Changes Since the Last Inspection
...7th - 8th July 2015
The school has a relatively new head teacher (September 2015), very ably supported by an excellent deputy head, assistant head and middle leadership team. The head teacher is in his second headship coming from a school graded ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED and SIAMs respectively.
The Senior Leadership, through rigorous monitoring and evaluation, have improved the quality of teaching so that it is consistently good or better in all classes ensuring all lessons move at a good pace and that every moment of every lesson is used productively, when teachers mark pupils' work, they consistently give advice which shows pupils clearly what they need to do next to improve, in all classes teachers give pupils the time to read and act upon the advice they receive when teachers mark their work resulting in measurable improvement in teaching and pupils’ learning.
Senior and Middle Leaders have provided effective monitoring of teaching and learning that demonstrates a raise in achievement by increasing the level of challenge offered to pupils in all years so that more of them secure the national rates of progress and reach above average standards by the end of Year 6 through monitoring that is focused, regular and specific resulting in measurable improvement in the achievement of pupils.
An external review of governance has been undertaken in order to assess how this aspect of leadership and management can be improved. In February 2016 NLG, Mrs Jo Williams revisited the school to lead an evaluation exercise.
1. What are the key areas for development, the key things stopping the school from getting to good and beyond?*
To put our 'Key Areas of Need' into context we have prioritised these in order of most to least urgent...
+ Most Urgent
1: Behaviour and Behaviour for Learning
2: Higher Standards (Achievement) = Quality of Teaching = Quality of Marking
3: Assessment to Inform Learning
4: The Practice of the Governing Body = The Impact of the Governing Body
5: Middle Management = Senior Leadership Roles
7: Progress in Lessons
8: Planning of Lessons
- Less Urgent
* This was as a result of the scrutiny of OFSTED's report (July 2015), staff discussion, the views of parents including those on Parent View, early initial observation, conversations with pupils, governors and other stakeholders, scrutiny of Raise Online and internal documents. This range of factors was responsible for holding the school from achieving beyond requires improvement.
2. What have the main external barriers to this?
Behaviour and Behaviour for Learning
The school has not had a comprehensive and consistent 'Behaviour' policy in place. Staff say that they have not been supported in this, pupil guidelines were not in place and some behaviours were so extreme that this had a direct impact on teaching, learning and the welfare of others. There were few effective systems of reward or sanction in place and these were often limited to certain classes or groups of pupils.
Higher Standards (Achievement), Quality of Teaching, Quality of Marking
Parents and staff say that the school worked hard with those with SEND but resources were not focussed well enough on the majority or higher achievers, as a result the attainment of the most able suffered as did those in the mid ability range. The quality of teaching was not suitably pitched and once again the most able were not challenged (especially in Key Stage 2). There was no agreed and followed system for
consistent, quality and impactful marking. In some areas work was poorly marked and pupils could not act on feedback to make improvements.
Assessment to Inform Learning
Life without Levels was in strong development through the effective work of the Deputy Head Teacher. The time taken to adopt systems was too lengthy leaving the school in an at risk situation for too greater a length of time.
The Practice of the Governing Body, The Impact of the Governing Body
The Governing Body is a strong group of committed and passionate people. As with with many bodies, the GB did not keep up with the fast changing pace of the Government's expectations of school governance and therefore lacked some strengths. The Governing Body required the support of an NLG, which began in October 2015. The GB were often present in school but were not sufficiently focussed on school improvement priorities, were not sufficiently challenging and accepted what they were told without seeking clarification or evidence.
Middle Management, Senior Leadership Roles
The senior leaders were not empowered, the organisation of these staff members was not clear and their roles were not outlined. As a result the leaders were not adequately trained and did not fulfil their remit.
3. What are the key strengths that will assist in enhancing these areas?
The school has a new head teacher (2nd headship) leading a staff of passionate and experienced individuals who are eager to raise standards,
The school has the support of Mrs J Williams (NLG), Mrs M Lee (NLE), Mrs B Laher OBE (TQI), Mrs C Guisler (TQI), Mrs D Knowles (NLE) and staff from both Heaton Avenue (OFSTED Outstanding) and Shelley First School (OFSTED Outstanding),
The pupils are eager to learn and produce work of the very highest standards,
The Governors have embraced the changes and have been totally committed to the work of the NLG and their audit/ subsequent action plan,
Parents are very supportive, their comments have been very encouraging - the school has a waiting list,
The SLT and MLT recognise their strengths and weaknesses and have embraced the challenges ahead,
The school has a very effective assessment system in place which informs staff, pupils and parents of current learning and future goals,
The school has recently taken charge of the Children's Centre and is currently developing a Hub in Cleckheaton with partner schools,
The school has very close links with The SHARE academy group and works informally with its partner schools,
The HT has very close links with the LA and is a member of its School's Forum,
The school works informally with the '9 Primaries' a collaboration of the local primary schools in conjunction with local high schools.
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