Ofsted praise Church Langley Primary after short inspection

Education: Primary / Wed 16th May 2018 at 08:41am

Church Langley Primary

CHURCH Langley Primary has been praised by school inspectors, Ofsted, after a short inspecton.

The government watchdog came to the school in April, 2018.

The report states:

The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.

Pupils enjoy coming to school because you have created a happy, supportive, secure and stimulating learning environment. This was fittingly summed up by a parent who described the school as ‘a big school with a small-school feel’.

You, your staff and governors have set high expectations and aim to ensure that all pupils achieve the very best outcomes. As a result, the proportion of pupils who achieve the expected standards in reading, writing and mathematics has been above average in key stage 2 for the last two years.

You are providing the school with strong and effective leadership. You have the support of a strong leadership team and staff and most parents and carers. Comments such as ‘an amazing headteacher who goes above and beyond’ and ‘the headteacher puts so much effort into everything the school does’ are representative of several parents’ views.

Staff enjoy working in the school and relationships between pupils and adults are very positive. Pupils told me they enjoy learning because lessons are fun, the work challenges them and teachers help them when they are ‘stuck’. Year 6 pupils say teachers encourage them to be independent and take on responsibilities, such as supporting younger pupils with their reading and being playleaders. Pupils said this
helps them prepare for secondary school.

Behaviour in lessons is good because pupils understand the classroom expectations. They concentrate well on their work and there is very little disruption to learning. This was confirmed by your behaviour records. Walking around the school during social time, I found the pupils to be friendly towards one another and confident in talking to me. Mixed-age groups play together and staff are very quick to identify and support pupils who may need help.

You and your staff have worked consistently to meet the areas for improvement set at the previous inspection, when you were asked to accelerate the progress in reading and writing across the early years and key stage 1. My visits to lessons confirmed that pupils are set interesting work at the right level of difficulty. Adults carefully check pupils’ learning and are quick to support those who need additional help or need to move on to the next activity. However, we agreed that there is a need for teachers to ask more searching questions to further develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding.

Subject leaders check the progress of pupils in their subject by visiting lessons and looking at pupils’ work. As a result, key stage 1 results have been in line with or above average since the previous inspection. The proportion of pupils meeting the expected standard in phonics has been above average for the last three years. Children get off to a good start in the early years. They learn in stimulating classrooms where there are plenty of interesting and challenging activities that keep them focused on their learning. Children work well together and show high levels of listening skills and concentration. The proportion of children reaching a good level of development has been above average for three consecutive years. As a result, children are well prepared for key stage 1.

Governors have a broad range of relevant skills which they use to challenge and support leaders to good effect. They have a good understanding of the strengths and challenges faced by the school. Governors ensure that they carry out all their statutory duties.
Safeguarding is effective.

Leaders have ensured that there are thorough arrangements and procedures in place to keep pupils safe in school. These routine practices create a strong culture of safeguarding throughout the school. The required pre-employment checks are carried out on all adults who work with pupils. Staff undertake annual training and are regularly kept up to date about safeguarding issues. Staff are vigilant and are quick to report any concerns they may have about a pupil’s well-being. Concerns from staff are meticulously recorded and quickly followed up with the appropriate agencies.
Pupils told me that they feel safe at the school. They say adults listen to them and support them if they have a problem. Pupils are taught how to keep safe in a variety of situations and, as a result, talked knowledgeably about water safety, road safety and internet safety. Pupils say that bullying does happen but it is rare and that ‘bullying is dealt with almost before we know it’s happened.’

Inspection findings

 You know the strengths of the school and are keen to celebrate the many things the school does well. You know the areas that require further improvement and leaders work systematically to address them.

 In the last two years, the progress of disadvantaged pupils has been below that of all pupils nationally and other pupils in the school. We discussed how you use the additional funding you receive to support these pupils. I found that the money is being used appropriately to support pupils’ learning, attendance and social and emotional needs.

 The support is having a positive impact on improving attendance, behaviour, attitudes towards learning and outcomes in reading, writing and mathematics. Work in pupils’ books indicates staff have high expectations of disadvantaged pupils and, currently, the majority of pupils are making good progress across a range of subjects. However, we agreed that there is still a need to accelerate the progress of disadvantaged pupils across the school.

 The proportion of pupils who met the expected standard in writing at the end of key stages 1 and 2 was above average in 2017. However, progress in writing is not improving as rapidly as it is in reading and mathematics. As a result, the proportion of pupils meeting the higher standard was below average.

 You had already identified this as an improvement priority and have made changes to the way you teach writing. Staff training has led to more secure assessment judgements and you work with other schools to moderate the accuracy of your assessments.

 Work in pupils’ books indicates that they are able to develop their ideas in greater depth and that they accurately use a greater variety of grammatical techniques. I also noticed that pupils are beginning to use more sophisticated vocabulary. I saw some excellent examples of extended story-writing produced by some of the most able children in Reception.

 Pupils follow a broad and balanced curriculum. Subject leaders have ensured that pupils cover the full range of knowledge to develop a good understanding in subjects other than mathematics and English. Pupils’ progress is carefully tracked and the quality of work is monitored regularly. I saw some excellent examples of science work where pupils in Year 1 were able to make predictions, explain what is meant by a fair test and write out the instructions for their investigation. Pupils have plenty of opportunities to practise their English and mathematical skills.

 Pupils told me they enjoy subjects such as science, art and French. They were looking forward to science week because, they said, ‘We are going to do experiments rather than desk science.’ I saw some high-quality art, history, religious education and design and technology work displayed around the school and in pupils’ books. However, we agreed that there was some inconsistency in outcomes. The curriculum does not yet provide enough opportunities in all subjects for pupils to reach the higher standard of outcomes seen in English and mathematics.

 The curriculum provides good opportunities to support pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. There is a wide variety of school clubs and many opportunities to take part in sporting activities and the annual school productions. Visits and trips are varied and support learning, for example visits to local places of worship and residential visits to help develop pupils’ social skills.

Next steps for the school

Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that:
 teachers ask more probing questions in order to deepen pupils’ knowledge and understanding
 the curriculum continues to develop so that outcomes for pupils in other subjects reflect those seen in English and mathematics
 the progress of disadvantaged pupils continues to accelerate so that it is in line with that of all pupils nationally.

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