Four Lanes Community Junior School
Headteacher: Mrs Corinne Martinez
314 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||116247|
|Inspection dates||27–28 January 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Steven Hill|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Junior|
|Age range of pupils||7–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number on roll|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr Barry Thorn|
|Headteacher||Mr Martyn Gamble|
|Date of previous school inspection||9 May 2006|
|School address||Hanmore Road|
|Basingstoke RG24 8PQ|
|Telephone number||01256 816326|
|Fax number||01256 811320|
|Inspection dates||27–28 January 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
The inspection was carried out by three Additional Inspectors.
This is a large junior school with three-form entry. Most pupils are of White British heritage, with just over 10% coming from a variety of minority ethnic groups. Relatively few speak English as an additional language but this is increasing, with an increasing proportion of pupils starting who are new to this country, and at the early stages of learning English. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is broadly average, with most of these pupils having moderate learning difficulties. There is a community centre housed in the school, whose work is closely linked to that of this school and the infant school on the same site. There are before and after school clubs, run by the governing body.
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is a good school where pupils thoroughly enjoy both work and play. Good standards of achievement have been sustained since the last inspection. Pupils' personal development and well-being, already strong at that time, are now outstanding.
Boys and girls have very positive attitudes to learning and get on extremely well with each other and with staff. Pupils' behaviour and concentration in class are usually excellent and greatly support the good progress that they make. Teachers constantly reinforce high expectations of behaviour and hard work, and pupils try hard to meet them. Pupils have excellent collaborative skills, sharing ideas confidently in discussions. They also work very well independently when appropriate. By Year 6, they are confident, caring and enthusiastic young people who are a credit to their school and their parents. Parents are very positive about most aspects of the school and particularly praise the high-quality pastoral care that helps their children to enjoy school, to feel safe, and to develop so well as valued members of the community. The school makes very good use of links with a wide range of other agencies to enhance the care and support that staff provide. Pupils' contribution to the community is very strong, with older ones helping as play leaders, for example, both for Year 3 pupils and for pupils at the nearby infant school. They take a great pride in this, explaining that it is hard work but 'good fun' and '...rewarding when you see people enjoying what you have set up for them'.
Pupils consistently reach standards above those found nationally, because of the good progress they make in lessons. A dip in the results of national tests in English, in 2007, was reversed in 2008 due to a concerted effort by staff to improve provision. The key to pupils' good progress is good teaching. Most individual lessons are good, and there is outstanding teaching at times. A lively pace and a range of interesting activities for pupils generate considerable enthusiasm in many lessons. Teachers explain things clearly, often making good use of information and communication technology (ICT) to clarify things or to make learning more exciting. They generally plan work to meet the differing needs of various groups of pupils, and do this particularly well in mathematics. Occasionally, however, planning does not take enough account of pupils' different attainment, so some get work that is too hard or too easy for them.
There is a well-established system to assess pupils' attainment on a regular basis. This is being improved and developed further under the leadership of the deputy headteacher. Teachers increasingly use the data to identify pupils who are not making the progress they should, and to provide extra support to help them make up lost ground. The school has correctly identified the need to consolidate this by ensuring the accuracy of assessments and using them more consistently in setting targets and plotting pupils' progress.
The school provides a good curriculum, with a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Pupils enjoy considerable success in sporting and musical competitions. They particularly enjoy the visits and also the visitors to school, and they would like more of them.
The school is well led and managed. The headteacher provides clear direction and staff work well as a team. The roles of the year group leaders, subject leaders and the 'improving standards' team dovetail together well. This enables staff to share expertise and provide mutual support in improving their practice. Staff are successfully focused on improving outcomes for pupils, working together well to address any issues identified. The school is well placed to build upon its successes to improve further. The school's contribution to community cohesion is good, particularly in the work it does in conjunction with the community centre based in the building. Many of the school's pupils benefit from the good quality provision of the before and after school clubs run in the community room.
Achievement and standards
Pupils achieve well and standards are above average in English, mathematics and science. Improved standards in science have been a particular feature since the last inspection. A dip in English standards after the last inspection, when too few pupils gained the higher levels in writing in national tests, was reversed in 2008. Good support for pupils who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities ensures that their achievement is similarly good. Recent attention given to providing extension work for pupils identified as gifted or talented, such as the Year 6 Book Club, is helping them extend the good progress they make in lessons. The increasing proportion of pupils who join the school with little knowledge of English settle in well, learn the language quickly, and soon join fully in the many activities of the school, so they too make good progress.
Personal development and well-being
Pupils' excellent response to the school's many opportunities for personal development means they have very positive attitudes. The spiritual, moral, and social aspects of their development are excellent and their cultural development is good. All pupils have opportunities to become 'Role Models' to others and wear their badges with pride. Pupils really enjoy school and their attendance is good. Behaviour is excellent and pupils understand and value the way in which the staff encourage them. Pupils make good choices about health and safety. The school meals are much appreciated and pupils apply their knowledge of healthy eating when choosing meals. They participate eagerly in physical activities.
Pupils are proud of their success in influencing decision-making in the school. Improvements in facilities and in the organisation of the playground, instigated by the school council, are good examples of this. Pupils make very positive contributions to the wider community, through initiatives such as writing a report for a Chineham magazine. Pupils' extremely good attitudes and collaborative skills, as well as their good basic skills, mean they are extremely well prepared for their future lives, in school and out. One parent said, 'We have seen our son grow in confidence as the school nurtures and encourages children'.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Lessons are consistently orderly, providing positive opportunities to learn. The best lessons have a very good pace so that a lot is accomplished in a short time as pupils are carried along by their teachers' enthusiasm and the exciting activities provided. Year 6 reported that teachers make lessons 'fun' and expressed confidence in the extra help they get if they are 'stuck'. They are confident in offering their opinions in class because they know these are valued. Teachers make very good use of strategies to involve all pupils in what is going on. The use of small whiteboards, on which pupils can write their answers or opinions, is particularly successful in this, as well as in giving instant feedback to the teacher on how well pupils are doing. Excellent opportunities for pupils to discuss things together help clarify their understanding. Teachers make increasingly good use of assessment information to plan work that is challenging but manageable, although this is not always consistent in matching work to pupils' varying needs. Teachers constantly monitor pupils' progress and intervene effectively if any are lost or puzzled. On occasions, however, they find it difficult to get round everyone when work is particularly challenging, and then the pace of learning slows for some pupils.
Curriculum and other activities
A broad and interesting range of work meets the needs of individuals very well, including opportunities to take responsibility and use their initiative. One pupil in Year 3 said, 'I enjoy the challenge in this school'. Pupils who are more able are provided with work that challenges them to excel. Pupils with learning difficulties have full access to the curriculum as a result of the good teaching support they receive. Particularly effective use is made of ICT to support work in many subjects. The curriculum is further enhanced by the opportunity for pupils to learn French. There are good examples of cross-curricular links, such as an outstanding lesson in which pupils used their modelling skills and imaginations to create characters to film for an animated cartoon. A good range of enhancement activities supports pupils' enjoyment and enthusiasm. Residential journeys, such as that made by Year 6 pupils for outdoor activities, make a significant contribution to pupils' social development. A good range of clubs includes a book club for advanced readers who show their eagerness to tackle and review challenging subjects.
Care, guidance and support
Pastoral care is a considerable strength of the school, and pupils receive good academic support. Help for pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is particularly effective. The school's very positive ethos is reflected in pupils' good achievement and outstanding personal development. Very positive relationships between staff and pupils underpin much of the school's success. The marking of pupils' work is thorough, but does not always show pupils how they can improve. All pupils, regardless of background or ability, receive substantial support directed towards building their self-esteem, with the result that they feel happy, confident and secure. Pupils are encouraged to lead healthy lifestyles. Parents are complimentary about the school, and say they are always welcome and are kept informed through regular newsletters and parent evenings. Arrangements to safeguard learners are securely in place. Very good support is provided by outside agents such as the education welfare officer and educational psychologist. Pupils' progress is monitored carefully and, in the most successful lessons, pupils are encouraged to evaluate their own learning and progress. This helps them to take responsibility for their own learning.
Leadership and management
The headteacher provides very clear educational direction to the school. Despite a number of staff absences and changes over the past two years, he has successfully led colleagues in maintaining standards and improving pupils' personal development. Staff work very well together, and the good opportunities for shared planning and development within year groups are effective in sharing expertise and providing consistency between classes. The 'improving standards team' liaises well with these year teams and senior management to ensure that everyone works together towards the same goals. The school-wide approach to improving English results, through raising standards in reading as well as in writing, is a good example of this. The school makes a good contribution to community cohesion and successfully involves pupils in the school and local communities. Since the last inspection, much has been done to extend pupils' understanding of the worldwide community, although there are still gaps in how they are helped to understand the multicultural nature of modern British society. Governors have good systems to find out about the school and to hold it to account for its work. They have a good understanding of the school's strengths but also of areas that need development.
|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.|
|Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate.||School Overall|
|How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of education,integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners?||2|
|Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection||Yes|
|How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being?||1|
|The capacity to make any necessary improvements||2|
|How well do learners achieve?||2|
|The standards¹ reached by learners||2|
|How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners||2|
|How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress||2|
|How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners?||1|
|The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||1|
|The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||1|
|The extent to which learners enjoy their education||1|
|The attendance of learners||2|
|The behaviour of learners||1|
|The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community||1|
|How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being||1|
|How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of learners' needs?||2|
|How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners?||2|
|How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?||2|
|How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners?||2|
|How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education||2|
|How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards||2|
|The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation||2|
|How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated||2|
|How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?||2|
|How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money||2|
|The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities||2|
|Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements?||Yes|
|Does this school require special measures?||No|
|Does this school require a notice to improve?||No|
11 February 2009
Inspection of Four Lanes Community Junior School,Basingstoke,RG24 8PQ
Thank you all very much for the warm welcome you gave us when we inspected your school. We particularly enjoyed talking to you about what you thought. This is what we found out.
Four Lanes is a good school. You all make good progress in your work because the teachers are good at helping you to learn. The school gives you lots of interesting things to do, and you all seem to greatly enjoy school, especially working on the computers. The staff keep a careful eye on how everyone is getting on. The teachers are working on new systems so they can use this information to help you learn, and to give you targets to aim for. We have agreed with them that this is an important priority that they should concentrate on. The teachers try very hard to make sure that everyone gets work that is just right for them. They are usually very good at doing this, but occasionally some of you get work to do that is too hard or too easy. We have agreed with the teachers that they are also going to concentrate on making sure that everyone gets work at the right level all the time.
The school is particularly good at helping you develop as people. We were very impressed by your excellent behaviour, how well you all get on together, and how well you work in teams. You give a lot to the school community through all the jobs you do and through the school council. You are growing up into sensible and thoughtful young people, and are a credit to your school.
The headteacher, governors and other staff are good at organising the school, but are always keen to make things better. You can help by keeping up your hard work and sensible behaviour, and trying hard to reach your targets.
We hope you all carry on enjoying your time in school.