Our Self Evaluation
We are always looking for ways to improve. Part of this process requires us to take at look at where we currently are. Please scroll down and you will find our latest Self Evaluation Form (SEF).
In September 2016, we invited an external 'peer2peer' team to carry out an audit right across school. The team consisted of members of the Senior Management Team from 3 local primary schools. The audit included, amongst other things, conversations with children, lesson observations, book scrutinies and an evaluation of safeguarding and behaviour. The key findings are summarised below:
- There are very strong relationships between the staff and the children.
- Standards, over time, and in 2016 with the changes to the assessment system, are strong.
- The children’s behaviour was excellent in lessons.
- There was strong evidence of the recent push for the use of cursive script. This was seen across the school from early years, where Reception children are already writing in books, trying really hard to mirror the cursive script of their teacher, up through KS1 and into KS2.
- The children’s behaviour was excellent outside of the classrooms. This included playtimes, the dinner hall, in clubs and in assembly. Different groups of children, across the age ranges, were able (and very keen) to talk about how good their school is, that there are very few issues, but that these are always dealt with very swiftly.
- The way that the children start the day, with doors open from 8:15 for breakfast club and then morning tasks in class from 8:30, meant that there was a very calm start to the day.
- In the best teaching, teachers had clearly thought through the steps to take the children through to achieve the stated learning objectives. They identified misconceptions and addressed them promptly within the lesson. Questioning, and follow-up questions to dig for deeper understanding, were very good. Good use was made of equipment to scaffold tasks and support learners.
- Children were able to talk about their learning and the expectations that are set for them.
- Many TAs made a significant contribution to the learning and progress that was going on in the classrooms. It also included good questioning and picking up and addressing misconceptions as they occurred.
- The use of talk partners is clearly an established routine across the school.
- There was a lot of consistent practice across classrooms
- Good phonics provision, with effective use of staff to provide smaller groupings, enabling children’s differing needs to be met more effectively.
- There was a high focus given across early years to the development of vocabulary and speaking. Higher up school there were some good examples of children being expected to explain their thinking.
- In KS1 there was clear evidence of “talk for writing” opportunities being integral to the writing process. It was also pleasing to see examples of early planning and editing skills.
- Safeguarding was effective. Children on the playgrounds, and in the school council, stated that they felt very safe in school and could talk about how to keep themselves safe.
- Marking in books was completed and positive. There were many examples of gap tasks, with the majority having been actioned.
- The school council were also very keen to stress how good their school is. They were keen to talk about all the things that have been put in place because of them- they feel they have a strong voice within school.
- Children enjoy the clubs that are offered to them. We saw two music clubs- singing and guitar/ ukulele- which were positive experiences for the children, incorporating high level musical knowledge.
- The KS2 singing assembly also incorporated a high expectation around musical knowledge. The children enjoyed this assembly, and whilst being very active, were also very well behaved. The assembly incorporated an aspect of collective worship and children were invited to join in the prayer or choose to show respect to those that did. Children left the hall quickly and calmly and had started lessons within a very short amount of time.
- The curriculum is enriched with forest school opportunities and “Health for Life” growing and cooking in the excellent facility now in place. It was lovely to see one KS2 pupil bringing samples of his cooking for his teachers to try.
- The environment provided is excellent with a good range of displays. These include, in the shared areas, a focus on different values including Stonewall materials, black history month and British Values. Celebrations of children’s work on the “Your work, our pride” were also given a high profile.
Following on from this, we also invited our School Improvement Partner into school, and amongst other things, we asked her to look at parental engagement and the children's attitudes to learning. Her findings are summarised below:
Parental engagement is a significant strength
- The SIP spoke to parents taking advantage of the school’s breakfast club for key stage 1 learners. Parents were universally positive about this facility organised and monitored by support staff. Parents commented that breakfast club was very helpful to working families and it also supported infant age children settle well. The SIP noted that all the reception learners at the breakfast club were indeed very sure of their routines; they enjoyed chatting to both other pupils and their families, but moved into the classrooms very calmly and happily when the bell signalled the end of breakfast at 8.40. Given that activities were ready for the children in class, this smooth transition meant that the reception children taking advantage of this early start were purposely occupied well before the official start of school.
- On the day of the SIPs visit, several parental workshops were taking place across the school including approaches to phonics for reception children and writing for Y1 families [such events are very frequent and take place in all key stages]. Both mums and dads were at the sessions, as well as a cross section of the community in this diverse school. Following input from staff, parents worked directly with their children on the learning challenges under consideration. For example, it was a delight to see reception children (and sometimes their younger siblings!) with their clip boards determinedly quartering the hall in search of giant letters laid out on the floor: on finding the given letter this was recorded on their charts and then they looked underneath to read the numeral. This experiential challenge was perfectly pitched and clearly enjoyed by all in the room – well done! I was impressed that 6 weeks into Autumn 1, the children already had excellent sound/symbol recognition and could also read numerals very well. This suggests high impact from your nursery provision as well as what has also been accomplished by the reception staff in the first weeks of term.
- Children whose families had been unable to attend were sensitively supported in ‘having a go’ by teaching assistants so that everyone could join in.
- The school is very popular with parents in the local area who say that they chose the school for its outstanding reputation. Parents appreciate the wide variety of opportunities for them to get involved in their children’s learning and recognise that this helps them support learning at home.
Pupils’ attitudes to learning are excellent and this makes a striking impact on their progress
- The children are confident, self-assured learners which stems from exemplary relationships between adults and children as well as between the children themselves. This is evident in and around classrooms, in the dining hall and on the playground. For instance, catering staff and dinner supervisors know the children as individuals and engage in warm and encouraging conversations which prompt the children to try new foods and share information about their day. This pleasant lunchtime experience is further facilitated by staff at all levels eating with the children so that dinner time is a very sociable experience for the pupils.
- Pupils are proud of their school and eager to talk about why it is special to them. The children express very high levels of trust and confidence in their teachers and support staff. They value the pastoral care that enables them to be happy and safe – ‘If you are upset, teachers will give you time and help you’. Children know that they can approach any of the adults around school if they are concerned about something.
- As a result of the above, the school provides a very safe and nurturing environment for its pupils who increasingly learn how to manage their relationships and behaviour in a very responsible manner – even when this is difficult for them. For instance, it was a pleasure to see a child who had previously displayed substantial emotional and behavioural needs reflecting deeply and maturely on the school’s provision during his contribution to the school council debate. Another example was seen before school where a large group of boys in the breakfast club were being trusted to share their collections of football cards – this was done sociably and fairly and without any adult intervention being necessary. Where individuals with particular emotional needs still need adult guidance to manage their impulses and energies, this is invariably given discreetly and calmly so that pupils are quickly re-directed.
- Pupils are polite and well-mannered, both with adults and with their peers. They discuss issues in a considered way and show respect by listening well to others’ ideas and points of view. It was good to see that children across the school are happy to ask for clarification if they do not understand something and several instances of this were seen, including during the school council discussions.
- Pupil’s excellent attitudes to learning are supported by an interesting and relevant curriculum that is well designed to meet the needs of different learners. The children say how much they enjoy the many visits to places of interest e.g. Selly Manor earlier in the week as this helps them learn more about what they are studying in class. The school’s cookery room is universally popular. The children using it on the day of the SIPs visit were skilfully managed by the teaching assistant running the session: her questioning elicited information about safety, the effect of heat and cold on chocolate and the health implications of eating too many of the chocolate/crispy cakes being made!