Canada Hill Primary School

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Main Report

Introduction

The inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and an Additional Inspector. The inspectors evaluated the overall effectiveness of the school and investigated the following issues:

The impact of setting challenging targets for pupils' achievement and standards, especially at Key Stage 1 and in writing; the effectiveness and impact of senior leaders' monitoring and self-evaluation in securing high quality teaching and learning; and how effective the school has been in developing subject leaders as a means of spreading good practice and further developing the school's capacity to improve. Inspectors gathered evidence from discussions with senior leaders, teaching and non-teaching staff, observation of pupils engaged in activities around the school and discussion with members of the school council. Other aspects of the school's work were not investigated in detail, but inspectors found no evidence to suggest that the school's own assessments, as given in its self-evaluation, were not justified, and these have been included where appropriate in this report.

Description of the school

This is larger than the average-sized primary school. Children start the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in the Reception Year, with skills that are as expected for their age. Almost all pupils are of White British heritage. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is below average. The percentage of children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is in line with the national average, although the proportion with a statement of special educational need is slightly higher. The school provides before-school care for children each day and after-school care one day a week. The percentage of pupils who enter the school other than at the usual times is above average.

Key for inspection grades

Grade 1 Outstanding

Grade 2 Good

Grade 3 Satisfactory

Grade 4 Inadequate

Overall effectiveness of the school

Grade: 1

'Canada Hill is a fantastic school with an amazing team of teachers and support staff'; 'One of the strengths of the school is the ability to help the children to become well-balanced, confident young people.' These comments, written by parents who responded to the Ofsted questionnaire, reflect the views of the overwhelming majority of parents who support the school and are very happy with their children's progress and achievements. These comments add weight to the inspectors' judgement that Canada Hill Community Primary School is outstanding.

The school's success stems from the impressive work of the headteacher. With her leadership team, she has skilfully managed to impart her vision for academic excellence along with careful attention to pupils' personal development, which is outstanding, throughout the school. Consequently, staff are united in this work and are highly motivated to ensure all pupils achieve as well as they can. Parents appreciate the school's commitment to good communication, which is maintained through an efficient and approachable team of school administrators.

From the moment children arrive in the EYFS, they settle quickly and really enjoy their learning. This is because the support they receive is outstanding and correctly focused on children's individual learning needs. From this excellent beginning, children quickly grow in confidence, which gives them the best possible start to their learning. Transition arrangements into Key Stage 1 are managed carefully as teachers continue to nurture and support pupils. During this stage, particular attention is given to rooting pupils' newly acquired skills firmly in a stimulating learning environment. As a result, pupils make good progress and achieve above average standards by the end of Key Stage 1. However, pupils' individual targets for development are insufficiently sharp at this stage to secure the rapid progress achieved by other year groups.

Pupils in Key Stage 2 flourish and quickly grow in all areas of learning and make outstanding progress because of good and, more often, outstanding teaching. Consequently, standards in English, mathematics and science at the end of Key Stage 2 are outstanding.

A significant reason for the success pupils enjoy at Canada Hill is the outstanding curriculum. Leaders have been innovative in providing pupils with 'an adventurous curriculum' that stimulates and motivates them to achieve so highly. Careful planning that ensures the correct balance of subjects effectively weaves together rigorous attention to the development of pupils' skills, along with exciting new learning experiences. This keeps pupils highly motivated and eager to succeed. Pupils' high levels of concentration in lessons further support their learning.

For example, in a Year 1 science lesson, pupils were able to recall rapidly all five human senses from a previous lesson. In a French lesson, pupils in Years 5 and 6 were able to construct sentences confidently in French for a museum guide that linked with their history studies on Victorian childhood. Experienced teaching assistants work closely with teachers in providing support tailored to meet the needs of individuals or small groups. As a result, pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, along with high attaining pupils, make outstanding progress. The school works hard to promote community cohesion, for example through singing in the community and providing regular contributions to the parish magazine. The school has recently become an international school in its quest to develop meaningful links within the global community. Through the curriculum, pupils learn about other cultures, such as China through its artwork, and Mexico.

The school's inclusive ethos ensures that the care, guidance and pastoral support given to pupils are highly effective. All legal requirements in safeguarding pupils are fulfilled, and all reasonable steps are taken to ensure children are safe within school. Pupils' work is marked thoroughly. Individual targets for older pupils, to help them know their next steps in learning, are effective and understood by pupils, who are keen to meet them. Completed work is highly valued and regularly celebrated, as seen in the outstanding quality of work displayed around the school.

Pupils are proud of their achievements. It is no surprise to find that pupils thoroughly enjoy their learning and their behaviour is excellent. Pupils have a very good knowledge about what it means to eat healthily and how to stay safe. They know the school rules and respond very well to the various reward systems that are in place. 'The best thing about this school is everyone is helpful; teachers and friends help you with your problems,' said one typically happy child. Pupils delight in the variety of opportunity provided through the curriculum as well as the many after-school activities on offer. The well-established school council enables pupils to play a full part in the life of the school, which further enhances their developing economic awareness through regular fundraising initiatives.

Pupils' spiritual development is good, although opportunities are sometimes missed for pupils to develop spiritual awareness in acts of collective worship. Pupils' attendance is good and regularly monitored by the school. Governors are highly effective in supporting the school. They are very well informed by the headteacher, which enables them to provide the correct balance of support and challenge necessary to sustain school improvement. Leaders have been assiduous in addressing areas for development. The systems for checking pupils' progress are very strong and used effectively to identify appropriate actions to secure improvement. Given its improvement since the previous inspection, the outstanding commitment by leaders to strive for even greater excellence, and effective self-evaluation, the school has an outstanding capacity for further improvement.

Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage

Grade: 1

Children get off to a flying start in their first year at school because of the outstanding provision in the EYFS. They settle quickly and happily into school because of the effective links with pre-school providers and the carefully structured induction procedures. Thoughtful use of indoor and outdoor spaces means that children have access to a wide range of learning opportunities that enable them to establish themselves as independent learners very quickly. All adults working in the EYFS team ensure that care and welfare are high priorities, which leads to children demonstrating good self-confidence, especially when communicating with adults. In turn, staff have very high expectations which result in children making outstanding progress. This applies to all areas of learning but is particularly notable in children's personal, social and emotional development. For example, a group of six children were able to organise themselves independently, take turns and work together as they played a game on the interactive whiteboard.

Leadership of the EYFS is exemplary. Staff lose no time in making excellent use of assessment procedures to find children's starting points and then match teaching and learning activities precisely to individual needs. From the outset, specific help is given to those children who need to catch up on aspects of their learning. Teachers take great care to ensure the curriculum motivates and engages children extremely well, which further helps them to become excited about learning.

What the school should do to improve further improve their work.

Ensure that detailed marking in Key Stage 1 helps pupils to know what they need to do to.