Ofsted response

What they said we do well

What they said we do well  
 Pupils make good progress, particularly in English and mathematics.  Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage make good progress as a result of careful planning and a good range of activities. This includes those led by teachers and other staff and those chosen by the children.
 Teaching is consistently good and some is outstanding. This contributes to the pupils’ good standards of achievement.  Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is promoted very well by the wide range of specialist facilities, teaching and other opportunities. They contribute well to pupils’ personal development.
 Pupils’ behaviour is good, reflecting the importance the school places on fostering positive relationships. The school is a caring, safe and nurturing environment where pupils learn and develop well.  The school is well led and managed. Leaders have a positive impact on the quality of teaching and learning and pupils’ achievement, ensuring that they are all good. They are supported well by the school’s governing trust body.
 Pupils say they ‘love school’ and that ‘everyone including our teachers are really friendly’. They have positive attitudes to learning and high levels of attendance.  There are positive partnerships with parents and carers; most are pleased with the care and education provided.

What we need to work on

What we need to work on What we are doing
 Teaching is not yet outstanding. In a few lessons some pupils are not challenged well to ensure that they make rapid progress.  The School has revised the system of short observations by the Senior Management Team (SMT) and also peer observations, with a specific focus on pace of lesson and challenge. We have established a programme of learning walks by SMT and wider SMT members – so involving Upper and Lower School Co-ordinators and the Senco – looking specifically at behaviour for learning. This year we have also built in time for the Numeracy and Literacy Co-ordinators to observe and support in classes where they do not teach. This will aid a consistent approach across the School and allow the co-ordinators to judge whether appropriate interventions are effective.
 Checks made on some pupils’ progress against their individual targets are not reviewed as often as they might be to be fully effective.  Targets are now stuck in Maths exercise books each half term and the children play an active part in reviewing progress towards meeting these targets. After half-term, assessment areas which require further work are incorporated into ‘starter activities’. Clear targets are set for all English work in terms of differentiated success criteria (I must, I should, I could). These are stuck in children’s books at the start of each piece of work. Teachers assess against these and the children self-assess. All the targets set in the end of year reports are taken into account in subsequent planning. For the Upper School, timing of Grade Sheets going to parents has been adjusted, so that the Grade Sheets go out immediately preceding the Parent/Carer/Teacher Evenings as a basis of discussions relating to pupil progress. The new Senco has drawn up very clear targets for children who require support, detailing targets, provision of support provided by whom, for how long and where.  The Senco is actively meeting with teachers, discussing individual pupils, checking that teaching strategies are being followed and eliciting feedback from teachers.
Information gathered about pupils’ progress is not yet subject to detailed analysis as the basis for setting more ambitious targets. A new system of tracking progress in English has been developed (changes made to assessments used, use of teacher assessment, moderation to ensure reliability). Short interventions are made on the basis of tracking. The children are assessed again after the intervention with areas being highlighted for further focus work. We are also using a new system of tracking in Maths. This year, all teachers of reading, writing and Maths have been required to fill in Action Plan/Target forms for all groups with short and long-term targets, highlighting individual and group actions.
Although a system for making checks on the quality of teaching has been established, it is not as fully effective as it might be. As well as the revised system of lesson observations, there has been a review of the marking policy: marking should highlight specific places which best meet the learning objective/success criteria. These are marked with purple ticks/comments throughout the work. Comments should always refer to the learning objective. Comments which recognise that learning objectives or success criteria have been met should be written in purple. Marking should include suggestions for improvement or extension, written constructively. Comments related to improvement or ‘ways forward’, including spelling corrections, should be written using a green pen. Green for growth. There is a focus on encouraging more use of comments related to improvement and extension, with a dialogue between teacher and child in the marking. For example with extension questions showing evidence of a reply from the pupil.