Lodge Farm Junior Mixed and Infant School
Willenhall School Sports College Campus
Headteacher: Mr Ashley Winters B.Ed(Hons)Npqh
309 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||104215|
|Inspection dates||19–20 May 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Marion Thompson|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
The registered childcare, managed by the governing body, was inspected under section 49 of the Childcare Act 2006.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number on roll|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||12 July 2006|
Date of previous funded early education|
|Not previously inspected|
|Date of previous childcare inspection||Not previously inspected|
|School address||Furzebank Way|
|Telephone number||01902 368587|
|Fax number||01902 368587|
|Inspection dates||19–20 May 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
The inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors.
This is a larger-than-average school, with a Nursery and Reception class in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Most pupils are of White British heritage. Other members of the school population come from a diverse range of backgrounds, with the largest group being of Indian heritage. Very few pupils are at the early stages of learning English. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is broadly average. The school has been awarded the Anti-Bullying Mark, Healthy Schools Award and Activemark.
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is a satisfactory school. The school has successfully reversed the previous trend of declining standards and underachievement, which was most acute in the Early Years Foundation Stage and in Years 1 and 2. Some aspects of the school's work, for example, promoting personal development and the care the school provides for pupils, are good. This has contributed to higher attendance rates, which are now broadly average, and to pupils' positive attitudes to learning and good behaviour. Because pupils know they are valued, they show respect for each other, and behave responsibly and safely, making a good contribution to the school and wider community. Pupils enjoy all aspects of school life, as illustrated by one parents' comment that, 'There seems to be a highlight every day which my children want to talk about when they come home.'
By Year 6, standards are broadly average and achievement is satisfactory. Older pupils have rapidly made up lost ground in mathematics and science. In English, while there has been rapid progress over the last year, standards remain too low, especially in writing, because pupils were further behind in this area. Pupils in Years 1 and 2 make satisfactory progress overall. In both key stages, there are a few occasions when pupils, especially the most able, do not make as much progress as they should because lessons lack challenge. Pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make satisfactory progress, because provision is meeting their needs. The small number of pupils at the early stages of learning English make satisfactory progress.
Improved teaching has contributed to the recent rise in standards and achievement. Whilst remaining satisfactory overall, there is a substantial increase in the proportion of good teaching, particularly in Years 3 to 6, and there are now very few unsatisfactory lessons. Teachers are starting to use ongoing assessment to gauge whether pupils understand their work and to make changes to plans when needed. In addition, academic guidance is now satisfactory. Marking, whilst still a little inconsistent, provides more specific advice to pupils on how to improve their work. Pupils' progress is measured more frequently and accurately, so that obstacles to learning are overcome more quickly through work in target groups. One parent noted: 'My son's issues with literacy were identified early on and addressed, enabling him to move up a level.'
The sound curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to develop well their awareness of health issues. The wide range of popular extra-curricular activities provides good opportunities for exercise and promotes pupils' good social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. Pupils in this school really love singing and this is developed well, for example through choral singing in the community. Activities to develop writing across the curriculum are rather limited, but there are instances of good practice. Pupils in Years 5 and 6 displayed great empathy when writing letters from a young soldier about to go 'over the top', at the same time making good progress in understanding the difference between formal and informal writing.
A key factor in improving achievement and attendance has been the substantial refinement of development planning, based on a much closer analysis of the work of the school. Changes are underpinned by well-targeted staff development. This has resulted in improvements in teaching, learning, assessment, academic guidance, and leadership and management at all levels. Subject leadership is now good in key subjects, but is still a little uneven across some other areas. Governors provide the school with a satisfactory level of support and challenge.
The school makes a satisfactory contribution to community cohesion by providing sound opportunities for all pupils to achieve and by developing their awareness of global issues, for example deforestation and recycling. Pupils are effectively prepared for the next stage of their lives and education. The needs of the wider community are soundly promoted, for example through the popular parent-toddler group. Leadership and management are now satisfactory and the school has satisfactory capacity to improve further.
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage has improved over the last year and now provides a satisfactory education for its children. Children start school with skills and knowledge that are below expectations, particularly in communication, language and literacy. Teaching is satisfactory overall, because careful planning ensures that children receive work that is appropriate for their ability and good use is made of teaching assistants to support learning. Most of the time, children are managed well, so they learn to listen attentively, take turns and are ready to learn, but this is inconsistent, especially in the Nursery. An appropriate focus has been placed on improving children's literacy skills, enabling them to make better progress in this area. The satisfactory curriculum ensures that all areas of learning are covered, although there are not enough opportunities to extend their learning outdoors. The personal development of pupils is satisfactory, with good opportunities for speaking and listening, including discussing topics with each other in pairs. However, the promotion of social skills is uneven and children are not always prompted to behave politely towards others. Nevertheless, the children are well cared for. Those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are identified early and monitored carefully, ensuring that any needs are met. There are good induction procedures in place that support new children, along with their parents, and as a result, the children settle quickly into school life. The Early Years Foundation Stage is satisfactory overall because it is strongly supported by the senior leadership team, who, for example, have introduced an assessment system that can be used to support the provision more effectively. There has been significant recent improvement because of good leadership and management.
Achievement and standards
By Year 6, pupils reach broadly average to below average standards, representing satisfactory achievement from their below average standards on entry to the school. In mathematics, there has been considerable improvement in pupils' understanding of word-based problems, and knowledge of number work is more secure. Standards in English, especially in writing, remain too low throughout the school, especially in relation to punctuation, spelling, handwriting and sentence-level work in Years 1 and 2. Extended writing within English lessons is improving rapidly, especially for older pupils. Reading, too, is improving, because of the strategies the school has put in place, but higher-level skills, such as inference, are in need of further development. Progress is most rapid in Years 2, 5 and 6. Progress of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is satisfactory, because of effective support. On occasions, the most able pupils do not make as much progress as they should, because work is not demanding enough.
Personal development and well-being
Knowledge and practice of healthy lifestyles is promoted well in school through sport coaching, swimming, healthy snacks in the Early Years Foundation Stage and cycling to school, and pupils respond well to this. Pupils feel safe because behaviour is generally good, although a little boisterous at times in the playground. Pupils say there is very little bullying and that the school deals with it well. Attendance is now broadly average. Pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good and pupils show a good understanding of the range of faiths and cultures within Britain. They talk of their own faiths openly, for example through contributions made in assembly. Pupils enjoy school and make a good contribution to the school and wider community, such as by working with pupils in a neighbouring special school. Their satisfactory progress in literacy and numeracy and good social skills form a sound preparation for the next stage in their education.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Lessons are characterised by good relationships, which motivate pupils to learn. Clear learning objectives ensure pupils know what is expected of them. Pupils' behaviour is managed well and there is a calm and purposeful ambiance in classrooms. Pupils are increasingly aware of their targets in mathematics and literacy and are beginning to use them to improve their work. The best lessons present pupils with a good level of challenge and demand active involvement. Questioning is skilful and well directed, leading pupils to justify their responses. In many lessons, however, the pace of learning is steady rather than demanding, and too often the level of challenge is not high enough for the most able. Occasionally, teachers talk for too long, causing pupils to lose concentration.
Curriculum and other activities
The curriculum is broad and balanced and satisfactorily meets the needs of most pupils, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. It is becoming more flexible in responding to pupils' needs through targeted learning. The thematically planned syllabus is enriched by visits which engage and motivate the pupils. Music is a particular strength of the school and is enjoyed by all pupils. Provision for physical education is strengthened by external support. There are, however, insufficient opportunities for pupils to practise their writing skills across the curriculum, and provision occasionally lacks challenge for the most able pupils.
Care, guidance and support
Systems to ensure pupils' health, safety and well-being, such as risk assessments and the child protection policy, operate effectively. Care for pupils with emotional difficulties is good and is much appreciated by parents. Those with attendance problems are encouraged to attend school and supported to catch up when they return, if necessary. Care for vulnerable pupils is sensitively managed with the aid of outside agencies. The tracking of pupils' achievement is much improved, supporting pupils' accelerated pace of learning. The quality of marking increasingly provides guidance on how to improve, but this is inconsistent. Pupils are aware that they have targets in English and mathematics, but do not always use them to improve their work.
Leadership and management
The headteacher, supported well by the senior team, provides a clear sense of direction for the school. Planning is sound and is based on an accurate analysis of the school's work. The strategies the school has put in place are beginning to improve pupils' achievement, personal development and attendance. Governance has improved and governors provide satisfactory support and challenge for the school, despite long-standing vacancies. Challenging targets have been used effectively to raise expectations, although they have not yet been reached. The school makes a satisfactory contribution to community cohesion through meeting the needs of the local community, for example workshops to help parents support their children more effectively. International links, however, are at the early stage of development. Satisfactory progress has been made since the previous inspection.
|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?||3|
|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?||3|
|The capacity to make any necessary improvements||3|
|How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the EYFS?||3|
|How well do children in the EYFS achieve?||3|
|How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the children?||3|
|How effectively are children in the EYFS helped to learn and develop?||3|
|How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted?||3|
|How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed?||2|
|How well do learners achieve?||3|
|The standards¹ reached by learners||3|
|How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners||3|
|How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress||3|
|How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners?||2|
|The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||2|
|The extent to which learners enjoy their education||2|
|The attendance of learners||3|
|The behaviour of learners||2|
|The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community||2|
|How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being||3|
|How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of learners' needs?||3|
|How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners?||3|
|How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?||3|
|How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners?||3|
|How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education||3|
|How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards||3|
|The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation||3|
|How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated||3|
|How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?||3|
|How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money||3|
|The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities||3|
|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|
21 May 2009
Inspection of Lodge Farm Junior Mixed and Infant School, Willenhall, WV12 4BU
Thank you for the polite welcome you gave us when we visited your school. Many of your parents replied to our questionnaire and most of them are pleased with the education the school provides for you. We know that you are proud of your school, so we are pleased to tell you that the school provides you with a satisfactory education, and some aspects of the school's work, like care and personal development are good. Children in the Nursery and Reception classes make satisfactory progress because teaching and the programme of activities are satisfactory and it is well led.
In Years 1 to 6, you make satisfactory progress in mathematics and science, reaching broadly average standards. In English, standards are still a little low, especially in writing, but you are working hard to catch up. Teaching, assessment of your work and the curriculum are improving. The headteacher and staff are working hard to make sure things carry on improving. Because they keep a close eye on the progress you make, they help you to catch up quickly if you fall behind.
The staff take good care of you and make sure you feel safe. Because you feel valued in school, you develop positive attitudes to your work and enjoy your learning and out-of-school activities. We were impressed by the recent rise in attendance and improvements in behaviour, so keep it up. You take on a lot of responsibilities in school and often in the wider community, for example helping children in the special school next door. You know a lot about how to stay healthy and active and most of you eat sensibly whilst in school.
In order to improve things further, we have asked the school to provide more opportunities for children in Nursery and Reception to learn outdoors, and to show children how to listen attentively and sit quietly when they are asked to and to treat each other with care. We have also asked staff to make sure that that in all lessons, you are given work to do that is suitably demanding, especially if you find learning easy. We would like you to have more opportunities to write in all the subjects you study.
We hope you continue to enjoy your education as much as you do now.