Sir John Heron Primary School
Headteacher: Mrs Rani Karim
502 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||132789|
|Inspection dates||18–19 November 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Brian Evans|
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||438|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr Andrew Baxter|
|Headteacher||Mrs Rani Karim|
|Date of previous school inspection||6 March 2007|
|School address||School Road|
|London E12 5PY|
|Telephone number||020 8514 9860|
|Fax number||020 8514 9862|
|Inspection dates||18–19 November 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by four additional inspectors. Inspectors visited 17 lessons and observed the school's work and pupils at play. They looked at pupils' books, the school's data on pupils' progress, the school improvement plan and records of the school's monitoring of teaching and learning. They evaluated the school's arrangements for safeguarding pupils, the policies and procedures for promoting equality and countering discrimination, and 104 parental questionnaire responses. Informal discussions with staff, pupils and parents also contributed to the evidence gained.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
Sir John Heron Primary is a larger-than-average school. Pupils come from a very wide range of minority ethnic backgrounds. A very high proportion of pupils have English as an additional language and a higher proportion than average are eligible for free school meals. The school has resources for supporting children with profound and multiple learning difficulties. In addition, a high number of pupils have specific learning or emotional and behavourial needs. The proportion of pupils leaving or joining the school at times other than at the start of the school year is high. Early Years Foundation Stage provision is provided in the Nursery and Reception classes. Among a number of other awards, the school has Healthy School accreditation.
|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
Sir John Heron Primary School provides a satisfactory education for its pupils. Particular strengths include good quality provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage and that almost all parents confirm that their children feel safe at school. Pupils behave well and know how to lead a healthy lifestyle and to stay safe. Inspectors agree with the comments of a pupil that they are part of 'a happy school'. Teachers, support staff and all adults work effectively as a team to provide good support for pupils learning English as an additional language.
Children enter school with skills, knowledge and understanding that are well below the levels typical for their age. However, by the time they leave the Early Years Foundation Stage, they have made good progress. Throughout the rest of the school, pupils make satisfactory progress. As a result, attainment in English and mathematics is close to the national average by the time pupils leave at the end of Year 6. However, writing is a weakness as there are too few opportunities for pupils to practise their skills across the full range of their learning activities. This is now a high priority for all year groups. Well-structured action plans are in place to improve higher-level language skills, including spelling and sentence structure. These are having an impact on raising standards. The national tests at the end of Year 6 show a small rising trend over the past three years. Overall, achievement is satisfactory, but the higher attainers do not achieve as well as they should.
Pupils acquire a good vocabulary through speaking and listening, especially in discussions with their 'talking partners'. Attainment in mathematics, a key issue in the last inspection, has improved significantly because teachers have implemented an effective new scheme of work appropriate to the needs of all pupils. Investment in laptop computers has led to a rise in pupils' skills and confidence in using information and communication technology (ICT). Teaching varies from good to inadequate. Although there is much good practice, the teaching has a satisfactory impact on learning. Teachers and adults provide good support for pupils who have specific learning difficulties. Their support for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties enables these pupils to come to terms with the significant difficulties their disabilities, learning needs and life experiences cause. However, at times, the deployment of teaching assistants and adults by teachers in the classroom is not always effective.
The school is a good cohesive community. Pupils make good gains in their personal growth because they receive good care, guidance and support. The school council has an influential voice as, for example, in their recommendations to the school caterers on healthy foods. Partnership with parents is good. Through persistent work with families, attendance has improved and is now broadly average. The headteacher communicates clearly her vision for the school well. Priorities in the school's development plan such as writing and use of assessment are clear and all staff are involved in regularly reviewing progress on these issues and in setting new targets. She has been supported well by her staff and by an increasingly effective governing body. Thus, the school's capacity for sustained improvement is satisfactory.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Pupils are eager learners and are given a good range of opportunities to develop their speaking and listening skills through discussions with each other and by reading aloud. In lessons, pupils contribute well when asked for their suggestions and opinions, which further enhances their skills. For example, in a music lesson pupils, enthusiastically led by one of their peers, achieved a high degree of competence in their choral work. Most average attainers and pupils with specific learning needs acquire new knowledge and skills at a satisfactory rate. Assessment information shows that teachers are good at ensuring that basic skills are understood by pupils. However, they also show that assessment is not used in many lessons to challenge the more able pupils to extend their thinking and become independent learners. Some good practice exists in providing extension work for the more able pupils but this is not being shared across all classrooms. The national test results also show writing standards to be below average, and this is a key priority for the school.
Pupils learning English as an additional language make good progress because adults in the school have had good training in developing their listening and speaking skills and in supporting reading development. Many arrive at school at other than the normal admission times and the school has good strategies to help them settle and to cope with their needs and those of their parents. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those with complex needs, make good progress because their needs are met well by knowledgeable adults linked to support from external agencies. The focus on mathematics in 2008/09 has been successful in raising standards and was confirmed by inspection evidence. Many parents attend workshops in order to support their children's learning. These are especially important when new schemes of work are introduced, as, for example, in explaining the school's approach to mathematics.
Parents state that their children feel safe in school. Pupils develop firm friendships with their classmates from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Good spiritual, moral, social and cultural development underpins the school's work. There is respect and good will between pupils and adults, who represent a wide range of ethnic groups and those with considerable and complex special educational needs and/or disabilities. Music, especially choral work and sport, plays a large part in their school day. Pupils have the confidence to talk freely with adults in the school. Pupils are very keen to take on responsibilities and speak proudly of their contribution as good citizens. When asked about whether any racism occurred in school, the answer from the school council was an emphatic 'Never!' Last year pupils contributed to a very successful May Fair involving the school and a fun Maypole activity. The school's learning mentor works with a host of external agencies to provide effective support for families and their children.
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||1|
|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
An impressive strength in teaching, given the wide range of abilities and needs in each class, is the teachers' good classroom management. Most pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those learning English as an additional language make at least satisfactory progress and often good progress because the work is matched to their needs. Overall, teaching is satisfactory because assessment data are not yet used skilfully enough to support the needs of higher attainers. Opportunities to focus on the appropriate next stage of learning for an individual pupil are sometimes missed. Not all teachers deploy the adults supporting learning in their classroom effectively enough, particularly when individual pupils who receive additional support are absent.
The good curriculum motivates pupils and engages them well. It is continually evolving to match pupils' aptitudes and interests. It provides well for music, within and beyond the classroom, and for sport, and reflects the cultural backgrounds of pupils. Vulnerable pupils experience success because of carefully matched individual learning programmes. Teachers benefit well from sharing new ideas and good curriculum practice with their links with other local schools. Contact with other nurseries and a local secondary school enable a smooth transition from one phase to another. Many pupils take advantage of a good range of clubs, and all enjoy numerous visits and visitors that make learning meaningful. These include a residential experience for older children.
The learning mentor plays a crucial role alongside teachers and support staff in providing good care, guidance and support. He works regularly alongside parents to improve their children's attendance and emotional health. Pupils happily turn to him or another adult when they have a problem. Links with external agencies are effective and add to the good quality care, support and guidance provided for pupils.
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||2|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||2|
The experienced headteacher has managed some difficult staffing changes over the past three years well and has ensured that the school has continued to make satisfactory progress in raising attainment. A number of new middle managers have been appointed and are establishing a good team approach. Good tracking and analysis of pupils progress are used effectively to identify and bridge gaps in pupils' learning. More effective use of assessment by teachers is recognised as a key element in the monitoring and support of learning in the classroom by senior managers. Managers are ambitious to raise standards further and are working hard to sustain the trend of satisfactory improvement over the past three years in key areas. Their work is underpinned well by an effective approach to promoting equality and close monitoring of discrimination in all its forms.
A relatively new governing body has settled in well and has initiated strategies which hold the school to account while contributing to the positive ethos within the school. Good links have been formed with communities in this country and internationally. These national and international links help to develop pupils' understanding of the multicultural world well. Close attention is paid to ensuring that the school's safeguarding procedures meet requirements and are rigorous, and that statutory duties are reviewed regularly. Well-organised documentation, risk assessments and detailed records ensure that the children are cared for appropriately. Policies and procedures and their impact are updated regularly to ensure that they reflect good practice, and are followed consistently by staff.
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||2|
|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||3|
The Early Years Foundation Stage leader and her colleagues work effectively as a team, tracking individuals, identifying learning needs and ensuring that their interventions support good progress. Attainment on entry to the nursery is well below that typically seen, especially in language and communication. However, children make good progress across all areas of learning, although many remain below the level expected in communication skills by the time they enter Year 1.
In Nursery and in Reception, children display good behaviour and positive attitudes to learning. Relationships are respectful and this contributes significantly to the children's personal, social and emotional development. As a result, children feel safe and secure and are able to ask for help when they need it. Adults are sensitive to their needs and children's activities are a good balance between those led by adults and those initiated by the children. They make good progress in their physical and creative development and in their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Outdoor play provides further opportunities to develop their skills across all areas of learning. Children play in a lovely, bright learning environment and move freely between indoor and outdoor activities. There are thorough approaches to assessment, with all adults contributing information to children's individual learning profiles. Several children with specific learning difficulties and with more complex needs make good progress from their starting points. Children make good progress in their learning and development because the staff work closely with parents to provide high levels of care.
These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage
|Overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage|
Taking into account:
Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation
In their responses, the overwhelming majority of parents and carers were very positive about their children's safety and how much they enjoyed school. Parents' and carers' views reflect the inspection findings. A few parents have concerns about staffing and its impact on pupils' progress, as well as the communication between school and parents and pupils' behaviour. Inspectors judged pupils' behaviour to be good in lessons and around the school. The quality of care and support for pupils who have specific learning or emotional needs and those with complex needs was highly praised by parents and carers, as was the assistance for pupils who speak English as an additional language.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Sir John Heron 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 104 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 438 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||65||53||37||36||2||2||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||58||56||42||42||2||2||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||51||49||47||45||4||4||2||2|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||44||42||49||47||6||6||3||3|
|The teaching is good at this school||56||54||40||38||2||2||5||5|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||43||41||49||47||5||5||5||5|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||53||51||47||45||1||1||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)||31||30||62||60||4||4||2||2|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||32||31||59||57||6||6||2||2|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||37||36||50||48||11||11||3||3|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||24||23||61||59||12||12||4||4|
|The school is led and managed effectively||38||37||46||44||6||6||7||7|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||51||49||43||41||8||8||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.
20 November 2009
Inspection of Sir John Heron Primary School, London E12 5PY
Thank you very much to all of you who spoke to us in lessons, around the school and in the special meetings we had. Sir John Heron provides a satisfactory education for you all. We know that your school takes your views seriously and so do we. You are a very friendly community who get on well with one another.
These are some of the other things that we found.
We discussed with the headteacher and teachers the most important things they need to do to make the school even better. We have asked them to do three things.
They will need your help to do these things, which we are very sure you will give.
Thank you again and good luck for the future.
|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.|