The inspection was carried out by one Additional Inspector in two days.
Description of the school
This is a smaller than average sized school serving the village of Wragby and other local villages on the outskirts of Lincoln. A small number of pupils are known to be eligible to claim free school meals. Most pupils are of White British heritage and very few are in the early stages of learning English. There are a similar number of pupils who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities as are found in most schools and a higher number have a statement of special educational need. The school has an Investor in People Award, a Sports Activemark Award and a Basic Skills Award.
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is an effective school which gives good value for money. The school's success has not happened by accident. Committed and effective leadership by the headteacher supported by his able leadership team and hardworking staff ensure that pupils achieve and progress well academically and personally and that the school is placed firmly at the heart of its community which it serves well. It is no surprise therefore that parents and pupils are overwhelmingly supportive of the work of the school and value the way teachers develop a love of learning and promote enjoyment at school. One parent wrote, 'I cannot praise the school enough. I believe that the school provides an ideal environment for learning. The teaching staff give one hundred per cent of their time to the needs of the children.'
Achievement and standards are good. From broadly average starting points pupils are now able to achieve standards which exceed those expected of them by the time they leave the school in mathematics and science. In English, pupils have reached extremely high standards over recent years. Pupil progress has been variable over time but rigorous systems for assessment and tracking are now helping to ensure that progress is consistently good. At the time of the inspection, high standards were also seen in information and communication technology (ICT), music and art.
It is of the utmost importance to those who lead the school that everyone feels happy, safe and well cared for. Pupils respond by behaving and attending well. They develop a sense of responsibility through roles on the school council. Playground buddies and those who support younger pupils help to make playtimes active and happy occasions. Pupils are proud to help others in their community and beyond by raising money for charities or putting on a performance of high quality. An emphasis on physical activity, particularly using the on-site swimming pool, has helped them to develop an excellent understanding of this aspect of how to keep healthy. Their understanding of healthy eating is less well developed. They are taught very successfully about how to keep safe. Adults take care to get to know each child to ensure their personal needs can be met. Skilful support staff work closely with teachers to ensure those who need extra help also do well. Clear targets give very effective guidance to individual pupils about how to improve their work in English. This guidance is not as well developed in other subjects.
The effective curriculum is thoughtfully enriched by a good range of extra-curricular activities, visits out and visitors to the school. An unusually high number of pupils are given and take the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. The school is particularly successful with its use of ICT to support pupils' learning in other subjects. However, not enough opportunities are taken to link the teaching of subjects to bring learning alive or to practise basic skills in other subjects.
The success of the school in the past, and the sense of urgency and determination to do even better, mean that the capacity for further improvement is good.
What the school should do to improve further
- Improve achievement in mathematics and science to be consistently in line with the higher levels achieved in English.
- Extend the system of setting pupil targets beyond English to other subjects.
- Increase the cross-curricular links between subjects and provide pupils with more opportunities to practise what they have learned in a range of contexts.
Achievement and standards
Achievement and standards are good. Pupils enter the school with a broad range of abilities though they are similar to those found in most schools overall. They make a good start to their education in the Reception class where an effective balance of teacher and child led activities ensures they make good progress. Most reach the levels expected of them when they leave the Foundation Stage and many surpass them. Pupils continue to progress well in Years 1 and 2. Results in national tests at the end of Year 6 have varied between cohorts and across subjects over recent years. However, standards have mostly been maintained at above average in mathematics and close to average in science. They have often been extremely high in English. Most pupils made at least satisfactory progress during this time. Rigorous systems for assessing and tracking the progress pupils make have now been introduced and are having a positive impact. At the time of the inspection pupils were seen to be making consistently better progress across the school and were on course to achieve the challenging whole class targets the school is now setting for them. Pupils of all abilities and groups, including those who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities, make similar progress.
Personal development and well-being
Personal development and well-being are good. Pupils enjoy school and are happy here. One said, 'School is good. We make good friends, do good work and have lots of good things to do.' Consequently attendance is better than in most schools, behaviour is good and pupils achieve well. Pupils' spiritual, moral and social understanding develops well although pupils' cultural understanding is less strong. Because of the good opportunities they are given, pupils develop self-confidence and independence skills with growing consistency and are well prepared for the next stage of their schooling and their future lives.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Pupils learn well because the impact of teaching is typically good. Carefully developed relationships and a sense of fun promote positive attitudes to learning. Most teachers use assessment information well to plan carefully, have good subject knowledge and manage pupils well. This leads to well focused lessons where pupils are clear about what they are expected to learn. In lessons, where the questions asked of pupils and tasks given challenge them, they make good progress. However, not all lessons are consistently of this calibre. Teaching assistants work very closely with teachers and provide effective support for individuals and groups of pupils.
Curriculum and other activities
The curriculum is carefully planned to contribute to good progress being made by pupils across the school. Children in the Reception class enjoy a rich curriculum with a good balance between activities they choose for themselves and those which are guided by adults. The school successfully enriches the curriculum by promoting the arts, physical education, educational visits and by visitors to the school, helping to ensure an experience which goes beyond the development of basic skills to develop confidence, self-esteem and speaking and listening skills further. Although ICT is used particularly well to support learning in other subjects, not enough opportunities are taken to link the teaching of other subjects to bring learning to life and to give pupils more opportunities to practise their good basic skills in other ways.
Care, guidance and support
Adults go the extra mile to get to know pupils well and make sure that pupils feel safe, confident and well cared for. Pupils say they feel safe at school and there is always someone they can talk to if they have a worry. Policies and procedures to ensure the protection and safeguarding of pupils are satisfactory though systems for recording these are not developed well enough. Effective relationships with other agencies and support from teaching assistants ensure the needs of pupils who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities are met well. Academic guidance is particularly effective in ensuring pupils reach challenging targets in English because of good systems for individual target setting. However, these effective systems for guiding individual pupils are not in place in other subjects.
Leadership and management
The headteacher provides highly effective leadership, giving clear vision and direction to the work of the school. Systems for assessment and tracking pupil progress and for monitoring and evaluating the work of the school have recently been given a sharper focus. Consequently, the senior management team has a clear picture of the school's strengths and weaknesses, helping to make sure that everyone can play their part in school improvement and ensure challenging targets can be met. The governing body receives good quality information from the headteacher, allowing them to have a good understanding of the school's work which they use to hold it accountable and ensure that it gives good value for money.