Christ Church, Erith,CofE VA Primary School
Lesney Park Road
Mrs Gillian Ball
Diocese of Rochester
326 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||134358|
|Inspection dates||28–29 September 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Glynis Bradley-Peat|
|Type of school||Primary|
|School category||Voluntary aided|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||307|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Rev John Draycott|
|Date of previous school inspection||26 November 2006|
|School address||Lesney Park Road|
|Kent DA8 3DG|
|Telephone number||01322 333780|
|Fax number||01322 351465|
|Inspection dates||28–29 September 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 16 lessons and held meetings with the headteacher, senior leadership team, teaching staff, governors and pupils. They observed the school's work, looked at documents, including the school improvement plan, systems for tracking the pupils' progress, safeguarding documentation, and school policies, and analysed information from 45 parental questionnaires.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
This is a larger than average size primary school. There is provision for the Early Years Foundation Stage in both Nursery and Reception classes. The proportion of pupils in receipt of free school meals is lower than average. The percentage of pupils from minority ethnic groups and the number with English as an additional language are above average and increasing steadily year by year. The number of pupils with special educational needs/and or disabilities is above average and fluctuates from year to year. In some year groups, the percentage is high. The majority of these pupils have speech, language and communication difficulties, or specific and moderate learning difficulties. The proportion of pupils who join or leave the school at other than the usual times is higher than average. The school has gained a number of awards which reflect a commitment to promoting a creative curriculum and pupils' healthy lifestyles.
|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 thoroughly enjoy attending Christ Church Primary, which is a good and improving school. Parents' views are very positive, with the large majority of parents praising the school for the quality of education it provides for their children. One wrote, 'My son often tells me he has had fun; the school works hard to make learning an enjoyable experience.' The children themselves are also testament to the increasing success of the school, and wrote many bubbly messages to inspectors, one example of which said, 'I think Christ Church is the best school in the world!' There were many comments from the pupils about how much they appreciate the creative curriculum the school has put in place. Inspectors judge that this is an outstanding area of the school's work.
The senior leadership team are an excellent role model for the rest of the staff. Their ambition for the school is evident in all their work and is implicit in every classroom. Those staff in new management positions say that they are very well supported and have soon got to grips with leading their areas of responsibility. Governance is satisfactory but there is work to be done to ensure that governors are able to evaluate the work of the school for themselves so that they can act as critical friends more effectively. Members of staff are well trained in aspects of child protection and procedures to ensure that the well-being, health and safety of pupils are good.
There is a real atmosphere of determination and enthusiasm present in the school. There is celebration of what the school does well but also a clear view of what the school could be doing better. This is one aspect which demonstrates the good capacity of leaders and managers to improve the school even further. The previously low attainment of those pupils in Years 1 and 2 has been thoroughly investigated. As a result of the findings, there has been a huge improvement in the provision for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This in turn is having an impact on the attainment of pupils in the current Years 1 and 2, who are the first groups of pupils to benefit from the improvements. Their attainment is much higher than has historically been the case. The school is aware that this momentum needs to be sustained to ensure that attainment in mathematics and English at the end of Year 2 rises. Attainment by the time pupils leave Year 6 is slightly above average and has been rising year on year. Progress is also accelerating and is consistently good across most groups of pupils, including for those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. However, some of the more able pupils do not always make the progress that they could or achieve the levels of attainment of which they are capable in mathematics and English. This is because teachers do not always plan work which builds upon what they already know and can do. There are insufficient opportunities for them to develop higher order mathematical skills or to develop their independence as learners.
There has been some turbulence amongst the leadership group as a result of high levels of maternity leave. However, because of excellent systems in place, the positive capacity to improve has not been affected. In fact, the changes in staffing have ensured that more junior members of staff have been given the opportunity to develop their skills and they have risen well to the challenge.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
In the vast majority of lessons, pupils make good or better progress and achieve well because teachers plan effectively to ensure that pupils enjoy their learning. In one outstanding mixed Year 1 and 2 lesson, pupils were completely absorbed in their mask-making. They chose their own materials and worked busily on turning their planned designs into the finished product. The classroom buzzed with excitement and pupils giggled with glee as they assessed each other's work whilst taking photographs. Teachers and pupils get along well together and relationships are good. Pupils' behaviour is also good and this enables paired and group work to be highly successful. Year 6 pupils discussed the features of journalistic writing and were motivated well by the teacher's skilful questioning. In all lessons, pupils were eager to please and to do their best. This gives rise to good learning.
On the whole, different groups of pupils are catered for well; in particular, those pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities make consistently good progress. However, the more able pupils are not always provided with activities and challenges which build on what they already know and can do. Some time is wasted repeating work rather than moving forward. This hampers the progress of some pupils who then do not always reach the levels of which they are capable.
Historically, there has been underachievement in Key Stage 1. However, the school's own tracking data now show that pupils are set to reach average attainment in 2010. This is the result of more solid foundations for learning being put into place in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Good use of clear learning objectives ensures that pupils know what they should learn by the end of the lesson. Pupils make steady gains in their learning in Key Stage 2 and reach slightly above average levels of attainment by the end of Year 6.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good. Pupils show respect for each other and share good relations with adults in the school. A good assembly enabled pupils to think and ponder about being sorry and to consider repentance. They understand what makes a healthy diet. Pupils were anxious that inspectors should know how they had helped to improve the school dinners by working with the cook. They also spoke about how the gardening club grows vegetables which the school then cooks for dinner. They also understand the importance of taking regular exercise and praised the coach and the provision of after-school clubs. This demonstrates how pupils have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the school community and to take on extra responsibilities. They know how to keep themselves safe and are confident that the adults in the school are approachable and listen to their worries. Pupils acquire a satisfactory but improving level of basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics and good skills in information and communication technology (ICT) that will contribute well to their future economic well-being.
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||2|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
Pupils are enthusiastic and clearly enjoy their learning; they are keen to participate and give of their best. This is very much the result of good provision. Teachers use new technology well to enhance lessons and ensure that pupils are provided with opportunities to consolidate and develop new skills by using computer software. For example whilst engaged in their topic work about the Tudors, the teacher suggested that Year 5 pupils could access laptops to save images; this resulted in a tremendous burst of renewed activity and high order discussion. In a mathematics lesson, pupils practised recalling the properties of different shapes.
A range of activities ensure that pupils are able to learn in a variety of ways. Pupils say that learning is 'fun' and they were observed playing games and card-sorting in mathematics. They respond well to the range of speaking and listening opportunities that teachers give them, especially with talk partners. Good use of resources, including teaching assistants, also aids learning. Assistants support and assess the learning of more vulnerable pupils effectively and work closely with the class teacher during the planning stage. Most teachers attend closely to the needs of individuals and use a variety of activities to suit the different learning styles and abilities of their pupils. However, the work seen in some lessons did not always challenge those more able learners effectively to ensure they made maximum progress. In these lessons, the expectations of what some pupils could achieve were not high enough.
The outstanding curriculum is constantly reviewed in the light of pupils' reactions and progress, therefore things never stand still. It clearly engages pupils and results in their evident enjoyment. Lesson plans are never repeated from one year to the next to avoid pupils in mixed age classes repeating work unnecessarily. Teachers, as a matter of course, plan with the needs of their unique classes and individuals in mind. The curriculum is innovative and creative and the school's reputation for imaginative planning has deservedly brought numerous awards, including the 'Leading Aspect Award', presented for its creative curriculum. The headteacher is frequently called upon to lead training for other schools in curriculum development both locally and nationally. During the inspection, a lesson on Tudor history required pupils to identify their own topics for research, plan the approaches their groups were to take, and to feed back to the class the results of their self-initiated learning. This had an excellent impact on pupils' capacity for independent learning. The teacher had outstandingly high expectations which were met with exceptional achievement. Currently the school is extending this creativity into mathematics and English, where the resulting impact is already raising attainment across the key stages.
Procedures in place to ensure pupils' welfare and well-being are good and pupils say they appreciate the support and help received from adults in the school. Vulnerable pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities are guided and cared for outstandingly well. Their needs are met and exemplary intervention ensures that they learn and make consistently good progress. This is less so for the more able pupils whose specific needs are not always effectively catered for. Outside agencies are employed well by the school and good communication ensures that those pupils who require support with speech and language are well catered for.
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||1|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||2|
The school's evaluation of its performance is accurate and the excellent senior leadership teams clearly know the priorities for development. The evaluation also takes into account the views of parents, although a few feel that the school does not communicate as well as they would like. The school monitors its performance rigorously and has a clear picture of its effectiveness and a thorough understanding of its strengths and areas for improvement. Data are analysed and the resulting information is used effectively to help pupils make better progress through making improvements to teaching. The quality of the school's assessment systems is a real strength. Robust systems are in place to track pupils' progress and these clearly show that the historical gap between boys and girls is narrowing and that attainment at Key Stage 1 is being improved. The outstanding leadership of the headteacher has brought the school forward demonstrably in terms of pupils' achievement. Middle leaders are enthusiastic and keen to monitor their own areas of responsibility and are beginning to do this well. These improvements clearly demonstrate there is a good capacity for sustaining further improvement.
The headteacher has high aspirations for the future of the school and these are communicated to, and shared by, all staff. New staff are supported well and soon settle in to the Christ Church ethos. The governing body is energetically committed to supporting the school. Governors make a strong contribution in promoting and contributing to the caring ethos and helping to ensure that safeguarding arrangements meet requirements. However, they are not yet sufficiently influential in determining the strategic direction of the school.
Community cohesion is promoted well. The school is regarded by all as a community governed by Christian values and as a consequence pupils feel very well cared for. All backgrounds and cultures are accepted and celebrated as having inherent worth and validity. This goes beyond the gates of the school to involve and include the wider community. The school organises classes for parents, which they appreciate. Pupils have a strong awareness of their own community and those further afield. Some topics focused on global issues also ensure pupils have a good understanding of diversity and culture.
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||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||2|
The Early Years Foundation Stage provides a colourful and enticing environment where children experience a good range of stimulating activities.
Home visits and well-thought-through provision ensure that children settle quickly into the Early Years Foundation Stage. Most children enter the Nursery with skills and knowledge well below those expected for their age. A significant number have weaker communication and language skills. They make good progress in both Nursery and Reception classes, especially in their personal, social and emotional development and now leave Reception with average attainment. This was not the case at the time of the last inspection and reflects the considerable positive changes which have taken place since then. This is due to good teaching with clear emphasis on the development of basic and social skills. Children are given plenty of opportunity to talk about their experiences. They develop confidence in speaking in front of others. Children make good progress in their personal development, behave well and form good relationships with each other and adults. Children's personal, social and emotional development and their communication, language and literacy skills are successfully developed through play activities and through focus activities such as phonics sessions. A good session was observed during the inspection where the 's' sound used a 'secret box'. Children are imaginative and work well independently, following teachers' instructions, and help each other move forward in their learning. Teaching and other assistants ensure that children contribute well in class. Leaders and managers know what works well and are effective in planning for further improvement. There is a good blend of outdoor and indoor activities and a highly effective coaching session once a week in physical education.
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
45 parents and carers responded to the Ofsted questionnaire. The large majority of parents were happy with the education provided for their children. Parents were particularly pleased with the way the school promotes enjoyment, with such comments as, 'My child is always happy to go to school and is always full of excitement about whatever he is learning'; this was a recurring theme. The good care provided by the school was confirmed during the inspection. A small number of responses pointed to some issues surrounding the methods and extent of the school's communication with parents. Inspection evidence showed these not to be substantiated but nevertheless the school is currently exploring ways to enhance the ways it communicates with parents.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Christ Church CE VA 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 45 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 307 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||23||51||22||49||0||0||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||22||49||22||49||1||2||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||11||24||32||71||1||2||1||2|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||11||24||29||64||3||7||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||12||27||32||71||0||0||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||12||27||30||67||3||7||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||16||36||27||60||2||4||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)||12||28||25||56||3||7||2||4|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||14||31||27||60||3||7||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||12||27||28||62||4||9||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||10||22||28||62||4||9||1||2|
|The school is led and managed effectively||11||24||30||67||1||2||1||2|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||17||38||28||62||0||0||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.
30 September 2009
Inspection of Christ Church CE VA Primary School, Erith DA8 3DG
Thank you very much for the warm welcome you all gave to us during our recent visit to your school. We were impressed by your behaviour and the way you treated each other. Some of you took the time to speak to us about your school and this was helpful when it came to writing the report. We were really pleased to see how much you enjoy your learning, especially when you undertake your topic work. I loved the masks some of you were making; it's a pity I couldn't see them when you completed them '. It was also good to see how many of you enjoy using computers to help you to learn.
You told us how important it is to eat carefully and to take regular exercise to stay fit and healthy. You enjoy taking responsibility around the school and those of you in the school council have accomplished quite a lot by helping to improve school lunches for example. This is highly commendable ' well done '! You also told us about all the different clubs and activities you are involved in ' they sound great fun! I was particularly impressed by the work of the gardening club. How well you contribute towards the school environment with boxes of beautiful flowers! Also, growing vegetables for the school cook ' brilliant!
Your teachers teach you well and work hard to plan interesting lessons. The headteacher and her team do a good job and have made some good improvements. They care for you all very well indeed. We think Christ Church is a good school. This means it does lots of things well, but it also needs to do a few things a little better. We have asked that the headteacher, staff and governors make sure that the levels that you reach in Year 2 are improved. Secondly, we have asked your teachers to give some of you who find work easy to be given harder work which makes you think more carefully and helps you to reach high levels by the end of Year 6. Lastly, we have asked that your school governors watch what is happening in school more closely so that they get to know for themselves what happens in your school. This will help them to help the school keep on improving.
(on behalf of the inspection team)
|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.|