited about their learning
  • The children are well cared for
  • The children have many opportunities to develop physically
  • Parents of EYFS children engage well with the school
  • The children in EYFS have positive attitudes to their learning
  • There is a strong focus on developing vocabulary

Unfortunately, the grading ‘Requires Improvement’ was applied to Early Years based purely upon the need to align the curriculum design with the expectations for the rest of the school. Ensuring that there is documentation which maps out the learning journey in a progressive way identifying clearly the skills and knowledge progression that will prepare our EYFS children for their KS1 journey and onwards. The knowledge and skills in the seven areas of learning needs to be carefully planned and mapped. This work has now begun.

Inspectors will consider the knowledge and skills that pupils will gain at each stage through the school’s curriculum (we call this ‘intent’). They will look at the scope of the curriculum, including how carefully leaders have thought about what end points the curriculum is building towards (with reference to the national curriculum and, where relevant, the EYFS). They will also look at how leaders have broken down the content into components and sequenced that content in a logical progression, systematically and explicitly, for all pupils to acquire the intended knowledge and skills
(Extract from the Ofsted School Inspection Handbook 2022)

With regards to Leadership and Management the inspectors stated the following:

  • Staff work incredibly hard and are dedicated to the school. Despite changes in leadership staff have continued
  • Inconsistencies and changes impacted on leadership at all levels
  • The ambition for the curriculum is not yet realised in practice. There is further work to be done to develop the quality of education
  • There has been more recent professional development for staff
  • The school engages well with parents and carers, newsletters and the Parents’ Forum meetings
  • Despite the turbulence,100% of parents would recommend the school
  • There is an effective culture of safeguarding
  • Governors have worked hard to manage the changes.

The grading for Leadership and Management is weighted by the grading for the Quality of Education and therefore matches that as ‘Requiring Improvement’

Grading explained: A grade is based on the Ofsted framework, where an assessment is made to establish whether criteria are met. Grades are then used to decide the overall school grade which is referred to as ‘Overall effectiveness’.

Overall effectiveness - Requires improvement
The quality of education - Requires improvement
Behaviour and attitudes - Good
Personal development - Good
Leadership and management - Requires improvement
Early Years provision - Requires improvement

Since the inspection the school plans have been updated to further reflect the priorities identified. There is a clear timeline in place to ensure the updated curriculum is ready and in place by the end of this term. Work had already started. Subject leaders have had dedicated time with Miss Miller to focus on developing the curriculum for the different areas. The curriculum timetables have also been reviewed to ensure that a broad and balanced curriculum is on offer for all children to experience all subjects weekly. There is a dedicated music lesson weekly for all classes. We have changed some of the blocking of subjects to support children to remember their learning journey much better in a subject.

In the spring term we started using new assessment tracking software to capture information about reading, writing and maths. This will be developed further to start capturing the progress in the wider areas of the curriculum.

Miss Miller has shared the plans with the incoming new headteacher, and they remain in close contact on the progress regarding the curriculum. We feel very confident that the plans we have in place to address the key areas identified will be achieved. If you have any further questions or queries please do not hesitate to make contact with us at school.

Miss Sandra Miller
Interim Headteacher

Mrs Trudy Nazer
Chair of Governors

Download the Ofsted Report here