The inspection was carried out by three Additional Inspectors.
Description of the school
D'Eyncourt Primary School is larger than most primary schools. Whilst most pupils are of White British heritage, a small minority are from other ethnic backgrounds. There are very few pupils who speak English as an additional language. The number of pupils eligible for free school meals is below average, as is the proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities. Children enter Reception with a range of ability levels but, overall, their attainment is in line with that found nationally.
Overall effectiveness of the school
The overall effectiveness of the school is satisfactory. It has some considerable strengths as well as areas for improvement. Parents speak highly of the school and what it provides. For example, one said, 'I cannot praise the staff highly enough.' Pupils enjoy coming to school and they believe their views are taken into account. They benefit from the good curriculum, which includes visits and a variety of different clubs. Pupils' behaviour and attitudes to work are good. The school's care, guidance and support for its pupils are satisfactory, pastoral care is good and pupils' safety is a priority. Their personal development and well-being are good and they have a good understanding of the multicultural society in which they live, as well as of the wider world.
Pupils' academic achievement is satisfactory because the overall quality of teaching is satisfactory. Teachers do not always provide pupils with adequate guidance to help them understand how to improve their work, either through their marking or the setting of targets. Pupils make satisfactory progress through Reception and Years 1 and 2, achieving average standards by the end of that time. Through Years 3 to 6, pupils make steady progress and, by the end of Year 6, standards again are broadly average. However, higher attaining pupils do not always achieve as well as other pupils.
Leadership and management are satisfactory. The school's self-evaluation is generally satisfactory, although it is not always sufficiently focused on how well pupils are achieving. However, the school has successfully identified where improvement is needed and taken appropriate action. For example, the curriculum has been adapted to help benefit the learning of boys and the school is working to improve its arrangements for tracking pupils' progress, to help ensure that they are achieving as well as they can.
All staff and governors demonstrate a commitment to improving the school. In particular, the school has acknowledged the need to improve the challenge provided for higher attaining pupils in their work. Governors are fully involved in budget setting and improvement planning. However, they do not hold the school to account adequately for the progress pupils make. The school has taken effective steps to tackle the issues raised at the time of the last inspection and demonstrates a satisfactory capacity to improve further.
What the school should do to improve further
- Ensure that teachers consistently provide opportunities to challenge and extend pupils in their work, especially higher attainers
- Improve the quality of marking and processes for setting targets, so that pupils know what is expected of them in order to improve their work.
- Improve leadership and management through a more rigorous approach to monitoring and evaluating pupils' achievement, and ensuring that all pupils are achieving as well as they can.
Achievement and standards
Standards are average and pupils' achievement is satisfactory. Children's attainment on entry to the school is broadly average. They make satisfactory progress in Reception and most achieve the targets set for children of this age. Aspects of physical development are restricted by the limited outdoor facilities. However, personal skills are well developed through clear routines and well structured play. Pupils in Years 1 and 2 make satisfactory progress, achieving average standards and sometimes exceeding them.
Standards in Year 6 are broadly average, demonstrating satisfactory achievement from these pupils' starting points in Year 3. Whilst the proportion of pupils reaching the nationally expected level in English, mathematics and science is above average, the proportion of pupils reaching higher levels is generally similar to national figures. This illustrates that some of these pupils do not do as well as they might.
The school makes satisfactory provision for pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities, and this is helping them make sound progress towards the targets set for them. Pupils who speak English as an additional language also receive well directed support, which enables them to achieve satisfactorily.
Personal development and well-being
Pupils' personal development and well-being are good. Their behaviour is good, as are their attitudes to their work. Pupils are courteous and polite and they really enjoy school, as shown by their good attendance. Pupils understand the need to carry out all activities safely and, for instance, they handle equipment carefully during lessons in physical education. Pupils make a good contribution to the community. In school, they readily take on a variety of responsibilities and the school council has helped initiate improvements, for example, to playground equipment. The school is also involved in the wider community. For instance, the choir regularly takes part in local events.
Pupils have a good understanding of how to live healthy lives and, for example, they regularly eat fruit during breaktimes. Pupils also benefit from the good opportunities provided by the school for exercise. Pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good. For instance, pupils have a good understanding of our multicultural society. The school successfully develops a range of personal skills, such as confidence and independence. The standards currently being achieved in literacy and numeracy are preparing pupils adequately for their next stage of education, as well as for later life.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
The quality of teaching is satisfactory, resulting in satisfactory achievement. However, there are some good features. Relationships between teachers and pupils are good and there is a good variety of teaching approaches employed. For example, in Reception, children are provided with opportunities to choose their own work, as well as tackling tasks set by teachers. Teachers know their subjects securely. Assessment is often used effectively to provide for pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities, although it is used less successfully when planning for more able pupils. Teaching assistants are well deployed, for instance, in supporting those pupils who speak English as an additional language. Interactive whiteboards are being used well to support teaching and learning. However, on occasions, introductions to lessons do not fully engage the pupils, and a few of them lose concentration. This in turn slows their rate of work.
Pupils are provided with much help and advice in lessons but the quality of support given through marking is not as strong. Written comments are often not precise enough and then pupils are not adequately helped to understand how to make their work better.
Curriculum and other activities
The good curriculum enables pupils to study a broad and interesting range of subjects. Suitable links are made between subjects when appropriate and good, much improved, use is now made of information and communication technology. Allowance is made in the curriculum to encourage boys in their learning, such as an interesting variety of topics to develop writing skills. The good links that now exist with a number of continental schools mean that pupils have a good knowledge of the world around them.
There is suitable emphasis through the school on developing pupils' personal and social skills. In the Foundation Stage, there is a good balance between independent learning and more directed tasks. However, outdoor activities are restricted by the limited facilities available. Learning difficulties and disabilities are identified well, and pupils are provided with a suitable range of relevant work. More able pupils are not always provided with work that is challenging enough for them.
The curriculum makes a good contribution to pupils' safe and healthy lifestyles and there is a wide range of educational outings and extra-curricular activities, which the pupils support with enthusiasm.
Care, guidance and support
Care, guidance and support are satisfactory. The school is dedicated to the pastoral care of its pupils and this is a major strength. Parents recognise the close support that is provided and one spoke of the 'warm, family atmosphere' that is developed. Detailed procedures ensure that pupils are kept safe and pupils have confidence in the support systems. They say any problems are quickly sorted out. The close links forged with pre-school providers mean that pupils are well prepared for the start of school. Staff know the pupils well and are strongly commited to their welfare.
Child protection procedures are good. Health and safety are well monitored and risk assessments are carried out regularly. The careful monitoring of pupils whose first language is not English helps to ensure they feel happy in school and progress as well as their peers. Pupils are provided with targets for improving their work in literacy and numeracy, but some of these are too general and so pupils are not sufficiently helped to understand how to improve their work.
Leadership and management
Leadership and management are satisfactory. The headteacher, effectively supported by the deputy headteacher, has created a positive and caring atmosphere, where pupils feel safe and enjoy their education. He has also developed a good team spirit amongst staff. Self-evaluation is carried out conscientiously but a lack of rigour in monitoring pupils' progress has resulted in the school overestimating its effectiveness. As a result of recent improvements in procedures, the school now has a better focus on the analysis and use of data to assist school planning, monitoring and review. There is a determination among staff to raise achievement and the school is particularly aware of the need to improve the performance of higher attaining pupils.
The subject leaders for literacy and numeracy demonstrate a clear understanding of how to take the school forward and they are working to improve the quality of the target setting. Governance is satisfactory, with the governors supporting the school at every opportunity and being fully involved in various forms of planning and monitoring. However, they do not monitor the progress that pupils make as they move through the school.