Tame Valley Community School
- Nov. 30, 2012)
Phone:0121 *** ***
Headteacher: Mr Peter Higgins
see new Tame Valley Academy
225 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||103366|
|Inspection dates||18–19 March 2010|
|Reporting inspector||Anna Coyle|
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||213|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mrs Victoria Herrick|
|Headteacher||Mrs Doreen Houghton|
|Date of previous school inspection||15 January 2008|
|School address||Chillinghome Road|
|Telephone number||0121 4644497|
|Fax number||0121 4643323|
|Inspection dates||18–19 March 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 18 lessons and observed all eight teachers at least twice. They also held meetings with the headteacher, deputy headteacher, assistant headteacher, senior staff, governors and groups of pupils and parents. Inspectors observed the school's work and looked at a range of documents including assessment and tracking information, the school development plan, monitoring reports and pupils' books. The inspection questionnaires were analysed, including 38 from parents, 15 from members of staff and 22 from pupils.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
Tame Valley Community School is slightly smaller than the average- sized primary school. The majority of pupils are White British, although a much larger than average proportion of pupils come from a range of minority ethnic backgrounds. A significant proportion of pupils are at the early stages of learning English and their home languages include Urdu, Somali, Panjabi, Kurdish, French and Bengali. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, at more than 50%, is well above average. An above average proportion of pupils has special educational needs and/or disabilities. The school has an extremely high proportion of pupils who enter or leave other than at the normal times of the school year. The school has achieved the Financial Management Standard in Schools and the Healthy Schools award.
|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
In accordance with section 13 (3) of the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires significant improvement, because it is performing significantly less well than in all the circumstances it could reasonably be expected to perform. The school is therefore given a notice to improve. Significant improvement is required in relation to: standards in English and mathematics; teaching and the use of assessment; attendance; and equal opportunities.
Standards have been consistently low for many years and the school has struggled to raise attainment, which is currently well below average by Year 6. Learning and progress are beginning to pick up and are satisfactory overall but some pupils don't achieve as they could, especially amongst boys and the most-able, because their work is not always challenging enough. The school rightly acknowledges the need to further raise standards and, in particular, increase the rates of progress in basic literacy and numeracy skills. The behaviour of the majority of pupils is satisfactory but attendance is well below the national average which adversely affects the rate of progress. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is satisfactory.
The quality of teaching is satisfactory, although it is variable across year groups. Teachers have good relationships with their pupils and manage them well in lessons. The curriculum is satisfactory in the Nursery, Reception and in Years 2 to 6 but it is not sufficiently extended into Year 1 to enable pupils to attain the early learning goals before moving on to National Curriculum studies. This shortcoming stems from limited use of assessment information to guide and support pupils' learning. The pastoral care, guidance and support of pupils are satisfactory. The school provides satisfactory support for pupils with special educational needs and for those learning English as an additional language. New tracking systems have been introduced to assess learning and regular progress meetings are beginning to have a positive impact on learning.
In some areas the school has made improvements since the last inspection; for example, pupils now have more opportunities for independent activities, and teachers' marking is improving. Standards are rising in science and reading, but there is still more to be done in writing and numeracy. Subject leadership has been developed well, particularly in English and mathematics. The school currently has satisfactory capacity to improve because of these improvements and because the headteacher and senior leadership team have correctly identified the weaknesses to overcome, most of which are accurately reflected in the detailed school development plan, and the governing body has strengthened its involvement in the school. It is beginning to develop its role in challenging the school in order to hasten the rate of improvement. The school's new policies for promoting equality of opportunity are yet to be approved by the governing body.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
The inspection evidence from lesson observations shows that the majority of pupils are working at levels well below those expected nationally at both key stages, and some pupils are underachieving, especially boys and the most-able. This finding matches the most recent 2009 test results which show that standards have remained low, with very few pupils attaining the higher levels in English and mathematics. Boys did less well than girls, and pupils with special educational needs and some pupils from minority ethnic groups also attained low standards. Standards in science are improving slowly at Key Stage 2. Senior leaders have worked hard to raise standards by introducing effective strategies for tracking pupils' progress. These are beginning to have a positive impact on learning, and progress is currently satisfactory overall. For instance, with the help of a consultant, teachers have been able to identify gaps in higher- and lower-attaining pupils' knowledge and amend their planning accordingly so that these groups have made accelerated progress over the last two terms. Overall, pupils in Years 2, 4 and 6 currently make good progress. Even so, in the lessons observed, learning was hampered by weak spelling and handwriting, and poor presentation. Some pupils lack knowledge of times-tables and they struggle to solve simple mathematical problems.
The majority of pupils have a good understanding of how to live healthy lifestyles. They like taking on responsibilities as school council members, although their contribution to the wider community is limited. Most pupils say that they feel safe in school and they know who to go to if they have any concerns about behaviour or bullying. The inspection found that most pupils are reasonably well behaved and are suitably aware of spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of living in Britain today. However, a significant proportion stated that they do not enjoy school. Frequent absences and weak basic skills limit pupils' achievement and enjoyment of learning. This means that that they are not prepared well for the future.
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||3|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||3|
|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||3|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
The quality of teaching is very varied across the school. It is satisfactory overall but ranges from good to inadequate. The best teaching is in Years 2, 4 and 6 where good rapport, effective discipline and interesting work helps pupils to learn. In these classes, teaching assistants are well deployed to work with small groups of pupils and individuals. Teachers' expectations of pupils are sometimes too low in Years 1 and 3, especially for boys and the most able pupils. In addition, the use of assessment is inconsistent across the school and does not always inform planning sufficiently. As a result, a few lessons lack sufficient challenge because work is not consistently matched to pupils' abilities. Pupils do not always understand how to improve their work because teachers' marking is variable in some classes and does not relate closely to what pupils need to do to attain the next level. Where marking is good, it rightly identifies what pupils do well and where they need to improve, as seen in Year 4. The school has recently introduced a new marking policy which most teachers are beginning to implement effectively. This is having a positive impact on pupils' progress in lessons.
The curriculum provides pupils with satisfactory learning opportunities but it is not suitably adapted for pupils in Year 1. Good opportunities are provided for pupils to learn French, and the school is developing well its thematic approach to learning, through links with all subjects. An appropriate range of extra-curricular activities and educational visits enhance pupils' experience of school. Provision in literacy and numeracy is satisfactory overall, but the school has appropriately identified speaking, writing and numeracy as areas for further improvement.
Satisfactory procedures for the care, support and guidance of pupils ensures that they are kept safe. Pupils with special educational needs and those who are learning English as an additional language receive satisfactory support from the special educational needs coordinator and support staff to help them make satisfactory progress. The headteacher and learning mentor have been instrumental in monitoring and promoting better attendance, and this is starting to pay off as pupils are now punctual for lessons. Good arrangements are in place to support pupils' transition to secondary school.
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||3|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||3|
The headteacher provides satisfactory leadership and is keen to move the school on with the help of the deputy headteacher and the assistant headteacher. Together, they are helping to drive improvement, but it is taking time to embed ambition as there have been some changes in staffing and a significant amount of absences due to illness amongst staff since the last inspection. Even so, the school improvement plan identifies actions that are focused clearly on raising standards. The subject leaders for English and mathematics and science have developed their roles well since the last inspection, and now have a firm understanding of what needs to be done next to raise standards further. For instance, they have accurately pinpointed the need to accelerate progress in pupils' writing and calculation skills. The monitoring of teaching and learning is satisfactory and senior staff support colleagues appropriately through regular checks on lessons and focused training opportunities.
The governing body fulfils its statutory duties satisfactorily and governors are regular visitors to the school. The procedures for safeguarding are in place and suitable attention is paid to pupils' safety. The school has clear policies in place for protecting pupils, although the new policies for ensuring disability and gender equalities have not yet been ratified by the governors. These are due to be approved at a forthcoming meeting of the governing body. The school's links with parents and carers are good. Parents speak highly of the school and a large number are actively involved in its work as volunteers and support staff. Satisfactory partnerships with external agencies, such as the behaviour support team and social care services, help the school to promote pupils' learning. Community cohesion is promoted satisfactorily through suitable links with the local neighbourhood, cluster schools, businesses such as a supermarket, and international links with a town in France.
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||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||4|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||4|
Children make satisfactory progress from very low skills on entry, but they do not attain the nationally expected goals by the end of the Reception year. Standards are generally well below average in all areas of learning. Children settle happily in the Nursery and enjoy practical activities such as digging and planting potatoes. They know how to take care of themselves and stay safe. Routines are well-established and children follow instructions from adults willingly. Children in the Reception class are beginning to understand that eating healthy food is good for them, and they behave sensibly when playing with others. They listen carefully, but their speaking skills are very limited. Children also struggle with early reading, writing and numeracy skills because they have so much to learn. Teaching is satisfactory, and sometimes good. However, assessment is not used effectively and planning does not take sufficient account of children's knowledge and understanding. This means that opportunities to challenge and extend children's skills are sometimes missed; for example, there is too little use of role-play and open-ended questioning to encourage speaking skills. There is no immediate access to the outdoor area for free-flow activities, and no covered outdoor area for the children in Reception which limits learning outside. Leadership and management are satisfactory and the school intends to develop the outdoor play provision.
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
The inspectors received a small number of parental questionnaires. The majority were positive about the school and feel well informed about their children's progress. A very small number of parents who responded to the questionnaire feel that the school does not help them to support their children's learning and some expressed concerns about pupils' behaviour. The inspectors found that there are good links with parents and sufficient information is provided by the school to help them support their children's learning at home.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Tame Valley Community School 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 38 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 213 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||21||66||11||34||0||0||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||21||66||11||34||0||0||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||18||56||12||38||1||3||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||17||45||13||41||2||6||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||17||45||20||53||1||3||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||22||58||14||37||1||3||1||3|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||17||45||20||53||1||3||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)||15||39||20||53||1||3||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||12||32||25||66||0||0||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||17||45||20||53||0||0||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||11||29||24||63||1||3||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||17||45||19||50||0||0||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||18||47||18||47||1||3||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.
22 March 2010
Inspection of Tame Valley Community School, Birmingham, B36 8QJ
Thank you for making the inspectors feel welcome and talking to us when we visited your school recently. Here are some of the good things we found out about the school:
( you know how important it is to eat healthily
( most of you behave satisfactorily in lessons and at playtimes
( adults take care of you and support you if you need help
( the school has good relationships with your parents and carers.
We have asked the headteacher, staff and governors to do several things to make the school better because it requires significant improvement:
( raise standards in English and mathematics so that you are all able to make better progress in speaking, writing and mathematics
( improve the quality of teaching from satisfactory to good
( check how well you are doing and help you to understand what to do next to improve your work
( improve the levels of attendance
( make sure that you are all provided with equal opportunities to do well.
Inspectors will be visiting again, during the next year, to see how the school is dealing with these things. You can all help by coming to school every day and always doing your best.
Dr Anna Coyle
|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.|