Seven Fields Primary School 'requires improvement' according to Ofsted inspectors

By Jamie Hill - 23 October 2023


An Ofsted inspection of Seven Fields Primary School has said that the school still 'requires improvement' in some areas of its education.

Inspectors visited the school on 19 and 20 September.

According to the report the primary school needs to look at three areas of improvement.

1. An effective curriculum is not yet fully implemented in some subjects. Consequently, pupils have not yet gained the depth of knowledge that they should. The trust needs to ensure that the curriculum for foundation subjects is fully and effectively implemented so that pupils build the knowledge they need.

2. Learning is not adapted well enough to meet the needs of some pupils with SEND. As a result, these pupils do not learn as well as they should. The trust must ensure that staff check the quality and effectiveness of support plans and how well they are being implemented across the curriculum to ensure that the needs of pupils with SEND are fully met.

3. The attendance of some pupils is still too low. These pupils do not learn the curriculum well. The trust needs to continue the work it is doing to improve the attendance of pupils who are persistently absent.

The report said: "Pupils enjoy coming to Seven Fields Primary School. They understand how the school’s ‘magnificent 7’ values help them to be kind, well-mannered and to not give up. Parents talk positively about the school’s ‘family feel’ and the role it plays in the local community. Despite this, the quality of education that pupils receive is not yet good. In some subjects, pupils do not learn as well as they should. The implementation of the curriculum does not enable them to know more and remember more over time.

"Pupils’ behaviour has improved in recent times. Suspensions have reduced. Pupils feel safe. They have warm and trusting relationships with adults. Pupils say that adults are there for them if they need to share any worries. They respond well to the structures and routines that are in place. This starts in the early years, where children listen carefully and follow instructions well.

"Pupils enjoy the range of clubs that are on offer to them, such as performing arts, choir and netball. They value becoming house captains and members of the school council. Pupils say that these roles make them feel proud and help to make the school a better place.

"The school has a clear vision for what all pupils can achieve. With the support of the trust, the school’s actions are bringing about rapid improvements, particularly in the early years and reading. However, the school’s vison is yet to be fully realised. While the curriculum makes clear what pupils need to know and when, its implementation does yet not enable pupils to build their knowledge across all subjects well enough as they move through the school.

"Reading is prioritised. All staff benefit from the training they receive to teach phonics and reading well. Children begin phonics as soon as they start school. Books match the sounds that pupils learn, which helps them to gain confidence. If pupils fall behind, they receive the support they need to help them catch up quickly. Pupils enjoy listening to adults read stories to them and understand that reading helps them learn new words. As they move through the school, pupils read a range of texts with increasing accuracy and fluency.

:The school has put in place a well-structured mathematics curriculum. This starts in the early years. Teachers develop children’s mathematical vocabulary well. This means that children recognise and talk confidently about numbers.

"In some other subjects, the implementation of the curriculum is not as effective. Some pupils do not learn as well as they could, and have gaps in their knowledge. For example, in computing, while pupils can recall what they have learned about staying safe online, they struggle to remember and make links to what they have Inspection report: Seven Fields Primary School 19 and 20 September 2023 3 learned before about data logging and computer programming. This prevents pupils from developing the depth of knowledge and skills they need.

"The school is ambitious for what pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) can achieve. There are clear systems in place for identifying the individual needs of pupils. However, some staff do not yet routinely adapt learning well enough to fully support pupils. Some pupils’ plans lack precision. This slows the progress that some pupils with SEND make.

"Pupils are positive about their learning. They move around the school calmly and sensibly. Children in the early years are eager to learn, take turns and play well together.

"The school’s work is helping to improve attendance for many pupils. Staff talk to parents to understand the reasons for absence and promote the importance of good attendance. However, some pupils’ learning is hindered due to high rates of absence.

"The school supports pupils’ personal development well. Pupils know that a good friend needs to be loyal, respectful and supportive. They know how fundamental British values, such as democracy and tolerance, are important in day-to-day life. Pupils develop their sense of character by raising money for charities. This enables them to help others in their community.

"Trustees and local governors are ambitious for the school. They know the school’s strengths and hold leaders to account for their actions well. Staff are proud to work at the school. They appreciate the way in which they are supported and how their workload is considered.

"The arrangements for safeguarding are effective."

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