Broadfields Primary School
Headteacher: Mrs M Dickinson
299 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||114943|
|Inspection dates||11–12 March 2010|
|Reporting inspector||Selwyn Ward|
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||265|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr M Garnett|
|Headteacher||Mrs M Dickinson|
|Date of previous school inspection||18 October 2006|
|Telephone number||01279 454688|
|Fax number||01278 426867|
|Inspection dates||11–12 March 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. Inspectors visited 16 lessons and observed 10 teachers, one lesson led by a higher level teaching assistant and one lesson led by cover supervisor. They held meetings with governors, staff and groups of pupils, and they spoke to parents. They looked at samples of pupils' work, the analysis of the tracking of pupils' progress, school policies and procedures, school leaders' monitoring records, school improvement planning, risk assessments, the minutes of governors' meetings and the questionnaires received from pupils, staff and 70 parents and carers.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at:
The school is of average size. The majority of pupils are of White British heritage, with others coming from a wide range of different minority ethnic backgrounds. The proportion of pupils learning English as an additional language is average. There are more boys than girls at this school. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is below average but, of these, a relatively high number have a statement of special educational needs.
|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
High staff turnover has taken its toll at Broadfields. Where pupils have had several changes of teacher, this has disrupted their learning and slowed progress. There has been underachievement in the past, which means that attainment is too low. Nevertheless, pupils have benefited from notable recent improvements. Although still significantly below average, standards at the end of Year 6 have risen steadily since the last inspection. Attainment declined in Key Stage 1 after the last inspection but, with pupils now benefiting from good teaching in this key stage, their progress is quickly accelerating and they are catching up on lost ground. Recent rapid improvement is also evident in the progress of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Parents confirm leaders' honest assessment that provision for this group of pupils was previously inadequate, reporting that the school had been slow to put in place the extra support needed by their children. The quality of provision for these pupils is now much improved. As a parent of a child with medical needs told inspectors, 'Broadfields has been fantastic in their support and care.' It is in the Early Years Foundation Stage where children are not doing well enough. New staff and leaders in the Reception Year are still in the process of setting up systems and organising provision. As a result, the children are not maintaining the good start they get off to in the Nursery.
In the large majority of lessons, the teaching is satisfactory and pupils make satisfactory progress. Teachers manage their classes well but their introductions are sometimes too long, squeezing the time available to pupils to complete their written work. Activities are rarely matched closely enough to pupils' different capabilities: too often, all are given the same or very similar work to do, which means that it is too difficult for some and too easy for the most able. Teachers routinely set out 'learning objectives' at the start of each lesson, but very often these, and the success criteria given to the pupils, are too broad. They focus on the task to be completed rather than what the pupils are expected to learn. There are examples of detailed marking that gives clear guidance to pupils to help them improve their work, but not all marking is of this high quality and pupils do not all have targets for improvement that are tailored to their individual needs. School leaders' monitoring is perceptive and has correctly identified all of the aspects of teaching that need to be improved to accelerate pupils' progress. That these remain as points for development, however, indicates a lack of rigour in following them up. Leaders have not been as effective as they should in reducing the impact on pupils' learning of the change caused by high staff turnover. Nevertheless, the accurate picture that the headteacher and other leaders have of their school, and their track record of success in other areas, show the school's satisfactory capacity for improvement.
Where leaders have had particular success is in motivating pupils to try hard and do their best. Pupils settle to work without fuss and listen well to their teachers. They enjoy opportunities to take on responsibility in school, for example as play leaders and librarians, as well as their involvement in the wider community, such as in their participation in the campaign to save a local theatre. They show a good awareness of the need for regular exercise and a healthy diet, with several pupils bemoaning the fact that their parents persist in putting crisps and chocolate bars in their lunchpacks. Pupils learn well how to keep safe and they told inspectors that they feel safe at school because the school looks after their welfare. Leaders have drawn well on a range of initiatives in their efforts to raise standards. Some have been more successful than others, and leaders have properly evaluated their impact and discarded those that have proven ineffective. Broadfield's enrolment in the Improving Schools Programme (ISP) has had an especially beneficial impact on the tracking of pupils' progress, helping to identify those pupils who have underachieved in English and mathematics and enabling leaders to direct extra support to boost their performance. Although pupils' written work is still let down by poor spelling and erratic punctuation, the 'Big Write' initiative has had a notable impact in extending the creativity of pupils' writing. Science remains the weakest element of an otherwise creative curriculum, not least because teachers are not all confident teaching science and the subject is not given enough time or prominence.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Attainment at the end of Year 6 is low but it has improved since the last inspection. Pupils enjoy school and they are increasingly keen to learn. In lessons, pupils make satisfactory progress and this mirrors the picture of their progress over their time at Broadfields. In the past, pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities have made notably slower progress than their peers, but provision for these pupils has improved over the past year so that they make satisfactory progress, as do those learning English as an additional language. Pupils do not make better progress than this because the work they are given in lessons is not matched carefully enough to their needs. Similarly, more-able pupils' progress is slower than it could be because their work is often too easy. The turnaround in pupils' rate of progress has been sharpest in Key Stage 1. Teachers in Years 1 and 2 are now moving their pupils' learning on at a much faster rate, and this has arrested the decline in standards in Key Stage 1 seen in the years since the last inspection.
Pupils from different ethnic backgrounds get on well together in a school community that is friendly and harmonious. Inspectors saw good behaviour in almost every lesson and around the school. However, many parents and pupils complain that behaviour is not always as good. The relatively high proportion of fixed-term exclusions also shows that behaviour is not generally as good as that seen during the inspection.
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
Teachers know their pupils well. They succeed in reinforcing orderly classroom routines so that pupils mostly settle to work without fuss. However, shortcomings persist in teaching, as identified in school leaders' monitoring records, so that most pupils make satisfactory rather than the good progress needed to make up lost ground from previous years when many underachieved. Teaching assistants have provided relative stability through the many staff changes. They provide well-targeted support to those pupils who need extra help with their learning, especially in English and mathematics. Care arrangements are successful in ensuring pupils' welfare and in dealing with minor accidents and pupils' medical needs.
The quality of the provision in science continues to lag behind because some teachers are not as confident with this subject, and because pupils do not in every class get enough opportunities to learn science and to develop their investigational skills. Nevertheless, the curriculum meets the pupils' needs, giving them the chance to use and apply their literacy, numeracy and computer skills across different subjects. For example, pupils in Year 2 linked what they had learnt in geography to literacy activities as they wrote thoughtful diary accounts of their vividly imagined 'visit to Australia'. The various clubs on offer are well attended, and this includes an extra-curricular science club aimed at stretching more-able pupils. The chess club is particularly popular: pupils have reportedly done so well competing in chess against other schools that they are now helping their opponents to develop their game.
Although there is a whole-school policy on marking, not all teachers follow it. There are examples of high quality marking that is really helping to accelerate pupils' progress, especially in their written work, but the quality of marking varies between classes and between different subjects. Much offers praise that sometimes appears extravagant in relation to the accuracy of the pupil's work or the apparent effort behind it. A drive this term on presentation has had a positive impact in the pride pupils take in their work, but not enough rigour is given to ensuring that pupils take the time to check the accuracy of their spellings and punctuation. Spellings and punctuation errors are not always picked up by the class teacher, even when these relate to key words that form part of the learning objective for the lesson. Pupils have targets but these are not precisely matched to their individual learning needs. Pupils are not all aware of their targets and they do not routinely refer to them when they are working.
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||3|
Several of the leadership team are new to their roles and are just beginning to develop the subjects on which they lead. All have an accurate view of the school and a clear picture of where improvements are needed. They can point to some key successes, for example, in the greatly improved provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and the now much faster progress that pupils are making in Key Stage 1. Judicious use of key initiatives, such as ISP, have contributed to pupils making faster progress than they have in the past, especially in English and mathematics. However, leaders have not been rigorous enough in following up and eradicating the shortcomings that they have identified in teaching and which result in pupils making only satisfactory progress rather than the good progress needed to raise standards further. In this inclusive school, equal opportunities are promoted appropriately. Girls and boys make broadly similar progress regardless of their backgrounds, and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities are no longer falling behind.
Governors have been hampered by the large number of vacancies on the governing body, but they visit the school regularly and are not just dependent on the headteacher and staff for gauging how well the school is doing. They are successful in ensuring that statutory requirements are met, including those for safeguarding and child protection. They have not formally evaluated the school's contribution to community cohesion. Nevertheless, inspectors judge this to be satisfactory. Pupils from different ethnic backgrounds mix and work together in harmony. Pupils learn about other cultures and beliefs in the United Kingdom and around the world, and the school and its pupils play an active role within the local community. With its swimming pool in community use, the school is very much a social hub.
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||3|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||3|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||3|
Children join the Nursery with skills that are below those expected for their ages, particularly in language and social development. They make good progress in their first year in school, so that by the time they join the Reception Year, they are working at or close to the standard expected for their ages. In Reception, however, they do not build sufficiently on this good start. Activities sometimes duplicate those that the children have previously experienced, and they do not make the progress that they should. As a result, children join Year 1 with standards that are lower than they should be in writing, mathematical development, creative development and their knowledge and understanding of the world. Parents of Reception children recognise this. One wrote, 'I feel my child has more potential', and another explained, 'I feel my child could read more challenging books, and the books are not changed often enough.'
The shortcomings in the Reception Year are largely attributable to the high turnover of staff, but leadership has not been robust enough in efforts to mitigate the impact of this on children's learning. Leaders have also been slow to spot what they now identify as inaccuracies in previous years' assessments at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage. New staff have been appointed and they are keen to move provision forward. In carrying out an audit of provision, they have correctly identified the weaknesses that need to be sorted, but they have not had time to tackle these successfully. Whereas, in the Nursery, activities are planned that take account of what the children have learnt, staff in the Reception Year do not have detailed enough assessments of the children with which to plan the most appropriate activities. Although the resources in the Nursery are good, the Reception classes are hampered by a lack of stimulating resources, both indoors and in the outside area.
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 express mixed views about the school. Although the large majority are happy with provision and their children's progress, a significant minority voice some concerns. Some would like better communication, including fuller information about their children's progress. A number complain that school leaders do not always follow through when action is agreed. As one parent put it, 'They can be very good at listening, but action is not their strong point.' Inspectors found that leaders have not always been rigorous enough in following up on points for improvement, for example in tackling anomalies over the accuracy of assessments of progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Many parents voiced concern about behaviour. Inspectors saw consistently good behaviour but pupils confirmed that behaviour was not always as good, and the relatively high number of exclusions corroborate that picture.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Broadfields 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 70 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 265 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||35||46||31||41||8||11||1||1|
|The school keeps my child safe||30||39||40||53||4||5||1||1|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||19||25||42||56||12||16||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||18||24||43||57||8||11||3||4|
|The teaching is good at this school||21||28||38||51||8||11||2||3|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||21||28||40||53||9||12||2||3|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||25||33||44||59||3||4||1||1|
|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)||13||19||36||51||10||14||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||17||23||48||64||5||7||1||1|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||16||22||39||53||9||12||8||11|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||14||19||40||54||13||18||3||4|
|The school is led and managed effectively||18||25||38||53||8||11||4||6|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||24||32||39||51||8||11||2||3|
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.
15 March 2010
Inspection of Broadfields Primary School, Harlow, CM20 3QA
Thank you for making us so welcome when we came to visit you. The school is providing you with a satisfactory education. We were pleased to see how well behaved everyone was in lessons but many of you told us that behaviour is not always as good. We hope that you will try your very best to make sure that behaviour is as good every day as it was during our visit.
The children in the Nursery get off to a good start but children are not helped enough to build on this when they move in to the Reception Year. This is a key area that we have asked the school to improve.
We were pleased to see that those of you who are in Years 1 and 2 are now making much better progress than in the past. Progress through most of the school is satisfactory, but standards are still too low. We have suggested ways of helping you to make faster progress during your time at Broadfields. Your headteacher and other school leaders have already spotted the changes needed for you to do better in lessons, and we have asked them to press on to make sure that these are put into effect.
We have also asked them to particularly focus on helping you to improve your writing and how well you do in science. 'Big Write' has already made a difference in getting you to think more imaginatively about what you write. What still lets much of your writing down are the spelling and punctuation mistakes that you make. Your teachers ask you to check your work, but we could see that you do not always take enough care in doing this. You can help to really move your writing on by being sure always to check your spellings in a dictionary or your word bank, and by checking that you are remembering your capital letters and full stops, and that you are punctuating correctly.
Thank you again for looking after us on our visit, and our very best wishes for the future.
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org.|