Seal Primary School, Selsey
- March 31, 2012)
Phone:01243 *** ***
Headteacher: Mrs Linda Reynolds
349 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||125852|
|Local Authority||West Sussex|
|Inspection dates||19–20 May 2009|
|Reporting inspector||David Collard|
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||4–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number on roll|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||30 April 2008|
Date of previous funded early education|
|Not previously inspected|
|Date of previous childcare inspection||Not previously inspected|
|School address||East Street|
|Chichester PO20 0BN|
|Telephone number||01243 602746|
|Fax number||01243 605278|
|Inspection dates||19–20 May 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
The inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors.
This larger-than-average school serves its local community. Most pupils are from a White British heritage. While the proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is broadly average the proportion with statements of special educational needs is low. The school was served with a 'Notice to Improve' in May 2008 because significant improvement was needed in relation to pupils' achievement, teaching, the use of assessment and leadership. There have been a number of senior appointments in the last year. An acting headteacher was appointed in autumn 2008 who subsequently became the substantive headteacher in April 2009. A new deputy headteacher and assistant headteacher have also recently been appointed.
Overall effectiveness of the school
The school provides a satisfactory quality of education. In accordance with section 13 (5) of the Education Act 2005 HMCI is of the opinion that the school no longer requires significant improvement. Underachievement has been significantly reduced, behaviour in and around the school is, as pupils acknowledge, much better and teaching quality has been strengthened. The new headteacher, with the full support of the senior team and other staff, has set a clear direction for further improvement. The very realistic and accurate self-evaluation is focused on making the most important changes, challenging targets have been set and there is already some impact in the outcomes for pupils. The majority, but not all parents, appreciate the improving situation.
Pupils are keen and eager to talk about the positive aspects of their school and have good attitudes to learning. They feel that lessons now make them think harder and that the work they do is more interesting. Pupils are looked after and cared for well. Most behaviour is good and pupils say there is little bullying. A small minority take their disputes from class into the playground but new systems of supervision, rewards and sanctions are said by the pupils to be having a positive impact, a fact supported by the inspection. On her appointment, and in a first effort to unite staff and pupils, the headteacher continued consultation towards gaining national Healthy Schools status. As a result, pupils' understanding of healthy lifestyles is good.
Children start in the Reception classes with broadly similar levels of skills to those expected for their age. By the start of Year 1, they are suitably prepared for more formal work. Pupils' achievement through the rest of the school is satisfactory. In some classes, there is good evidence of significantly increased rates of learning in the core subjects of English and mathematics. Nevertheless it is early days and so standards are still only broadly average for those in Year 6. Teachers feel there is a new sense of purpose. Consequently, while teaching is typically satisfactory, an increasing proportion is good and some has outstanding elements. This is starting to eliminate previous variability. While not yet being consistent in all classes, this, along with the use of assessment information now clearly defines where pupils are making insufficient progress. However, this assessment information is not always used effectively to inform the next steps in the children's learning. As the most pressing and necessary improvements have started to take effect, so the school is moving towards making the satisfactory curriculum more relevant and exciting and there are good plans as to how this will be developed.
The good leadership qualities of the headteacher, along with the senior leadership team, have set common aims so that improvement measures are making a tangible difference. The majority of parents show support for the school, but a significant minority still have concerns. This is partly due to the school not communicating its successes clearly, allowing some disquiet about how well the school is improving. In other individual cases, there is a legacy from past weaknesses within the school. The governing body fulfils its statutory obligations and provides the necessary support and challenge. However, governors do not always focus their efforts on evaluating, analysing and monitoring all the key areas of improvement identified by the previous inspection. By not doing so, they are unable to understand their roles and responsibilities fully. Despite this, the school has come a long way and, from the improvements made so far, can demonstrate a satisfactory capacity to continue to move forward.
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Children achieve satisfactorily and, from the age expected starting points, reach national average standards by the start of Year 1. Teaching is satisfactory overall although there are a number of good elements such as in planning and use of assessment. Consequently, those presently in these classes are doing particularly well in mathematical development as well as personal, social and emotional development. A number of changes to the layout of the Reception classes have provided better learning opportunities and the inside and outside areas provide one continuous learning environment, both of which are supervised well. Incidental learning opportunities are a particularly good feature such as when staff talk to children about what they are playing with in an effort to increase their range of vocabulary or to build up new knowledge. Children are given good opportunities to collaborate and cooperate such as when they were building a den. There has been an increasingly better balance between activities set by the teacher and those initiated by the children. This is all helping to build independence. Computers are also used well to enhance their skills. The satisfactory leadership has an active commitment to raising both the quality of provision and the outcomes for children.
A small proportion of schools whose overall effectiveness is judged satisfactory, but which have areas of underperformance, will receive a monitoring visit by an Ofsted inspector before their next section 5 inspection.
Achievement and standards
Pupils achieve satisfactorily, as recent assessments show an increasingly higher proportion of pupils overcoming their past underachievement. Those in Year 2 reach broadly average standards as do those in Year 6. National test results in 2008 were also at average levels although lower in reading in Year 2. The aspirational but reachable targets set for those presently in Years 2 and 6, if reached, will show an improvement on 2008. Assessments and pupils' work indicate that most older pupils are progressing at rates above those expected. Pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are making similar levels of progress, although with the recently improved identification of their need, support is much better targeted. The school recognises that these positive moves need to be balanced with the minority of pupils who are still capable of achieving more.
Personal development and well-being
In discussion, pupils state that the school is much calmer and that more pupils behave well. They feel that the improved structures have helped them feel safe and secure. Attendance is close to the national average and exclusions are now rare. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding are satisfactory, although the school admits that with the drive to improve academic standards, spiritual and cultural understanding has not been developed as well as it might. Pupils actively participate in many and varied sports activities which they thoroughly enjoy. There are a great number of pupils who cycle to school regularly and a walking bus has recently started. Many pupils choose healthy options for their packed lunches and can say why they do so; all of which is helping develop good healthy lifestyles. The school has taken part in local events and supports various charities but knows there is more to be done. This is to be further developed with the support of the enthusiastic school council. Better links between subjects and the use of technology, literacy and numeracy skills, along with practical activities, are adequately preparing pupils for the future.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Inspection evidence and monitoring by the school and local authority all indicate that almost all lessons are at least satisfactory. Common strengths include the quality of weekly planning and the sound relationships developed between pupils and adults. Teachers use some good questioning techniques, methods and organisation and in the best cases relate these to discover and eliminate any gaps in learning. There are some inconsistencies in the quality of teaching between classes. Consequently teaching ranges from barely adequate in one case to a significant proportion of good teaching and some that has outstanding features. For example, one lesson on adjectives turned into a real magical journey that completely captured the pupils' interest. Daily planning usually allows different abilities to work on different tasks but this is not universal and occurs when the level of challenge and pace of learning drops. The leadership team is starting to use the best practice to improve the expertise of others, and in pupils' books there is some noticeably higher quality work, particularly since January.
Curriculum and other activities
The curriculum is suitably broad and balanced and is being satisfactorily enhanced by visits, visitors, topics and themes. Pupils say 'it is okay' but as the school and some parents recognise, more needs to be done to make it stimulating and exciting. Recently, planning has been carefully monitored to ensure it is relevant to pupils' needs and teachers have been encouraged to build more links between different subjects. This is allowing for more consistency year on year but is still at an early stage. Personal and emotional development programmes have been instigated which are giving pupils an insight into tolerance, responsibility and cooperation.
Care, guidance and support
Pastoral care is good and pupils are carefully nurtured and supported. Safeguarding requirements are rigorous and fully comply with regulations. Vulnerable pupils are identified and appropriate support given to them and their families as it is needed. Partnerships have been established with some outside agencies although these are relatively few and are going to be developed. Assessment systems are good. In the last year, much work has been done to analyse the performance of pupils. Most of this has been undertaken by senior staff and carefully checked with individual teachers to make them more accountable for the achievement of their class. However, there is some inconsistency in how well this information is used on a daily basis. At its best, one lesson develops from another but there are lessons where the work is planned in isolation and so pupils are not always aware of why they are undertaking a particular task. An area that has significantly improved is the use and setting of individual targets for pupils in English and mathematics, which they really do understand and take notice of.
Leadership and management
The senior leadership team, and in particular the headteacher, has moved the school forward well since the last inspection. The local authority has provided good support through a difficult time and continues to do so. Almost all the underachievement of pupils has been eliminated and communication systems across the whole staff have resulted in a shared commitment to 'make things better'. Middle leaders are taking on more responsibility for their subjects even though most whole-school decisions are largely made by the most senior team. The legacy of past weaknesses and underperformance has meant that, while many parents and governors can recognise the positive changes, not all are as convinced. This is due to some misconceptions on both sides and the school is now actively engaged in remedying the situation. Governors take a keen and active interest in the development of the school. They ask searching questions of the leadership and ensure that they are kept up to date with developments. However, they can be distracted and so do not always rigorously monitor how well the school is progressing against its own action plan. The procedures and systems to promote community cohesion at a local, national and global level are at an early stage of development.
|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?||3|
|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?||3|
|The capacity to make any necessary improvements||3|
|How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the EYFS?||3|
|How well do children in the EYFS achieve?||3|
|How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the children?||3|
|How effectively are children in the EYFS helped to learn and develop?||3|
|How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted?||3|
|How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed?||3|
|How well do learners achieve?||3|
|The standards¹ reached by learners||3|
|How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners||3|
|How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress||3|
|How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners?||3|
|The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||3|
|The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||3|
|The extent to which learners enjoy their education||3|
|The attendance of learners||3|
|The behaviour of learners||3|
|The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community||3|
|How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being||3|
|How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of learners' needs?||3|
|How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners?||3|
|How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?||3|
|How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners?||3|
|How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education||3|
|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||3|
|How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?||3|
|How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money||3|
|The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities||3|
|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|
21 May 2009
Inspection of Seal Primary School, Selsey PO20 0BN
Thank you for making us so welcome during our visit. We enjoyed talking to many of you and seeing how your school has improved. You will be pleased to know that we think the school no longer needs a 'Notice to Improve' because you are getting a satisfactory quality of education. I have written the main reasons for this below with our suggestions about how everybody can continue to improve your school even more.
Finally, we wish you all the best for the future. Continue to attend regularly, behave well and try your hardest.
David Collard Lead inspector