Amended Report AddendumReport amended due to factual inaccuracy
The inspection was carried out by one Additional Inspector. The inspector evaluated the overall effectiveness of the school and investigated the following issues: achievement in science and writing, curriculum development for modern foreign languages and foundation subjects, and improvement to attendance. Evidence was gathered from published assessment data, the school’s own records, parents’ questionnaires, lesson observations and interviews with staff, governors and pupils. Other aspects of the school’s work were not investigated in detail, but the inspector found no evidence to suggest that the school’s own assessments, as given in its self-evaluation, were not justified, and these have been included where appropriate in this report.
Description of the school
Three-quarters of the pupils are White British at this average-sized junior school. Pupils from Pakistani, Indian and Black Caribbean backgrounds form the other major groups in the school. An above-average proportion of pupils speaks English as an additional language. There is a resource base for visually impaired pupils in school. There are 14 places for all pupils from nursery age to Year 6, and at present there are seven pupils with visual impairment in the junior school. There are also other pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, including a significant proportion with dyslexia. The overall proportion of pupils with statements of special educational need is about three times the level found in most primary schools.
Many pupils come from families that experience considerable socio-economic disadvantage. The attainment of pupils when they start in Year 3 is broadly average, although the range is wide, including some very able pupils as well as those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
Overall effectiveness of the school
World's End Junior is a good school. It has improved rapidly in recent years as a result of the excellent leadership of the headteacher and has a number of outstanding features. Pupils' behaviour, their awareness of safety precautions and their enjoyment of school are all first rate. Parents say that one of the chief strengths of the school is the good care, guidance and support that enable pupils to develop well as people. Standards have improved well and are above average. Because teaching is of good quality, pupils make good progress through the school.
The capacity for further improvement is outstanding. School leaders are united in their ambition to provide the best for all pupils and to ensure that they achieve well. They share high expectations and provide totally focused direction to the school's work. Improvements have accelerated recently because of the dedication of school leaders and the 100 per cent teamwork in school. There has been very successful improvement to standards, especially in writing and mathematics and to behaviour. The school has made some shrewd staff appointments that have ensured that the leadership team has the experience and ability to make the school even better than it is. Governors are capable leaders. There are a number of new governors, who are settling well into their role and, like their longer serving colleagues, they ask taxing questions to ensure the school performs well. Leaders set challenging targets for pupils' achievement. Work to increase the proportion of pupils achieving the higher levels in science is proceeding well. The school is introducing a new programme of work for gifted and talented pupils, although it is too early to test the effectiveness of this. Dyslexic pupils and those with other learning difficulties make good progress and their achievement in reading is noticeably good.
Pupils who are visually impaired achieve well. The school is well resourced and staffed to help these pupils succeed. The Resource Base is well led. For nearly all of the time, these pupils are taught alongside their friends in the main classes. They complete the same themes and their work is well matched to their needs. The teaching assistants working with visually impaired pupils do a valuable job in ensuring they can complete the work at a rapid enough pace. Good use is made of computer technology to help these pupils follow the text and pictures being used in lessons and to complete their own contributions. Braille is employed when necessary and the pupils are competent in its use. A good proportion of the visually impaired pupils reach the higher levels in their tests.
Pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good. The pupils learn a lot about the richness and diversity of cultures around the world and get inspiration from their own high-quality artwork, drama productions and musical events. The pupils are mature, sensible children, who reflect thoughtfully on what they are learning, discuss it eagerly and self-assess their progress. A few pupils are sometimes absent from school for holidays during term. These pupils miss a lot of valuable and enjoyable work and their progress slows as a result. The school is working hard to improve attendance rates but a few parents do not respond to reminders to ensure their children attend regularly. The pupils themselves say that school is enjoyable because the staff make learning interesting, fun and varied. They are well aware of the need to follow healthy lifestyles and their sense of being part of a community is good. All pupils are prepared well for the next stage in their education.
All four years are taught well. There is some outstanding teaching. Lessons are settled, well focused on the development of skills and knowledge, and the pupils work hard. Pupils who speak English as an additional language are taught effectively and quickly become fluent in their new language. Targets for learning are shared effectively with the pupils. They know how well they are reaching their targets, the level they are working at, and what they need to do to improve. School leaders are working to improve the target tracking system further, particularly the clarity with which any spurts or slowing down of learning are identified. The headteacher is also keen to give pupils more opportunities to respond to teachers' written comments in their books.
Pupils are safeguarded thoroughly. Checks on staff suitability for working with children, risk assessments and fire precautions are all rigorous. Child protection procedures are reliable. Up-to-date staff training ensures vigilance is maintained in checking all children are kept safe and secure. Parents praise the staff for their dedication to the pupils' interests.
Pupils' leadership skills are promoted well. They have some bright ideas for the improvement of the school that the adult leaders take seriously. These ideas are acted on whenever possible, such as the alterations pupils have suggested recently for the arrangements at break times. Staff explain to the pupils why some ideas cannot be acted upon, and where the adults cannot come up with a suggestion for suitable action, they invite the pupils to do so. Pupils are also involved in some staff appointments, suggesting their preferred candidate and why this is the case.
The curriculum is being developed well and is of good quality. Work is underway to develop the necessary programme of modern foreign languages and staff have the expertise to teach French effectively. Information and communication technology (ICT) is a cornerstone of the curriculum and pupils work well in this subject. Whilst the curriculum rightly places the core subjects and ICT at the centre of pupils' work, there are good cross-curricular links to ensure basic skills are practised in other subjects such as geography, design and technology, and history. There is a good range of out-of-school activities. The pupils particularly enjoy the visits to places such as the Black Country Museum and the Lickey Hills. They are very keen to take part in the residential visits and are eager participants in the clubs and societies. The Ramadan Club is an especially noteworthy initiative that both provides for Muslim pupils at a special time of year and fosters understanding amongst all pupils of the need for respect, tolerance and harmony.
What the school should do to improve further
- Work with parents to improve achievement by reducing the number of holidays taken during school term.
- Develop the target tracking system to show more clearly whether there is a slowing down or speeding up of learning at any time.