Farmilo Primary School and Nursery
Headteacher: Mr Andy Fox
193 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||133272|
|Inspection dates||5–6 May 2010|
|Reporting inspector||Doris Bell|
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||216|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr Christopher Woolley|
|Headteacher||Mrs Suzanne Tryner|
|Date of previous school inspection||24 January 2007|
|School address||Woburn Road|
|Telephone number||01623 480107|
|Fax number||01623 480108|
|Inspection dates||5–6 May 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. They observed 12 lessons and saw nine teachers. They also met with parents, groups of pupils, governors and staff. They observed the school's work, and looked at a range of documentation including teachers' planning, the school improvement plan, assessment, monitoring and evaluation records, records for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and safeguarding procedures. The responses from the pupil and staff questionnaires were analysed, as were the responses from the 79 parents' questionnaires.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
This average-sized school has considerably more boys than girls and a well above average proportion of pupils are known to be eligible for free school meals. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is broadly average. There are few pupils from minority ethnic groups and none are at the early stages of learning English. The school has a breakfast club, and it has recently achieved the Healthy Schools Gold Award, the Activemark, and the Basic Skills Quality Mark. The present headteacher took up her appointment on 26 April 2010, having previously been the acting headteacher for over a year.
|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
While overall achievement, learning and progress are satisfactory, pupils' books and their work in lessons are showing good progress in English, mathematics and science. This is because the headteacher is constantly striving for better outcomes for all pupils, driving improvement and robustly embedding in the staff a strong desire to raise achievement for all pupils, a process she started as acting headteacher. The governors and senior leadership team support her well in this by keeping close checks on teaching, learning and overall outcomes for the pupils. They make wise decisions, for example, cutting down on the time spent sharing their success in managing pupils' social and emotional behaviour with other schools, so that teachers could spend more time with their classes improving their own pupils' overall progress. This has successfully raised the quality of teaching and progress in lessons to good, and made teachers much more accountable for their pupils' progress. The impact on pupils' overall achievement and enjoyment of learning is evident in the way Year 6 pupils have caught up with their learning, and in the higher standards seen in the work of pupils in Year 5.
The school's self evaluation is accurate and well-founded and it leads to well-considered strategic planning for improvement. For example, recognising that pupils are not always sufficiently supported in developing and applying basic skills in different subjects, leaders and managers have begun the process of changing the currently satisfactory curriculum to enable this to happen. The actions taken so far are successfully enabling pupils to apply particularly their writing skills in all subjects and contributing to their better progress in English. Similar attention has not yet been given to numeracy skills, but plans are securely in place to do this. Taken together, however, all of the above demonstrates that the school has a good capacity for further improvement.
Attainment is broadly average in English, mathematics and science in Year 6. Reading is improving in Year 2 and is now broadly average. The improvements are the result of well focused teaching that meets the needs of individual and different groups of pupils. Teaching is often outstanding in Years 5 and 6 and pupils' progress is improving rapidly in both year groups. Improvement is sometimes limited in some other year groups because pupils are not often enough required to write at length, and handwriting skills are weaker. Children make good progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage. However, outdoor activities do not mirror closely enough those provided indoors and therefore children's learning is not extended as well as it could be when they are outside.
From the time they start school, pupils are exceptionally well cared for and they enjoy learning. They say, for example, that their teachers 'are really helpful' and 'they don't make learning boring - they make it really fun and we learn better when things are fun'. The school makes careful evaluations of each pupil's needs to decide the best way to support them. Virtually all support is tailor-made for individual pupils at every stage of their time in school. The school's own 'super group', which is highly effective in nurturing pupils with specific emotional, learning or behavioural needs, is a good example of this. The good range of extra-curricular activities, built up in consultation with pupils about their needs and interests, has opened pupils' eyes to possibilities available to them in the future. Pupils themselves place great importance on their health and well-being, and these aspects are given a high profile on the school council agenda. Pupils behave well, feel extremely safe in school and have an excellent understanding of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. They also make a good contribution to the school and local community. However, their understanding of the range and diversity of cultures in the United Kingdom and abroad is relatively underdeveloped.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Progress is good in lessons now but when considered alongside pupils' work over time and the school's tracking data, achievement is satisfactory overall. The 'Learning Books' used by pupils in Years 5 contain much improved writing since January this year, as does the work in Year 6 pupils' books, and the developing work in Year 2 pupils' books and folders. The school's focus on making links between subjects and bringing all writing together in a single book means pupils now use and apply their writing skills better in all of their writing. The range and quality of writing in different classes demonstrate that pupils' understanding of how to write in different styles to suit different purposes and audiences is improving strongly, although not equally so in all year groups. Additionally, handwriting is not well developed or fluent throughout the school and pupils' written work is sometimes difficult to read. Progress in science is satisfactory but it is sometimes limited by the size of groups compared with the amount of equipment available for investigative work.
Pupils are very proud of their school. They describe it as 'the best in the world', confident that it 'provides us with a better future' and that 'there are lots of kind teachers and children' in it. They develop a good range of skills and understanding to use in life outside of school, for example, the need to be aware of internet bullying. They are confident that any issues raised are dealt with promptly, and they have a strong voice in decision making to improve school life. The school council actively consults all pupils and has helped to shape the development of the school grounds. Pupils gain a strong sense of community through, for example, their work in music, and fundraising for different charities.
Pupils tackle moral and ethical issues well in Years 5 and 6 because they are reflective and respectful, and they think of others. Pupils are well behaved and know that actions have consequences. Break times are positive experiences because pupils take responsibility, for example, as peacemakers and eco warriors, and they have a strong awareness of their collective responsibility for each other's well-being and safety. Many pupils attend the good range of extra-curricular activities that successfully contribute to their understanding of healthy lifestyles, further develop their learning skills, and involve parents in supporting them. Pupils also develop a good understanding of citizenship through, for example, their work organising different events and projects. They recognise that these are skills for life and they work well together. Older pupils in particular know their targets well and are fully aware of their own responsibility in helping to improve their learning. All of this, together with their regular attendance and their satisfactory literacy and numeracy skills, ensures pupils are at least adequately prepared for their future.
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||1|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||1|
|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
In most lessons, teaching consistently engages all pupils and provides them with well targeted support arising from observations of their learning and an in-depth knowledge of their individual progress. Teachers' marking focuses pupils effectively on what they need to do to improve, and pupils respond well to the advice and guidance given. Activities are usually well planned and then adapted during lessons to suit pupils' different learning styles and rates of progress, and lesson objectives are mostly clear.
Teaching assistants contribute well to the progress pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities make. However, they are not always used to best effect in whole class sessions. Overall, however, staff make every effort to ensure all groups of pupils can take a full part in all aspects of school life. They regularly seek and act on pupils' views, including for example, about which extra-curricular activities to have, and pupils very much appreciate this approach. Arrangements for helping pupils transfer between classes or to their next school are well thought out and frequently re-shaped to meet the needs of individuals.
Staff work very closely with families and external agencies to support the pupils, and parents recognise and praise the school for this. The well attended breakfast club, which the school extends, free of charge during national tests week, to pupils taking the tests, gives pupils a good start to their day. This is another example of the extra-special care the school takes of its pupils. The curriculum includes many opportunities for pupils to develop personal skills, work habits and pursue safe and healthy lifestyles. This is reflected in the school's Gold Healthy Schools Award and its leading work with other schools on social and emotional development. Work is well under way to re-vamp the curriculum to make better links between subjects and to promote basic skills in them. Some excellent practice was observed in this in Years 5 and 6 but it is not yet consistent throughout the school.
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||3|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||1|
The headteacher has greatly strengthened leadership and management at all levels, giving the school a sense of purpose and direction that is wholly focused on improvement. Her ambition and drive, and that of the senior leadership team, are motivating significant changes in teaching and the curriculum, which are having a positive impact on pupils' progress. The senior leadership team is very clear about how to sustain the momentum for improvement. Mindful of the pupils' needs, they evaluate new initiatives carefully to determine whether they are the best way forward before taking them on board. Established governors support them well in this and new governors are quickly gaining an understanding of their roles.
Governors contribute well to the school's overall strategic planning. They meet with staff, attend pupil progress meetings, and have high expectations for further improvement. They hold the school to account by not only interrogating assessment data with the headteacher, but also meeting with leaders and teachers, visiting classes and tracking individual pupils' progress where necessary. Safeguarding procedures are good. All checks are in place and the school goes the extra mile by colour coding visitors to make sure everyone knows who may or may not be alone with pupils.
The school has a good understanding of its own context and that of its community, which it serves well. It teaches pupils about different faiths and cultures through subjects such as religious education and the arts but this aspect of its work is relatively underdeveloped. While the needs of individual pupils are now attended to well, taken alongside the satisfactory promotion of community cohesion, the promotion of equality of opportunity is also satisfactory. Governors have a good action plan to promote community cohesion but it has yet to be implemented.
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||3|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||3|
Children start school with skills that are below and sometimes, as in the current Nursery, well below those expected for their age. They respond well to their teachers' clear expectations, quickly learning how to work independently and to act responsibly towards each other. Activities such as those associated with the mini-beast mound excite, motivate and capture children's interest well, prompting them to come up with ideas of their own. Children make good progress in developing early reading, writing and numeracy skills, and their personal, social and emotional development is fostered well.
Adults are deployed effectively indoors, children are well supported and a good pace of learning is maintained. However, outdoor learning does not match the quality of learning indoors. It lacks the same creativity, children are slower to initiate their own ideas, and staff intervention is not as well focused as it is indoors. Therefore, continuity of learning indoors and out is not fully assured.
Regular observations and perceptive assessments provide staff with good knowledge of children's needs, and all children are exceptionally well cared for. Their health, safety and well-being are given high priority, as, for example, they learn important ways to look after themselves. The strong focus on constantly scrutinising assessment information to evaluate changes and plan the next steps in learning underpins good teaching, leadership and management in this age group. There is a very strong team ethos that generates a determination and drive to raise attainment and children make good progress in
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
The 79 parents who responded to the inspection questionnaire, or who spoke to inspectors during the inspection, said they are happy with their child's experience at this school. Typically, they describe the school as a 'friendly' place with a 'dedicated team' where their children get 'a good, secure start in their education', and 'no issue is too small to raise and all problems are dealt with'. They thanked staff for their support and the 'good, honest advice' they receive on how to help their children learn.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Farmilo Primary School and Nursery 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 79 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 216 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||56||71||23||29||0||0||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||55||70||24||30||0||0||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||39||49||36||46||2||3||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||42||53||32||41||3||4||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||47||59||30||38||2||3||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||41||52||35||44||2||3||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||44||56||35||44||0||0||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)||36||46||40||51||1||1||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||39||49||40||51||0||0||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||40||51||36||46||2||3||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||36||46||41||52||2||3||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||41||52||37||47||1||1||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||48||61||31||39||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.
7 May 2010
Inspection of Farmilo Primary School and Nursery, Pleasley, NG19 7RS
Thank you for the very warm welcome you gave us when we visited your school. It was good to see how proud you are of it and how much you really seem to enjoy learning. You told us that everyone is 'kind and helpful' We found your school to be satisfactory but getting better day by day. We noted how much your progress has improved since January, especially in writing, and found that this is because teachers mark your work well and show you how to improve it. We were particularly impressed at how well the older pupils among you know their targets and how to reach them.
Those responsible for leading and managing your school make sure teachers think carefully about what you already know when they plan what you are to do next. All of this is helping you to make faster progress. It was good, too, to learn that you all feel very safe indeed in school, and have an excellent understanding of how to keep yourselves safe, fit and healthy. You also told us that staff always help you, especially if you have any concerns. We could see that staff care deeply for each and every one of you, and want you to do your best. In order to keep your progress getting better, we have asked the headteacher and governors to:
We wish you well and hope that you will enjoy learning in the future as much as you do now.
|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.|