Perry Court Junior School
Great Hayles Road
Headteacher: Ms J Bailey
202 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||108988|
|Local Authority||City of Bristol|
|Inspection dates||8–9 December 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Ian Hodgkinson|
|Type of school||Junior|
|Age range of pupils||7–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||202|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||13 September 2006|
|School address||Great Hayles Road|
|Bristol BS14 0AX|
|Telephone number||0117 3772078|
|Fax number||01275 3772079|
|Inspection dates||8–9 December 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 16 lessons, and held meetings with governors, staff, groups of pupils, parents, and a representative of the local authority. They looked at documentation including: pupils' books; the school development plan; minutes of governing body meetings; records of assessment and tracking of pupils' progress; plans and monitoring information for the support of vulnerable pupils; records of the school's monitoring of teaching and learning; records of the school's arrangements for the safeguarding and protection of pupils; policies and procedures for promoting equality and countering discrimination; 40 questionnaires returned by parents, and questionnaire responses from staff and pupils.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
The school serves an area of mixed residential housing on the southern edge of Bristol. Around a third of pupils are entitled to free school meals, a figure which has risen markedly over the last two years. A similarly high proportion of pupils has special educational needs and/or disabilities, mostly with moderate learning difficulties or behavioural, emotional or social needs. Most pupils are White British, and no pupil is at an early stage of speaking English as an additional language.
In 2007, the school entered into a 'hard federation' with the adjoining infant school, and now both schools share the same senior management team and governing body. The school has won a number of awards for its provision, including the International Schools, Healthy Schools, Investors in People and Artsmark Silver awards, and the Basic Skills Quality Mark. A breakfast club is provided on site for pupils from eight o'clock each morning.
|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
In accordance with section 13 (3) of the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires significant improvement, because it is performing significantly less well than in all the circumstances it could reasonably be expected to perform. The school is therefore given a notice to improve. Significant improvement is required in relation to pupils' achievement and attendance.
Taken overall, attainment has been low over time and has fluctuated considerably since the last inspection. A marked rise in attainment in English and mathematics in the Year 6 national tests in 2009 was not matched by improvement in science, where results continued to depress the overall picture. Although there have been considerable weaknesses in pupils' academic progress in recent years, the learning and progress of current cohorts are satisfactory. There is not, however, enough consistently good learning to improve attainment securely and quickly in all areas. Pupils' achievement, while improving, is inadequate. The drive to raise achievement is hampered by pupils' poor attendance. The school has been very successful in halving the number of persistent absentees through its work in liaison with families. Too many pupils, however, are taken out of school by their parents for term-time holidays. Low attainment and weak attendance do not prepare pupils adequately for later life. Pupils do, however, develop effective skills of leadership and working with others, and are encouraged to make a good contribution to school activities and activities in the wider community.
The school offers a welcoming environment with vibrant displays of pupils' work. Pupils feel very safe, and they and their parents speak warmly of the good care, guidance and support they receive from staff. 'I like it at this school because they care about things,' wrote one pupil, typical of others. Support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is well organised and managed, and skilled teaching assistants ensure that these pupils make at least sound progress. Teaching is satisfactory, and teachers are particularly adept at using a good range of resources, including information and communication technology to organise activities which stimulate pupils' interests. Teachers manage their classes well, so that pupils' behaviour is generally good. However, the pace of pupils' learning is slowed in a significant minority of lessons by the teacher taking too long to introduce the activity, or by tasks which are not adapted well enough to offer suitable challenge to the wide range of abilities in the class. Other than in English, pupils' targets and the success criteria to which they work are too broad to ensure that pupils are always offered specific enough challenge and guidance about how to improve. Within a satisfactory curriculum, the school offers a strong programme of enrichment activities which stimulates wide-ranging interests among pupils across sport, music and the arts. A strong international dimension to the curriculum has a very positive effect on pupils' good spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Leaders and managers at all levels have not made sharp enough use of performance data from assessments of pupils' attainment and progress to inform their evaluation of the quality of the school's work. As a consequence, the school's self-evaluation has not identified precisely enough the key priorities on which the school needs to focus, particularly on achievement and attendance. Such priorities have become submerged among more routine developments. However, despite their lack of prominence in the school development plan, these key priorities have not been ignored, and positive action has been taken, including the introduction of a science curriculum which is enabling pupils to make better progress across all year groups. Responsibility for improvement in performance has been widely and effectively distributed across senior and middle leaders, and staff collaborate well in developing their practice. Significant improvements in English and mathematics results, and reductions in persistent absenteeism provide firm evidence of the school's satisfactory capacity to improve.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Pupils join the school with broadly average attainment, although a relatively small number arrive having reached the highest levels of attainment in their end of Key Stage 1 assessments. In recent years pupils have been leaving the school with below average standards, confirming weaknesses in their progress. Year 6 national test results in 2009 showed a much improved picture, particularly for English and mathematics, and indicated that higher attaining pupils, progress for whom was a key issue at the last inspection, made securely sound progress. Indeed in English the proportion that attained the higher Level 5 was close to the national average. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities also showed satisfactory progress. There was, however, some underachievement for pupils in the middle and lower ability range, especially boys and those entitled to free school meals. This picture is still evident in the classrooms. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities receive much focused support in class and when withdrawn for small-group work, and benefit from regular reinforcement of basic literacy and numeracy rules and skills. Higher-attaining pupils in particular respond well to challenges, for example, to demonstrate their own richness of language in telling the story of Romeo and Juliet. However, in a minority of lessons not enough is asked of lower- and middle-attaining pupils and they are content to take easier and safer options rather than have a go at dealing with more demanding concepts.
Pupils' good behaviour contributes well to sound learning in the classroom and to pupils' safety and well-being. Relationships between pupils are good, and pupils and their parents have much confidence that staff will swiftly resolve any problems, including the rare incidents of bullying. Pupils are enthusiastic participants in the wide range of activities offered to them by the school, and readily take on positions of responsibility, such as sports leaders for the infant school and school councillors. They have a good awareness of how to live and eat healthily.
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
Lessons are typically well resourced and managed to offer a wide variety of approaches. There is, however, in a significant minority of lessons, too much focus on what the teacher is delivering rather than on checking what the pupils are learning. This can allow some groups, especially those in the middle of the attainment range, to make slower progress. Pupils are frequently encouraged to work collaboratively and do so responsibly and effectively, including in assessing and evaluating each other's work. Teachers' marking of pupils' work is variable. In English, marking is often of a high quality, as pupils' progress through clear success criteria is acknowledged and comments identify how work can be improved to reach a higher standard. This process is not as consistent and helpful in other subjects.
Teachers plan collaboratively to create a curriculum which offers satisfactory development of pupils' skills and understanding. In science, while lessons do not always build quickly enough on pupils' learning in previous lessons, the new curriculum is developing knowledge and skills more securely across all year groups. In Year 4, for example, much of the term's work has developed pupils' investigative skills so that they understand a fair test and are able to apply different forms of measurement. The school's strong programme of enrichment activities makes a good contribution to pupils' personal and cultural development. All pupils are encouraged to participate at some stage in, for example, choral singing or music groups such as the wind band. A demonstration by the 'circus skills' group in a celebration assembly showed pupils with not only balance and poise but also much determination and resilience. The school's federation with the adjoining infant school has led to much closer collaboration between teachers to plan a curriculum which offers smoother transition for pupils from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2.
The care for vulnerable pupils and those pupils needing additional support is well managed by an effective team including the special educational needs coordinator, the learning mentor and the family link worker. They have been effective in developing links with parents, drawing on the support of external agencies, and building capacity within the school to support pupils with a range of needs. Improving attendance has an appropriately high profile in the school. Effective work is undertaken directly with the families of the worst attenders to reduce their absence, and the school recognises that increasing the number of pupils identified for this targeted intervention would help to improve attendance further.
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 school's federation with its neighbouring infant school has imposed considerable demands on the headteacher and governors as they have divided their time and attention between the schools and worked to develop common systems across both establishments. They have nonetheless continued to ensure that statutory duties are fulfilled and that the school continues to move forward in key areas, particularly in developing the personal qualities of its pupils. Senior leaders have ensured that leadership is widely distributed among staff, so that subject leaders play a wide role in monitoring and developing performance in their subjects. Staff are encouraged to support each other well through peer coaching and individual contributions to staff training. 'I am proud to be part of a hard-working staff who always strive to raise standards in all areas of school life,' wrote one teacher, reflecting the views of others. Parents too have a high level of satisfaction with the school, and especially praise the helpfulness and accessibility of the staff. Governors know the school well because many are regular visitors and have involvement in school activities. Across all stakeholders, there is clearly much ambition for the school. The drive for improvement has, however, been constrained at all levels by weaknesses in the use of performance data to hold the school to account. This has led to a lack of sharpness of focus in school self-evaluation, and a tendency to rate the quality of provision, including teaching, too highly in spite of weaknesses in pupils' achievement. Rightly, the school has recognised the need to improve in this area and set a target for all staff to improve their use of performance data in self-evaluation. Since overall achievement and attendance are inadequate, the school is also judged to offer inadequate value for money.
The school takes its role in promoting community cohesion very seriously. Based on a comprehensive evaluation of the context and backgrounds of its pupils, it has forged meaningful links with schools both nationally and internationally, so that its pupils can develop a good understanding of other cultures, faiths and socio-economic circumstances. Allied to this is the school's determined stance to challenge racism and other forms of discrimination through it personal, social and health education programme and wider activities. Its policies to promote equality of opportunity are sound. While it has worked successfully to promote better progress for higher attainers, its monitoring of pupils' progress has not always been sharp enough to close all gaps in achievement. Procedures to promote the safeguarding and well-being of pupils were rigorous and robust at the time of the inspection.
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||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||4|
Parents and carers have a generally very positive view of the school. They particularly value the support given to their children by the friendly and accessible staff. 'I could not ask for more from the teachers and staff,' wrote one parent. They also value efforts made to improve communications with parents, such as through the use of text messaging and the creation of the parents' council. One parent wrote to say that 'there is excellent contact from the school to parents,' a comment reflected in most of the informal discussions between inspectors and parents on the playground. Among the fairly low number of parent questionnaire returns, there were few individual concerns, and none that presented a pattern. Two parents questioned the approachability of the headteacher, but most parents were of the view that school staff in general are readily available to help.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Perry Court 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 40 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 202 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||18||45||21||53||1||2||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||19||48||21||52||0||0||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||16||40||23||57||0||0||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||15||38||25||62||0||0||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||21||53||18||45||0||0||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||17||43||21||52||1||2||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||19||48||20||50||0||0||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)||17||43||20||50||2||5||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||14||35||25||63||0||0||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||14||35||21||53||3||7||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||14||35||21||53||3||7||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||16||40||21||53||1||2||1||2|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||19||48||19||48||1||2||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.
10 December 2009
Inspection of Perry Court Junior School, Bristol BS14 0AX
Thank you for the welcome you gave to me and my colleagues when we visited the school for its recent inspection, and for your response to our questionnaires. We much enjoyed talking with you and seeing so many of you involved in such a variety of activities in the run-up to Christmas, including the breathtaking display by the circus skills performers.
Year 6 test results have been low in the school for some time. While you are now making satisfactory progress, we have judged that the standards are not rising quickly enough. This is not helped by the poor attendance of some pupils. If you are not in school you cannot learn properly. We have issued the school with a notice to improve pupils' achievement and attendance. This means that inspectors will visit the school to monitor how successful the school is in taking action to improve in these areas.
The school works effectively to develop your personal qualities. Your good behaviour helps everyone to feel safe and to play a full part in the many activities in and outside lessons. You work well together, and many of you willingly take responsibilities for leading others when solving problems. You are developing a good awareness of what it is like to live in other communities around the country and the globe through your national and international links with other schools.
While the school is soundly led and managed and you receive satisfactory teaching, we have asked the school to improve in the following ways:
You can all help by working hard and attending regularly. I wish you every success.
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org.|