We are especially proud that our provision for Personal Development was highlighted as a strength:
- The school consistently promotes the extensive personal development of pupils. The school goes beyond the expected, so that pupils have access to a wide, rich set of experiences. Opportunities for pupils to develop their talents and interests are of exceptional quality.
- There is strong take-up by pupils of the opportunities provided by the school. The most disadvantaged pupils consistently benefit from this excellent work.
- The school provides these rich experiences in a coherently planned way, in the curriculum and through extra-curricular activities, and they considerably strengthen the school’s offer.
- The way the school goes about developing pupils’ character is exemplary and is worthy of being shared with others.
The statements below summarise some of our identified strengths:
Children’s Behaviour and Attitudes:
- ‘Coming to Crossdale school makes me happy,’ was a typical comment from several pupils.
- Pupils want to improve their work and are proud of what they produce.
- Pupils learn to value teamwork and creativity.
- Pupils […] understand how the values that they are learning about, such as democracy and fairness, underpin what they do at school.
- Pupils […] feel that the school’s behaviour code, known as ‘The Crossdale Way’ helps them to live together well […] Pupils tell us that behaviour is good and disagreements are rare.
- Pupils […] could not recall any bullying taking place. They can explain what they would do if it did happen. They are confident that staff would deal with it quickly.
Teaching and Learning:
- Teachers expect pupils to do their best.
- At Crossdale pupils learn through many rich and varied experiences […] Parents comment positively about these wider opportunities.
- Children get off to a swift start in learning how to read. Teachers check which sounds they know […] Most pupils become fluent readers.
- Teachers help pupils to become confident mathematicians […] They ensure that pupils practise what they are learning until they become fluent.
- Pupils enjoy the topics that they learn. They remember what they have learned in previous years and make connections with what they are learning now.
- Pupils are well supported, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
- Teachers are ambitious for pupils with SEND and make sure that they are well prepared for the next stage of their learning […] They work with parents and carers and other agencies to make sure that pupils get the help that they need.
- Teachers make sure that pupils learn how to stay safe online. Pupils know that they have to be careful about the information that they share with others.
- Leaders have developed an ambitious curriculum for pupils.
- Leaders and teachers know the steps that pupils need to make to be well prepared for the next stage of their learning. Pupils achieve well.
- Leaders ensure that pupils are prepared for life in modern Britain.
- Leaders make sure that all staff receive regular safeguarding training […] Leaders act promptly to deal with any concerns […] They check that this is making a difference.
- Governors fulfil their responsibilities well. They challenge leaders to maintain their high ambitions for all pupils.
HOW CAN WE MAKE CROSSDALE EVEN BETTER?
Two areas were identified for us to work on as we strive to make Crossdale even better. The first of these is the early teaching of phonics; inspectors suggested we should review the consistency of teaching in phonics for younger children and also audit the books we send home with children to support their reading – inspectors felt that a small minority of pupils had books that were too challenging for their stage of reading. We have already responded to this feedback and will not rest on our laurels! However, parents should be reassured that Crossdale’s results in Year 1 national phonics screening checks have been in line with, or above national averages for many years. Furthermore, Year 6 SAT results in reading were well above national averages at both the expected and higher standard last year. The progress of children in reading last year was also judged to be well above average.
The second area identified for development is the level of challenge we provide for more able mathematicians at Crossdale. Although most pupils interviewed by inspectors during our OFSTED inspection felt work in maths was challenging, a few felt they were not always stretched. This is an area we had already identified from our own self-evaluation procedures and have been addressing through our School Improvement Plan. We are now seeing the impact of extra training for staff and we will continue to closely monitor the provision, and outcomes, for more able mathematicians. We are aiming to increase the number of children achieving the higher standard in maths by the end of Year 6. In the meantime, parents should note that Year 6 SAT results were above national averages last year at the expected standard and the higher standard.
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