Greengate Junior School
Headteacher: Mr C Smith
231 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||112206|
|Inspection dates||22–23 April 2010|
|Reporting inspector||Sheila Mawer|
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||7–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||268|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr J Wardman|
|Headteacher||Mrs S Jackson|
|Date of previous school inspection||25 January 2007|
|School address||Greengate Street|
|Cumbria LA14 1BG|
|Telephone number||01229 894628|
|Fax number||01229 894629|
|Inspection dates||22–23 April 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors observed 16 lessons and saw 12 teachers during these visits. Inspectors also looked at pupils' work. Meetings were held with staff and pupils and a representative of the governing body. In observing the school's work a range of documents were examined, including the school improvement plan, assessment information, safeguarding procedures, minutes of the governing body meetings and records of monitoring and evaluation. The inspectors also analysed the 101 questionnaires returned by parents and carers. In addition, questionnaires were received from pupils and staff.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
Almost all pupils in this large urban school are from White British families. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is well above average. There is a well above average proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those with a statement of special educational needs. The proportion of pupils moving in and out of the school at other than the usual times is higher than average.
The school has received the Healthy Schools Award and Activemark. The school runs its own breakfast club. The most significant change to the school in recent times has been the retirement of the previous headteacher in July 2009, after 25 years in post. The current headteacher took up this appointment in September 2009.
|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
The school provides a satisfactory education for its pupils. The recent decline in standards has been halted and achievement is satisfactory. The purposeful leadership by the headteacher and a strengthened leadership team, including governors, has brought a sharper focus on improving attainment and progress to which staff are responding decisively. Rigorous and accurate self-evaluation has led to well planned actions to drive up standards. Better use is being made of assessment information to focus on groups of pupils who need extra support to enable them to accelerate their progress. Training for staff is improving the quality of teaching. Such improvement indicates the school's good capacity to improve further.
In the Year 6 national tests over the past three years attainment has been low. Signs of strong recovery are now clearly evident. Attainment by the end of Year 6 is still low, but it is moving closer to the national average. Progress overall is now satisfactory from pupils' different starting points. Many pupils are accelerating their progress quickly as a result of good teaching and learning. Where there are weaknesses in teachers' questioning skills or when tasks are not matched accurately to pupils' different needs, learning slows. Some staff are still developing the best way to provide helpful guidance for pupils in target-setting and marking. The curriculum provides rich opportunities for pupils to enjoy learning, but their literacy and numeracy skills are not being promoted sufficiently across different subjects.
Many strengths have been maintained since the last inspection, in particular the good quality of care, guidance and support. The school focuses successfully its attention on supporting the many vulnerable pupils and their families. It makes excellent use of outside support services. Parents and carers are increasingly involved in decision making, especially in promoting the safety and good behaviour of their children. Pupils have positive attitudes to their learning and this is reflected in above average attendance. They are proud to take responsibility in the school and wider community. Above all, they talk very warmly about the help they receive from their teachers and say, 'We're learning more now'.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Pupils enjoy their learning, and achievement is satisfactory. In lessons they listen carefully to adults and each other and are eager to answer questions. They show a keen interest in the 'Big Write' and say, 'It's really helping us to improve our writing and it's fun at the same time'. In one lesson observed, pupils were confident in reviewing their own work. When suggesting improvements to their partner's work they showed care not to upset them, but still gave constructive criticism. Pupils use their improved writing skills and plenty of initiative to plan and edit their own school newspaper, working together successfully as a team.
The current attainment of younger pupils is broadly average. While the attainment of pupils in Year 6 is rising quickly, it remains low. Pupils who join the school partway through their education take time to settle and learn, as many have complex needs. In many lessons, pupils make good progress because they enjoy being involved in their own learning. They are steadily gaining the skills they need for the future. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and vulnerable pupils are achieving as well as their classmates. Their self-esteem is rising as barriers to their learning are removed.
Pupils happily take on responsibility. Older pupils draw up policies to improve behaviour and safety around the school. 'Blue caps' act as 'buddies' for younger pupils, while the school council has improved the outdoors to help pupils to keep fit. Pupils enjoy supporting the local community through initiatives such as the junior warden scheme. Nearly all pupils say they feel safe in school and that bullying is rare. They have a wide knowledge of how to keep healthy and safe, from eating 'five a day' to avoiding the dangers of the internet.
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||2|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|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
Most teaching is good, which is helping pupils to learn well. Notable strengths are good classroom management, excellent relationships and well planned lessons that keep pupils strongly engaged. Role play is often used to involve pupils in their own learning. Most teachers confidently deliver literacy lessons that extend pupils' skills and knowledge securely. Pupils are now set by ability for numeracy. This is helping staff to plan work more accurately to meet pupils' needs. In a small minority of lessons, teaching is only satisfactory. In these lessons, the questioning skills of the teacher lack the challenge needed to require pupils to think hard and learn well. In addition, tasks are not always tailored closely enough to pupils' individual needs, resulting in their progress being no better than satisfactory.
Assessment procedures to support teaching and learning are being developed. Already a good tracking system is used effectively to identify underachievement and give pupils the support they need to catch up. Well-trained staff provide intensive support for pupils who need it most, helping them to reach their targets and to make better progress. Although there are weaknesses in target-setting and marking, staff are working positively towards a more consistent approach. In the best practice, pupils are using their targets and heeding teachers' helpful marking to review and improve their writing.
The school is developing a more rigorous approach to tailoring the curriculum to pupils' needs and to promoting their better progress. Currently, literacy and numeracy skills are not practised widely enough across the curriculum in order to have a positive impact on progress. A particular strength of the curriculum is its good enrichment that greatly enhances pupils' enjoyment and their experiences of life. For example, a considerable number of pupils who are learning musical instruments regularly play in assemblies and join the school orchestra to play in the local community.
Procedures for monitoring behaviour and attendance are effective. Close links are established with parents and carers who receive good support to help their children attend regularly and to behave well. The breakfast club is impacting strongly on pupils arriving regularly and punctually at school. Support staff provide outstanding care for the most vulnerable pupils, who are sensitively nurtured to fully participate in school life. The school has recently established strong links with its feeder infant schools using the 'Forest School' project. This is enabling Year 2 and Year 3 pupils to work together, as well as providing a smooth transition to 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||2|
The headteacher and senior managers have high expectations for the school and are moving it forward successfully. Staff and governors share their determination to raise standards and achievement quickly and securely. Staff morale is high. Good partnerships with the local authority are strengthening the expertise of the leadership team in managing improvement. Training for middle managers is enabling them to take an active role in monitoring. The monitoring of teaching and learning is rigorous, but it is too early to see the full impact of well planned procedures being followed. However, much has been achieved in a short time to help to raise attainment. For example, the improvement plans are clearly focused on the appropriate priorities. Reliable data is used as a basis for driving pupils' progress. Expectations of what pupils can and should do are rising as staff share good practice. There is clear evidence of accelerated progress to meet challenging and realistic targets for pupils' performance. Although rapidly improving, the school's promotion of equality of opportunities for all pupils to achieve as well as they can is currently satisfactory. The school tackles discrimination well.
Governors are very supportive of the new leadership team and understand the challenges facing the school. They fulfil their legal responsibilities well, especially in ensuring that good safeguarding procedures are robustly in place for all pupils and which fully meet requirements. There have been good improvements recently into how governors check on the school's performance. Community cohesion is promoted very successfully within the school and local area. The work done to support the local 'Green Heart' community project has strengthened links further within the local area. A multicultural centre is used locally to extend pupils' knowledge and understanding of the wider world. Recently, pupils celebrated Diwali with other schools. Plans to extend links with wider communities in the United Kingdom and the wider world are less strongly developed.
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|
About a third of parents and carers completed the questionnaire. Almost all of these parents and carers are very happy with what the school provides. The inspection team agrees with their positive views. There were no significant issues for the school. Parents and carers expressed almost total confidence that their children enjoy school and are kept safe. They particularly like the way that the school provides additional experiences for the children, including a breakfast club. Several parents appreciate the good care and support that their children receive. One commented, 'My child has flourished at the school. She is made to feel a valuable member of the school and this caring approach has meant that she has settled quickly and well. I know that if there are any issues they will be dealt with sensitively, quickly and appropriately.'
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Greengate Junior School 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 101 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 268 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||61||60||36||36||4||4||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||69||68||30||30||2||2||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||56||55||41||41||3||3||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||54||53||42||42||3||3||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||66||65||33||33||2||2||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||56||55||41||41||4||4||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||53||52||42||42||6||6||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)||47||47||45||45||6||6||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||58||57||37||37||4||4||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||52||51||42||42||5||5||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||51||50||44||44||3||3||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||56||55||38||38||6||6||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||64||63||33||33||4||4||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.
26 April 2010
Inspection of Greengate Junior School, Barrow-in-Furness LA14 1BG
Thank you for your help with the inspection of your school and the friendly welcome you gave to us. We enjoyed being with you in lessons and around the school. The inspectors judge that your school is satisfactory, but there are many good things about it too.
These are the main findings in the report.
These are the things we have asked your school to do now to help it to improve even more.
We hope that you will all try to do your best work at school. Good luck everyone.
|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 email@example.com.|