Overall effectiveness of the school Grade: 1
This is an outstanding school. It judges itself to be good overall but inspection evidence suggests that this is a modest assessment. Under the outstanding leadership of the headteacher all members of the staff team work enthusiastically and consistently to promote confident and happy children who make outstanding progress and attain very high standards. The school provides outstanding value for money and has, due to its popularity, continued to grow in size and thrive since the last inspection. Planning for improvement is now securely based on rigorous and honest self-evaluation and good analysis of how well children are doing. This ensures that children of all abilities get the best possible support from both teachers and teaching assistants.
Teaching is outstanding and teachers enjoy creating excellent opportunities that will engage and enthuse young learners. Staff are expert at consistently identifying what children have to do next to succeed and provide excellent care and guidance to ensure children of all abilities do as well as they can within a safe learning environment. Children are aware of health and safety issues and a survey of their views illustrates that they know that 'rules are there to keep you safe'.
The excellent relationships all staff have with children ensure that they feel valued and respected. This promotes high self-esteem and confidence leading to exceptional personal development. Their behaviour is exemplary and they are thoughtful and kind to each other. They work safely and sensibly and are quick to look after each other. Throughout the school day members of staff make opportunities to develop and reinforce children's understanding of healthy lifestyles, and even the youngest children are knowledgeable about healthy food and the importance of exercise.
Children undertake responsibilities such as monitors and friendship buddies seriously and make a significant contribution to the school and the wider community. They have a growing voice through the school forum about matters that are important to them and know their views are considered carefully and acted upon. By the time they leave at the end of Year 4, they have the confidence and skills required to be particularly successful in their middle school.
Parents value highly the provision offered to the children as reflected in one comment; 'we feel fortunate and privileged that our children have had such a happy and positive start to their schooling'. In fact, the Reception class gives children excellent opportunities to make progress. The school is exceptionally well placed to improve further. The governors and staff have an excellent understanding of the strengths of the school.
The Victorian school building is used creatively and imaginatively and governors have ambitious plans for its future development. Currently, children's access to the school library, and to some extent independent research, is limited by on going alterations.
What the school should do to improve further
* Ensure children's improved access to fiction and non-fiction books and increase their opportunities for independent research.
Achievement and standards Grade: 1
Children make outstanding progress during their time at the school and achieve exceptionally well. By the time they leave, most children exceed the nationally expected level in reading, writing and mathematics. They get off to an excellent start in the Reception class and by the end of this year most exceed the skills, knowledge and understanding expected for their age. They continue to make exceptionally strong progress in reading, writing and mathematics throughout Key Stage 1.
Over time, exceptionally high standards have consistently been maintained at the end of Year 2. By the time children leave school in Year 4, their attainment is very high. Differences in the achievements of boys and girls, identified in the assessments made by teachers at Year 2 in previous years, has resulted in specific, targeted work which has led to the gap in achievement closing by the end of Year 4. Children who are identified as gifted or talented are challenged and many of them achieve well above the expected level by the end of Year 4.
Children with learning difficulties or disabilities make similar progress to the rest of the children, particularly in their personal development and early learning skills. This is because the school works in close partnership with families, and takes time to find the best approach to help an individual learn.
Personal development and well-being Grade: 1
The school's excellent support for children's personal development is reflected in the delightful and highly enthusiastic attitudes they have towards all aspects of school life. They become very confident children, highly prepared for the next stage of education. They love coming to school and their attendance is excellent. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are also excellent and are promoted through all aspects of the work of this church school.
Children learn about nutrition and exercise from the earliest days in school and talk very confidently about 'five a day' and the very good range of opportunities they have to take exercise both in school activities and team sports with other local schools. They are encouraged from the very start to be respectful of each other and to consider each other's feelings. Behaviour is exemplary. They are kind and thoughtful and, as a result, relationships are excellent. Pupils can discuss the reasons why school rules are needed to keep them safe and healthy and they are aware of the need to keep themselves safe. Older children naturally and spontaneously offer help to younger children or those who appear lonely in the playground.
Quality of provision Teaching and learning Grade: 1
The school's judgement of teaching and learning as both good is too modest. These are outstanding, ensuring children of all abilities make exceptional progress. Parents use phrases such as, 'Teaching is so alive' and 'exciting and enthusiastic'; inspection evidence agrees with them! The calm atmosphere and very positive way all staff listen to the opinions and ideas of children results in exemplary behaviour and attitudes to learning.
Teachers are experts at spotting when a child needs help or whether they should be encouraged to work independently. This ensures children are challenged to learn new things and have opportunities to consolidate what they have learnt. Teachers' highly effective use of assessment helps to make sure that the work set for both the most able and those with learning difficulties is pitched at just the right level.
Teachers very successfully plan for the wide range of ages and ability in their classes making particularly good use of teaching assistants and trainees to group and regroup children according to the level of support they need. Play and practical activities completely underpin all the work in the Reception class. Resources, such as interactive whiteboards, are used imaginatively, motivating children and providing opportunities for them to present their work in lively ways.
Curriculum and other activities Grade: 1
The curriculum is outstanding. It is very well planned to reflect the mixed age and mixed ability classes. The Foundation Stage curriculum is comprehensively planned giving the youngest children an excellent start to their schooling. The school places a very high priority on planning experiences that ensure all children have the literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT) skills required to succeed when they transfer to middle school. Access to a library is limited by building works and this sometimes reduces children's opportunities to develop their independent research skills. Very good opportunities to practice and reinforce these basic skills are planned across the curriculum through a range of interesting and engaging activities.
An exciting range of drama, arts and music activities within and beyond the school provides extremely good opportunities to extend children's self-knowledge, confidence and esteem. The curriculum makes a very good contribution to children's understanding of healthy lifestyles. Even the youngest pupils are keen to share their knowledge advising the inspector; 'You should eat apples. Chocolate biscuits aren't good for you!'
Care, guidance and support Grade: 1
The quality of care is outstanding and pupils learn in a very safe, calm and friendly environment. Parents are particularly pleased about the caring ethos and say the school fully lives up to its motto, 'Nurturing each individual.' Within this very supportive climate children feel extremely safe to try new things and are highly challenged to achieve the challenging targets set for them. Teachers are exceptionally good at seeing what children are able to do and showing them what they have to do next to improve their work.
The progress of each individual is monitored very carefully and action is taken to ensure that their excellent progress is maintained. The school has very effective systems for tracking individual achievement and can illustrate children's progress, including that of less confident readers and children with learning difficulties and disabilities. Very good communication with parents and other agencies result in high quality programmes of support for children who find it hard to learn. Child protection procedures are good and recent legislation to ensure children are safeguarded is adhered to.
Leadership and management Grade: 1
The school continues to thrive and grow under the outstanding leadership of the headteacher, supported by a strong team of teachers, teaching assistants and governors. The staff team supports the headteacher highly competently and ensures children develop an awareness of the world beyond their small school.
The school's evaluation of itself illustrates that it is aware of its strengths but has been too modest in its overall grading. However, it does, through its good range of monitoring, effectively and accurately identify the school's very good ethos and performance and its strengths and areas for improvement. As a result, school improvement planning is good and effectively involves members of the school community.
Management is very good and records show that monitoring activities are thorough and lead to further improvements Governors are highly effective in reviewing the school's progress and monitoring pupils' achievements. Increasing use is made of external evaluations such as parents' perception surveys and local authority advisers' visits to validate the school's own view of its work. "
This report and inspection judgements can be seen on the Ofsted website - click here