The inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and two Additional Inspectors.
Description of the school
Fosse Way Primary School is a larger than average sized school which serves the local community of North Hykeham. There is provision for twelve pupils in the Speech and Communication class. This means that more pupils have a statement of special educational needs than is typical of a school of this size nationally. The proportion of pupils claiming free school meals is below average and fewer pupils than average come from minority ethnic groups. Children's attainment on entry is above what is expected nationally for children of this age.
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is a good school with some excellent features and is close to being outstanding. The vast majority of parents support this view. Pupils are happy and enjoy coming to school and they value the opportunities offered to them. As one pupil said, 'Teachers make our lessons fun, it's a brilliant school'. High expectations of all staff contribute to pupils' outstanding personal development and well-being. This promotes their good behaviour and impressive social skills.
Leadership and management are strengths of the school. Under the excellent leadership of the headteacher, the school seeks to provide the very best that it can for all its pupils and strives to constantly improve what it does. The clear direction that she provides sets the very positive climate for learning. As one parent stated, 'The headteacher is always around, she bothers about what the children are doing'. The very high expectations, drive and sense of purpose of the senior staff have brought about significant improvements to pupils' achievement. There is a strong sense of teamwork between teachers, teaching assistants and governors. The governors have an excellent understanding of what is going well and what needs to improve.
Pupils achieve well throughout the school. They make a good start in the Foundation Stage and sustain this good progress during their time in school. This means that standards are well above average by the time they leave. The quality of teaching is good with some outstanding features and is directly responsible for the good progress pupils make in lessons. Throughout the school teachers place great emphasis on promoting pupils' personal development and create a learning environment in which all pupils feel secure, confident and become enthusiastic and successful learners. Planning is firmly based on information from the school's thorough assessment of pupils' achievement. This means that all pupils, including those with learning difficulties and disabilities, are suitably challenged. Pupils with speech and communication problems are fully included in the life of the school and have good access to all that is available. These pupils receive high quality support, appropriate to their individual needs, from both teachers and teaching assistants. The assessment of pupils' achievement is excellent, both in terms of their personal and of their academic progress. Teachers carefully track and record pupils' progress, they help them to improve their work by thoughtful marking. Teachers know their pupils and meet their learning needs in lessons well, ensuring they receive high levels of care. Pupils readily acknowledge that they feel cared for and safe whilst in the school.
The excellent curriculum makes a strong contribution to pupils' personal development. Pupils are keen to join in the wide range of very good opportunities offered to them. Through the many opportunities for pupils to be involved in discussion and to gain self confidence, they develop into sensible young adults by the time they reach Year 6, showing a mature approach to their work and to school life in general. This contributes significantly to the extent that pupils enjoy coming to school and is reflected in the excellent levels of attendance. The school evaluates its own performance well but it does not always use the range of information that is available to put measures into place early enough to bring about sustained improvement.
What the school should do to improve further
- Use the wealth of data and information the school has amassed from monitoring to focus more precisely on what needs to be done to ensure that all pupils make the best possible progress.
Achievement and standards
The children's skills, knowledge and understanding at the end of the Reception year are good. Most children reach standards beyond those expected. By the end of Year 2 teachers' assessments in reading, writing and mathematics show that pupils' standards are above average. Pupils achieve well and make good progress throughout their time at the school. By the time they leave at the end of Year 6 results in the national assessments for English, mathematics and science are well above those found nationally. Work done on improving the performance of higher attaining pupils in English had a significant impact on the results in the most recent Key Stage 2 tests. Almost all pupils meet the challenging targets they are set. Pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities, as well as those with special gifts and talents, also make good progress from their starting points.
Personal development and well-being
The personal development and well-being of the pupils are a notable strength of the school. This is a happy school where pupils' behaviour is good and they are enthusiastic about their learning. Even the youngest children know how to share and take turns. Everyone displays positive attitudes and all pupils, whatever their background, ability or needs, are fully included in all activities. Attendance is excellent. Pupils are kind, considerate, caring and highly conscious of how to stay safe. They have a good awareness of how to pursue a healthy life style and are working towards the 'Healthy Schools' Award. Their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent. The school provides a wealth of opportunities for the pupils to learn about the richness and diversity of the world. For instance, long term links with a school in Ghana are not just about money raising, but more importantly are about the pupils developing a deeper understanding of other people's perspectives, viewpoints and beliefs. The school has established excellent links with the community, local business and government bodies to heighten pupils' understanding of the realities of the wider world. Staff succeed in fostering in the pupils excellent personal qualities that put them on the road to becoming well adjusted and successful adults.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
The quality of teaching and learning is good overall with some outstanding features, which ensures that the pupils achieve well. Teachers and pupils share a mutual respect and the resulting positive relationships mean that pupils are not afraid to ask for help. Teachers' planning is excellent. They clearly identify what is to be taught and how this is to be done. In lessons, pupils' behaviour is often very good because the teachers have high expectations and manage their pupils very well. On occasion, individual teachers allow too much noise in their lessons, or do not manage the available time well enough, thereby inhibiting pupils' progress.
Teaching assistants are used very well to support pupils' learning and they work effectively alongside the teachers. Additionally, the school uses volunteer help well to support pupils in lessons. Pupils' work is carefully marked and assessed and this helps them to know where they can improve. All pupils, including those with learning difficulties and disabilities, have clear and achievable targets and strive to meet them.
Curriculum and other activities
The meticulous planning of the curriculum for all subjects supports the good progress pupils make. The subject leaders and staff ensure that by developing well researched, high quality topics, pupils have as wide an education as they can provide. The two year curriculum plan identifies the main topics to be taught within each key stage and the staff devise ways to ensure effective and stimulating teaching of each subject. This results in lessons which are enjoyed greatly by the pupils. As one said, 'The teachers make lessons fun and this helps us to learn.'
The children in the Foundation Stage enjoy an outstanding curriculum and this gets them off to a good start. Throughout the school visitors and visits are used to promote learning well. The school uses nationally recognised experts, such as the artist Philip Cox, very well to extend pupils' experiences and learning. An excellent range of activities beyond the school day, including sports, art and music, helps to enrich pupils' learning.
Care, guidance and support
Teachers have a very good knowledge of their pupils and give them exceptional support in their learning. Teachers mark and assess pupils' work extremely accurately and use the information gained to give pupils clear targets for future learning. Pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities are very well supported, allowing them to make similar progress to other pupils.
The school council is well established and has a positive effect on the life of the school. The council has, for example, identified areas for development and worked well with teachers to implement them. Amongst these are the quiet playground area and the changes made to lunchtime arrangements. Procedures for child protection are very well established. Health and safety checks and risk assessments are carried out efficiently. Pupils always have an adult in whom they can confide should they have a problem.
Leadership and management
The headteacher shows outstanding leadership qualities. Her personal drive and vision are strong factors in the improvement made by the school and in pupils' good achievement. Her commitment to ongoing improvement is shared by all staff. The staff work effectively together to make things better for the pupils, which shows in their excellent personal development.
Monitoring and evaluation of the school's work are good. Senior managers thoroughly analyse a wide range of data and in most respects put actions into place swiftly. There is a sharply focused plan for improvement that addresses the areas that will make a difference. However, the success criteria are too general and do not give sufficient guidance on whether the improvement has had an impact on pupils' learning.
Governors are highly supportive of the school. They also challenge and hold the school to account for its performance. Taking everything into consideration the school gives very good value for money and has a very considerable capacity to improve further.