Amended Report AddendumReport amended due to administration error
The inspection was carried out by two Additional Inspectors.
Description of the school
Situated on the edge of Rugby, the school draws its pupils not only from the immediate area but also from further afield. Most pupils are White British. A few pupils from minority ethnic families are at an early stage of learning English. The percentage of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is below average.
The percentage of pupils with learning difficulties or disabilities is broadly average. A local authority speech and language resource base for pupils with specific speech and language disorders is located at the school. Pupils attending the base are taught mostly within classes in the main school with support from specialist staff. There is a wide spread of individual attainment when children start school. The school has a good number of more capable pupils and also some with significant needs. Taken collectively, children's attainment on entry is broadly at the level expected.
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is a good school. Parents really appreciate how well their children are looked after and how closely the school works with them. They comment, for example, that the school is 'like one big family'. Many say how much they value the 'warmth and care exhibited' and observe 'that there is a safe environment' for their children 'to progress in confidence'. Parents are right; The good care, guidance and support provided for their children result in pupils' personal development, and well-being also being good. Almost all pupils like school a lot, behave well and get on well with each other and the adults in school.
Pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education. Standards are above average at the end of Year 2 and pupils' achievement is good. Pupils make good gains in reading, writing and mathematics from entry to the Reception Year to the end of Year 2. The school's success with more capable pupils is evident in the high proportion that reach the level above that expected for their age in the end of Year 2 assessments. Pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities, including those in the speech and language base, make good progress in relation to their starting points.
Good teaching is the main reason for pupils doing well academically. Teachers create a positive atmosphere for learning and have good subject knowledge. Activities and support are closely matched to pupils' needs. The classroom environments are rather uninspiring, however, and do not reflect the effective teaching that takes place within them. These spaces are not used well enough to promote learning, for example through interactive displays, or to celebrate pupils' many successes through exhibition of their work.
The curriculum is satisfactory. It helps to get reception children off to a good start and places strong and effective emphasis on reading, writing and mathematics in Years 1 and 2. The school recognises that the use of information and communication technology (ICT) across all subjects requires development to increase pupils' skills in using new technology and to give them more opportunities to work independently. It also knows that more opportunities are needed for pupils to work creatively, for example, in the arts and in approaches to solving problems.
Although pupils' views are sought and valued, there is no formal forum such as a school council through which pupils can contribute to the school's development. With the good personal skills they have, pupils are capable of making a more significant contribution to the school community such as in the work towards gaining Healthy Schools status. It is also the case that pupils do not always have enough opportunity for taking initiative and responsibility in lessons.
Good leadership and management have resulted in the school developing well in recent years. The headteacher, staff and governors are committed to doing their best for pupils. There is good capacity for the school to become even more effective.
What the school should do to improve further
- Increase opportunities for pupils to take initiative and responsibility in lessons and to contribute to the school community.
- Develop more opportunities for pupils to use ICT and to work creatively.
- Make classrooms more stimulating environments that promote learning and celebrate pupils' successes.
Achievement and standards
Pupils' achievement is good and standards are above average. Children get off to a good start in the Reception Year. Most children now in Reception are on course to reach the goals expected for their age and a good proportion are likely to exceed these goals.
Progress is good in Years 1 and 2, although more rapid in Year 2 than Year 1. Current standards are securely above average in reading, writing and mathematics in Year 2. These standards reflect the strong picture shown by pupils' performance in the national assessments in recent years. Many pupils are working at a level above that expected for their age showing that the school is effective in challenging the more capable pupils. Standards in using ICT are broadly at the level expected and are not as good as in English and mathematics.
Pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities, including those attending the speech and language base, develop basic skills well. The few pupils at an early stage of learning English also progress at a good rate.
Personal development and well-being
Pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good. Pupils do particularly well in developing moral and social awareness as shown in their good behaviour and positive relationships. Almost all pupils enjoy school a lot and so it is no wonder that the attendance rate is above average. Many parents comment on their children's enthusiasm for school. One parent said that her son often tells her, 'Mummy, I love going to school!'
Pupils' good and sensible behaviour contributes to the school being a safe place. Pupils have a good understanding of how to keep themselves safe outside school. Whilst pupils know the importance of having a healthy lifestyle, they are better at taking regular exercise than at making healthy choices about what to eat. They know, for example, that fruit is a healthy option at lunchtime but many choose chocolate pudding instead. Pupils contribute positively to the community, such as through raising funds for charities. However, the pupils are capable of playing a stronger part in improving the school.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
One parent summed up a major strength in the teaching when commenting, 'I am very impressed with the differentiated learning my daughter is experiencing. She is encouraged to do as much as possible to reach her potential.' Teachers are good at matching activities and support to the needs of groups. This is why the more capable pupils reach high standards and those with learning difficulties or other disabilities make good progress. Teaching assistants and staff from the speech and language base are skilful in giving focused and effective support to individuals and small groups. On occasions, in whole-class sessions, teaching meets the needs of the vast majority but one or two are not kept fully involved.
Teachers have good subject knowledge and high expectations of the standards all pupils are capable of attaining. Lessons are well organised and managed but do not always provide enough opportunities for pupils to take initiative and responsibility. The good quality of teaching is not as evident in the classroom environments as it should be. Not enough is done to make classrooms stimulating places in which displays promote learning and show pupils' good achievements.
Curriculum and other activities
Children in the Reception Year have a good range of learning opportunities. There is the right balance of activities directed by adults and those that children select for themselves from a range provided. All activities have a clear purpose. Both the indoor and outdoor areas are used well.
Good attention is given to English and mathematics in Years 1 and 2. Connections are made between subjects with examples of visits stimulating learning across a number of areas. This is the case in Year 1, for example, when children learn about the Victorians. ICT provision is satisfactory but it is not used well enough as a tool for learning across the subjects and resources for this area have until recently been poor. The school recognises that pupils also need more opportunities to work creatively so that they do as well in the arts and in tackling problems creatively as they do in English and mathematics.
A variety of visitors contribute well to pupils' personal development and broaden their knowledge and understanding of the world. A satisfactory range of clubs is provided, although these are mostly sporting activities.
Care, guidance and support
The school is scrupulous in ensuring pupils have a clean and safe environment in which to work and play. Arrangements for child protection and safeguarding pupils are robust. All pupils are valued equally. Those attending the speech and language base are fully involved in all aspects of school life. The school works closely with local authority specialist staff to meet the needs of those at an early stage of learning English.
The school seeks and listens to pupils' views. For example, teachers ask their classes whether they feel safe on the playground. However, there is no formal forum, such as a school council, through which pupils can raise topics themselves.
Academic guidance is good, with increasing involvement of pupils in evaluating their learning, particularly in Year 2. Pupils are clear about what they need to do to improve their performance and this understanding contributes well to their good progress.
Leadership and management
The headteacher and assistant headteacher work effectively as a team to provide a clear educational direction for the school. They provide good examples for other staff in their commitment to pupils' personal and academic development. As a result, there is good teamwork and a shared commitment to improvement. Parents sum up the quality of leadership when they observe, for example, that 'every member of staff we have come into contact with, from the caretaker to the head, is highly professional'.
The assistant headteacher is well deployed to develop teaching throughout the school. Other teachers with responsibilities, for example, for co-ordinating subjects, are becoming increasingly involved in checking and improving the quality of provision. Governors too are increasing their monitoring role. Self-evaluation is accurate and effective. In order to identify priorities for improvement even more sharply, the school recognises the need to track and evaluate pupils' progress even more thoroughly.