Ofsted

Inspection Report – January 2018

RE: OFSTED Inspection – January 2018

DATE: Tuesday 10th April 2018

Bismillaahir Rahmanir Raheem

Dear Parents,

We have now received the final report from OFSTED following our inspection on 9th -11th January 2018. The full report has now been published on the OFSTED website.

As you are aware, the school was previously in special measures after a poor Ofsted inspection. Work was done to ensure the school made the relevant progress, and we were finally cleared of special measures in February 2017.

We were informed at the same time that we were due an inspection towards the end of 2018, and thus we took up the academic direction of which you are aware by now.

Ofsted’s visit in the second week of January this year came as a shock to all (even by their own admittance). It is therefore no surprise that we were not ‘match-fit’, and judged overall as ‘inadequate’.’

Despite this, many improvements were noted by the inspectors, as you shall see in the report. This is a clear product of our new academic direction, of which we can all be proud.

For the first time in the school’s history, the English curriculum and lessons were praised. This has always been a difficult issue for us and this is a truly a milestone.

Ofsted inspectors agreed to us preparing a letter to send to you all explaining the report – they were keen to highlight the areas, which the school fell short in were a legacy issue, which will take time to iron out completely.

Having said that, the inspectors found many positive strengths within the school and were satisfied that the new management is already making progress towards ensuring high quality teaching and learning for the children of Greenfields Primary School with it’s new exciting knowledge- based curriculum introduced recently in September 2017.

So to begin, these are the areas of strength from the report;

  • The board of directors has strengthened the leadership team since the last inspection.

  • Leaders are developing an exciting new curriculum that provides rich opportunities for pupils to engage in new experiences.

  • Since the last inspection, leaders have made ambitious changes to the school curriculum, in consultation with other schools. The new curriculum is knowledge-based and provides rich opportunities for pupils to learn new skills and engage in new experiences. However, leaders have not yet implemented the curriculum across the whole school effectively.

  • They have recently appointed senior leaders and heads of department for English, mathematics and science. Leaders are clear about their roles and responsibilities. They have started to monitor the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

  • The curriculum and teaching in Years 1 to 4 have a positive impact on pupils’ progress. Most of these year groups are making good progress in English and mathematics.

  • Staff successfully develop pupils’ literacy skills well through a well- delivered English curriculum. For example, pupils are encouraged to read widely and often and to write for different purposes and audiences.

  • Reading has been a key development within the school. Leaders recognised that the previous reading scheme was not helping pupils to make good progress and develop key skills. Leaders have introduced English literature lessons across the school. These sessions focus on classic texts and help pupils to develop their reading and comprehension skills. The vast majority of pupils are able to read fluently and accurately. As a result, pupils have developed a love of reading and are enjoying a wider appreciation of texts.

  • Staff develop pupils’ creative and aesthetic appreciation skills through English literature sessions and art lessons. Pupils demonstrate an appreciation of authors including Robert Louis Stevenson and Oscar Wilde. In art, pupils have explored Islamic and Greek art and have studied the work of Vincent van Gogh.

  • Teachers generally have secure subject knowledge, and some teachers use highly effective questioning to extend pupils’ thinking and deepen their learning. This is particularly strong in English and English literature, where pupils acquire knowledge appropriate to their age. Pupils develop speaking and listening skills in both English and Arabic lessons and develop new vocabulary. Teachers develop pupils’ communication skills throughout the curriculum through ‘oratory’ sessions in which older pupils engage in philosophical questions and debates on moral and ethical themes.

  • Leaders and staff have improved the delivery of phonics since the previous inspection. Staff accurately assess pupils and use this information to match sessions to pupils’ ability across Years 1 to 4. The school’s information shows that this approach is successful, and the vast majority of pupils in these year groups are making good progress.

  • The teaching of phonics and reading is effective and helps pupils to make good progress.

  • A rich religious education curriculum is in place across the whole school that enables pupils to learn about and celebrate other cultures and religions.

  • Staff promote key themes, such as being truthful and trustworthy, being good to friends and respecting the views, property and belongings of other people, through assemblies. Pupils demonstrate these values both in and out of lesson times. Pupils understand the school’s classroom rules, which include respect for adults and peers and the importance of listening to others.

  • Pupils show that they understand that people may be different to them and that they should tolerate the views, values and beliefs of others.

  • Through personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, pupils learn about sharing and caring, supporting charities and understanding health, including mental health issues such as stress and depression. Pupils have chances to participate actively in democracy through the pupil council. Pupils told inspectors that staff listen to and act upon their views, ideas and suggestions. For example, pupils said that they asked for a library and the school has provided this.

  • Learning environments are stimulating. Classroom displays are lively and vibrant and feature a range of pupils’ work across all year groups. Key words and vocabulary are well promoted.

  • Pupils enjoy school and value their education. Attendance across all year groups is in line with the national average. In rare cases where attendance for individuals has become a cause for concern, leaders have been quick to work with parents. This work has been effective and has had a positive impact on attendance.

  • Staff have high expectations of how pupils should behave. Pupils enjoy school, attend regularly and take their learning seriously.

  • Leaders and staff have high expectations for pupils’ behaviour. The school bases its classroom rules on showing respect to peers and adults and listening to others. The rules are well established, pupils understand them and all staff consistently apply them.

  • Pupils arrive on time, settle quickly into lessons and remain on task. Low-level disruption is extremely rare, as is the use of derogatory language. Staff swiftly challenge off-task behaviour. Pupils’ attitudes are consistently positive. They are keen to learn and do well.

  • Staff manage pupils’ playtimes well. The play areas are well supervised. There are few incidents of bullying and pupils say that staff deal with these quickly and effectively. Pupils know about different types of bullying, including verbal, physical and cyber bullying. Pupils are confident that, if they have any concerns, staff will resolve them quickly.

  • Boys and girls arrive on time at the start of the school day using the same entrance, and staff greet them warmly. Some pupils read before lessons in mixed groups before moving on to registration. This well-established routine has a positive effect on pupils’ attendance and punctuality, which are good.

  • There are comprehensive policies and procedures in place to keep children safe.

The report recognises that the newly reconstituted school leadership team with the new exciting knowledge-rich curriculum that has been recently introduced, are aware of the importance of their role in challenging the school and its staff to ensure that the right priorities are being pursued and are developing an understanding of the impact of actions taken to improve teaching.

Inspectors also highlighted a number of key areas which require improvement.

These include:

  • that the policy of segregation by sex in years 5 and 6 and results in less favourable treatment of both girls and boys and creates a detriment to girls (who are unable to study alongside/associate with boys in lessons) and a detriment to boys (for the same reason). As such, Ofsted takes the view that this constitutes direct discrimination by sex contrary to section 13 of the Equalities Act 2010.

  • In Years 3 and 4, pupils make better progress than older pupils do in mathematics because of higher expectations and appropriately challenging tasks. These pupils demonstrate effective problem solving skills and their responses to questions evidence gains in their learning. In contrast, those in Years 5 and 6 have more limited opportunities to solve problems and to develop their reasoning skills.

  • The recently employed SENCo has started to identify pupils in need of additional support and intervention. This work is in its infancy and is yet to show a positive effect across all year groups.

It is obviously very disappointing for all members of staff that the outcome of the inspection has found that the school is inadequate and will undoubtedly be very disappointing for you as parents also. However, it must be said that all staff in school are committed to providing the best education for the children of Greenfields Primary School. To a certain extent the outcome of the inspection was not a surprise given the turbulent and unsettled period the school underwent in 2016/17 with respect to changes in Headteacher and teaching staff. With these changes coupled with the introduction of the new curriculum recently made, the school is optimistic that the future will be positive Insha-Allaah as mentioned by Ofsted themselves.

With the publication of the report, now is the time to look forward and continue to address the issues that you as parents are most concerned about – that is ensuring that the children of Greenfields Primary School receive the high quality education that they deserve in a safe environment where all children are supported to reach their potential. We hope that you as parents will continue to support us with this aim.

To give parents more opportunity to discuss concerns, which you may have with regards to the OFSTED report and the progress that we are already making in improving the school, we would like to invite you to an open parents’ meeting on Monday 14th May 2018 at 5.45pm. The school will organise crèche facilities for parents with very young children.

We look forward to having the opportunity to talk further with you at that time.

P. Saeed Alam

Headteacher

472 Coventry Road, Birmingham, B10 0UG  |  0121 772 4567  |  admin@greenfieldsprimary.school

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