Ryelands Primary School
Headteacher: Ms Carmel Dolan
442 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||101732|
|Inspection dates||28–29 April 2009|
|Reporting inspector||George Rayner|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
The registered childcare, managed by the governing body, was inspected under section 49 of the Childcare Act 2006.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number on roll|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr Norman Gooding|
|Headteacher||Ms Carmel Dolan|
|Date of previous school inspection||17 November 2005|
Date of previous funded early education|
|Not previously inspected|
|Date of previous childcare inspection||Not previously inspected|
|School address||Albert Road|
|Telephone number||020 8656 4165|
|Fax number||020 8654 5036|
|Inspection dates||28–29 April 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
The inspection was carried out by three Additional Inspectors.
This school is larger than most primary schools. The majority of pupils come from minority ethnic groups, with Black African and Caribbean communities the most strongly represented. Few are at an early stage of learning to speak English. The proportion of pupils who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities is above average. The most common needs of these pupils are in developing speech, language and communication skills and in behavioural, emotional and social aspects. The proportion of pupils entitled to free school meals is markedly above average. Due mainly to local population changes, movement of pupils into and out of the school other than at the usual ages is considerably higher than in most schools. This is most pronounced in Years 5 and 6 where, typically, about a third of pupils are recently arrived. The school makes Early Years Foundation Stage provision in one Nursery and two Reception classes.
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is a good school. Parents agree. They say that their children learn well here and that they really enjoy school. One summed this up by commenting that her son, '... adores school and is up every morning waiting to go'.
Whether arriving in the Nursery, or one of the later years, pupils' attainment on entry is below the levels expected for their age. They achieve well. In Years 1 and 2, where the population is most stable, they make good progress in reading, writing and mathematics and, by the end of Year 2, their standards comfortably reach average levels in each subject. This is a marked improvement since the last inspection, and is due to recent improvements to teaching and learning. The full impact of this better start is not yet apparent in Years 3 to 6. Another factor affecting this is that, due mainly to local population changes, only a minority of pupils remain in the school throughout the primary years. This instability is particularly high in Years 3 to 6. It particularly affected Year 6 in 2008, due to absorbing pupils from a school that closed. The school's assessment records, whose validity was confirmed by the evidence during inspection, show that those pupils who remain in the school from Reception to Year 6 achieve well. Those who arrive later also make good progress while they are in the school, even though many have limited time in which to catch up. This results in pupils' standards at the end of Year 6 improving to broadly average levels in English and mathematics. However, standards remain below average in science because, while satisfactory, progress is slower in this subject.
Pupils' good progress is due to good teaching and learning and a good curriculum. Some lessons are very good and a few are even better. The leaders have accurately identified, however, that the quality is not consistent. For example, while teachers usually use assessment well to ensure that work is manageable and challenging for all pupils, this is not always so. Occasionally, challenges for the most able pupils are not high enough, so that their progress temporarily slows. Leaders have developed strategies, for example for teachers to share good practice, to tackle this. Care, guidance and support are good, as are pupils' personal development and well-being. Parents commented on how well, in spite of its size, the school provides a real family community. Pupils say that they enjoy school. They demonstrate this through their good behaviour, happy demeanour and willingness to be involved in all that the school offers. Pupils demonstrate a good understanding of healthy lifestyles and are helped in their choices by the school's focus on healthy meals and staying fit.
Leadership and management are good. Staff, parents and governors express great confidence in the headteacher's leadership. Realistic and self-critical evaluation has given leaders an accurate view of the school's strengths and areas needing improvement. They have been effective in securing improvement since the last inspection, by maintaining the strengths identified then and achieving some important improvements in other areas, most notably in Year 2 standards. This track record demonstrates a good capacity to improve.
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Children make good progress so that, by the time they enter Year 1, most are beginning to reach expected levels of literacy and numeracy. Children make good strides in their personal development, because clear systems and high expectations nurture their confidence and help them to take responsibility for their actions. Children get on very well together and have positive relationships with adults. Outstanding welfare provision ensures children are very safe and have a clear understanding of how to look after themselves and treat one another. The indoor and outdoor areas are stimulating and well organised. Good teaching provides a range of exciting and worthwhile tasks, many based upon everyday experiences. For example, the 'flower shop' helps children develop mathematical skills through role play. As a result, the atmosphere is one of busy engagement where children are fully involved. Provision has some very good elements, but is not fully consistent. For example, in literacy, children work in groups with others of similar ability, which is proving beneficial in moving them forward, so that progress is particularly rapid in this, but this practice is not extended to numeracy. Leaders set a good example for colleagues. Following a recent change in leadership, some activities, such as those for monitoring the work of colleagues, are not yet fully in place, but are developing well.
Achievement and standards
Pupils achieve well and their overall standards by the end of Year 6 are broadly average. Progress is best in English. Pupils are able to write confidently in a range of styles to suit particular purposes, for example when discussing how valuable homework is. Standards are a little lower in mathematics, but most pupils are catching up well and almost reaching average standards in developing skills and using these to solve problems. Progress is only satisfactory in science, and standards remain below average. Many pupils develop sound knowledge in this subject, but most find it difficult to use this to find things out through their own investigations. The pupils who find it more difficult than most to concentrate, or to develop language skills, make as much progress as their classmates. This is because their needs are carefully identified and effectively met.
Personal development and well-being
Pupils say learning is fun and value the understanding approach of their teachers. Most are eager to be in school although this is not reflected in attendance, which is satisfactory. This is because, in spite of the school's best efforts to tackle this, a small number are absent too often. Pupils get on with each other harmoniously and value their friendships. They feel confident they know who to speak to if they have a problem. Pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good. They reflect upon their actions and work cooperatively together, especially when exchanging ideas with 'talking partners'. They recognise the needs of others and even some of the youngest offer thoughtful observations on the differences between people. Pupils participate enthusiastically in a variety of programmes designed to help them keep safe, such as cycling proficiency. School councillors take their roles very seriously. Others take on responsibility as house captains, playground leaders and classroom monitors. Willing involvement in fundraising activities shows pupils' awareness of the needs of others beyond the immediate locality. Pupils' good progress in most subjects prepares them well for their futures.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
In most lessons, teachers' enthusiasm and encouraging approach generate good relationships, so that pupils are willing workers. Teachers often use assessment well to ensure that work is manageable for all and those who need extra challenges have these. However, this is not always the case. In many lessons, group work is used well to encourage pupils to work together on interesting and challenging tasks. This was seen in a Year 6 mathematics lesson, where pupils thoroughly enjoyed sharing their ideas to create hypotheses on, for example, the number of seconds between the millennium and certain dates, then making calculations to test these. Teachers and teaching assistants work together effectively to ensure that any pupils needing extra help to keep up with the pace of work receive this. Although strengths are seen in many lessons, this is not consistent. For example, while time is generally used well, in a few lessons, too long is spent on some activities, so that the pace of learning is reduced.
Curriculum and other activities
Well-planned programmes for personal and social education, and for physical activity, contribute well to pupils' personal development. Although the number of computers is lower than in most school of this size, these are used well to give pupils frequent opportunities to develop their skills and enhance their work in other subjects. All pupils learn Spanish and say they particularly enjoy this. The science curriculum in Years 1 and 2 has recently been improved to provide some good opportunities for pupils to use their own imaginations to find things out, for example in the country park next to the school. However, opportunities for independent scientific investigation are not extensive enough in Years 3 to 6 and leaders are working to improve this. Good enrichment includes a wide range of stimulating visits and well-attended clubs, which provide enjoyable ways for pupils to build on what they have learned in the classroom. The breakfast club provides a lively start to the day for the many pupils who attend. One busy girl said, 'Its great, its fun, its really good!'
Care, guidance and support
The school effectively meets all requirements for safeguarding pupils. Their needs are carefully identified and procedures ensure these are fully met. A very caring climate ensures that pupils feel safe and develop confidence. This is particularly beneficial in helping pupils who arrive from other schools to settle in quickly and happily. The school makes very good use of links with other organisations to enhance its own care. For example, involvement in the local schools cluster provides valuable resources for aiding vulnerable pupils and their families. An excellent art therapy programme has helped pupils with emotional difficulties to develop a calm approach to life. Systems for tracking pupils' progress are very well organised and are used effectively to provide additional help for pupils who are falling behind their expected progress. Although teachers often use marking well to guide their pupils on how to improve, this is not consistent and pupils are not always clear about their targets.
Leadership and management
The headteacher, ably supported by the deputy headteacher, provides a clear direction for colleagues. There is considerable unity of purpose throughout the school. Since the last inspection, staff working at middle levels, such as subject leaders, have become more involved in monitoring the quality of their areas of responsibility, for example by observing lessons, and using this to guide their colleagues on how to improve their practice. This is particularly so in English and mathematics, but is not as strong in all subjects. Governors say that the school's leaders provide them with good information about the school's performance. They use this well to ask challenging questions, for example to satisfy themselves that targets are challenging yet achievable. The school provides well for community cohesion. Leaders ensure that pupils become aware of contrasts in their own and wider communities. They make effective use of the rich diversity within the school's own population and links with other organisations. During the inspection, Year 5 visited a local, but contextually different, school for a joint history activity. Leaders are currently evaluating provision to ensure that opportunities are equally effective in all years.
|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?||2|
|The capacity to make any necessary improvements||2|
|How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the EYFS?||2|
|How well do children in the EYFS achieve?||2|
|How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the children?||2|
|How effectively are children in the EYFS helped to learn and develop?||2|
|How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted?||1|
|How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed?||2|
|How well do learners achieve?||2|
|The standards¹ reached by learners||3|
|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?||2|
|The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||2|
|The extent to which learners enjoy their education||2|
|The attendance of learners||3|
|The behaviour of learners||2|
|The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community||2|
|How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being||2|
|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?||2|
|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?||2|
|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|
13 May 2009
Inspection of Ryelands Primary School,South Norwood,SE25 4QL
Thank you for welcoming the inspectors to your school recently. We enjoyed meeting you. We are grateful for the help you gave, by talking to us and showing us your work. We were able to see that yours is a good school.
You make good progress from your starting points. This helps you to reach standards that are similar to those in most schools. This is becoming even better in Years 1 and 2, because your standards are starting to be even higher than in many schools. Many of you start at the school after Year 2. This gives you less time to catch up but, however long you are in the school, you all make good progress. This is strongest in English. We really enjoyed reading some of the exciting things that you have written. You also make good progress in science in Years 1 and 2, but this is not so good in Years 3 to 6. The adults know that this is because they need to give you more chances to practise finding things out for yourself. They are going to improve this and we have asked them to do so as soon as possible.
You are well taught. Some lessons are very good indeed. Some others are not quite as good. We have asked the adults to make all lessons as good as the best ones. Some of you told us that you really enjoy school and some of your parents said it is like a big family. We could see that you are very happy. You help your teachers a lot, because you are so cheerful, work hard and join in with things very well. Most of you come to school regularly. A few are absent too often though, which makes it harder to do well. You can help your teachers even more by only being off school if you really have to.
Your headteacher and the other adults know how to make your school even better. We know that you will continue to help them to do this. Well done to you all and very best wishes for the future.