Due to sustaining our high standards and a change in the Inspection process, our last OFSTED was 2007 (you can read the report by clicking on the link below). However, since this time we have been busy in ensuring all aspects of the Inspection framework continue to develop and move forward through external assessment so that we can continue to ensure an outstanding learning environment for our children and staff.
Our Hertfordshire Improvement Partner (HIP) visited the school in January 2017. He reported:
Leadership and Management is outstanding, external consultants agree with the school’s judgement.
All staff are aware of and embody the vision and values: ‘Maximum achievement for all in a happy, caring and stimulating environment.’ This ethos drives improvement throughout the school, personalising the curriculum and making it interesting and fun.
Leaders, at all levels, are aware of data and information and identify areas for improvement or individuals for targeted intervention.
Leaders at all levels have high expectations and aspirations for conduct within the school.
The School Development Plan is robust and clear and is informed by all stakeholders.
Rigorous Performance Appraisal for teachers and support staff ensure that all are highly skilled and see themselves as learners. Appraisal links to whole school priorities.
The curriculum provides a broad and balanced experience that is shaped by the children’s interests, needs and a focus on building a solid understanding of basic skills that can be transferred and applied into new areas of learning.
Opportunities for SMSC and British Values are identified and promoted thus supporting and enhancing the formal curriculum.
Allocation of PE and Pupil Premium spend is monitored across the school ensuring the approach is most effective in supporting pupil’s learning.
Governors play a very active role in the life of the school. They participate fully in the strategic direction of the school. Governors led the development of the SEF to include a full analysis of the school’s data to further understand the picture of attainment and progress. The Governing Body is fully compliant with its’ statutory duties.
Relationships with parents are very positive through an open door policy and a variety of methods of communication.
Excellent links with other schools in the Rib Valley as well as pre-schools and Children’s Centre. Excellent links with external agencies and Children’s Services ensure the school engages with partners appropriately. This leads to excellent support for pupils and parents and an uncompromising focus on children’s safeguarding and wellbeing.
Health and Safety audit undertaken by HfL in November 2016 evaluated the school’s work to be outstanding. Safeguarding was evaluated as effective in January 2017 by HfL.
The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is outstanding. Over a sustained period of time teaching has been outstanding or good with outstanding features. It is never less than consistently good.
Appraisal programme for Teachers and Teaching Assistants is robust. Professional Development opportunities match needs of the school and personal targets set and are followed up in classroom observations.
In English, the learning intention and success criteria are made clear to pupils consistently throughout the school. Pupils understand clearly what makes an effective piece of writing. The next steps marking throughout the school is effective. Lessons are well planned, appropriately ‘pitched’ for the age related expectations. Teachers effectively ‘model’ writing. Resources are appropriately designed to support pupils of different abilities. There are many opportunities for pupils to use the knowledge they have acquired across the curriculum in their writing. The support provided by all adults is very strong. Pupils’ use of self- assessment is very strong. Senior leaders effectively use performance information to help pupils catch up by their management of appropriate interventions. Monitoring is clearly effective to achieve the consistency in approach, as evidenced in all exercise books.
In Maths, the use of success criteria and next steps is consistently strong across the school. Books are well marked, misconceptions are corrected and pupils have the opportunity to respond to marking. The presentation in books is consistently strong across the school. The teaching of arithmetic, methods and strategies is consistently strong. Adults show a strong- subject knowledge. Exercise books show that work is effectively ‘pitched’ to the age related expectations. Teachers continue to develop more open-ended investigations and reasoning questions within their planning.
Personal development behaviour and welfare is outstanding. Pupils’ highly positive attitudes to learning impact on outcomes which are outstanding. Pupils have very positive attitudes and show pride in the way they present their work. The use of talk partners is well established throughout school and through this they discuss ideas, listen attentively to each other and share ideas confident that these are going to be well received by their peers.
There is evidence of excellent behaviour in lessons over a sustained period of time. Where there are any concerns regarding unacceptable behaviour, staff are quick to address them. Children with additional needs are supported through access to external agency support.
Careful planning, provision and high expectations for all learners contributes to minimising disruptive behaviour as children are on task and purposefully engaged in their learning.
The Golden Rules and Values underpin expectations of behaviour across the school. These are modelled and upheld by every stakeholder and form the basis of additional class and playground rules. Positive behaviour and expectations are balanced with a clear set of sanctions. These are explained in the Behaviour Policy and are adapted for children across the school.
Bullying, racist or e-safety incidents are very rare: 2015-16 – 1 bullying concern, 2 racist concerns, 0 e-safety concerns. Such incidents are dealt with very swiftly.
Children know that they are in control of their behaviour and have the ability to make right choices and wrong choices. The approach to behaviour management is to work with children to explore the effect of their wrong choices to ensure that they make the right ones. Occasionally they are offered some personal reflection time in a reflection zone or similar quiet space before discussion and follow up with an adult.
Children understand that part of the role of the school is to keep them safe.
Pupils say that they feel safe in school and know who to approach if they have worries. PSHCE, circle time, anti-bullying, safety weeks and other keeping safe topics continually reinforce the message.
Attendance is high. Robust procedures ensure that absence is followed up, recorded and tracked. Punctuality is tracked and any issues dealt with swiftly.
The Year 1 phonics in 2016 was above the national average. At the end of Key Stage 1 in 2016, the proportion of pupils making the expected standard is significantly higher than Herts and National averages. Outcomes for the most able are strong with a high proportion working at a greater depth.
During the Autumn term progress in reading is very strong including the most able. Proportions working at age related are all above 85% and those working at a greater depth are at this stage in line with the end of Key Stage 1 & 2 national averages but will increase during the year. In writing, progress is particularly strong including 100% of higher attainers making better than expected progress in Years 2, 3 & 4. Proportions working at age related are again high. In maths, progress is exceptionally strong in Years 2, 3 & 4 including the higher attainers. Proportions working at age related are well above 85%.
The progress made by disadvantaged pupils is very strong and compares favourably with that of non pupil premium pupils. The numbers of SEND pupils are very low apart from in Year 1, all of these pupils make strong progress.
The Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage is outstanding.
The EYFS is extremely well led by the Deputy Headteacher. She is well informed, understands the performance information well and uses it highly effectively to support pupils throughout the year. JARV 2017.
The quality of teaching over time is outstanding. Pupils are curious, highly motivated and eager to join in activities.” JARV 2017.
Attainment and progress is tracked regularly and rigorously to ensure accurate assessment and provision for all learners. The environment is highly stimulating and adapts to the children – structured topics are in place through the rolling programmes. In addition, other themes are introduced in response to the needs and interests of the cohort. Areas of learning are inviting and well used by the children. The result of this is rich, varied and imaginative experiences.
Children are well prepared for transition into Reception and Year 1. Links with pre-schools are strengthening further, with a form for settings to complete prior to the children’s arrival. EY staff visit most pre-school settings during the summer term.
Children are developing a very good understanding of how to keep themselves safe and how school keeps them safe. They demonstrate positive behaviour, co-operation with others.
Highly successful strategies exist to engage parents and carers: Parent Helpers offer further support in class.
During the Autumn Term pupils have made at least typical progress and many have made better than this. All the most able have made at least their typical progress. Provision across the Early Years is very strong.
Pupil Premium support is used effectively to target children. Assessment and observation are frequent and regular and are used to support next steps for the children.
OFSTED Report 21st February 2007
Overall effectiveness of the school - Grade: 1
For the full report please follow the link www.ofsted.gov.uk