William Morris School
Headteacher: Mrs S Newman
161 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||122998|
|Inspection dates||21–22 October 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Doris Bell|
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||153|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||18 October 2006|
|School address||Bretch Hill|
|Oxfordshire OX16 0UZ|
|Telephone number||01295 258224|
|Fax number||01295 252317|
|Inspection dates||21–22 October 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 18 lessons, and held meetings with the chair of governors, staff, pupils and parents. They observed the school's work, and looked at a wide range of documentation including teachers' planning, pupils' books, the school improvement plan, monitoring and evaluation records, assessment records, individual educational plans, minutes of meetings and the termly reports of the school improvement partner. The responses from the pupil and staff questionnaires were analysed, as were the responses from the 20 parents' questionnaires.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. They looked in detail at the following:
The school is smaller than average. Its Early Years Foundation Stage caters for 43 children of Nursery and Reception age; three-year-olds attend part-time and four-year-olds attend full-time. Almost all pupils are of White British heritage. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is well above average. Almost 50% of the pupils have special educational needs and/or disabilities, and in the current Year 3 this rises to 68%. These figures are well above average. The school has been awarded an Activemark for its work to encourage physical exercise.
|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
This is a good school. It has improved considerably since its previous inspection and since the interim monitoring visit that recognised it was on its way. This is due in no small measure to the dynamic drive provided by the school's leaders and managers, including the governors, and especially the headteacher. Their persistent determination to improve pupils' learning has resulted in progress that has been significantly better than expected for several years. This is evident too from the school's tracking systems, although they also show clearly that the more able pupils do not always make as much additional progress as other pupils. More challenging work is always planned for them but they do not always get to it quickly enough, especially in mathematics lessons. The school knows this, having picked it up in its own monitoring.
All groups of pupils achieve well. Test results are affected by the differing proportions of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities in each year group but overall, they are rising. Additional support for pupils who find learning difficult for whatever reason, regular and perceptive checks on teaching and learning, and opportunities for staff to observe and learn from each other all contribute to the pupils' good progress. The school's rigorous evaluation of its own work is accurate and well founded and it leads to well-considered priorities for improvement. All of the above demonstrates that the school has good capacity for sustained improvement in the future.
All adults adhere to the underlying principles of providing a rich, supportive learning environment that helps pupils thrive. This starts with the outstanding provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage, the impact of which is clearly evident in the good progress and much improved standards seen in Years 1 and 2. The current Year 2 group is the first to have benefited from the move to full-time education for four-year-olds. The well-planned curriculum rightly focuses heavily on communication skills, which are taught effectively through all subjects. Lessons build up the different skills required for pupils to write well but there are too few opportunities for them to write independently and at length. All work is marked. In literacy, marking includes, increasingly but not yet consistently, comments that show pupils how to improve. This happens only occasionally in other subjects. Pupils in Year 6 report that they have time to respond to the teacher's comments but this good practice is not evident elsewhere in the school.
Pupils behave well and they make an excellent contribution to the school and wider community. They feel very safe and secure in school and have an extremely good understanding of how to keep themselves safe. They single out the nurturing provision for special mention because of the way it helps them to deal with anger and solve personal problems that get in the way of their learning. Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those who have behavioural needs, all make good progress because of the effective provision made for them. All of this is part of the excellent overall care, guidance and support the school provides for all pupils, from the least to the most vulnerable. The school's excellent partnerships with external agencies contribute hugely to this aspect of its work, as do its good relationships with parents.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Pupils start school with skills that are much lower than expected for their age, especially in literacy, and they leave the school having reached broadly average standards. They work hard and in most lessons boys, girls and pupils at different ability levels all make good progress because work is usually pitched at the right level for them. This was particularly so in a Year 6 poetry session observed during the inspection, where the more able pupils used features such as personification and similes, the middle-ability group concentrated on similes, and less able pupils extended their understanding of how to use a range of adjectives to enliven their poetry. In mathematics, the progress of the more able pupils, although good overall, is limited by having to work through too many simple tasks and therefore running out of time to complete the more challenging work planned for them.
In all year groups, there are good examples in pupils' books of their learning to write effective introductions, construct plots and consider endings to stories. However, these are not often enough brought together in independent, extended pieces of writing to enable pupils to consolidate the skills they have learned on a regular basis. Pupils' ability to read and spell is improving as a result of the focus on phonics, and pupils are becoming increasingly confident in their use of language and their ability to read to or talk in front of the whole class.
Pupils very much enjoy their learning, saying this is because 'teachers make lessons fun' even when some pupils do not like the particular subject being taught. They very much appreciate that all teachers 'want us to do really good, you know'. They trust the staff fully, confident that help is always at hand. School councillors seek the views of other pupils and help to improve the school, and pupils have been involved in designing play areas in school and in a local park. They raise money for different charities, often choosing for themselves how to do this. They respect each other and adults, play and learn happily together, and successfully learn about different cultures and ways of life. Pupils have a good understanding of why it is important to eat healthily and take regular exercise, and over half of them participate in a wide range of sporting activities at different times in the school year. All of this, combined with their good progress and their satisfactory attendance, means they leave school adequately prepared for their 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||1|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||1|
|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
Teachers plan pupils' work well. They regularly evaluate their planning for its impact on pupils' learning and adapt it effectively to suit pupils' different learning needs. All teachers explain to pupils what they are going to learn in each lesson and how they will know if they have learned it. In the best lessons, they stop the class at different points to help pupils check their progress and learn from each other, and use a range of strategies to involve pupils in assessing their own, and sometimes each other's work in class. By Year 6, this extends to pupils checking and underlining key features in their work that show what they have learned. Teachers carefully check that pupils understand the vocabulary used in different subjects and they require pupils to speak clearly and listen carefully. They use techniques such as 'talking partners' effectively to give pupils time to formulate answers before sharing them with the whole class. This successfully builds pupils' confidence and enhances their speaking and listening skills. Nevertheless, some weaknesses in teachers' marking mean pupils are not always as clear about what they need to do to improve, or do not have time to respond to marking that does highlight this for them.
The curriculum is designed well to meet the particular needs of the pupils in this school, whose language skills are generally weak on entry and need much support throughout the school. It builds pupils' confidence and self-esteem, particularly because it includes tasks that pupils describe as 'challenging but not beyond us'. It also aids transition from one year to the next and from one key stage to another, and promotes pupils' health, safety and well-being very effectively. The high level of intensive and well-targeted care, guidance and support arises from the school's in-depth knowledge of its pupils and their backgrounds. The nurturing provision is especially effective in supporting pupils' personal development as well as their learning.
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||1|
Governors say the headteacher embeds in the staff a 'relentless pursuit of the best for the pupils' and they are right. They support and challenge the school well and regularly monitor the impact of their decisions. This has resulted in good improvement in teaching and learning since the previous inspection. It is founded on the desire to raise the aspirations of the pupils and their parents regarding what pupils can achieve. The senior management team assists the headteacher effectively, engendering strong teamwork in the staff with a clear focus on continuous improvement. Staff respond well to the advice and support they receive through monitoring and evaluation, and welcome the opportunities to observe and work alongside each other to improve their skills.
The school involves parents well in their children's learning, and parents feel they can approach any member of staff for help and support. Very close partnerships with external agencies have a strong impact on pupils' learning. For example, teaching assistants specialising in different aspects of special educational needs and/or disabilities are encouraged to take forward the support provided by external specialists such as speech therapists and those working with pupils with dyslexia pupils.
The school promotes community cohesion and equality of provision well. It is particularly successful in helping pupils understand how to contribute to the school and local community. It also successfully ensures that pupils learn about different cultures in Britain and abroad, and works hard to eliminate any form of discrimination.
Safeguarding procedures are effective. They are embedded well in practice, integrated into the curriculum, and regularly and extensively monitored, thereby assuring that all pupils, from the least to the most vulnerable, are protected well.
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||1|
|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||2|
The impact of the excellent provision for children in this age group is evident in the outstanding progress children have made in the past two years, despite having joined the Nursery with poor language and communication skills, and considerably underdeveloped mathematical, personal, social and emotional skills.
Every effort is made to meet the children's individual needs and interests in the exceptionally well-planned curriculum. All activities, indoors and out, have a very clear learning focus and timely intervention by adults ensures that learning takes place at all times. Children start learning from the minute they walk through the door with their parents or carers. They participate fully in all activities, showing initiative, independence and good ability to work on their own, alongside or with others. They sustain concentration well, for example seeing tasks such as building a bridge to cross a river through to completion. They show a high degree of curiosity and imagination as they work.
The outdoor environment is exceptionally well set up to encourage all aspects of learning. For example, children are successfully encouraged to solve problems such as how to transport bricks to the top of the 'castle', or pump water down a tube and try to make it flow faster. In all activities, there is a very clear focus on developing communication skills. Key workers play a crucial role in this, constantly talking to the children and patiently eliciting full sentences as answers, even when speech is indistinct. Staff are meticulous about assessing and recording children's progress and using the information in their planning.
The driving force behind all of the above is excellent leadership and management that have resulted in an established culture of reflective practice, which in turn ensures children's learning is at the forefront of all planning. Excellent relationships with parents and carers contribute to this and to community cohesion, and much is in place to introduce children to and develop their respect for different faiths and cultures.
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
Most of the relatively small proportion of parents and carers who responded to the inspection questionnaires were overwhelmingly positive about the school's work and the efforts of the staff. Comments such as: 'All staff are very approachable, whether you need to sort out a problem or just need to chat', and, 'We feel that the level of care is also high and that the children are not only taught, they are nurtured', typify the responses on the questionnaires. One response indicated that 'unacceptable behaviour tends to be swept under the carpet, and suggestions tend to be overlooked'. Inspectors found no evidence to support these views.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at William Morris Primary 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 20 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 153 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||13||65||7||35||0||0||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||12||60||8||40||0||0||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||8||40||11||55||1||5||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||12||60||7||35||1||5||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||12||60||7||35||0||0||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||10||50||9||45||1||5||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||13||65||6||30||1||5||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)||9||45||11||55||0||0||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||10||50||9||45||1||5||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||11||55||6||30||2||10||1||5|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||9||45||8||40||3||15||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||11||55||8||40||0||0||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||12||60||7||35||0||0||1||5|
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.
23 October 2009
William Morris Primary School, Banbury OX16 0UZ
What a delight it was to meet you and talk to you about your school. You made us feel very welcome indeed and it is clear that you very much enjoy school. You are right to feel that you are very safe and secure in school. All of the staff care very deeply for you and want you to do well, just like you said, and you clearly very much appreciate the support you get from them and from the nurturing provision in your school.
You and your parents are right in thinking that you go to a good school. Children get off to a really good start in Nursery and Reception and the school is building well on that to make sure that you all reach higher and higher standards in your work. Those responsible for leading and managing the school work very hard to make sure you all make good progress. It was good to see that you make much better progress in your school than pupils do in many other schools. This is because teachers make good use of what they know about how well you are doing to plan what you will do next.
We noticed that you make less progress in writing than in reading, and that those of you capable of reaching higher standards in mathematics do not always do so. We have therefore asked the school to work on these areas as a priority.
You can help your teachers to help you by taking their advice and trying to improve your own work.
Thank you once again for the warm welcome you gave us. We hope you will continue to enjoy school as much as you do now.
|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.|