The inspection was carried out by three Additional Inspectors.
Description of the school
This is a large village primary school in West Yorkshire. Most pupils are of White British heritage. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is below average as is the number of pupils who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Very few pupils have a statement of special educational need.
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is an outstanding school where pupils achieve very well. Typical views expressed by parents include: 'The school has a very good atmosphere, an inclusive culture, and is very approachable.' The inspection confirms these positive opinions.
The extremely positive school ethos plays a key role in ensuring that all pupils are valued. As a result, they develop into confident and reflective young people who express themselves well and want to succeed. Pupils say they feel very safe and secure and they appreciate the many opportunities provided for them to have a clear voice. They are very aware of their place in the world, which prompts them to want to make a difference to improve their school and the wider community through regular fundraising. They recognise the importance of leading healthy lifestyles and are actively working towards achieving the Healthy School award. Older pupils help younger ones and, in this positive family atmosphere, relationships are very constructive. By the time they leave, pupils have developed a high level of personal and academic skills to help them move on successfully in all that they do.
Children start school with skills that are typical for their age. Very well focused teaching ensures that pupils make outstanding progress; consequently, standards at the end of Key Stage 2 are significantly above average and have improved year on year. Attainment is strong in all subjects with many pupils reaching the higher levels. Pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities also make exceptionally good progress because of work which matches their needs and very effective adult support.
The school's excellent curriculum provides abundant opportunities for pupils to learn creatively and to develop their skills and knowledge. Pupils benefit from an outstanding programme of clubs, activities and enrichment opportunities, which reflect the commitment and dedication of staff and contribute to pupils' enjoyment. The successful programme includes the teaching of French and Spanish and extensive access to music, art and drama, in addition to a wide range of sporting activities.
Teaching is outstanding and consequently pupils learn at a rapid pace. In particular, teaching assistants are very effective, providing robust support for learners, enabling them to make very good progress. Detailed planning and assessment processes underpin the work of teachers across the school. This means that support can be put in place quickly if any underachievement is identified. Care and support are strengths and contribute significantly towards pupils' progress, enjoyment and well-being. The school regularly sets targets in individual education plans, which fully involves parents. However, the guidance pupils receive and communication processes vary across the school, leading to some pupils being unsure about their learning targets. The quality of marking is also variable and does not always inform pupils about their progress and guide them in the next steps in their learning.
The headteacher's vision and caring management inspire governors and staff to work tirelessly in pursuit of the school's aims. Effective subject leadership supports the work of colleagues and accurately analyses the impact of teaching on pupils' learning. The school provides outstanding value for money and it has very good capacity to improve because of very good self-evaluation and clear direction.
Effectiveness of the Foundation Stage
Very good provision in the Foundation Stage provides children with outstanding and well planned activities. Children's skills on entry to Reception are typical of children of their age. Staff work well together to ensure a high level of care and, consequently, children settle into school routines quickly. Excellent teaching enables them to get off to an excellent start in their learning. As a result, achievement is very good and many children frequently do very well when compared to the national expectations set for the end of the Reception year. The leadership and management of the Foundation Stage are very good. Accurate, thorough assessment and detailed planning ensure that the different learning needs of each child are well met through a range of stimulating and challenging activities. Children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are quickly identified and, as a result, are supported very well.
What the school should do to improve further
- Ensure that marking consistently pinpoints what pupils need to do to improve and that all pupils clearly understand their learning targets.
Achievement and standards
Standards at the end of Year 6 are significantly above average and pupils achieve very well. The school has rigorous processes to track pupils' progress and these provide a compelling picture of continuing very good achievement and progress between the key stages. Accurate self-evaluation is based on detailed analysis of assessment data, thorough monitoring of the quality of teaching and rigorous tracking of pupils' progress. For example, following a dip in writing at the higher level at the end of Year 6 in 2007 the school has been very quick to act. The 2007 unvalidated data show a significant rise in the proportion of pupils achieving above the national average in English, mathematics and science, identified as the highest level of achievement since the school opened in 2000. Higher-attaining pupils make very good progress because extension work is carefully tailored to their needs. Pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities also make exceptionally good progress.
Personal development and well-being
Pupils simply love this school and they demonstrate this through very high levels of attendance and excellent punctuality. They succeed in a positive atmosphere in which they feel valued and encouraged; consequently, pupils' attitudes and behaviour are excellent. The outstanding ethos of the school plays a key role in ensuring that all pupils are highly valued. Pupils say they feel very safe and secure and they appreciate the many opportunities provided for them to have a clear voice. Members of the school council take their responsibilities extremely seriously and they are currently working on a fundraising project, involving all pupils, to support the World Wildlife Fund. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent. Pupils clearly benefit from the many opportunities provided to visit the local community or to welcome an extensive range of visitors, such as a Caribbean poet and an African drummer. The school's key focus on the learning of basic skills and in helping pupils to gain confidence in the outside world ensures that they are given excellent preparation towards their future economic well-being.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
The quality of teaching and learning is excellent ensuring that pupils make outstanding progress. Teachers are passionate about their work, knowledgeable and highly committed towards pupils achieving high standards. The organisation of lessons is good. Pupils respond well to the precise activities pitched at their level of attainment. Teachers are knowledgeable and skilled at promoting very good progress in lessons. As a result, pupils are motivated to learn and remain intensely engaged in a wide range of learning experiences that often require them to solve problems, take decisions or make choices. Teachers use computers very effectively in all lessons to support learning and complement other forms of communication. Teaching assistants are a real strength. They contribute significantly to the quality of pupils' learning, particularly for those who find learning difficult. Pupils' work is regularly assessed to determine how much they have learned.
Curriculum and other activities
The curriculum is outstanding and is the driving force behind the school's growing success. The creative elements, which have increased learning opportunities for older pupils, are now being extended to younger pupils. The provision for all core subjects is excellent and there has been good improvement in the use of ICT to support the curriculum since the last inspection. Educational trips, along with visitors to school, provide very good first-hand experiences and add interest to pupils' learning. For example, the visiting Kinetic Theatre Company significantly enhanced the science curriculum through an informative musical play about forces. The excellent school choir was observed practising for a forthcoming competition. Very good use of personal, social, health and citizenship education supports pupils' personal development very well because it enables them to learn about relationships and team working.
Care, guidance and support
Pastoral care is outstanding. It enables pupils to feel safe, and confident to become successful learners. Numerous parents commented, 'This is a warm, friendly and caring school.' There is a high level of commitment among all staff to promote the health, safety and well-being of learners. Procedures for safeguarding pupils, including risk assessments and child protection, meet current requirements. Good use is made of external agencies, when needed, to support those pupils with more complex needs. For example, early identification and very good support for pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities ensure that their needs are met and that they make very good progress. Parents have confidence in the school, and wherever possible become actively engaged in its work, providing a high level of support to staff and their work. Teachers provide pupils with plenty of praise when marking their written work, however, guidance about how to improve further and the next steps in their learning is less evident. Some pupils are also knowledgeable about their learning targets, particularly in writing. However, methods to communicate targets to all pupils lack consistency, leading to some pupils being less clear about them.
Leadership and management
Leadership and management are outstanding and, as a result, the school has increased its effectiveness since its last inspection. The positive and effective leadership provided by the headteacher and deputy headteacher, underpinned by very good self-evaluation at all levels, provides clear direction to the school. In this they are well supported by all staff in the drive to maintain standards, which are significantly above average. Subject leaders demonstrate very good levels of knowledge and expertise and they regularly support colleagues in their work, providing ideas and detailed guidance. They are thorough in their work and monitor pupils' progress through the implementation of a rigorous tracking system. Subject leaders work closely together, moderating pupils' work and evaluating the outcomes from tests and assessments. As a result, work is tailored to meet the needs of pupils at all levels and pupils achieve very well. Governance is active and extremely good. Governors are well informed about school priorities and they contribute well to the school's improvement agenda, providing both support and challenge to the leadership.