Headteacher: Mrs S Sutcliffe
457 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||120029|
|Local Authority||Leicester City|
|Inspection date||28 April 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Alison Cartlidge|
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||17 January 2006|
Date of previous funded early education|
|Not previously inspected|
|Date of previous childcare inspection||Not previously inspected|
|School address||Wigston Lane|
|Leicester LE2 8TN|
|Telephone number||01162 832328|
|Fax number||01162 839069|
|Inspection date||28 April 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
The inspection was carried out by two additional inspectors, who evaluated the overall effectiveness of the school and investigated the following:
Evidence was gathered from: discussions with pupils, members of staff and governors; observations of teaching and learning; views of parents; scrutiny of pupils' work and school documentation. Other aspects of the school's work were not investigated in detail, but the inspectors found no evidence to suggest that the school's own assessments, as given in its self-evaluation, were not justified, and these have been included where appropriate in this report.
Pupils come to this large primary school from Aylestone and the surrounding area. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is broadly average. The school has an above average proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Most of these pupils have speech or moderate learning difficulties. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, there is one Nursery class, where children attend part time, and two Reception classes. Most, but not all children start school in the Nursery. The school runs a breakfast club for pupils who attend the school.
Overall effectiveness of the school
Pupils achieve exceptionally well at this outstanding school. Members of staff are successful in ensuring that the curriculum is extremely wide and includes excellent opportunities for pupils to develop their creativity at the same time as reaching high standards by the end of Year 6 in English, mathematics and science. High quality ceramics made by the pupils are displayed throughout the school, and pupils especially enjoy taking part in dramatic productions and musical activities such as the steel pan band.
Children make an excellent start to their education in the Nursery and Reception classes. In Years 1 to 6, outstanding teaching ensures that pupils build very well on what they have already learnt. As a result, pupils, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, make excellent progress. Progress in English is slightly faster than in mathematics. In English, pupils are fully involved in assessing their own learning and this means that they have a very thorough understanding of what level they are working at and what they need to do next. The school is developing a similar system for mathematics, although this is not yet fully in place across the whole school.
Academic guidance is excellent because the school uses information on pupils' progress well to ensure that individual pupils learn very quickly. As a result, very effective additional support is provided for pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and for those at risk of falling behind their peers. The school sets and achieves challenging targets across the school for pupils of all abilities. During lessons, teachers provide work that matches pupils' differing needs well, although very occasionally a few 'play safe' and do not challenge all pupils as much as they could in mathematics.
Pupils' outstanding personal development and exceptionally high standards in basic skills prepare them extremely well for the next stage of their education and later life. Members of staff are excellent role models and are passionate about providing the pupils with excellent pastoral care. As a result, pupils behave exceptionally well and are very polite and friendly. Their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. They improve their knowledge of other cultures well by celebrating festivals and visiting various localities and places of worship. Pupils respect the views of others and are very kind and helpful. Pupils contribute to the community exceptionally well. They take responsibility very seriously and the 'playground friends' deal with minor squabbles on the playground effectively. The school and eco councils are very proud of their achievements; for example, they help to collect litter in the local area and they work closely with the local police officer to identify and solve community issues. Pupils' thorough pride in their school and exceptional enthusiasm for taking part in all it offers is not reflected in the broadly average attendance figures. The school is persistent in supporting and pressurising the small number of families who find it difficult to ensure that their children attend regularly. The successful breakfast club has helped improve the attendance and punctuality of some pupils.
Teachers use praise very well to encourage pupils and to help them to gain confidence. Probing questions are asked to ensure that pupils are thinking carefully. Information and communication technology are used extremely well to extend pupils' knowledge of the world. For example, a webcam in the school grounds shows pupils life in a bluetit's nest, and a link with Africa provides live coverage of a watering hole. Teachers and teaching assistants provide good support for pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, enabling them to make very good progress towards their individual targets.
Pupils' personal development is catered for exceptionally well, enabling pupils to lead very safe and healthy lifestyles. For example, pupils take frequent exercise with the support of various sports coaches, and eat healthily. Pupils know that they can approach any member of staff if they have a worry and consequently they feel safe at school. They have a very thorough awareness of the dangers that face us in life and how to stay safe. At the time of the inspection, procedures for safeguarding pupils were fully in place. The school works very closely with external agencies, including parents and other schools, to support the well-being of all of its pupils.
Leadership and management are outstanding. Leaders follow the excellent example set by the exceptionally well respected headteacher. There is a shared zeal for maintaining pupils' high standards and the school's well-deserved excellent reputation in the area. As a result, exceptionally high standards are sustained, demonstrating the school's excellent capacity to improve further and to build on its long history of success. Systems for self-evaluation are very thorough, enabling leaders to pinpoint what needs to be improved next. Equality of opportunity is promoted extensively. For example, the school recently identified a weakness in the younger boys' reading and improved resources and teaching methods to support them more effectively. However, information used to track pupils' progress is not kept in a clear format and so it is not easy to see at a glance how well groups of pupils are doing. Governors are very supportive and knowledgeable and have secure plans to ensure successive governors are equipped to provide the same level of challenge. Resources are used exceptionally well. The school's contribution towards community cohesion and its partnership with others are excellent. Members of staff provide considerable support for other schools in the area and pupils are fully involved in community and global projects. For example, they organise their own fund-raising activities to support a young girl in Malawi.
Most parents are exceptionally pleased with the work of the school. Several parents summed up the positive views of others by writing comments such as, 'Montrose is a well-recognised school for its high standards across the board' and 'I am very proud that my daughter attends this school and believe she will do well with the high standards of teaching'. These comments demonstrate some of the school's many strong points.
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Attainment on entry to the Nursery and Reception classes varies, with about half the children working below the levels expected for their age when they join the school, particularly in literacy. Children achieve exceptionally well from their differing starting points and when they start in Year 1, standards are average to slightly above average overall. Very thorough induction arrangements and very enthusiastic members of staff enable children to settle into school routines quickly. Adults work together exceptionally well, planning interesting activities across all areas of learning. Adults focus especially well on developing speaking and listening and the children's creativity. For example, during the inspection, Reception children worked with their teacher to make up a story around a collection of objects, and Nursery and Reception children used a wealth of natural and man-made materials to create and talk about their own displays. As a result, children become confident and keen to take part in conversations and to share their ideas. Children's personal development is good. They become independent, play together happily and make sensible choices about their work. The school works well to support the few less mature boys and has well-advanced plans to extend the outdoor area to provide more space for them to express themselves energetically so that the pace at which they develop personal skills is even faster. Members of staff promote the children's welfare exceptionally well in school and in the breakfast club. They assess the children's learning very rigorously. They provide clear instructions for tasks and use questioning well to extend learning. Very occasionally, a few members of staff step in to help solve problems too quickly, rather than allowing children time to think up their own solutions. Leadership and management are excellent. Senior members of staff lead by example and have clear plans to make provision even better; for example, when the outdoor area has been enlarged, they would like to provide more free choice activities that promote the learning of letter sounds and writing.
|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?||1|
|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||1|
|How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the EYFS?||1|
|How well do children in the EYFS achieve?||1|
|How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the children?||2|
|How effectively are children in the EYFS helped to learn and develop?||1|
|How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted?||1|
|How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed?||1|
|How well do learners achieve?||1|
|The standards¹ reached by learners||1|
|How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners||1|
|How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress||1|
|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||1|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||1|
|The extent to which learners enjoy their education||1|
|The attendance of learners||3|
|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?||1|
|How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners?||1|
|How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?||1|
|How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners?||1|
|How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education||1|
|How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards||1|
|The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation||1|
|How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated||1|
|How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?||1|
|How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money||1|
|The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities||1|
|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|
Inspection of Montrose School, Leicester LE2 8TN
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