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Milwards Primary highly praised by Ofsted following recent inspection

Education / Tue 9th Jan 2024 at 09:57am

MILWARDS Primary school has been highly praised following a recent Ofsted inspection.

The school based at Paringdon Road was inspected over two days on November 7th and 8th.

The main observations are below

What is it like to attend this school?

The school is at the centre of the community. Adults know pupils and their families
well. The community ethos of the school enables new pupils to settle quickly. Pupils
say it is easy to make friends. They feel looked after as adults provide well-thought-
out care. Pupils like the ‘little extras’ leaders provide, such as daily bagels for
everyone. They know adults will help them if they have worries.

Pupils behave well. They rise to the school’s high expectations, being polite and
showing good manners throughout the school day. Pupils stay focused as they enjoy
their lessons. This is because adults adapt the curriculum to make learning
manageable and accessible to all pupils. Pupils receive the support they need at the
right time.

Pupils appreciate the many opportunities they have to learn new things. This may be
through having mental health sessions and learning how to breathe properly or
looking after the rescue chickens. They feel prepared for life’s challenges. Pupils
know how to keep safe online and outside of school.

Pupils enjoy sharing their learning in weekly assemblies. They are proud to be
selected as ‘star of the week’ for excellent work.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do
better?

The school has an ambitious curriculum. It equips pupils with the most important
knowledge they need to learn. The curriculum planning is broken down into small
steps which build lesson by lesson. This helps pupils to succeed at school. The
emphasis on subject-specific vocabulary means that pupils use this with precision,
explaining complex ideas in a simple way.

The school provides ongoing training for teachers in all subjects. Staff know the
school’s curriculum and the best ways to teach the content. Teachers check pupils’
understanding of what they have learned. They address misunderstandings
effectively and help to move pupils quickly on.

Teachers look closely at where pupils have gaps in their knowledge and address these. As a result, pupils succeed in their learning, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Since the last inspection, leaders have raised the profile of reading in school. They
promote a love of reading through events such as the parent and child reading café
and virtual library.

Pupils love reading and borrowing books from the redeveloped library. They enjoy talking about their class reading books. Children start to develop the skills they need to learn to read in Nursery. For instance, listening closely to rhymes and songs. Daily phonics sessions enable most pupils to develop as confident readers.

A very small number of pupils are not given the right books to help them learn to read. This hampers their development as readers.

Parents, justifiably, hold the school’s SEND provision in high regard. Staff have high
aspirations for what pupils with SEND can achieve. Adults receive effective training
so they can help identify pupils’ needs.

They also use pupils’ support plans well, providing helpful ways for pupils to access their lessons. Subsequently, pupils with SEND access the same, ambitious, curriculum as their peers.

They make good progress and enjoy their learning.

The school’s early years provision has improved. Engaging resources provide
children with meaningful opportunities to develop their learning and curiosity. This
ensures all children make progress in all areas of learning. Robust transition
arrangements support children to settle quickly when they start school. Skilled adults
identify children’s needs and ensure children are ready for Year 1.

Most pupils attend school on a regular basis. The school provides a wide range of
support to help pupils attend, including an early morning running club. Pupils are
polite around school and are courteous towards each other. They show genuine
interest in each other’s ideas and enjoy talking to visitors. The school has clear
behaviour expectations. This includes the use of rewards and ‘consequences’. In
some lessons, this is not used in a consistent way by some staff meaning sometimes
poor behaviour goes unchallenged.

The school has introduced a new personal, social, health and economic curriculum.

Pupils are already benefiting from the change. Pupils learn about healthy lifestyles
and how to keep safe. Adults provide a high level of pastoral care for pupils and
their families. This supports pupils to be in school and ready for learning.

The school ensures all pupils take part in sports competitions, such as football tournaments.
There are a wide range of clubs for pupils.

Trustees and governors know the school’s strengths and areas for development.

They challenge and support leaders’ work. They ensure adults’ workload and well-
being are a focus. Adults say they feel supported and valued.

Safeguarding
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

 The books given to a few pupils are not precisely matched to their reading
knowledge. As a result, these pupils struggle to read and are not catching up
quickly enough. Leaders need to ensure all adults are trained to match pupils’
books to the sounds they know.

 The school’s behaviour policy is not consistently applied by all adults. This means
that in a small proportion of lessons, pupils’ behaviour does not match the school’s expectations.

Leaders should ensure all adults receive training to support the consistent implementation of the behaviour policy.

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