The inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and an Additional Inspector.
Description of the school
Collingwood is an average sized primary school situated in an area of high unemployment and financial deprivation close to Hull city centre. Most pupils enter school with attainment levels well below national expectations, particularly in their personal and social development and speaking and listening skills. The children are mainly of White British background. There are 13 children learning English as an additional language. Some 30% of pupils have learning difficulties and/or disabilities and, of these, 10 pupils have a statement of special educational need; both of which are above national averages. Of the pupils, 53% are eligible for free school meals which is also high. The number of children who leave or join the school other than at the start of the school year is above average.
Overall effectiveness of the school
Since the removal of special measures in October 2004, Collingwood Primary School has made rapid progress and is now an outstanding school.
Leadership and management are outstanding. The headteacher leads by example and sets a standard to which all adults aspire. She has built very strong links with the community in which she is highly regarded and respected. Supported by the leadership team, governors, and the local authority, the headteacher has provided a clear focus and strong vision which has had a major impact on raising the quality of provision within the school.
Children enter the Foundation Stage with generally limited skills and experiences. Staff work hard to deal with very poor communication skills during the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 which ensures that all groups of children, including those with learning difficulties and English as an additional language, make very good progress as they move through the school. By the end of Year 6, standards and achievement are very good for all groups of children. Achievement in Key Stage 2 mathematics at the higher levels is very good.
Teaching and learning throughout the school are excellent. Assessment data are used to very good effect to track individual progress. The school has developed an exciting and well planned curriculum which meets the needs of all children. There is a range of cultural, sporting and creative activities which promotes their personal development and future economic well-being.
Pupils’ personal development is outstanding. Staff are committed to the pupils’ welfare, know them and their families extremely well, and provide outstanding care, guidance and support. Pupils’ behaviour is good overall, while attendance rates have improved year on year and are in line with national averages.
Parents speak very highly of the school and of the level of care provided for their children.
Resources are effectively deployed and financial management is good. Overall, the school provides excellent value for money and has outstanding capacity to continue to improve.
What the school should do to improve further
- Raise standards in speaking, listening and writing.
- Improve the quality and consistency of marking.
Achievement and standards
By the end of Year 6, standards and achievement are very good for all groups of pupils. Children enter the Foundation Stage with generally limited skills and experiences, particularly in communication, language and literacy and personal, social and emotional development. However, with very good quality teaching and well planned work the children make good progress, although they are still well below expected levels at the end of the Foundation Stage. Progress continues to be good in Key Stage 1, but is insufficient for pupils to reach the nationally expected standards of attainment at the end of Key Stage 1.
Communication skills improve rapidly during Key Stage 2, although some pupils continue to struggle with some aspects of their writing and presentation. However, the rate of progress overall is such, that by the end of Key Stage 2, pupils’ achievement is good as reflected in the 2005 results and early indications from the 2006 results. Achievement in mathematics at the higher levels is very good and well above national expectations.
Personal development and well-being
The pupils’ personal development, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, is outstanding. This reflects the hard work and effort the school has invested. Across the school, all adults ensure tasks support personal development as well as focusing on standards. Children have many opportunities to talk; they can work with partners, in groups and are invited to report back to their class.
Pupils’ behaviour in lessons and around school is good overall, and there are a minority of pupils whose emotional difficulties are effectively managed in different ways by the school. Attendance rates have improved year-on-year and are now in line with national averages, although unauthorised absences are slightly higher than average. The school works diligently to pursue such absences; it has well established procedures in place to monitor, record, report and pursue them; and, is well supported by the local authority.
All children learn how to stay safe. During Key Stage 2, pupils learn about relationships and the dangers of drugs. Breaks and lunchtimes are enjoyable with many organised activities. There is an effective buddy system to support pupils of all ages. There are many out of school activities which are well attended. The school has strong and valued links with other agencies such as the Northern Academy of Performing Arts, the Kingston Communications Stadium and the crew of HMS Collingwood. The school council is democratically elected and takes a full part in making decisions. For example, they have established an email address, organised campaigns for road safety, and have been consulted about travel to school arrangements.
The children are fully aware of the different aspects of healthy lifestyles and well-being. The curriculum for personal, social and health education reflects the hard work and effort the school has invested, resulting in a calm and caring learning environment. Meals and snacks are healthy and the school has gained the Hull Healthy Schools Award.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
The quality of teaching and learning is outstanding. Teaching is good in nearly all respects, none of it is unsatisfactory and there are some significant examples of exemplary practice. As a result, learning is very effective, pupils thrive and all groups of children make impressive progress including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and English as an additional language. Lessons are very well planned and prepared and activities are tailored to suit the pupils’ interests, aptitudes and widely differing needs. Explanations and instructions are very clear and highly effective in promoting learning, developing understanding of language and widening vocabulary. Children have lots of opportunities to talk and ask questions and staff are quick to respond to pupils’ conversations. Adults are skilled at capturing and holding the attention of most of the pupils. Teachers use questions very effectively to make pupils think and to check on what they have understood. This ensures that any problems are quickly tackled. Interactive whiteboards and computers are used appropriately to make lessons interesting and exciting.
The school has a good range of assessment data which it uses well to track individual progress, set targets, identify those who need extra support and pinpoint those who have started to slow in their progress. As a consequence, assessment is very effective and teachers have a very clear understanding of what pupils know and do not know, and what they need to do next. Children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are very well taught and are included fully and effectively in the life of the school. Marking of books, however, is not always consistent throughout the school and is currently being addressed.
Curriculum and other activities
The school provides an outstanding curriculum for the pupils, supported well by visits within the local community and further afield. A good range of clubs is provided outside lesson times. Pupils develop a good understanding of how different subjects relate to each other through exciting projects. The recent expansion of the Foundation Stage to include Year 1 pupils has been introduced in order to maximise individual progress.
The curriculum is exciting and delivered by highly skilled practitioners. Pupils are encouraged to express themselves, and the development of language is given high priority. For example, a Year 1 pupil was fully engrossed in writing a book about The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Dr. Who, ably supported by a number of adults, and went on to join another group in order to make a space back-pack which featured in her story. There is a very well designed outdoor learning area for pupils to pursue large scale practical and investigative activities.
Care, guidance and support
The school provides outstanding care, guidance and support for the pupils and their families. Parents speak very highly of the school and of the level of care provided for their children.
Adults carefully monitor the pupils’ personal development and academic progress. Vulnerable children and those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are quickly identified and effectively supported. Many benefit from a nurture group, set up by the school, and the increasing emphasis placed on emotional support and development. Robust child protection and safeguarding procedures are in place, and are updated regularly. Pupils say their opinions are valued; they feel safe and know that adults will help them. Health and safety and risk assessment procedures meet required standards.
Leadership and management
Leadership and management are outstanding. The headteacher leads by example and sets a standard to which all adults aspire; together they provide excellent opportunities for all pupils to achieve as best they can. The promotion of equal opportunities within the school is outstanding; all pupils, regardless of ability, are fully included in the life of the school.
Much has been done to successfully raise standards year-on-year, achieved through a wealth of well planned and rigorously implemented initiatives. The school has benefited from good support provided by external advisors and consultants, and through carefully thought out professional development and training, and challenge from governors. As a result, pupils’ progress has improved at a very fast pace over the last two years.
The school’s self-evaluation is honest, accurately identifies the key areas for improvement, and involves the whole staff. There is a continuous process of monitoring, reviewing and evaluating initiatives and their impact on children’s learning.
The leadership team and governors share a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the school. Governors fulfil their statutory responsibilities and enhance and enrich the life of the school through their active participation. Resources are very effectively deployed and financial management is strong. The school has worked hard to reduce supply teaching costs and to address issues of over-staffing.
The school offers excellent value for money.