The inspection was carried out by one Additional Inspector.
Description of the school
Aldryngton is a larger than average primary school. About 80 per cent of pupils are from a White British background. The remainder come from a range of backgrounds with Indian and Pakistani being the next largest groups. About 13 per cent of pupils speak English as an additional language but very few of these are at an early stage of English acquisition. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties is below average and no pupils are currently eligible for free school meals. Children's attainment on entry to Reception is above national expectations.
Overall effectiveness of the school
Aldryngton Primary is a good school with outstanding aspects to its work. Pupils achieve well and their personal development is outstanding. The vast majority of parents are very happy with the quality of education provided and give the school good support. Their comments included, 'We are very happy with our children's progress', 'A great school' and 'I am delighted with the school'.
Outstanding leadership and management are the key to the school's success and to the good improvements they have made since the last inspection. The headteacher provides excellent leadership and direction. She is very well supported by the deputy headteacher and other leaders. The school has a clear view of its performance and takes effective action to bring about improvements. Teamwork among the staff is strong and there is a relentless commitment to high standards and continuous improvement.
Excellent care, guidance and support contribute significantly to pupils' academic and personal development. In this positive school community, all pupils are valued. Pupils thoroughly enjoy being at school and this is reflected by the high levels of attendance. Clear expectations, outstanding relationships and positive rewards lead to exemplary behaviour. Pupils show an exceptionally good understanding of the importance of healthy lifestyles and how to keep safe. Academic guidance and support is effective. Assessment is used well to plan pupils' learning and set individual learning targets. Pupils show a clear understanding of what they are aiming for. They also benefit from teachers' positive and helpful marking.
Good provision in the Foundation Stage helps children in Reception to get off to a good start. They make good progress in all areas of learning. Effective teaching and learning and a well planned curriculum enable pupils to make good progress across the school. Teachers' enthusiasm and secure subject knowledge motivates the pupils. Activities are challenging and generally well matched to pupils' needs so they make good progress. In Year 6, standards are consistently well above average in English, mathematics and science. However, pupils' progress in writing in Years 1 and 2 is not as good as it is in reading and mathematics. Too few of the pupils with higher ability reach the higher Level 3 in writing. Effective action to provide a wider range of opportunities is being taken to raise achievement in writing in Years 1 and 2. Provision for information and communication technology (ICT) has improved significantly since the last inspection. Pupils use this well to support their learning and standards are high in Year 6. Pupils at Aldryngton are exceptionally well prepared for the next stage of their education.
What the school should do to improve further
- Build on the current planning and action to raise achievement and standards in writing in Year 1 and 2 so that they are at least in line with reading and mathematics.
Achievement and standards
Pupils' achievement over time is good. All groups of pupils including higher attainers make good progress and standards in Year 6 are consistently high. Standards are above average overall in Year 2 but attainment and progress in Years 1 and 2 have been less strong in writing particularly for the higher attainers. Effective action is being taken to address this issue. From pupils' work and the school's effective assessments, there are early signs that more pupils are moving towards higher levels. Role play and visual stimuli are used well to generate ideas for writing. Teachers provide clear modelling to demonstrate good writing techniques. Topics to write about are carefully chosen so that they appeal to both boys and girls. Pupils use ICT well to support their learning. For example, pupils in Year 2 use this to draft and edit their writing. Improvements in ICT provision mean that standards are as high as those in English, mathematics and science by Year 6. Pupils with learning difficulties made good progress because their needs are carefully assessed and effective support is provided.
Personal development and well-being
Pupils are extremely enthusiastic about school. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. Pupils show a very clear understanding of peoples' different backgrounds, customs, and faiths. In an assembly, they quickly identified the qualities and skills needed to be a highly successful sports person. High expectations, outstanding relationships and a positive system of rewards lead to exceptional behaviour. Pupils have gained an excellent understanding of the importance of healthy diets and taking regular exercise. They thrive on responsibility and those on the school council serve their fellow pupils well. By the time they leave the school, pupils are highly competent in the key skills of literacy, numeracy and ICT. These with very good collaborative skills prepare them very well for their future economic well-being. As one parent wrote, 'Children are taught excellent skills for life'.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Teaching and learning are good with outstanding practice evident. Effective teaching and learning contributes to pupils' good achievement. Teaching in the Foundation Stage provides a good blend of direct teaching and opportunities for children to explore and work independently. Across the school, teachers plan lessons well and pupils are clear about what they are expected to learn. Teachers' enthusiasm and secure subject knowledge inspires and motivates the pupils. Interactive whiteboards are used well to illustrate main learning points in an attractive and visual way. Teachers promote new vocabulary and provide good opportunities for pupils to discuss their work. Consequently, pupils' speaking and listening skills are very well developed. Skilful questioning challenges pupils' thinking and checks their understanding. Assessment is usually used effectively to match tasks to pupils' different abilities and needs. As a result, pupils are interested, productive and make good progress. However, occasionally, work is not sufficiently well matched to pupils' needs and the rate of progress slows. Teachers work closely with teaching assistants who give good quality help to those who need it.
Curriculum and other activities
The curriculum contributes well to pupils' achievement and exceptionally well to their outstanding personal development. Provision for ICT is much improved since the last inspection and is now good. Pupils and staff use this effectively to enhance teaching and learning. The curriculum has been less successful in promoting good achievement in writing in Years 1 and 2 but this issue is being tackled well. Good links between subjects is making pupils' learning enjoyable and relevant. For example, there are interesting links with literacy and art in the work on World War II in Years 5 and 6. Also there are good links between writing, design and technology and history in the transport topic in Years 1 and 2. Pupils benefit from visits to places of educational interest. A popular residential trip to the Isle of Wight for Year 6 pupils provides new outdoor activities. French adds an interesting dimension to pupils' learning and cultural development. The many additional activities contribute to pupils' interest and enjoyment. Healthy lifestyles and personal safety receive very good attention.
Care, guidance and support
There are highly effective procedures to ensure that pupils are safe and secure. Pupils are very responsible and adopt safe practices. Children settle quickly in the Foundation Stage and parents confirm that they are happy with the care provided. As one parent commented, 'The staff are always very caring and helpful'. There are effective systems for assessing and tracking pupils' attainment and progress. Assessment data is used well to set challenging individual targets particularly in English and mathematics. As a result, pupils are very clear about what they need to do to improve. The marking of pupils' work is good. It provides encouragement for good work and comments to help pupils improve.
Leadership and management
Leadership and management are successfully promoting good pupil achievement and outstanding personal development at all levels. The experienced headteacher provides outstanding leadership. With staff, she has created a welcoming and positive atmosphere throughout the school. Expectations of pupils and staff are high and there is a clear commitment to high standards. Teamwork among the staff is strong. Leadership responsibilities are effectively shared and roles are extremely well developed. The leadership of English, mathematics, science and ICT are highly successful in promoting good achievement and high standards for pupils.
School self-evaluation is very effective and the school has a clear overview of its performance. Teaching and learning are effectively monitored and developed. The need to raise achievement in writing in Years 1 and 2 is recognised and effective action plans are being implemented.
Governance is effective. The governors are committed and supportive. The school has maintained high standards reported at the last inspection, has made significant improvements in ICT and has improved assessment procedures. The school's ability and capacity for further improvement is excellent.