Patcham Junior School
Ladies Mile Road
Headteacher: Mr Ashley Seymour-Williams
364 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||114372|
|Local Authority||Brighton and Hove|
|Inspection dates||1–2 October 2008|
|Reporting inspector||Stephen Long HMI|
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|
|Date of previous school inspection||1 June 2004|
|School address||Ladies Mile Road|
|Brighton BN1 8TA|
|Telephone number||01273 295020|
|Fax number||01273 295027|
|Inspection dates||1–2 October 2008|
© Crown copyright 2008
The inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and two Additional Inspectors.
Patcham Junior School is larger than most schools of its type. The majority of pupils are White British and few speak English as an additional language. An average proportion have learning difficulties and/or disabilities although fewer than average have a statement of special educational needs. Dyslexia is the major area of need for the pupils with specific learning difficulties. The school holds numerous awards for its work in areas such as developing pupils' environmental awareness, supporting pupils in staying healthy and safe, in the arts and for its international work.
Overall effectiveness of the school
Patcham Junior School is a good school. Several areas of its work are outstanding, most notably supporting the pupils' personal development through the high quality of care provided. The pupils thoroughly enjoy their time at the school, which has a very happy atmosphere. They attend well, develop excellent attitudes to learning and towards each other, and make a very positive contribution to the school as a community. Parents and carers are highly appreciative of the school's work and of the balance achieved between academic and personal development. As one said in her questionnaire return to inspectors, 'My daughter has recently left and in her four years she was very happy, well looked after and educated as I'm sure my son will be in his next four years.'
The outstanding curriculum is a major factor in pupils' enjoyment of their time at the school and in their personal development. Pupils respond enthusiastically to the range of work in each subject, to the effective links made between subjects and to the opportunities they have to develop their creative thinking. They thoroughly enjoy innovative aspects of the curriculum such as the links with a school in France and the wide range of work undertaken with the local, national and global communities. The curriculum is developed very well in the light of pupils' changing needs as well as in response to local and national influences. The enrichment of the curriculum through clubs and activities is excellent and this too enhances pupils' enjoyment.
Pupils' attainment on entry has risen in recent years to above average. The standards reached by the time they leave have also risen and are above average, although there has been some unevenness in the progress made in different subjects. The school has reduced this through making teaching more consistently effective. Teaching is good with examples of outstanding practice and pupils are now making good progress from their starting points in all subjects. Many lessons engage all pupils thoroughly and more challenging work is provided for more able pupils than at the time of the last inspection. However, some lessons do not include activities which are varied enough to get the best from all pupils. Equally, many lessons effectively involve pupils in deciding how to improve their work and guidance provided by teachers, for example in marking, is often excellent. In some lessons this is not the case and pupils are unsure about how to move on.
Leaders and managers work well together with determined leadership from the headteacher, who provides a clear strategic direction but encourages others to contribute their ideas. They have made a good impact since the last inspection and there is good capacity for further improvement. The school's leaders were proactive in promoting areas such as community cohesion ahead of the requirement to do so at the start of the last academic year. Monitoring of the school's progress is good overall, yielding an accurate awareness of what is going well and what could be improved further. However, monitoring activities such as lesson observations and analysis of assessment information do not always focus enough on the impact of the school's work on pupils' progress in order to precisely target the next steps.
Achievement and standards
Progress in English is good and pupils reach very high standards in reading and writing. The school has worked hard to improve writing during literacy lessons as well as in subjects across the curriculum, with a particular emphasis on the boys so that their progress is equal to that of the girls. In mathematics, progress has lagged behind that of English in recent years. Although standards by the end of Year 6 have remained above those seen nationally, this has sometimes represented satisfactory rather than good progress because of pupils' above average starting points. However, teaching is now more effective and intervention is better if pupils are not doing well enough. Their progress is now good and standards are rising to match those seen in English. In science, standards reached by the end of Year 6 have also fluctuated. Adaptations to the curriculum, more rigorous tracking of pupils' progress and better teaching have led to improved achievement and standards are above average. Pupils make good progress, and enjoy learning, in a wide range of other subjects including information and communication technology (ICT). Pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress in line with their peers because of the effective support they receive.
Personal development and well-being
Pupils' attitudes and behaviour are outstanding and contribute strongly to their enjoyment of school. Excellent social and moral development is reflected in the positive relationships between pupils in lessons and at break times, where they are considerate and helpful towards each other. Excellent spiritual growth is evident in their thoughtful reflection in assemblies and in discussions of complex issues. The pupils learn very well about the importance of healthy eating and they participate enthusiastically in sports activities. They feel very safe and learn to stay safe. They are confident that if any concerns arise they know who to turn to for help. Pupils take a leading role in the life and community of the school through the school council, the eco-council and many other opportunities to take on responsibility such as when older pupils referee football games at break. Engagement with the community beyond school is deep and wide, and includes charity fund raising locally and to support schools in Africa. This work lends great strength to pupils' awareness of cultural diversity. Pupils are very well prepared for the next stage of their education through their mature attitudes to learning and strong teamwork and social skills.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Teachers and learning support assistants (LSAs) have high expectations of pupils, are enthusiastic and enjoy very positive relationships with them. Most lessons involve stimulating activities which engage pupils because, in the words of a pupil, 'the teachers make them enjoyable'. Objectives for learning are usually clear. Classrooms are purposeful settings with well managed resources and displays which celebrate and support learning. Many lessons, particularly in English and mathematics, are well planned to meet pupils' varying needs, and to promote creative thinking and their ability to move forward independently. However, this is not always the case and sometimes there is too little consideration for how to stretch all pupils or to involve them fully in assessing their own progress and deciding what to do next. Pupils' progress over time is tracked particularly carefully in English and mathematics and the outcomes are used well to trigger additional support if there are concerns. Tracking procedures in science have improved over the last year to ensure all pupils make good progress. The school invests well in supporting pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Careful diagnosis of needs underpins good intervention and teamwork by LSAs and teachers so that, for example, dyslexic pupils make good progress.
Curriculum and other activities
The curriculum provides particularly well for pupils' personal development. Personal, social and health education programmes are central to this work but other areas of the curriculum contribute well. Very effective links are made between subjects. Pupils appreciate these because they bring learning to life. The school is proactive in developing new areas such as modern foreign languages and pupils are enjoying learning French. The development of literacy across the curriculum is especially strong and the use of ICT is gathering pace because of better coordination and investment in equipment. The school has worked hard in recent years to give pupils opportunities for creative development and has taken a lead role in the local authority. There are examples of pupils being challenged very well to innovate, to work in teams and to solve problems, although the extent to which they develop independent creativity varies between lessons. Developing pupils' awareness of the community around the school, of the country as a whole and of the wider world involves innovative provision such as holding a 'Global Week' which included a visit from the Chinese Centre. The outstanding range of extra-curricular activities enhances the experience of pupils and helps develop their individual talents and interests very well.
Care, guidance and support
The pupils are very well known by staff who are committed to helping each of them get the most out of school. Their transfer into the school is skilfully managed and they are very well cared for. The identification and support for pupils who are vulnerable is very good and includes well coordinated work with outside agencies. Those who find difficulty managing their behaviour or who attend poorly receive the support they need, and liaison with parents and carers is highly effective. Arrangements for the safeguarding of pupils are robust and all teachers receive appropriate training in child protection. Academic guidance and support, while good, are not at the exemplary level of personal guidance. Teachers regularly mark work and some marking is of excellent quality. Some teachers use questioning and discussion very well in lessons to support pupils in moving forward. However, this is not consistently the case and pupils are not always confident in using such feedback to improve their learning. The system of rewards is effective and the ethos is one of celebration of achievement. Pupils value this, as do parents. One said that for her daughter, the 'praising of each achievement' had 'made a big difference to her life' and boosted her confidence.
Leadership and management
The headteacher gives very clear direction for the school and is well supported by senior colleagues and others with responsibilities. Challenging targets for academic achievement and personal development underpin the school's work. These filter down well through all levels of leadership to set goals for each member of staff. Monitoring and evaluation give the school a good understanding of its strengths and weaknesses. Actions to bring about improvement have led to better teaching and curricular developments. Current priorities are well linked to areas of need. Monitoring of the progress being made in implementing these is good but is not always focused sharply enough on the impact made on pupils' progress. Subject leaders have too few opportunities to observe lessons to check whether initiatives are working and provide further support. The governing body holds the school to account well. Governors are committed to its success and supportive of the work of the staff. Nevertheless, they too do not always question independently enough the impact of the school's work on pupils' progress. Resources are used carefully and costs, including for staff development, are coordinated well with the school's development priorities.
|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||1|
|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?||1|
|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?||1|
|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|
3 October 2008
Inspection of Patcham Junior School, Brighton, BN1 8TA
This letter is to thank you for your help during our recent visit to the school and to tell you what we found out.
Patcham Junior is a good school which has some outstanding features. Both you and your parents and carers told us how much you enjoy attending the school.
We have asked the headteacher to include the following areas in her future plans:
Good luck for the future and thank you again to the very many of you who stopped to talk to us about your school.
Yours sincerely Stephen Long Her Majesty's Inspector