School etc

Colmore Junior School

Colmore Junior School
Colmore Road
Kings Heath
Birmingham
West Midlands
B146AJ

0121 4642843

Headteacher: Mrs C Millard

Website: atschool.eduweb.co.uk/colmorej

School holidays for Colmore Junior School via Birmingham council

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391 pupils aged 7—10y mixed gender
480 pupils capacity: 81% full

200 boys 51%

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190 girls 49%

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Last updated: July 30, 2014


Primary — Community School

URN
103188
Education phase
Primary
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
2053
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 406898, Northing: 281116
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.428, Longitude: -1.9
Accepting pupils
7—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Oct. 3, 2007
Region › Const. › Ward
West Midlands › Birmingham, Selly Oak › Brandwood
Area
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %
12.00

Rooms & flats to rent in Birmingham

Schools nearby

  1. Colmore Infant and Nursery School B146AJ (412 pupils)
  2. 0.2 miles King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls B147QJ
  3. 0.2 miles King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys B147QJ
  4. 0.2 miles King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls B147QJ (866 pupils)
  5. 0.2 miles King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys B147QJ (725 pupils)
  6. 0.5 miles St Dunstan's Catholic Primary School B147LP (372 pupils)
  7. 0.5 miles Wheelers Lane Technology College B130SF (611 pupils)
  8. 0.5 miles Wheelers Lane Primary School B130SF (678 pupils)
  9. 0.6 miles Wheelers Lane Junior School B130SJ
  10. 0.6 miles Wheelers Lane Infant School B130SJ
  11. 0.6 miles Woodthorpe Junior and Infant School B146ET (210 pupils)
  12. 0.6 miles Bishop Challoner Catholic College B147EG (1175 pupils)
  13. 0.7 miles Allens Croft Nursery School B146RP (83 pupils)
  14. 0.7 miles Kings Heath Infant and Nursery School B147AA
  15. 0.7 miles Allens Croft Primary School B146RP (229 pupils)
  16. 0.7 miles The Dame Ellen Pinsent School B130RW (123 pupils)
  17. 0.8 miles Kings Heath Junior School B147AJ
  18. 0.8 miles Moor Green Infant School B138QP
  19. 0.8 miles Moor Green Junior School B138QP
  20. 0.8 miles Moor Green Primary B138QP
  21. 0.8 miles Kings Heath Primary School B147AJ (723 pupils)
  22. 0.8 miles Moor Green Primary School B138QP (277 pupils)
  23. 0.8 miles Reach School B147BB (48 pupils)
  24. 0.9 miles Queensbridge School B138QB (696 pupils)

List of schools in Birmingham


INSPECTION REPORT

COLMORE JUNIOR SCHOOL

Kings Heath

Birmingham

LEA area: Birmingham

Unique reference number: 103188

Headteacher: Mrs C Millard

Reporting inspector: Mr N B Jones

20973

Dates of inspection: 17-19 March 2003

Inspection number: 246267

Inspection carried out under section 10 of the School Inspections Act 1996

This report may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial educational purposes, provided

that all extracts quoted are reproduced verbatim without adaptation and on condition that the source

and date thereof are stated.

Further copies of this report are obtainable from the school. Under the School Inspections Act 1996,

the school must provide a copy of this report and/or its summary free of charge to certain categories

of people. A charge not exceeding the full cost of reproduction may be made for any other copies

supplied.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE SCHOOL

Type of school: Junior

School category: Community

Age range of pupils: 7-11

Gender of pupils: Mixed

School address: Colmore Road

Kings Heath

Birmingham

Postcode: B14 6AJ

Telephone number: 0121 4442843

Fax number: 0121 4413870

Appropriate authority: Governing Body

Name of chair of governors: Mrs J Baker

Date of previous inspection: 16-19 March 1998

INFORMATION ABOUT THE INSPECTION TEAM

Team members

Mr N B Jones Registered inspector

Mrs J Chesterfield Lay inspector

Mr M Beale Team inspector

Mrs J Young Team inspector

The inspection contractor was:

Sandfield Educational Consultants Limited

16 Wychwood Drive

Trowell Park

Nottingham

NG9 3RB

Any concerns or complaints about the inspection or the report should be raised with the inspection

contractor. Complaints that are not satisfactorily resolved by the contractor should be raised with

OFSTED by writing to:

The Registrar

Inspection Quality Division

The Office for Standards in Education

Alexandra House

33 Kingsway

London WC2B 6SE

REPORT CONTENTS

Page

PART A: SUMMARY OF THE REPORT 6

Information about the school

How good the school is

What the school does well

What could be improved

How the school has improved since its last inspection

Standards

Pupils’ attitudes and values

Teaching and learning

Other aspects of the school

How well the school is led and managed

Parents’ and carers’ views of the school

PART B: COMMENTARY

WHAT THE SCHOOL DOES WELL 10

WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED 18

WHAT SHOULD THE SCHOOL DO TO IMPROVE FURTHER? 18

PART C: SCHOOL DATA AND INDICATORS 19

PART A: SUMMARY OF THE REPORT

INFORMATION ABOUT THE SCHOOL

Colmore is a larger than average junior school which has 362 pupils (196 boys and 166 girls). It is a

popular school that has a waiting list for each year group. The school draws most of its pupils from an

area of mixed housing to the south of Birmingham city centre. Around 15 per cent of the pupils are

eligible for free school meals, which is broadly in line with the national average. Around two-thirds of

the pupils are of white ethnic background and the rest are mainly from Asian, African/Caribbean and

mixed race heritages. Around 23 per cent of the pupils have English as an additional language but very

few are at an early stage of learning English. Twenty per cent of the pupils are on the special

educational needs register (about average for schools nationally) including three pupils with a

Statement of Special Educational Need. Almost all pupils transfer from Colmore Infant School; their

attainment on entry, indicated by the results of Year 2 national tests, is slightly above average.

HOW GOOD THE SCHOOL IS

Colmore is a very good school. Very good teaching, a very rich curriculum and excellent leadership by

the headteacher enable the children to receive a first class education. Not only do the pupils achieve

high standards in English, mathematics and science but they are also provided with a very broad and

stimulating curriculum overall with particularly strong provision in the creative arts and sport. The

school provides very good value for money.

What the school does well

  • The pupils make very good progress and achieve high standards in English, mathematics and
    science.
  • Teaching is very good.
  • The headteacher, assisted by supportive governors and a dedicated staff, provides very effective
    leadership.
  • A very rich curriculum, both within and outside lessons, is provided.
  • High expectations within a caring and stimulating learning environment bring out the very best in
    the pupils.
  • The school has a very good partnership with parents and the community.
    What could be improved
  • Although standards in English overall are above average there is scope for further improvement in
    writing in other subjects.
    The areas for improvement will form the basis of the governors’ action plan.
    HOW THE SCHOOL HAS IMPROVED SINCE ITS LAST INSPECTION
    When it was last inspected in March 1998, Colmore Junior School was considered to be a good school
    achieving standards that were above average in English, mathematics and science. Excellent
    leadership and very good teaching have enabled the school to make very good improvement since
    then. Standards overall are now well above average. All of the issues raised in the last report have
    been addressed effectively, including the raising of attendance levels by a very impressive five per
    cent. The school is in a very strong position to maintain its current high standards.
    STANDARDS
    The table shows the standards achieved by 11 year olds based on average point scores in National Curriculum
    tests.
    compared with
    Performance in: all schools
    similar
    schools
    Key
    2000 2001 2002 2002
    English B A B A
    well above average
    above average
    A
    B
    mathematics A A A A
    average
    below average
    C
    D
    Science A A A A
    well below average E
    Inspection evidence confirms that by the age of eleven the pupils' attainment is well above average in
    mathematics and science and is close to this level in English. There is scope for the pupils to make
    some improvement in the writing aspect of English. Across a very broad curriculum, pupils of all
    abilities and backgrounds make very good progress overall. Boys and girls perform at a similar level
    when compared with the national averages for boys and girls. Standards in art, music and physical
    education are particularly high
    In the 2002 national tests the school exceeded its target for pupils reaching the expected level (Level
    4) in mathematics and came very close to achieving its target for English. Similarly ambitious targets
    have been set for 2003 and inspection evidence would indicate that they are likely to be close to
    achieving them.
    PUPILS’ ATTITUDES AND VALUES
    Aspect Comment
    Attitudes to the school Very good. The pupils have a very mature attitude and show real
    enthusiasm for everything they do.
    Behaviour, in and out of
    classrooms
    Behaviour in lessons and around school is very good.
    Personal development and
    relationships
    Relationships throughout the school are of a very high standard. The
    pupils get on extremely well together. They take on more and more
    responsibility for their own learning and actions as they move through
    the school.
    Attendance Very good. Well above the national average.
    Since the last inspection the school has worked very hard and successfully to drive up attendance
    levels from well below the national average to well above. Although the ethos of the school is very
    much geared to sustaining and raising standards, great emphasis is also placed on developing positive
    and caring relationships between the pupils. The caring, sharing and belonging aspect of school life is
    evident at all times in the way that the pupils interact with each other and with adults. Individuals are
    respected, opinions valued and there is a genuine feeling of pride in being a part of the school.
    TEACHING AND LEARNING
    Teaching of pupils: aged 7-11 years
    Very good
    Inspectors make judgements about teaching in the range: excellent; very good; good; satisfactory; unsatisfactory; poor; very
    poor. ‘Satisfactory’ means that the teaching is adequate and strengths outweigh weaknesses.
    The quality of teaching is very good; it has improved since the last inspection when it was rated as
    good. The very good teaching, particularly in English, mathematics and science, enables pupils of all
    abilities to make very good progress in these subjects. The school's implementation of the literacy and
    numeracy strategies has been very successful and has resulted in the pupils progressing very well.
    Teaching is also strong in art and physical education. Art plays a major role in creating an exciting and
    vibrant working environment where displays of high quality work show the pupils’ considerable
    achievements in this subject. The pupils made very good progress in the physical education observed
    and in addition the extra-curricular activities provided by the teachers enable the pupils to develop their
    skills very well across a range of sports. The very good specialist teaching of music throughout the
    school has enabled the pupils to receive a consistently high level of tuition and achieve very good
    standards.
    The teaching is characterised by very good relationships with the pupils, high expectations, a brisk pace
    to lessons and well-defined routines. This results in a very good working atmosphere. The use of time
    targets and the sharing of learning objectives with the pupils are consistent features that help the pupils
    maintain their concentration.
    OTHER ASPECTS OF THE SCHOOL
    Aspect Comment
    The quality and range of
    the curriculum
    Excellent. The curriculum is broad and balanced with an appropriate
    emphasis on English, mathematics and science. It also provides many
    rich and imaginative opportunities for the pupils to learn across the
    whole curriculum.
    Provision for pupils with
    special educational needs
    Very good. Teachers and teaching assistants provide very effective
    support.
    Provision for pupils with
    English as an additional
    language
    Very good. Pupils with language difficulties are identified at an early
    stage and are supported very well.
    Provision for pupils’
    personal, including spiritual,
    moral, social and cultural
    development
    Very good. The school encourages responsibility and values pupils’
    achievements. It provides a secure, stimulating and democratic
    community in which pupils can develop their understanding of moral and
    social responsibilities. Pupils’ spiritual and cultural development is
    promoted very well through curriculum activities and the everyday life
    of the school.
    How well the school cares
    for its pupils
    Good. The pupils are well supported and cared for by the staff. The
    school's daily routines are well organised and run smoothly.
    The school's provision for art, music and physical education is of a high standard. The expertise of the
    staff and extra-curricular provision are used very well to support the development of these subjects.
    The school is a harmonious community in which everyone is valued and the effective involvement of
    all pupils is central to its work. The cultural diversity of the pupils is celebrated and particularly so
    during special occasions such as Diwali, Eid and Black History month.
    HOW WELL THE SCHOOL IS LED AND MANAGED
    Aspect Comment
    Leadership and
    management by the
    headteacher and other key
    staff
    Excellent. The headteacher very effectively leads a hard working and
    dedicated staff. Very high expectations and a constant striving to
    maintain and improve the school's standards and the quality of education
    are shared goals. The management structure ensures that all teachers
    are involved, supported and valued.
    How well the governors
    fulfil their responsibilities
    Very good. The governors show great commitment to the school. They
    keep close oversight of developments and ensure that all statutory
    responsibilities are carried out.
    The school’s evaluation of
    its performance
    Very good. The school improvement plan is used very well to set
    targets that are evaluated on a regular basis. The school ensures that
    teaching and learning are regularly monitored with a view to bringing
    about improvement.
    The strategic use of
    resources
    Very effective use of time, staff, accommodation and learning
    resources help provide a stimulating education for all of the pupils.
    The headteacher, deputy headteacher, the finance officer and governors manage the school's finances
    very well and ensure value for money when purchasing resources. The headteacher is particularly
    good at building relationships both within and outside school. There are very strong ties between the
    junior and infant schools and effective relationships with many other local schools.
    PARENTS’ AND CARERS’ VIEWS OF THE SCHOOL
    What pleases parents most What parents would like to see improved
  • Pupils like school, behave well and make good
    progress.
  • The school is well led and managed.
  • The teaching is good.
  • Parents are made to feel welcome in school.
  • Pupils are expected to work hard.
  • Some parents would like to be better
    informed.
  • Some parents think that homework is
    inconsistent.
  • Some parents feel that the school could
    work more closely with them.
    Inspectors' judgements fully support the parents' positive views. The information provided for parents
    is better than in most schools, arrangements for homework are satisfactory and the partnership
    between school and parents is a strength of the school.

PART B: COMMENTARY

WHAT THE SCHOOL DOES WELL

The pupils make very good progress and achieve high standards in English, mathematics

and science

1. At the time of the last inspection standards were above average in English, mathematics and

science. Since then standards have been improved even further and are now well above average

in all three subjects when compared with schools with pupils from similar backgrounds.

2. The pupils make very good progress in the speaking, listening and reading and good progress in

writing. Throughout the school, there is a clear emphasis on learning and an expectation that

pupils will achieve well.

3. Teachers provide many planned opportunities for the pupils to extend and develop speaking skills

through discussions, expressing their feelings and opinions, and through their response to

questions during lessons. Pupils display a well-developed vocabulary and express themselves in a

clear and articulate manner. For example, pupils in Year 5 describe with great sensitivity the

images and feelings provoked by a study of the narrative poem ‘The Highwayman.’ They use

technical vocabulary such as ‘similes’ and ‘metaphors’ easily and confidently. Drama is very

well used to allow pupils to develop their own ideas in small group discussion.

4. Throughout the school pupils enjoy reading and achieve high standards. They display confidence

in their own abilities and read with fluency and expression. This is reflected in the high standards

achieved in national tests. Pupils are expressive and responsive readers who convey the full

meaning of a text when reading aloud. They select books that match their own particular

interests and read a considerable selection of good quality children’s fiction, including the work of

both classical and contemporary authors. By the time they are in Year 6, pupils can understand

a complicated text and make deductions and inferences from it. In one very good lesson

observed pupils skilfully analysed different persuasive texts and identified techniques, such as

exaggeration, promise and threat that different authors had hidden in their work.

5. Standards in writing are good. Writing skills are taught well in English lessons and as a result

pupils make good progress. They are given opportunities to write in many different styles and for

a variety of purposes. However, the opportunities for pupils to consolidate and extend their

writing skills across other subjects of the curriculum are not developed sufficiently. Year 3 pupils

write with great imagination, using powerful adjectives and similes as they describe their

adventures as the lion from a fable by Aesop. Older pupils experience a very good range of

writing activities and are taught skills to enable them to write, for example, in journalistic and

biographical styles. Their writing of ghost stories, reports of visits to London and descriptions of

growing up in 2002 are coherent, well paced and use adventurous vocabulary. Pupils are

particularly adept at writing openings that capture the attention of the reader. Clear attention is

paid to teaching the structure of writing and improving spelling skills. Spelling lessons taught by

the English co-ordinator are highly imaginative and greatly enthuse the pupils. Year 6 pupils want

to know how to spell words and work hard to devise useful spelling rules.

6. By the time they leave the school, the pupils' attainment in mathematics is well above average.

The teachers' excellent preparation and planning, high expectations and their sheer enthusiasm

lead to the lessons being lively and stimulating. This approach throughout the school enables the

pupils to make very good progress from Year 3 to Year 6. A common feature of lessons is the

emphasis that the teachers place upon the pupils understanding the strategies used so that they

can readily apply their understanding to new situations. This was evident in a Year 3 lesson

where the teacher led the pupils to use their existing knowledge in order to understand the

strategies needed to add three two-digit numbers successfully. Similarly in Year 6, in the process

of the pupils learning the concept of probability, the teacher encouraged the pupils to make their

own deductions using their secure understanding of fractions. This kind of teaching enables the

pupils to gain a very good knowledge and understanding of all of the required aspects of the

mathematics curriculum. This is commendable, but most impressively they also have the

confidence and initiative to apply these learned strategies to a whole range of new situations. By

Year 6 they are able to think logically through quite complex problems involving a number of

different operations.

7. By the end of Year 6, the pupils' attainment in science is well above average. Throughout the

school, the pupils have many opportunities to carry out their own investigations. They make

predictions and hypotheses and devise and organise tests to investigate these. For example, Year

4 pupils extended their good understanding of how sound travels by setting up an investigation to

enable them to test the effectiveness of communicating with each other using varying lengths of

string stretched between two plastic cups. The pupils understanding of how to produce valid

results increases well as they move through the school. In a Year 6 lesson the pupils

systematically investigated how easily different sized crystals would dissolve in water, being well

aware of what constitutes a fair test. They organised themselves confidently and worked

collaboratively in small groups, readily sharing responsibilities and ideas. Their conclusions from

the investigation showed a secure grasp of the process. Discussions with the pupils indicate that

they have very good knowledge and understanding across many aspects of science.

Teaching is very good

8. The quality of teaching is very good. This strength of the school enables the pupils to make very

good progress across a wide range of subjects. Teaching is particularly strong in English,

mathematics, science, art and design, music and physical education. The specialist teaching of

music throughout the school has enabled the pupils to receive a consistently high level of tuition

and achieve very good standards. The quality of teaching seen during the inspection is

summarised in a table in Part C of this report.

9. The teaching is characterised by very good relationships with the pupils, high expectations, a

brisk pace to lessons and well-defined routines. This results in a very good working atmosphere.

The use of time targets is a feature of many lessons and this method was used to great effect in

a mathematics lesson in Year 3 where the pace of learning continued at a high level throughout.

Much of the work is made enjoyable and this is assisted through the use of humour and the

enthusiasm shown by the teachers. Learning objectives are shared with the pupils and, apart

from the over use of worksheets in some lessons, the pupils are expected to use their own

initiative to a great extent. The philosophy of 'ask don't tell' was used very effectively in a very

good science lesson in Year 6 where the pupils carried out their own investigations with great

maturity and minimal assistance.

10. In English, the school has effectively implemented the literacy strategy. There are strengths in

the guided reading sessions with teachers having a secure knowledge of how to develop pupils’

reading skills. Teachers make a careful selection of texts, plan thoroughly to the school’s format

and use questioning very carefully to extend pupils’ thinking and to help them express themselves

fully. Management and organisation of classrooms allows lessons to proceed at a brisk pace and

excellent and productive relationships are formed. A strength of teachers’ marking is the good

quality of their comments and targets for improvement. All staff value pupils’ work and class

books are presented attractively.

11. For mathematics lessons the pupils are organised into ability groups across each year group. This

system is used well to provide appropriate work and, combined with the very good teaching,

enables pupils of differing abilities to make very good progress. The numeracy strategy is being

implemented very well. Most lessons include a brisk quick-fire mental arithmetic session,

followed by group work at a challenging level for all pupils and concluding with a class session to

sort out any problems and consolidate and assess the progress made. The resources for teaching

mathematics are very good and are used well. In one very good mathematics lesson the teacher

used an interactive whiteboard to demonstrate to the whole class the specific techniques and

skills needed for the production and analysis of challenging number sequences. This was

followed up in the information and communication technology (ICT) suite by immediate,

individual opportunities for pupils to practise, refine and use what they had seen. Pupils gained a

very quick understanding of the procedures and devised many precise and imaginative sequences

of their own.

12. ICT was considered to be a weakness at the time of the last inspection when standards were

rated as below average. The quality of teaching has improved considerably since then and much

of it is now good. This is resulting in the pupils making good progress and standards have risen to

now be in line with national expectations. Tasks set for each ICT session are clearly focused.

Activities are well organised, with programs and equipment carefully prepared beforehand so

that pupils make best use of time. All supervising adults have a good knowledge of the programs.

Where teachers use the classroom computers regularly the good progress observed in lessons in

the ICT suite is extended and enhanced well.

13. Assessment procedures are very good. Teachers have worked hard to develop comprehensive

systems and an appropriate policy to guide their use. They record pupils’ progress against key

indicators and identify class and individual strengths and weaknesses in knowledge and

understanding. Effective systems track pupils’ progress and predict their attainment. Good

procedures help teachers monitor progress in developing subject skills. This assists them when

planning what the pupils are to learn next. The marking of pupils’ work is very good across the

school. Comments to indicate to pupils where they have performed well and what they need to

do to improve are used consistently. Target setting is very well used for both groups and

individuals.

14. The provision for special educational needs is very good. A very effective, school-wide system

identifies pupils with special educational needs. The support staff have a high level of awareness

of how to cater for pupils with differing needs and where possible ensure that they participate in

their own target setting and reviews. There is a close liaison with parents at every level. The

records provide extremely accurate profiles of individual needs, thus enabling specific work to be

planned and for progress to be monitored effectively. The school succeeds in keeping all of the

pupils included and integrated.

The headteacher, assisted by supportive governors and a dedicated staff, provides very

effective leadership

15. The school has been very successful in improving considerably on the good standards reported

by the last inspection in 1998. This has been brought about by the sheer hard work and

commitment of the headteacher, staff and governors and the ongoing support of the parents. The

guiding hand and driving force behind the success of the school is the headteacher. Of the more

than 100 responses to the parents' questionnaire 98 per cent were in agreement with the

proposition that the school is well led and managed. The inspectors fully endorse this opinion.

The headteacher leads a hard working and dedicated staff very well. Very high expectations and

a constant striving to maintain and improve the school's standards and the quality of education

are shared goals. This is evidenced in the high standard of the pupils' work, presentation and

behaviour; in the thorough and effective planning, assessment and marking carried out by the

teachers; and in the high quality displays in each classroom and around the school.

16. There is a continual striving to provide the very best for the children at Colmore. The school not

only provides a high quality education in the basic skills of English and mathematics but also

enables the pupils to experience a broad range of high quality experiences across the curriculum.

Of particular note are the opportunities for the pupils to develop their talents in the arts and sport.

The headteacher explores every avenue to gain extra funding, support and recognition for the

school. In this respect, grants have been obtained for many improvements including the new

kitchen; support from other educational institutions has been gained (particularly for sporting

activities); and the school's achievements have been recognised through the presentation of

prestigious national awards such as the Investors in People Award, the Arts Mark Gold Award,

Active Mark Gold Award and the School Achievement Award in consecutive years.

17. The management structure is organised in a way that ensures that all teachers are involved,

supported and valued. Planning and preparation are carried out in year groups. This rigorous

process is successful in its own right but is enhanced considerably because most year groups

have a representative on the school's senior management team. These representatives also play

a key role in the monitoring and evaluation of teaching to ensure that standards are maintained

across year groups and the whole school. Over and above this, each teacher in a year group

takes part in one of the three school focus groups that discuss in depth specific school

developments. The school's improvement plan has a clear focus on raising standards. All staff

are involved in the formulation of this plan with particular expectations of the curriculum co-

ordinators. In discussion with the headteacher, particular targets for the year are set, which are

then evaluated to assess success. Co-ordinator responsibilities also extend to the management of

a sizeable subject budget.

18. The school has been very successful in improving its levels of attendance since the last

inspection. Attendance levels have been driven up from 90.5 per cent to 95.9 per cent, which

represents a rise from well below the national average to well above. This has been brought

about by the headteacher and senior management team tackling the issue on two fronts; raising

the profile of attendance to promote it fully and chasing up every absence rigorously. The key to

this success has been the designation of a member of staff to be responsible for attendance. This

person chases up absences on the first day and nips any potential problem in the bud and liaises

closely with the headteacher and the education welfare officer to sort out any more complex

cases. Efficiency has been improved through the use of computerised recording and monitoring

systems. The school has also introduced a range of incentives for pupils, from merit stickers for

individuals to monthly awards for classes. This means that pupils are constantly reminded that

the school expects them to attend well. Parents also get regular reminders in the weekly

newsletters, so that they know the routines for requesting or explaining absence.

19. The governing body works hard and supports the school effectively. It is well led by the

chairperson who visits the school on a regular basis and has a very good understanding of the

school's development. The governors show great commitment to the school by not only meeting

as a governing body but also as members of various committees including finance, curriculum,

staff and premises. This enables the governors to keep close oversight of developments and

ensure that all statutory responsibilities are carried out. The headteacher also keeps the

governors very well informed through her comprehensive and very useful termly written reports.

These documents are particularly effective in keeping the governors right up to date with

developments towards the targets in the school's improvement plan. The finances of the school

are very well managed although there are a few minor points from the recent auditor's report

that still need to be fully addressed. There was a very large carry forward figure from the 2001-

2 financial year. However, this amount has been justified due to the amount needed to be held

over to pay for various commitments, mainly the new kitchen and dining room.

20. The headteacher is particularly good at building relationships both within and outside school.

There are very strong ties between the junior and infant schools and effective relationships with

many other local schools. Although the ethos of the school is very much geared to sustaining and

raising standards, great emphasis is also placed on developing positive and caring relationships

between the pupils. The caring, sharing and belonging aspect of school life is evident at all times

in the way that the pupils interact with each other and with adults. Individuals are respected,

opinions valued and there is a genuine feeling of pride in being a part of the school. The warmth

and appreciation towards the school orchestra and choir from all of those gathered for an

assembly represents this feeling well.

A very rich curriculum, both within and outside lessons, is provided

21. The curriculum is broad and balanced with an appropriate emphasis on literacy and numeracy.

Although the school is particularly strong in English, mathematics and science, it has not let the

demands of these subjects impair its ability to provide many rich and imaginative opportunities for

the pupils to learn across the whole curriculum. In particular, the school's provision for the arts

and physical education are of a high standard. The expertise of the staff and extra-curricular

provision are used very well to support the development of these subjects

22. Art makes a significant contribution to the overall atmosphere of the school. It plays a major role

in creating an exciting and vibrant working environment where displays of high quality work

show the pupils’ considerable achievements in this subject.

23. The planning of work for the school, by an outstanding co-ordinator, produces continuously

excellent activities that often extend over a number of lessons. This gives pupils the opportunity

to develop their skills and become confident in the use of many different materials. This way of

working is a major contributory factor to the very high standard of achievement. An excellent

example of this approach occurs in Year 6 where pupils study the use of symbolism in the works

of artists such as Marc Chagall and Picasso and then depict personal symbols in their own

pictures. At a later date they add pastel patterns and gouache paints to heighten the effect.

When dry, the pictures are further enhanced with stippled highlights that produce stunning

effects. These pieces of work were quite remarkable; not only did they demonstrate very good

use of materials but showed that all pupils in the class had been very perceptive in the way they

had combined the symbols into unique, imaginative pictures.

24. Throughout the school there are an exceptional number of stimulating, exciting, imaginative and

thought provoking displays of quality art. Pupils’ work is displayed on boards, in a wide variety of

frames and on open shelving. Pupils are provided with a very wide range of opportunities and

make excellent progress as they revisit a particular style, technique or skill and refine it over

time. Excellent use is made of the work of great artists to inspire and stimulate. Artists as

diverse as Hockney, Turner and Julian Opie are studied as a stimulus to produce imaginative

abstract designs, beautiful watercolour sunsets or innovative portraits.

25. The children are offered a wealth of opportunities to develop their musical talents. Many of them

have specialist brass, woodwind and string tuition each week with 13 particularly gifted and

talented pupils receiving extra tuition funded by the local education authority. The school

orchestra comprised of pupils, ex-pupils, teachers and parents rehearses weekly under the expert

guidance of the school's music co-ordinator. The standard of performance, as witnessed in a

school assembly, is exceptionally high.

26. The music co-ordinator takes all of the music lessons, thus enabling the pupils to receive a high

standard of teaching throughout the school. In the two music lessons observed during the

inspection, the standard of teaching was very good. The pace of lessons was brisk, very high

expectations were made of the pupils and as a consequence they progressed very well. In Year

3 the pupils quickly learned to read rhythm from different forms of notation and in Year 5 they

effectively used rhythm patterns to create their own compositions. The high standard of singing

from the whole school in assembly is a good indication of the quality of the teaching.

27. Over and above her classroom responsibilities the music co-ordinator provides her expertise to

the lower and upper school choirs in the form of extra-curricular activities. The standard of the

choirs can be gauged by the fact that they have been invited to perform with the Birmingham

Festival choir and been recorded for BBC radio programmes. Certainly the standard of

performance in assembly was first class.

28. Within the school's curriculum there is a high level of participation in different forms of drama.

Visiting specialists who lead workshops and regular trips to local theatres enrich these

experiences. Opportunities are maximised for the pupils to share their feelings in cross-curricular

role-play situations. For example, in a Year 5 lesson on Ancient Greece the pupils were able to

feedback thoughts on how it would feel to be a soldier, woman or child at a time of conflict.

Their portrayal of the situation and era was extremely impressive. The pupils enjoy active

involvement in lessons and give confident, uninhibited performances of high quality. Year 3 pupils

take part in workshops held by Birmingham Royal Ballet as part of the Dance Track project

designed to identify gifted and talented young dancers.

29. The provision for and the standards achieved in physical education, in particular sport, are very

good. The physical education observed during the inspection was of a high standard. In a Year 5

gymnastics lesson the pupils made very good progress in learning to perform a sequence

involving a jump, balance and roll. Each year group is timetabled for a block of swimming and

this plays a significant part in enabling 85 per cent of the pupils to be able to swim 25metres by

the time they leave the school.

30. Of particular note in the physical development of the pupils is the very good range of sporting

activities provided outside of normal lessons. These are provided by the teachers and by coaches

from other educational institutions and include football, cricket, cross country running, hockey,

basketball and Gaelic football. The provision of such a wealth of opportunities allows many of the

pupils to participate and develop their skills across a wide range of activities. The school

participates in many inter-school competitions and has recently won the local and Birmingham

cross-country running championships and the South Birmingham indoor football tournament.

31. The school also runs a computer club for Year 5 pupils and a French club for pupils of all ages.

There are a good number of educational visits, both locally and further afield, together with an

annual residential visit. The teachers work hard to provide such a good range of activities in

order to meet the needs and interests of the pupils and this has a very positive impact upon the

pupils' personal and social development.

High expectations within a caring and stimulating learning environment bring out the very

best in the pupils

32. The school is successful in creating an ethos that is firmly based on care and respect for others.

It creates a calm and purposeful atmosphere where there is a very clear emphasis on pupils’

personal well being. The school is a harmonious community in which everyone is valued and the

effective involvement of all pupils is central to its work. The cultural diversity of the pupils is

celebrated and particularly so during special occasions such as Diwali, Eid and Black History

month. The school values the individual, seeks to develop the whole child and works to enable all

pupils to achieve their full potential.

33. A major strength of the school is the high quality of relationships established and sustained

throughout the school. These create a mutual respect, promote responsibility and form a strong

foundation for effective learning. All staff are very good role models for pupils. They are warm

and encouraging. There is a strong sense of teamwork amongst the staff and this has a positive

influence upon pupils’ attitudes and behaviour.

34. There are very good opportunities for pupils to develop a sense of community and citizenship and

to contribute to school improvements through the elected school council. Pupils take their

responsibilities seriously and fulfil them very well. Recent discussions about meals and organising

comic relief activities have been particularly productive.

35. The school provides very good opportunities for pupils to develop an understanding of their own

and other cultures. These occur throughout the curriculum and in an impressive range of

educational visits. Pupils understanding of different ways of life, beliefs and traditions is evident

in the attractive and thought provoking displays around school. It is particularly apparent in art,

music and drama. The school displays and uses many good quality prints of the works of artists

including Van Gogh and Georgia O’Keefe. Pupils listen to a wide variety of music including folk

songs and classical symphonies. An excellent range of musical tuition is available in the school

and during the inspection the school orchestra played beautifully in a celebration assembly. At

the end of the assembly the orchestra accompanied the whole school as they sang in a deeply

moving and inspirational way.

36. Pupils are helped to develop their self-esteem and social skills by learning the importance of

sharing, co-operation and compromise. They participate regularly in group discussions and

respond very well to tasks that require them to work together. For example, organising paired or

group projects and raising funds for children less fortunate than themselves.

37. Pupils’ attitudes to school are very good. They are friendly, eager to talk to visitors and are proud

to show them around their school. They are keen to learn, and work with concentration and

commitment, taking full advantage of the many interesting learning experiences they are offered.

Pupils are very keen to contribute their ideas to discussion and persevere with any aspects of

work they find difficult.

38. Pupils’ behaviour is very good. In lessons and around the school, pupils are polite, sensible and

considerate. The oldest pupils conduct themselves with high levels of self-discipline and set a

very good example to others. Outside of lessons, pupils play amicably in the attractive school

grounds, with older pupils taking good care of the younger members of the school community.

The school has a very good partnership with parents and the community

39. The school has worked hard at improving its links with parents since the last inspection and has

been very successful. Its partnership with parents is now very good. This is because the school

listens to parents and does its best to meet to their needs. Staff are accessible to parents in the

playground at the beginning and the end of the day. Weekly newsletters from the headteacher

also help to keep parents very well informed. The school supports parents very well by providing

them with childcare facilities on site before and after school, running a regular playgroup for pre-

school children and holding a carers’ and toddlers’ session each week for very young children

and babies. The school also organises courses for parents to improve their skills and

qualifications.

40. Information for parents is very good. The governors’ annual report in particular is excellent in its

quality and presentation. Parents receive lots of helpful curriculum information via the

prospectus, letters from class teachers and sheets on how to help with English, mathematics and

science. Reports to parents on their children’s progress have improved since the last inspection

and now contain useful targets for improvement. Parents have three formal opportunities each

year to discuss progress with their children’s teachers, and consultations are well attended.

Parents support the school well. The Friends’ Association works hard to organise events to raise

significant funds for both the infant and the junior schools. Parents, teachers, friends and former

pupils also join in with the school orchestra, so that it truly does represent the community.

41. The school’s partnership with its neighbouring infant school is excellent. The two schools work

very well together on co-ordinating their approach to the curriculum and with pastoral care so

that pupils can move seamlessly from one school to the other. The infants and the juniors also

collaborate closely on making the most of the facilities available on their shared site. The before

and after school club has been a joint venture benefiting both sets of parents, while the excellent

refurbishment of the dining hall has helped make lunchtime a very positive part of the day for

both infant and junior children. There are also very good links with a number of local secondary

schools, particularly those with specialist status. These have provided excellent opportunities for

pupils to develop their skills and interests in areas such as sports, technology and the creative

arts.

WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED

Although standards in English overall are above average there is scope for further

improvement in writing in other subjects

42. Whilst the overall development of writing skills is generally good, the pupils' achievement is not

as high as it could be. In English lessons much focus is placed on developing pupils’ writing and

in providing opportunities for pupils to develop and rehearse their skills in a wide range of styles

including reports, notes, instructions, articles and biographies. Pupils have many opportunities of

good quality to draft, edit and revise and evaluate their work. Accordingly they achieve well.

However, many pupils have only limited opportunities to enhance these skills still further in other

subject areas. Teachers miss opportunities to provide relevant and meaningful writing

opportunities in subjects such as religious education, geography and history. Too often pupils

have to complete undemanding and tedious worksheets requiring, for example, only low level

sequencing skills from pupils who demonstrate much higher achievement in English lessons. Too

few opportunities are identified in these different subject areas to allow pupils to record, recount,

describe or explain activities in their own words.

WHAT SHOULD THE SCHOOL DO TO IMPROVE FURTHER?

43. In order to further improve standards and the quality of education, the headteacher, staff and

governors should:

  • Improve the standard of writing further by providing meaningful opportunities for the
    pupils to write at length in other subjects as well as in English.
    (See paragraphs 5 and 42)

PART C: SCHOOL DATA AND INDICATORS

Summary of the sources of evidence for the inspection

Number of lessons observed 25

Number of discussions with staff, governors, other adults and pupils 22

Summary of teaching observed during the inspection

Excellent Very good Good Satisfactory Unsatisfactory Poor Very Poor

4 36 48 12

The table gives the percentage of teaching observed in each of the seven categories used to make judgements about lessons.

Information about the school’s pupils

Pupils on the school’s roll Nursery Y3 – Y6

Number of pupils on the school’s roll (FTE for part-time pupils) 362

Number of full-time pupils eligible for free school meals 55

FTE means full-time equivalent.

Special educational needs Nursery Y3 – Y6

Number of pupils with statements of special educational needs 2

Number of pupils on the school’s special educational needs register 38

English as an additional language No of pupils

Number of pupils with English as an additional language 63

Pupil mobility in the last school year No of pupils

Pupils who joined the school other than at the usual time of first admission 10

Pupils who left the school other than at the usual time of leaving 9

Attendance

Authorised absence Unauthorised absence

% %

School data 4 School data 0.1

National comparative data 5.4 National comparative data 0.5

Both tables give the percentage of half days (sessions) missed through absence for the latest complete reporting year.

Attainment at the end of Key Stage 2

Year Boys Girls Total

Number of registered pupils in final year of Key Stage 2 for the latest reporting year 2002 42 49 91

National Curriculum Test/Task Results English Mathematics Science

Boys 33 40 40

Numbers of pupils at NC level 4

and above

Girls 43 42 47

Total 76 82 87

Percentage of pupils

School 84 (89) 90 (88) 96 (94)

at NC level 4 or above

National 75 (75) 73 (71) 86 (87)

Teachers’ Assessments English Mathematics Science

Boys 35 39 37

Numbers of pupils at NC level 4

and above

Girls 40 42 45

Total 75 81 82

Percentage of pupils

School 82 (80) 89 (85) 90 (85)

at NC level 4 or above

National 73 (72) 74 (74) 82 (82)

Percentages in brackets refer to the year before the latest reporting year.

Ethnic background of pupils

Exclusions in the last school year

Categories used in the Annual School Census No of pupils

on roll

Number of

fixed period

exclusions

Number of

permanent

exclusions

White – British 239 0 0

White – Irish 2 0 0

White – any other White background 13 0 0

Mixed – White and Black Caribbean 8 0 0

Mixed – White and Black African 1 0 0

Mixed – White and Asian 7 0 0

Mixed – any other mixed background 4 0 0

Asian or Asian British – Indian 20 0 0

Asian or Asian British – Pakistani 36 0 0

Asian or Asian British – Bangladeshi 4 0 0

Asian or Asian British – any other Asian background 2 0 0

Black or Black British – Caribbean 12 0 0

Black or Black British – African 3 0 0

Black or Black British – any other Black background 5 0 0

Chinese 4 0 0

Any other ethnic group 1 0 0

No ethnic group recorded 1 0 0

The table refers to pupils of compulsory school age only. It gives the number of exclusions, which may be different from the number of

pupils excluded.

FTE means full-time equivalent.

Teachers and classes Financial information

Qualified teachers and classes: Y3 – Y6

Total number of qualified teachers (FTE) 19.5 Financial year 2001-02

Number of pupils per qualified teacher 18.6

Average class size 30.2 £

Total income 913,559

Education support staff: Y3 – Y6 Total expenditure 880,623

Total number of education support staff 6 Expenditure per pupil 2,419

Total aggregate hours worked per week 123 Balance brought forward from previous year 52,596

Balance carried forward to next year 85,532

Recruitment of teachers

Number of teachers who left the school during the last two years 5

Number of teachers appointed to the school during the last two years 5

Total number of vacant teaching posts (FTE) 1

Number of vacancies filled by teachers on temporary contract of a term or more (FTE) 1

Number of unfilled vacancies or vacancies filled by teachers on temporary contract of less than one term (FTE) )

FTE means full-time equivalent.

Results of the survey of parents and carers

Questionnaire return rate

Number of questionnaires sent out 362

Number of questionnaires returned 112

Percentage of responses in each category

Strongly

agree

Tend to

agree

Tend to

disagree

Strongly

disagree

Don’t

know

My child likes school. 64 34 2

My child is making good progress in school. 50 46 1 1 2

Behaviour in the school is good. 36 61 3 1

My child gets the right amount of work to do at home.

33 59 8

The teaching is good. 52 48 1

I am kept well informed about how my child is getting

on.

37 50 13 1

I would feel comfortable about approaching the school

with questions or a problem.

68 30 1 1

The school expects my child to work hard and achieve

his or her best.

63 35 2

The school works closely with parents. 41 48 9 2

The school is well led and managed. 65 33 1 1

The school is helping my child become mature and

responsible.

59 37 2 2

The school provides an interesting range of activities

outside lessons.

54 37 8 1

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