The inspection was carried out by four Additional Inspectors.
Description of the school
The school is much larger than average and serves a relatively affluent area. The vast majority of pupils come from a variety of ethnic minority backgrounds. Eighty six percent of pupils have English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is low. The proportion of pupils identified with learning difficulties is lower than average, but the percentage with a statement of educational need is higher than nationally. The school was formed by the amalgamation of the separate infant and junior schools in September 2006. The school is designated to have a Children's Centre from September 2008. The school has gained the FMSiS standard for financial management, Activemark and Artsmark.
Overall effectiveness of the school
Redbridge Primary is a good school. The vast majority of parents agree and write about how they are, 'happy that our children are receiving a good education'. The outstanding work of the headteacher and her senior team has ensured that a seamless transition took place when the infant and junior schools were amalgamated in September 2006. They quickly got to grips with the creation of a successful primary school. Middle managers provide clear direction for others and provide action plans in order to raise standards. Because many middle managers are new to post, the school has recognised the need to increase their independence and influence within their own areas of responsibility. Governors involve themselves well in the life of the school and are supportive. Therefore, overall, leadership and management are good and there is good capacity for further improvement.
Pupils are cared for, guided and supported extremely well. This results in the outstanding personal development and well-being of pupils. The school focuses on developing and nurturing every single child as an individual. This is encapsulated in the words of one parent 'There is no invisible child in this school'. Academic guidance is exemplary. Teachers mark books diligently and take time to write informative and helpful comments on pupils' work. Pupils say that this enables them to make improvements. The headteacher takes the time to look at every pupil's book and adds her own comments as well. This is really appreciated by the pupils and encourages them to aspire even higher.
Pupils achieve significantly above average standards and make good progress during their time at the school. Children enter the Nursery with below average skills and leave at the end of Year 6 with significantly above average standards overall. Pupils do particularly well in English and mathematics but progress is not as good in science and standards are not as high. Pupils have high levels of expertise in information and communication technology (ICT) and this is given a high profile across the school. As a result ICT is used well to support learning in other subjects such as health education, science, geography and literacy. This style of cross-curricular working is a particular strength of the good curriculum. Extensive displays situated around the school demonstrate the pupils' high abilities in art. They enjoy the trips and visits organised by the school and the after school clubs the school offers.
Teaching is good overall because teachers use electronic whiteboards particularly well. They are confident and enhance pupils' learning through the use of the internet and interactive programmes. Teachers provide a variety of stimulating activities for pupils to participate in and enjoy. However, they do not always ensure that pupils are given sufficient time to work independently and to talk about their findings. Pupils are extremely well behaved and show enjoyment in their learning. They show a keen awareness of health and safety. The importance of making healthy eating choices and taking regular exercise is clearly understood. Pupils choose to eat salad, fruit and other healthy options at lunchtimes. They contribute effectively to the school and wider community by raising money for charity and by entertaining members of the local old people's home.
Effectiveness of the Foundation Stage
Children's attainment on entry to the Nursery is below that expected nationally especially in language and literacy and in personal and social development. However, because the school helps them to settle into life in the Nursery quickly, progress in the Foundation Stage is good. Staff know the children thoroughly and teach them well. Children are offered many interesting, stimulating activities to participate in because the curriculum is well planned. For example, children are able to plant their own gardens. They are able to gain an increasingly good understanding of how to apply their knowledge and skills in different areas of learning. Staff make regular observations of children's progress to ensure that tasks are well matched to their abilities. This results in good skill development in mathematics, writing and ICT. For example, children are able to log in, use a paint programme and save work independently. They thrive and learn in a secure, happy environment.
What the school should do to improve further
- Raise achievement in science to match that attained in English and mathematics.
- Provide more opportunity for pupils to learn independently and to talk about what they have found out.
Achievement and standards
Pupils' achievement is good. Children begin school with below average skills and, by the time they begin Year 1, most have reached the goals expected of them. By the end of Year 2, standards are significantly above average in reading, writing and mathematics. Considering the starting points of many pupils, this represents excellent progress. Pupils achieve particularly well in mathematics with a significant proportion reaching the higher level 3. Throughout Years 3 to 6 pupils continue to achieve well and reach significantly above average standards in English and mathematics. More able pupils perform particularly well at the higher level 5 in these subjects. Standards in science are average. The rate of pupils' progress was amongst the top 16% of schools nationally overall. The school has set itself increasingly demanding targets and its own tracking data indicate that pupils are on course to meet these high targets in this year's national tests. Pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities and those with English as an additional language achieve well. Boys do not achieve as well as girls. This is attributable to the high proportion of boys born in the summer and to the significant percentage of boys who join the school in Years 5 and 6. The school has already put in intensive support to remedy this.
Personal development and well-being
Personal development is outstanding and makes a significant contribution to the progress pupils make in all aspects of school life. Pupils from a range of cultures work and play together well, enjoy their education and are happy and proud members of the school community. Attendance levels have risen significantly in recent years, thanks to the effective measures the school uses to follow up absences and are now currently above the national average.
Pupils develop into mature young people by the time they leave because, as one pupil said, 'The school encourages us to be ourselves.' Pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. Pupils know right from wrong and the rich and varied cultural backgrounds of pupils are visibly celebrated. Pupils are considerate and friendly. They feel safe, saying very little bullying occurs. If they have a problem they know who to turn to and are confident to use the 'worry box' to voice any anxieties. Pupils have an excellent awareness of safe practices and play and work together well. Pupils develop a good awareness of healthy lifestyles and they greatly enjoy the school's healthy lunchtime menu and the free fruit scheme.
Pupils' opinions on important matters are actively sought through the school council and their views have made a difference, for example they have contributed imaginative ideas on how to improve their playground. They readily accept responsibilities and older pupils eagerly support younger pupils through the 'buddie' programme. Pupils take a lead on organising a variety of sponsored charity events and have raised considerable amounts of money for their chosen causes. They are extremely well prepared for their future lives and the next stages in their education.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Teaching and learning are good. Typically, teachers are knowledgeable and classrooms are well-ordered and calm. Lessons are under-pinned by excellent relationships, mutual respect, humour and warmth. Teachers are good at telling pupils exactly what they are expected to do in lessons and this helps them make sense of their learning. In most lessons, pupils experience a range of approaches and this helps to sustain their interest, so that they quickly acquire new knowledge and skills. Sustained challenge and high expectations enable pupils to achieve well over time. Pupils learn best when the teaching is lively and tasks and concepts are clearly explained. Carefully designed activities challenge the pupils to learn at a swift pace. In an outstanding Year 3 design and technology lesson the sheer joy and total engagement of the pupils reflected the boundless enthusiasm of the teacher. Pupils are very clear about their subject targets and teachers support pupils well to reach their goals.
In a small minority of lessons teachers sometimes talk too much which limits the time pupils are actively and independently learning. This results in slower progress and less time to articulate what they have learnt. Sometimes work does not provide sufficient levels of challenge for pupils of all abilities.
Curriculum and other activities
The good curriculum contributes positively to pupils' enjoyment of their learning, excellent behaviour and personal development. Carefully planned themes with strong links between subjects ensure that learning is meaningful and fun. There is an emphasis on celebrating creativity, multi-cultural and cultural aspects in school. As a result pupils value the diversity of their community and makes a good contribution to pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural education. High quality display ensures that the learning environment remains stimulating and motivates learners. The development of basic skills is a particular focus of the schools' work. Good provision for ICT has a good impact on the standards pupils achieve. Visits and visitors significantly enhance pupils' understanding of the wider world. The range of after school clubs is satisfactory and breakfast and after school clubs add positively to the opportunities for sport and leisure.
Care, guidance and support
Care, guidance and support are outstanding because of the high level of commitment from all staff which ensures pupils well-being is promoted very well. Arrangements for health and safety are excellent. Procedures for safeguarding pupils' welfare are robust and regularly reviewed. The school works well with other agencies to maximise pupil achievement and has successfully worked with parents to improve attendance and punctuation. Academic guidance is a real strength. Vulnerable learners and those at risk of underachieving are identified early and highly effective strategies are put in place to support them. Careful monitoring enables these pupils to reach their challenging targets. Pupils know their targets and understand what they need to do to achieve them. Marking is excellent and rigorously monitored by the headteacher. It is thorough and teachers write detailed comments on how pupils may improve their work.
Leadership and management
The excellent leadership of the headteacher and senior team has effectively focused the staff on raising standards and meeting pupils' needs. They have a true understanding of the school's strengths and weaknesses and a clear strategy for bringing about future improvement. Middle management is good and improving. Most middle managers are new to their responsibility but are beginning to grasp what they need to do to fulfil their roles even more effectively. They are pro-active in implementing action plans and support and help is provided as necessary. Because senior leaders lead by example this contributes to the developing confidence of subject and phase leaders. The leadership team rigorously monitor all areas of the school's work and this results in improvements to teaching, learning and the standards achieved by learners. The pupils are at the heart of all decision making and all of them are fully included in all that the school does. The impact the school has had on improving behaviour, values and attitudes since the amalgamation is impressive. Governors are now beginning to hold the school to account well for its work.