Aveley Primary School
Headteacher: Miss Nicola Shadbolt
335 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||114836|
|Inspection dates||18–19 January 2010|
|Reporting inspector||Roderick Passant|
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||4–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||270|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr Alistair McPherson|
|Headteacher||Miss Nicola Shadbolt|
|Date of previous school inspection||8 May 2007|
|School address||Aveley Primary School|
|Stifford Road, Aveley|
|Inspection dates||18–19 January 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors saw all teachers, visiting ten lessons, and the large majority of time was spent observing and finding out about pupils' learning. They held meetings with representatives from the governors, staff with responsibilties and groups of pupils. They observed the school's work and carried out a scrutiny of pupils' work. They also looked at a range of documentation and policies connected with keeping pupils safe, the school improvement plan and scrutinised 87 questionnaires from parents and carers.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
The school is average in size. Most pupils are from White British families. A few pupils are from Gypsy/Roma and Black African heritage. Almost all pupils speak English as their first language. The percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals is above average. The percentage of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is high. In some classes, over a third of pupils require additional help. A Children's Centre, independently run, shares the site and this was inspected separately. The school has a learning development centre for pupils whose circumstances make them vulnerable; this operates for a brief period each morning. The school also hosts a range of services, such as the family learning programme, under its extended provision. It provides a breakfast club and a range of after-school clubs. The school was awarded the Basic Skills Quality Mark in 2008 and Healthy School Status and Activemark in 2009.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
Pupils enjoy school and feel safe. The school is calm and provides a secure, stable environment. In classrooms, pupils are interested, engaged by their work and often enthusiastic so that there is a productive ethos around the school. Pupils feel that they are learning a lot in lessons: they are confident that adults care about them and are interested in their views. Almost all parents and carers have an equally high regard for the school. Staff are very committed to the pupils, know them well and relationships between the adults and pupils are good. Pupils' behaviour is good. Although there are a few pupils whose attendance is erratic, most pupils attend school regularly.
The school has improved since the last inspection because of the good and sustained focus of the school's leadership team on improving the quality of teaching and the progress that pupils are making. Because staff are united in this commitment to improvement and the accountability that goes with it, there is a strong sense of the school moving forward. The current plan for raising attainment is precise, focused and based on a good range of self-evaluation and monitoring. The system for tracking pupils' progress has further developed and is understood by all. Targets for raising attainment and progress are challenging. Some of the initiatives are recent, ongoing or need further consolidation to ensure that they are sustained. The school's capacity to improve is, therefore, satisfactory.
Children start school with knowledge, skills and understanding that are exceptionally low compared with national expectations for their age. Although they make good progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage, they move into Year 1 with attainment that is still low. Progress in Key Stage 1 has been satisfactory and standards in Year 2 have been below average in recent years. Standards at the end of Year 6 are broadly average and show improvement over the last three years because pupils are making increasingly good progress as they move up the school. Pupils in last year's Year 6 made good progress during their time in Key Stage 2.
Teaching is satisfactory and an increasing amount is good, so that progress is accelerating, including at Key Stage 1. The school's own data suggests that pupils are making good progress but achievement is satisfactory overall because pupils do not make consistently good progress in all lessons. Whilst teachers make good use of talk partners to allow pupils to rehearse ideas and extend their thinking, opportunities are missed to further extend pupils' speaking skills by encouraging them to give longer answers. Staff are currently receiving training to develop active approaches, such as storytelling and drama to help develop pupils' writing skills. Good work was seen in the exploration of traditional folk tales but this threw into relief the fact that pupils generally lack a broad experience of traditional stories. The school has invested a significant sum in books specifically targeted towards boys but the impact of this is not yet being maximised as reading is not given a sufficiently high profile in the school. In a few lessons, teachers do not think through with enough precision what it is they want pupils to gain from the lesson and what to plan in order to meet this objective. As a result, at times pupils spend too long on the carpet preparing for the task, which limits opportunities for teaching assistants in classrooms to actively engage with the pupils. The curriculum in Year 1 does not fully meet the needs of the pupils, particularly the younger ones. These children need longer to ease into the National Curriculum and build on their good progress in Reception.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
The majority of pupils in Year 6 last year attained the level expected for their age and a few attained a higher level in English with slightly more in mathematics and science. A large majority of pupils made the expected two levels of progress in 2009 and this proportion has risen steadily over the past three years. Currently, pupils in Year 6 are making good progress and are on target to attain even better. Last year, pupils on 'school action' for their special educational needs and/or disabilities made satisfactory progress from their Year 2 starting point whilst those on 'school action plus' made good progress. The few Gypsy/Roma pupils did well. The attainment of pupils who have been with the school consistently is higher overall than of those who joined the school after Year 2 and often relatively late in their school career. Boys' attainment is lower than girls but explained by the fact that a far higher proportion of the boys have special educational needs and/or disabilities. In classrooms, there is little observable difference between boys' and girls' attitudes or the progress that they are making. The progress of pupils who attend the learning development centre is enhanced by their visits because they are able to off-load some of their anxieties and return to lessons more focused.
In lessons, pupils settle to their tasks, concentrate, pay attention to their teacher and stay on task. They are generally interested and want to do well and demonstrate good attitudes to learning. In a fun start to their art lesson, younger pupils enjoyed making their spider's web as a whole class, rolling the ball of string from one to another, and in another lesson, they chanted the refrain from the Gingerbread Man story with enthusiasm and obvious pleasure. In a science lesson, pupils worked with their partner diligently testing the particular qualities of their various paper samples.
Pupils help create a strong sense of community in school because of their good behaviour and friendly attitudes to each other. Pupils take their various responsibilities seriously and participate in many events outside the school including fundraising for various charities. The school council is active, contributing to discussions on how to improve aspects of school life. Pupils have a good understanding of the main threats to their health and what goes to make a healthy lifestyle because of the school's provision, reflected in the school gaining Healthy School status and Activemark. The school works hard to foster pupils' sense of self-esteem and confidence. Pupils have a clear understanding of the school's code of conduct and core values and its expectations. They learn about other faiths but have a more limited understanding of the diversity of modern society. They work well together, develop workplace skills, for example through running a mini-enterprise for the school bazaar, and learn to negotiate and plan. Pupils' satisfactory grasp of basic skills means that their preparation for the next stage of their education is sound.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which pupils feel safe||2|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||2|
|The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||3|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
Teaching is satisfactory because its quality is not yet consistent. There is an increasing amount of good teaching and most teaching has sufficient good elements to accelerate progress beyond satisfactory over time. Teachers know the pupils well and establish close and effective relationships with them. Adults are encouraging; some pupils lack confidence in their academic ability but they respond well to the praise and encouragement the adults provide. Teachers ensure that pupils feel secure so that they are not afraid to make mistakes. Classrooms are welcoming, bright and attractive with effective and informative displays. Teachers generally plan effectively to meet the needs of the pupils although sometimes higher attaining pupils are expected to do more of the same rather than tackle a harder challenge. Where teaching is satisfactory, not enough time is given to actively engaging the pupils in tasks so that adults providing support are under-utilised. Assessment is generally used well. The use of specialised assessment materials is embedded across the school so that teachers have a very clear idea of where pupils are and what they have to do to improve. This is communicated effectively so that pupils have a very clear idea of what level they are operating at and how to improve their work.
The curriculum has strengths, particularly in the 'learning to learn' elements of personal development. The school has responded well to the previous report in ensuring that pupils have increased opportunities to develop their creativity. The provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is carefully mapped and effective in its support for these pupils. Enrichment opportunities are increasing. Integrated topics link subjects together effectively. Pupils' use and access to information and communication technology (ICT) is satisfactory, though teachers do not always use it as fully as they could do to motivate and support pupils' learning. The effectiveness of the school's approach to teaching basic skills is recognised in the Basic Skills Quality Mark.
Pupils are well supported, particularly the many pupils in challenging circumstances. The learning development centre is very well managed and provides extremely warm and sensitive support for pupils whose circumstances make them vulnerable. The warmth of the school and its caring nature, along with the commitment of the staff to the pupils in their care, help to remove the barriers for learning that exist for many pupils. As a result, behaviour is good, pupils have positive attitudes and good relationships with other adults and one another. The breakfast club is well managed although more could be done to involve pupils actively in its organisation.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||3|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||2|
The headteacher and the deputy headteacher work very well together. They have raised expectations amongst the staff and established a good partnership with parents and carers. Governance is satisfactory. Governors are supportive and the Chair of Governors is determined to ensure that the governing body fully challenges the school. Governors have recently undertaken a self-evaluation exercise which identified ways in which the governing body's work could be improved. A fall in roll gave rise to a deficit budget and finance is still tight but the recovery plan is carefully and regularly scrutinised.
The school promotes equality of opportunity well. It is inclusive and works hard and effectively, for example, to keep pupils in danger of exclusion on side. Staff have developed the trust of the Gypsy/Roma community. There are few racist incidents, such as name-calling, and these are appropriately followed up. Safeguarding is good: policies set out the aims and purposes clearly and helpfully and risk assessments are carefully carried out. The promotion of community cohesion is satisfactory. The school has a good understanding of the various characteristics of the local community and the school community itself is cohesive. Leaders ensure that pupils gain some understanding of other communities within the UK and global context from their work in geography and personal, social and health education, but opportunities are not extensive enough at present.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||2|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||2|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||3|
Reception classes are well resourced and stimulating. Activities are well planned to provide a balance of adult-and child-initiated activities. Adults make good ongoing observations which feed into the planning to inform future learning tasks and ensure children are challenged. Adults work well together. There is some team-teaching providing interchange and ebb and flow between the two Reception classes. Adults are skilled at exploiting the language opportunities in their questioning of children. They manage the learning and children's behaviour effectively. All adults know the children well and have good relationships with them. Partnership with parents and carers is good. The result is that children make good progress from their exceptionally low starting points, though standards remain low in children's language skills by the end of the Reception Year. Children engage well with the various activities and tasks, develop increasing independence and play well on their own and with each other. They are clearly interested in what they are doing and learn to make choices. Leadership is good.
These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage
|Overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage|
Taking into account:
Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation
Parents and carers are very supportive of the school. There is a high level of agreement on nearly all statements. A few parents and carers disagreed with the statement about how the school deals with unacceptable behaviour. Inspection findings show that there are a very small minority of pupils on behaviour plans who sometimes present challenging behaviour. They cause minimal disruption to other pupils' learning because they are managed well by staff.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Aveley Primary School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school. The inspection team received 88 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 270 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||44||50||42||48||1||1||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||50||57||35||40||3||3||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||53||60||32||36||2||2||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||39||44||42||48||5||6||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||30||34||52||59||5||6||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||37||42||46||52||3||3||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||40||45||46||52||0||0||0||0|
|The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)||28||32||48||55||3||3||1||1|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||40||45||42||48||2||2||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||27||31||47||53||8||9||2||2|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||26||30||53||60||4||5||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||39||44||45||51||2||2||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||48||55||37||42||2||2||0||0|
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.|
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.|
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.|
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.|
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.
|Capacity to improve:|
the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.
|Leadership and management:|
the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.
the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their attainment when they started.
21 January 2010
Inspection of Aveley Primary School, Aveley, RM15 4AA
Thank you for making us so welcome in your school. My particular thanks go to those pupils who gave up part of their lunchtime to talk to me and my colleagues.
I thought that I would share with you what I learnt about your school. This is a satisfactory school, which has improved since it was last inspected. Standards at the end of Year 6 are broadly average and are improving because you are now making better progress. You clearly enjoy school and I am glad that you feel safe. All staff care about you a great deal. You behave well and make a good contribution to the school because you take your various responsibilities seriously. Teaching has many good features but is not always consistent, so that some lessons are better than others. You get on with your work well. The headteacher and her leadership team lead the school well because they are bringing about changes for the better. I have asked her to work with the staff to put in place four further improvements:
With all your help, the school will continue to improve.
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email email@example.com.|