This is a GOOD school and highlights from our latest Section 5 report include:
- The headteacher, governors and staff have significantly improved the school since the last inspection. This has transformed the school into a welcoming, caring, learning environment.
- The well-respected headteacher has inspired the school community to believe in themselves and in their school. As a result, pupils want to achieve the best they can both academically and as citizens.
- Personal development, welfare and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are all strengths of the school. They are an integral part of the curriculum but also central to all that the school does.
- The effectiveness of teaching, learning and assessment in the school is now typically good, resulting in pupils making good progress overall, particularly in Key Stage 2 and the early years.
- The behaviour of pupils is good. As a result, the school is a calm, orderly and purposeful place to learn.
- Children in the early years achieve well. Effective leadership and teaching ensure that they make good progress.
- An ethos of respect and kindness pervades the school. This was exemplified by an assembly led by the headteacher, observed during the inspection, that encouraged all pupils to be kind and thoughtful. The school’s ethos visibly promotes equality and embraces diversity; the positive culture that is set by the headteacher, the staff and the pupils together ensures that discriminatory behaviour is not tolerated.
- Senior leaders know their school well and have a good capacity and thirst for continual improvement. They have worked hard to improve the quality of teaching in school and follow the progress of pupils in detail. In this way, they ensure that whatever support is needed is put in place, so that pupils achieve their best.
- The high staff morale and positive learning environment ensure that teachers and teaching assistants are always seeking to learn new skills. Many have worked towards awards for the school such as the Quality Mark for Values-based Education and the Leading Parent Partnership Award. A number are beginning to go out and advise and support other schools.
- The school has a varied and balanced curriculum that engages pupils and contributes to their enjoyment of learning. Subjects are well planned and often have a thread of personal development or social and emotional learning woven in.
- The wide variety of extra-curricular activities, such as fell-walking, theatre trips and visits to London, provides pupils with life-enhancing experiences they may otherwise not have the opportunity to enjoy.
- Pupils are taught about being good citizens through the curriculum. Pupils appreciate diversity and respect the views and opinions of others. The school takes positive steps to widen pupils’ understanding of different cultures and religions. This helps prepare them well for life in modern Britain.
- Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a strength as it is central to all that the school does. Whether in class or around school, it is promoted and modelled by both staff and pupils equally. Leaders are keen to ensure that pupils are equipped and prepared for the joys and the challenges of life. They are reflective in nurturing pupils in this regard, not shying away from issues such as drugs, alcohol and keeping safe.
- The school offers a before- and after-school club (‘Tigers’) which is well led and managed. It is a popular
Inspection report: Trumacar Nursery and Community Primary School, 12–13 January 2016 4 of 10
provision, appreciated by parents and enjoyed by pupils. Pupils who attend get a meal and a chance to take part in a range of fun activities which the pupils have had the opportunity to plan themselves around topical themes. The provision provides pupils with a positive start and end to the school day.
- Governors know the school well and take their roles seriously. They often meet with senior and middle leaders to discuss the actions and improvements in areas for which they are responsible. They are focused on improving the school and play an active part in monitoring and evaluating, resulting in them making an important contribution to the school’s drive for improvement.
- The quality of teaching and learning has improved since the last inspection and is now typically good. Teachers and teaching assistants are positive, upbeat and friendly in lessons; this creates a good environment for learning. Positive relationships, coupled with good resources, capture pupils’ interest.
- Teachers know their pupils well and use assessment information effectively to identify and plan for pupils’ needs over time and in lessons.
- Lessons start crisply. These prompt starts set an appropriate learning pace in lessons that pupils respond to by being engaged and motivated to learn. Pupils are happy to work collaboratively and have a positive attitude to learning. Teachers structure lessons well to support pupils as they develop ideas and plan how they are going to tackle tasks set.
- Teachers have good subject knowledge and make regular reference to past learning both in lessons and over time. Staff insist that pupils use the correct vocabulary in lessons and there is an expectation that pupils will give full answers to questions explaining their learning in their responses.
- Teachers have high expectations of all groups of pupils and use questions skilfully to challenge pupils and match their learning closely to needs.
- Teaching assistants across Key Stages 1 and 2 are deployed effectively and make a good contribution to the progress of the pupils with whom they work.
- The curriculum is well planned. Teachers plan good opportunities for pupils to develop reading, including phonics (the sounds that letters make), writing and mathematics, as well as master concepts in different subjects.
- The majority of parents say they value the information given to them about how their children are improving and their next steps in learning.
- The majority of parents who responded to Parent View, Ofsted’s online questionnaire, felt that the school deals appropriately with bullying. They think the school looks after their children well and, as a result, their children feel safe and happy. A very small percentage of parents disagreed. Pupils spoken to during the inspection said that they felt bullying was rare and they were confident that teachers dealt with any unkind or negative language towards pupils very quickly. Pupils feel safe in school and know how to keep themselves safe, including online.
- The school is committed to building strong relationships with parents, who in turn speak highly of the school, the staff and how they support their children. They feel the school communicates with them regularly and provides a range of opportunities to find out about what their child is learning or for them to raise concerns.
- Pupils are very well mannered and show a genuine interest in others. They open doors for adults and each other, ask if they can help and consider each other’s welfare.
- Pupils enjoy coming to school and are eager to learn and benefit from the wide range of activities and opportunities on offer.
- Early years is well led; the leader is clear about the strengths and weaknesses of the provision.
- The quality of teaching is good, the expectations on children are generally appropriate and sessions are well prepared with stimulating activities matched to the range of abilities within the provision. The opportunities for imaginative play and for children to generate their own learning are strong.
- There is a clear emphasis on creating a caring and nurturing environment, which is evident from the positive relationships adults have with children and children have with each other.
- There are very positive relationships between parents and staff. The early years leader considers this to be crucial, as it sets the tone for a child’s whole school career. Parents talk very positively; they point out that their children are happy to come to school, enjoy learning and staff are very helpful and supportive. A number talked about how helpful staff had been in supporting them with developing their child’s speech.
- Transition arrangements are thorough, with visits made to homes before a child starts Nursery or Reception, as well as ‘stay and play’ sessions and invitations to join story activities in Reception in the summer term. Although some children join Reception from the school’s Nursery, some come from other providers and around half join straight from home. The relationship with Key Stage 1 is strong and a range of ‘getting to know staff and classroom’ sessions are planned through the summer term, resulting in staff getting to know children well and children feeling confident to move up to the next class.
We are not yet outstanding because:
- Not enough pupils are achieving outcomes at the end of Key Stage 1 that are at or above those of pupils nationally.
- Our response is that we are expecting much higher attainment and progress levels at the end of Key Stage 1 this year following our changes to EYFS through the Quality Award, and a clearer focus over the last 2 years on improving pitch and differentiation throughout Key Stage 1.
- Some pupils, particularly the most able, are not challenged sufficiently and activities do not always deepen further their understanding or improve their skills.
- Our response is that we had more children achieving higher levels in 2015 for Key Stage 2 and we continue to work on this area. Not enough achieved Level 3 at Key Stage 1 and again we are already working on improving this with children of all abilities, including those of higher ability, are continually challenged and lessons are pitched to stretch them further in their learning.
- The school’s self-evaluation of its work is accurate but requires further refinement because issues are analysed too superficially. As a result, the identification of priorities for further development lacks precision.
- The Self-evaluation has covered so many different aspects for improvement in recent years, we now feel confident that we can analyse the specific areas which need to continue to be developed and these will be discussed with governors and senior leaders before being shared with staff, parents and children – making it very clear what needs to be done towards Trumacar becoming an outstanding school.
These are available on the OFSTED website by clicking on the logo below. You can also see what Parents think of Trumacar Nursery and Community Primary School by clicking on the Parent View Logo and navigating to our school page.