Team is working hard to turn school around, says Ofsted
A village primary school whose new leaders are “working hard to turn the school around” has been rated as requires improvement by Ofsted.
Warmingham C of E Primary School was rated as good for behaviour and attitudes and personal development, but requires improvement for the quality of education early years provision and leadership and management, and as requires improvement overall.
However, the report said that in the short time the newly-formed leadership team had been in the school, it had “taken positive steps” to improve the quality of the curriculum.
In reading, writing and mathematics there was now “a greater clarity” about what pupils should learn and when they will learn it. Teachers had improved the way that they organised learning to help pupils remember more.
However, the school leaders acknowledged that in some subjects, for example history, science and physical education, the curriculum was “still at an early stage of development”.
The Ofsted report said: “Pupils have not had the chance to thrive academically. They do not achieve as well as they should in reading, writing and mathematics. Until more recently, leaders and teachers have not had high enough expectations of pupils.
“Children do not learn as well as they should in the early years. This is because the curriculum requires further development. Similarly, across the school the curriculum is not adapted effectively for some pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities.”
On the plus side, the report said the school was a place where everyone felt included. The pupils said they felt “part of one big family”. The school’s motto is “Let your light shine” and the report said this “aptly described” how pupils encouraged and celebrated each other’s individuality.
Pupils behaved well, and were polite and eager to learn. Pupils were kind to each other and older pupils enjoyed supporting younger ones in their work and play. Pupils lived up to the school’s Christian values of compassion, respect and forgiveness. Pupils’ personal development was also strong, with “a wide range” of trips and visits.
Pupils said they felt “very safe” in school. Any incidents of bullying were dealt with effectively.
Pupils were friendly and caring to each other and many older pupils volunteered to be playground buddies and organise games for others to play.
The report said that although the leaders’ new approach to the curriculum was in place, it had not yet had the required impact on pupils’ achievement. Some pupils still had wide gaps in their knowledge. Until more recently, teachers’ expectations of what pupils should know have not been high enough. This too had caused underachievement, said the report, but it added: “Overall, teachers are knowledgeable about the subjects that they teach. Teachers are increasingly successful at encouraging pupils to see connections between topics and concepts.
“Despite the gaps in pupils’ knowledge, current pupils are now building a more secure understanding of their learning.
“The leadership team has effectively focused on raising the profile of reading. Although achievement in reading has not been good, there are some signs of improvement. Books and reading are now of central importance in school.”
Warmingham C of E Primary School became an academy in April 2017 and this was the first Ofsted report since then. The current principal took up her post in January 2020. The school is one of three that form the Rural Church Schools Academy Trust. There is also an acting executive headteacher, who has been in post since May 2019.
The Church of England school last received a religious education inspection in 2015.