The inspection was carried out by three Additional Inspectors.
Description of the school
The school is larger than most primary schools nationally and is in an area that is broadly typical in terms of social and economic disadvantage. The proportion of pupils who claim a free school meal is similar to the national average. Fewer pupils than nationally have learning difficulties. The proportion of pupils with a statement of special educational need is also lower than average. There is a very small proportion of minority ethnic pupils but none are at an early stage of learning English.
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is a good school with outstanding features in the curriculum and in the care, guidance and support that it provides for pupils. As a result, pupils’ personal development and well-being are excellent. Pupils enjoy school, feel safe and know how to be healthy. They use every opportunity to play their part in the life of the school and are confident that the knowledge and skills gained will serve them well in the future. One parent summed up the views expressed by many: ’Rose Wood is a very happy school where everybody is treated with the same respect. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this school to anyone.’
Good provision for the Foundation Stage children ensures that they make good overall progress from quite low starting points. They make particularly good progress in their personal, social and emotional development because of good teaching. Most children reach the nationally agreed early learning goals by the time they enter Year 1. Good teaching continues in Key Stage 1 and 2 and is underpinned by an outstanding curriculum. Pupils make good overall progress but it is variable. Overall standards are above average. There are two reasons for the inconsistency in pupils’ progress. When the teachers mark pupils’ work their comments do not always show the pupils how to improve, and pupils’ work is not always set at the right level in all parts of the lesson. Pupils with learning difficulties make good progress and there are no significant differences in the achievement of boys and girls.
The high-quality displays of pupils’ artwork around the school, and the musical and gymnastic talent testify to the excellent enrichment provided for pupils’ learning. Outstanding care and support are provided throughout the school. Pupils receive very good academic guidance and are increasingly involved in assessing their own learning. The school ensures that all pupils, including the most vulnerable and those with learning difficulties and disabilities, are fully included in all it provides.
Good leadership and management are central to the school's successes. The headteacher provides a clear direction for raising standards and ensuring pupils’ well-being. The school’s own evaluation of its effectiveness is rigorous and the school makes particularly good use of analyses of national test results to identify strengths and weaknesses and to plan for improvements. Action to improve pupils’ writing is proving successful and standards are rising. Revised procedures for checking pupils' progress are leading to effective identification of those who need extra help in their learning. However, the use of this performance data to set targets is less effective. This means that expectations of what pupils should achieve each year are not challenging enough to ensure consistently good progress. As a result, pupils have to make up ground in Year 6 in order to maintain good standards.
The school has addressed the issue raised at the last inspection effectively and standards have risen. This, together with many other improvements, indicates that the school provides good value for money and has a good capacity to improve further.
What the school should do to improve further
- Ensure that work set for pupils always matches their abilities.
- Ensure that the marking of pupils’ work shows them more consistently how they can improve.
Achievement and standards
Pupils’ achievement is good and standards are above the national average. Children’s abilities are wide-ranging when they begin the Nursery but overall are below those typical for their age. Immature speech and social skills are often barriers to learning. Owing to good teaching, these are quickly overcome and children make good progress. As a result, most reach the nationally agreed early learning goals by the time they enter Year 1.
Although pupils achieve well and consistently attain above average standards at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2, progress from year to year is variable. As a result, the national tests for Year 6 in 2005 and 2006 showed that some pupils did not reach the standards of which they were capable in writing and mathematics. Owing to a very effective analysis of performance data, the school has identified what the problem is and introduced a range of strategies to raise standards in writing and mathematics. Inspection evidence indicates that in writing these are proving to be very effective and pupils are now making consistently good progress. In mathematics, the picture is mixed and pupils’ progress ranges from satisfactory to good. Consequently, although pupils in Year 6 are making good progress, some have a lot of ground to make up to reach the school’s targets for mathematics. During the inspection, the lessons seen and pupils' work showed that pupils with learning difficulties make the same good progress as their peers and that there are no significant differences in the achievement of boys and girls.
Personal development and well-being
Pupils’ personal development and well-being are outstanding. Pupils are clear about the impact the school makes on their lives. One pupil said, ‘We leave here as mature, well-mannered and responsible children, proud of where we’ve come from.’ Pupils love coming to school and make the most of all that it offers. Their behaviour is excellent and they feel safe, valued and listened to. They want to improve their work and try hard. One pupil said, ‘We really get involved in our lessons.’ Consequently, nearly all pupils are punctual and rarely miss school and the rate of attendance is above the national average and improving. Pupils understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle and take a full part in the school’s many sporting clubs and events. The school cook and nurse help them to understand the importance of a good diet and the school holds the Healthy School Award.
Pupils’ spiritual, social, moral and cultural development is excellent. They learn to think about their own place in the world and acquire an understanding of the lives of those different to themselves. They show consideration for each other and friendly respect for visitors and staff. They have lots of opportunities to take responsibility and respond well to them and the school council provides a formal channel for suggestions for improvements. Pupils are enthusiastic organisers for several charities. Because the school aims high for both academic standards and pupils’ personal qualities, pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Teaching and learning are good. At its best, teaching is lively and exciting. Teachers use explicit learning objectives and explanations to clarify pupils' understanding of the purpose and content of lessons. This motivates pupils to do their best and develops their ability to think for themselves and work independently. These features of lessons, combined with consistently high expectations of politeness and consideration for others, result in high standards of work and behaviour. The teachers' supportive marking of work celebrates pupils' successful achievement of their own targets and the intended outcomes of lessons but does not consistently show pupils how to improve.
Owing to improvements in the school’s tracking systems, the teachers now have a better understanding of what pupils already know and can do. However, this information is not yet used consistently well to plan pupils’ next steps in learning and means that the expectations of what pupils can achieve are not always high enough. Therefore, there are times, particularly in mathematics, when pupils find their work either too easy or too difficult. This is one of the reasons why the pupils’ progress is variable and, as a result, a few of the Year 6 pupils do not reach the standards of which they are capable.
Curriculum and other activities
The curriculum is outstanding because it is effectively adapted to offer a rich variety of activities to meet the needs and interests of all pupils. The provision for improving pupils’ literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT) skills is good, for example, the school’s ‘sentence of the week’, which has led to significant improvements in writing. Pupils also practise writing in other subjects to develop their literacy skills further. One class enjoyed using digital photography as a stimulus for some excellent writing. A wide range of enrichment activities, including visits and visitors, make an excellent contribution to pupils’ safe and healthy lifestyles. Very good provision for pupils’ personal, social and health education gives them opportunities to learn about their own and others’ feelings and relationships. After-school clubs enable pupils to develop their special interests and talents. The gymnastics club not only enters national competitions but wins them. Pupils’ artwork is of a very high standard and pupils use a variety of media and techniques. Older pupils practise problem-solving and team-building skills during residential trips, developing their self-confidence and providing them with invaluable experiences for their future economic well-being.
Care, guidance and support
Document reference number: HMI 2507 01 September 2006Inspection Report:Rose Wood Primary School, 01–02 February 20072Document reference number: HMI 2507 01 September 2006Care, guidance and support are outstanding and contribute exceptionally well to pupils’ achievement, enjoyment and well-being. Pupils are consistently praised for their achievements, develop good attitudes, and grow in confidence and self-belief. Support for pupils' academic progress is very good. In lessons, teachers are readily available to help and pupils are also encouraged to take responsibility for their own progress. The school uses national test data to show what needs to be improved and to set the school’s statutory targets for Year 6.
Teaching assistants and the learning mentor are deployed very effectively to support pupils’ personal and learning needs. This is particularly effective for those pupils with learning difficulties. There are strong links with parents and a range of local agencies to meet the needs of the most vulnerable pupils. Pupils and parents agree that children are looked after very well. Safeguarding systems meet national guidelines. Child protection and risk assessments are in place to ensure the health and safety of children.
Leadership and management
Leadership and management are good. The headteacher provides very clear direction for improvement and inspires the confidence of pupils, staff and parents. Under her leadership, the school’s provision for learning is constantly reviewed and improved. Staff willingly follow her lead in removing barriers to learning and in providing the highest quality care for pupils so they feel safe, secure and happy in school. The governing body discharges its responsibilities well and is effective in holding the school to account.
The school has an accurate view of its effectiveness because of good self-evaluation. Particularly good use is made of information from national tests to analyse where there are areas for improvement and to inform action planning. For example, improvement in writing throughout the school has been rightly identified as a key priority. Action has been taken to achieve this, and standards, particularly at the higher levels, improved in the national tests in 2006.