MICKLEHURST All Saints C of E Primary has been praised for tackling issues regarding behaviour and pupil absences as it maintained its “good” rating following a recent Ofsted short inspection.
Government inspector Emma Gregory remarked on the improvement as in the past – the last short inspection was in October 2013 – the proportion of excluded pupils was higher than the national average.
She wrote in her report: “Leaders provide appropriate support for the small number of pupils who have difficulty managing their own behaviour.
“As a result, the proportion of pupils excluded for a fixed period has reduced considerably. Leaders have created a calm and harmonious learning environment.
“Teachers manage pupils’ behaviour consistently well across all year groups. The overwhelming majority of pupils display consistently positive attitudes to learning.
“Pupils are polite, courteous, friendly and respectful towards each other and adults in the school.
“Positive relationships between teachers and pupils support the good progress that pupils make.”
She added she wanted to learn more about the rates of attendance for disadvantaged pupils and those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.
The inspector continued: “This is because, in the past, rates of pupil absence for these groups have been above the national average.
“You have ensured that the attendance of these groups of pupils is a priority for staff.
“Staff monitor pupils’ attendance more closely and provide help and support for families if their child’s attendance becomes a concern. This support has had a positive effect.
“The proportion of disadvantaged pupils and those who have SEN and/or disabilities who are regularly absent from school is now below the national average.”
The inspector added she was interested to learn more about the progress of pupils, particularly the most able pupils, in writing.
This is because the proportion of pupils who achieved above the expected standard in writing at the end of key stage two had been below national averages.
It was also noted children in the early years arrive at the school with skills and understanding that are typically low for their age.
The inspectors’ report continued: “Teachers in the early years plan learning that accurately matches the needs of children. As a result, children make good progress.
“However, because of their low starting points, the proportion of children who go into year one having achieved a good level of development is below the national average.
“Leaders in the early years have sharpened further their assessment.
“This is allowing staff to identify more quickly those pupils who fall behind in specific areas. As a result, children in the early years are already beginning to make even better progress.
“Teachers’ refined approach to assessing children’s progress and leaders’ effective transition arrangements allow pupils to catch up by the end of key stage one.
“Nonetheless, ensuring that a higher proportion of children achieve a good level of development remains a priority for leaders.”
The report noted the school had maintained its “good quality of education” since the last inspection and it had “created a haven where pupils thrive”.
It also praised the school for encouraging pupils to have a voice through a student and ethos council along with health and sport ambassadors as pupils in years five and six lead exercise routines for younger pupils each morning.
Looking ahead, the report suggested:
• Teachers challenge the most able pupils to improve their writing sooner in order for them to make faster progress throughout the school.
• They embed recent changes to improve the proportion of children who achieve a good level of development in the early years.