Fernhurst Junior School
phone: 023 92735998
headteacher: Mrs Roberta Kirby
360 pupils capacity: 96% full
195 boys 56%
150 girls 44%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 465659, Northing: 99708
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 50.793, Longitude: -1.0698
- Accepting pupils
- 7—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Feb. 27, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South East › Portsmouth South › Central Southsea
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- Devonshire Infant School PO40AG (179 pupils)
- 0.2 miles The Brambles Nursery School and Children's Centre PO40DT (89 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Goldsmith Infant School PO40DT (175 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Priory School (Specialist Sports College) PO40DL (1211 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Priory School (Specialist Sports College) PO40DL
- 0.4 miles Cumberland Infant School PO49HJ (169 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Penhale Infant School,Nursery & Hearing Impaired Resource PO15BG (263 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Wimborne Infant School PO48DE (207 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Wimborne Junior School PO48DE (319 pupils)
- 0.5 miles The North End Centre PO15EF
- 0.5 miles Craneswater Junior School PO40PX (356 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Froddington Park Infant School PO54LS
- 0.6 miles Southsea Infant School PO52SR (184 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Milton Park Infant School PO48EU (181 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Milton Park Federated Primary School PO48ET (195 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Somersgrove Junior School PO54LS
- 0.6 miles Somers Park Primary School PO54LS
- 0.6 miles ARK Ayrton Primary Academy PO54LS (343 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Milton Park Primary School PO48EU
- 0.7 miles Meon Infant School PO48NT (180 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Arundel Court Junior School PO11JE
- 0.7 miles Arundel Court Infant School PO11JE
- 0.7 miles Meon Junior School PO48NT (316 pupils)
- 0.7 miles St John's Cathedral Catholic Primary School PO11PX (250 pupils)
Fernhurst Junior School
Francis Avenue, Southsea, PO4 0AG
|Inspection dates||27–28 February 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| The headteacher runs a tight ship. Robust |
Teaching is good and so pupils are making
The school provides exciting learning
monitoring of the school’s work has ensured
that, since the previous inspection, the
achievement of all pupils has improved to
good progress. Pupils are now catching up
rapidly to where they need to be in reading,
writing and mathematics.
opportunities which develop pupils socially
| Pupils’ attitudes to learning and their |
The senior leadership team is well supported
enthusiasm in lessons are good. Pupils behave
well and feel safe in school.
and challenged by the governing body in the
school’s drive to provide pupils with a good
education. Parents think that school leaders
are doing a good job.
| Some lessons are not as well taught as |
others. Activities planned do not always
match well enough to pupils’ abilities and so
there is less challenge in what pupils are
| Behaviour is not outstanding because pupils in |
some lessons are at times less focused on the
content of the lesson and so miss the
opportunity to do as well as they can.
Information about this inspection
- This inspection was carried out with one day’s notice. Inspectors observed 18 lessons, involving
12 different teachers. Four lesson observations and the feedback to those teachers were also
observed alongside the headteacher and acting deputy headteacher. Inspectors observed
behaviour at playtimes and around the school.
- Meetings were held with a group of pupils and many other pupils were spoken to during lessons.
The lead inspector had meetings with the Chair of the Governing Body and a representative from
the local authority.
- Inspectors held meetings with school staff, including senior and middle leaders.
- Inspectors took account of 46 responses to the on-line Parent View survey, a letter from a
parent and 29 responses to the staff questionnaire in planning and undertaking the inspection.
An inspector spoke to a number of parents bringing their children to school.
- During this inspection, inspectors asked additional questions designed to ascertain the school’s
view of the impact and effectiveness of local authority services to support school improvement.
This information will contribute to work being carried out by Ofsted to assess the use, quality
and impact of those services.
- The inspection team scrutinised pupils’ past and present work in English, mathematics and in
other subjects. Pupils from Year 3 read their reading books to one of the inspectors. The team
looked at a number of documents, including national data and the school’s own data of pupils’
progress over time. Inspectors looked at planning and monitoring, and arrangements for setting
targets for teachers, and records relating to behaviour, attendance and safeguarding.
|Jane Neech, Lead inspector||Her Majesty’s Inspector|
|Michael Jude||Additional Inspector|
|Stephanie Matthews||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- Fernhurst Junior School is larger than the average-sized primary school.
- The number of pupils from minority ethnic groups and those who speak English as an additional
language is above average. There are 25 different languages spoken at the school.
- The proportion of pupils supported through school action (pupils who need extra help) is above
average. The proportion of pupils supported at school action plus or with a statement of special
educational needs is below average. The pupils’ needs relate mainly to moderate learning
difficulties, speech and language, physical and behaviour difficulties.
- The proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium is higher than average. The pupil
premium is additional funding for those pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, in local
authority care or from service families. There are two service family pupils, but no looked after
pupils currently in the school.
- Pupils start school in the September after their seventh birthday in one of the three Year 3
classes. The proportion of pupils joining classes at times other than the start of a school year is
above average. Pupils are taught in single-age classes. There are three classes in each year
group. Mathematics lessons are arranged by ability groups.
- There have been significant staff changes at senior leadership level over the last few years.
- A breakfast club is available to pupils on the neighbouring infant school site and is separately run
and not part of this inspection. Fernhurst Junior School runs a variety of after-school clubs.
- The school meets the government’s floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for
pupils’ attainment and progress.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Continue to develop the sharp focus on improving teaching and learning so that, in all lessons,
activities planned and teachers’ expectations:
match even more accurately to the abilities of both boys and girls, particularly in writing and
routinely challenge pupils to learn and apply something new
enable all pupils to do as well as they can and concentrate on their work.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Pupils usually start school with attainment that is similar to the national average. During their
time at the school, their progress is good. Historical data show that this has not always been the
case. The change has been brought about by the school’s focus on checking that all pupils
achieve well. At the time of the inspection, only half way through the academic year, pupils in all
year groups had already made, or exceeded, expected progress in English and mathematics.
This impressive transformation in progress is because teachers are demanding more from pupils.
Half of the pupils in Year 5 have already made more than expected progress in reading, writing
and mathematics. The progress in mathematics in Year 4 is similarly rapid.
- The improved progress is now pushing up the levels pupils attain in reading, writing and
mathematics. Pupils who took the most recent National Curriculum tests in English and
mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2 reached expected levels, including those who needed
extra help. Higher achieving boys and girls exceeded expected levels in English. The school’s
own tracking and progress information shows that this positive picture is set to improve further.
- Those pupils known to be eligible for free school meals are catching up to where they need to
be, as a result of extra help in reading, writing and mathematics funded by the pupil premium.
The average point scores at the end of Key Stage 2 in English and mathematics have improved
for these pupils. Pupils who speak English as an additional language make good progress. Some
of these pupils arrive at school part way through an academic year. Some individuals make
excellent progress, as much as three National Curriculum levels in a relatively short time. The
gaps between these groups of pupils and pupils nationally are closing.
- In lessons observed during the inspection pupils made good or better progress. The best work
seen in books was in Years 5 and 6 where teachers had consistently high expectations of what
pupils can achieve. Parents praise the school for encouraging their children to do well and think
that pupils are well prepared for secondary education.
- Achievement is not yet outstanding because there are a few inconsistencies in the progress of
some groups of pupils. Some boys do not achieve as well as others in writing. The school has
correctly identified that, while progress in mathematics is good overall, a few girls in some year
groups do not always make as much progress as they could.
- Teachers have a good understanding of using data to make sure pupils are making at least good
progress in English and mathematics. Sharply focused extra help, for example in writing and
mathematics, for pupils who need additional support is quickly put in place and ensures that
these pupils achieve as well as they can.
- Pupils are clear about the levels they are working at. They routinely refer to the target sheets in
their English and mathematics books to see how well they are doing, and what they have to do
to move up to the next level.
- Pupils, including those who speak English as an additional language, communicate confidently to
one another, such as in group discussions. In a Year 4 science lesson pupils talked
knowledgeably about what a liquid is and what a solid is. They used scientific language
appropriately, such as viscosity, because it had been modelled well by the teacher.
- Pupils enjoy reading and their progress in this area is a strength. The headteacher is tenacious
in her expectations that all pupils should read regularly at school and at home, and they do.
Pupils talk about their favourite authors and their preferences for reading, such as fiction or non
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- A key strength, in the typically good teaching, is the way teachers use questions to extend
pupils’ thinking. In a Year 5 religious education lesson, thought provoking questions encouraged
pupils to develop a deeper understanding of the purpose of religious symbols. Teachers use well
thought out explanations to check how well pupils, including those who need extra help,
understand the tasks set. Learning objectives are shared in different ways in pupil-friendly
language. In a middle ability Year 5 mathematics lesson, the language of probability was
explained well by the teacher so all pupils, including those who speak English as an additional
language, clearly understood and made good progress.
- In the best lessons challenge is high. Teachers set the focus on the pupils learning a new skill or
encouraging pupils to apply what they already know to solving problems. In a Year 5 higher
ability mathematics lesson, pupils used what they had learnt about measuring angles, using a
protractor, to work out the degrees of angles within different triangles.
- Teaching is not yet outstanding because some activities in writing and mathematics do not
always match well enough to the abilities of all pupils. In some lessons teachers spend too long
talking and going over what pupils already know, activities lack challenge and do not give pupils
the chance to learn something new.
- Pupils at risk of underachieving receive good support. Extra help in small group work is tailored
to match pupils’ needs. Skilled teaching assistants provide support to ensure that those who find
learning more difficult, those who at an early stage in speaking English or those whose needs
are complex enjoy their learning and achieve well.
- The displays for literacy and numeracy help pupils to find out things for themselves, such as the
prompts for writing the resolution to an event in a story display in Year 4. Classes all have
‘working walls’ which show work in progress and are referred to by pupils in English and
- Teachers mark pupils’ work thoroughly. In the most effective lessons observed during the
inspection, teachers made time for pupils to read and respond to their comments and improve
their work. Teachers’ expectations are high and so where pupils’ work required no improvements
teachers set new challenges for pupils to complete.
- Relationships in lessons are exceptionally positive. There is a strong emphasis on speaking and
listening skills. Pupils, including those who speak English as an additional language, explain their
ideas to a partner well, and this helps them to organise their thoughts for writing. Parents are
pleased with how well their children are doing. Parents of pupils who join classes at times other
than the start of a school year say they are delighted with how quickly their children become
confident to try activities new to them, such as in drama and sport.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Inspectors endorsed the view of parents and staff that behaviour was typically good. During the
inspection, inspectors observed examples of exceptionally good behaviour. In an inspirational
Year 3 art lesson all pupils, without exception, concentrated very well, were tremendously proud
of their work and achieved well.
- The school fosters strong relationships by making effective use of the cultural diversity of its
families to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Pupils have a good
understanding of the dangers of different forms of bullying, including through the internet,
racism and homophobic bullying. They say everyone gets on well in lessons and in the
playground. Pupils are keen to make friends with those who join their classes during the year.
They also show impressive empathy with pupils who are at the early stages of speaking English
and say it is important to help these pupils in lessons.
- The headteacher gives very clear messages to staff and parents about setting high expectations
of behaviour. Consequently, class teachers make their expectations of behaviour clear to pupils.
As a result, over the course of time lessons are rarely interrupted by pupils not behaving well.
Pupils are very polite and respectful. The whole-school system for behaviour is followed
conscientiously and this makes a positive contribution to pupils’ good achievement.
- Behaviour is not yet outstanding because in some lessons, and in some mathematics and writing
activities, where tasks are less challenging or have less engaging content, pupils do not stay on
task, need to be reminded about their behaviour and put less effort into completing their work.
For example, in a Year 3 mathematics lesson, pupils lost interest in using tape measures in a
practical activity because the challenge set was not high enough.
- The headteacher is resolute about all pupils attending school regularly and arriving on time.
Attendance is average and improving. Where isolated incidents of exclusions or internal
exclusions occur, the school carefully considers what is best for pupils, and in some cases makes
arrangements for pupils to stay in school and work away from their classes. Records show there
are clear procedures for working with parents and arrangements in place to support pupils when
they return to school or their classes.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The headteacher is leading the school with steadfast determination to turn around any past
underachievement, ensure all pupils receive a good education, and move beyond this point to
become an outstanding school. Since the previous inspection, together with the leadership team,
she has improved teaching and learning, and this has brought about the considerable changes to
pupils’ outcomes. All areas identified for improvement have been addressed. The energy which
runs through the school’s work is bringing about sustainable improvement. This is achieved by
robust monitoring and action planning which ensure no pupil is discriminated against.
- Setting targets for teachers link the impact of teaching to the pupils’ achievement and are used
well to raise expectations. Leaders make sure everyone has an equal chance to do well. They
have prudently planned this year’s additional funds, provided through extra government money
(pupil premium), to match the needs of those pupils eligible for support. The money is being
spent on extra sessions for pupils in danger of not achieving their potential, teaching assistant
support over and above that normally provided, subsidising the cost of educational and
residential visits and one-to-one tuition. Money has been put aside to fund extra tuition for
pupils new to the school and those who speak English as an additional language.
- Leadership at all levels is good. Subject leaders for English and mathematics are using the skills
they have learnt through in-house training and that delivered by the local authority to support
their colleagues and they lead their subjects well. This has resulted in pupils’ good achievement
in literacy and numeracy.
- Leadership and management are not outstanding because while the most recent information
about pupils’ achievement shows that all year groups are now making better than expected
progress and achieving well, as a result of the good teaching, this recently improved
performance has yet to be sustained over time.
- The school works well with parents who like the range of activities that the school offers,
through different topics and clubs. There are good links between subjects such as work in art
which inspires pupils to write about their ‘mood’ compositions using inventive vocabulary. The
school choir is well supported and gives pupils musical opportunities to perform to wider
audiences. Pupils visit places of cultural and historical interest. Displays of pupils’ high quality art
work inspired by these visits represent the importance placed on developing pupils’
understanding of Portsmouth’s local heritage and beyond.
- The local authority knows the school well. This is achieved through challenging conversations
with the headteacher, together with the Chair of the Governing Body, about comparing pupils’
progress in reading, writing and mathematics in the school with national expectations. The
challenge from the local authority representative makes sure the school reflects on why some
boys and girls are not always making as much progress as others in writing and mathematics,
and what actions leaders need to put in place. Additional funding has been provided by the local
authority and this has supported actions to raise achievement. The local authority has provided
effective training which meets the needs of the school. Training for English and mathematics
subject leaders has contributed to improving school performance and the good progress that
pupils make in reading, writing and mathematics. Training provided for governors has increased
their understanding of holding the school to account in all areas of school performance, including
financial decisions relating to spending extra government funding. Over time, however, the
support from the local authority has been mixed. More recently, there has been a much greater
consistency of support, and constructive and productive challenge. This has made a strong
contribution to improving school performance.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body supports and challenges the school with a focus on ensuring every pupil
has an equal chance to succeed. Governors are routinely involved in reviewing the areas for
improvement. They use the information they receive, such as the headteacher’s reports and
feedback on the monitoring of teaching and learning, to measure the improvements in
teaching and learning since the last inspection. Governors use the training they have received
from the local authority to interpret national data and refine their skills in challenging the
school to maintain and further improve pupils’ progress. The governing body sets ambitious
targets for the headteacher and rigorously checks how well these are being met. Members of
the governing body ensure that teachers’ salaries match their responsibilities and
effectiveness. The governing body has put plans in place for succession planning at senior
leadership level during a time of staff changes. This has given more teachers the chance to
step up to leadership roles, secured stability and has contributed well to improving school
performance. Governors hold the headteacher to account for efficient financial management,
including decisions on spending additional government funding. All relevant policies, including
safeguarding, are up to date and meet requirements.
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes |
that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures
that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
|Grade 2||Good||A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well |
for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage
of their education, training or employment.
|Grade 3||Requires |
|A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it |
is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within
24 months from the date of this inspection.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||A school that requires special measures is one where the school is |
failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and
the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not
demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary
improvement in the school. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and
requires significant improvement but leadership and management
are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
|Unique reference number||116221|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||7–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||319|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||17 November 2009|
|Telephone number||02392 735998|
|Fax number||02392 821207|
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