Ubley Church of England Primary School
Unique Reference Number 109209
Local Authority Bath and North East Somerset
Inspection number 324924
Inspection date 14 May 2009
Reporting inspector Stephen Lake
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
The registered childcare, managed by the governing body, was inspected under section 49 of the Childcare Act 2006.
Type of school Primary
School category Voluntary controlled
Age range of pupils 4–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number on roll
School (total) 68
Government funded early education
provision for children aged 3 to the end
of the EYFS
Childcare provision for children
aged 0 to 3 years
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair M MacLeod
Headteacher Denise Williams
Date of previous school inspection 8 May 2006
Date of previous funded early education
inspection Not previously inspected
Date of previous childcare inspection Not previously inspected
School address The Street
Bristol BS40 6PJ
Telephone number 01761 462654
Fax number 01761 463317
Age group 4–11
Inspection date 14 May 2009
Inspection number 324924
Inspection report Ubley Church of England Primary School, 14 May 2009
© Crown copyright 2009
This document may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial educational purposes, provided that the information quoted is reproduced without adaptation and the source and date of publication are stated.
Further copies of this report are obtainable from the school. Under the Education Act 2005, the school must provide a copy of this report free of charge to certain categories of people. A charge not exceeding the full cost of reproduction may be made for any other copies supplied.
The inspection was carried out by two additional inspectors. The inspectors evaluated the overall effectiveness of the school and investigated the following issues:
* attainment and achievement, especially in English and that of more able pupils, and the way in which information on how well pupils are doing is used to set challenging targets
* the impact of the staffing changes on the quality of teaching and on the leadership and management of the school
* the school's strategy for community cohesion and pupils' personal development and well-being, especially in relation to pupils' cultural development.
Evidence was gathered from: discussions with the headteacher, chair of governors, pupils and staff; visits to classes and a scrutiny of pupils' work; observation of other aspects of the school day, such as break time; and an analysis of parents' questionnaires and school documentation, including data on pupils' progress, records of visits by other external assessors and minutes of meetings.
Other aspects of the school's work were not investigated in detail but the 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 small village school serves the villages of Ubley and Compton Martin and Nempnett Thrubwell. Pupils are taught in three mixed-age classes. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are taught in a class with pupils in Year 1. Almost all pupils are of White British origin. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is below average. The headteacher has been in post for less than a year. Two of the three classes are taught currently by newly qualified teachers on temporary contracts.
Key for inspection grades
Grade 1 Outstanding
Grade 2 Good
Grade 3 Satisfactory
Grade 4 Inadequate
Overall effectiveness of the school
Ubley Church of England Primary School is a good school. Pupils achieve well because the good leadership and management of the new headteacher have ensured a clear focus on raising standards. Although progress has been broadly satisfactory for several years, the staff identified that pupils were not doing as well as they could, especially in writing. Strategies put in place at the start of the year to improve pupils' writing skills have proved very effective and standards in writing have risen markedly this year. Parents comment enthusiastically upon the improvements that they have noted. As one parent said, 'There have been some very good changes implemented and (they) are working very well.'
The improvement in standards in English to above average and the high standards evident in recent years in science mean that pupils now achieve well overall. The standards attained by pupils in Year 5 show that the improvement in English is well embedded and not just a feature of one year group. Pupils start school with the skills typically expected of children this age and make satisfactory progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage to enter Year 1 with broadly average skills. By the end of Year 2, they have made good progress and standards are above average in reading, writing and mathematics. In Years 3 to 6 they continue to make good progress and by Year 6, standards are above average overall, especially in English and science. Nevertheless, in mathematics, achievement although satisfactory, is a comparative weakness and the standards reached by Year 6 are average. The school has identified this and the school development plan includes suitable strategies for improving mathematics.
Despite the many changes of staff this year, the quality of learning is monitored effectively by the headteacher. The excellent advice and support given by her to the newly qualified teachers have ensured that the quality of teaching is good. This is a key factor in the improvement in standards seen. Teachers have good relationships with the pupils and carefully plan stimulating and motivating lessons. Nevertheless, there are some inconsistencies in the quality of teaching. The best progress is made when teachers use the information on pupils' progress well to set targets for further improvement in their work, as they do in Years 2, 5 and 6. Progress elsewhere is not always as good because the use of information on how well pupils are doing, to set clear learning targets for pupils to challenge them to do their very best, is inconsistent. This is especially so in mathematics. The headteacher has identified this shortcoming and introduced new systems of tracking pupils' progress; these are providing clearer information on how well pupils are doing and have enabled clear learning targets to be set in writing. The good quality support provided by skilled teaching assistants enables pupils with learning difficulties to make the same progress as their peers and to be fully included in lessons.
Pupils' personal development and well-being are outstanding. The good quality curriculum not only provides pupils with a rich learning experience but also makes excellent provision for their personal development. The very high level of attendance reflects pupils' immense enjoyment of school. This is apparent in any discussion with pupils, when they are keen to talk about how much they love learning. The high quality guidance that pupils receive means that they feel extremely safe and have an excellent understanding of how to stay safe and how to keep fit and healthy. The school travel plan brings together safety and fitness, with pupils taking cycling proficiency tests in order to be able to cycle safely to school. Current requirements for safeguarding are met. Pupils are particularly pleased with the various school clubs introduced this year and many regularly take part in the sports activities offered or learn what healthy food is through the Garden Club. Parents also commented upon these clubs; as one said, 'We were already very happy with the school but feel the number and variety of clubs has added a new dimension.' Behaviour is excellent and pupils make a huge contribution to the community through activities such as the school council and the 'buddy' system where they help other pupils on the playground. They also contribute to the local community through village activities such as fêtes and coffee mornings. The skills that pupils gain from these activities, together with good standards achieved make a good contribution to their future economic well-being.
Pupils' spiritual moral and social development is outstanding. Pupils' cultural development, although good, is a comparative weakness, as their understanding of the rich diversity of cultures found in Britain is not as good as it could be. Nevertheless, through activities such as the links with a school in Zambia, pupils have a sound understanding of life in other countries. In this way, the school makes a satisfactory contribution to community cohesion.
The care, guidance and support of pupils are good. Although the pastoral care is excellent, the systems for supporting pupils' academic progress are not consistent. The headteacher has identified that marking does not always show pupils what they need to do next to improve their work and too little attention is given to supporting pupils' spelling and presentation skills, which affects their achievement. These matters are already highlighted in the revised school development plan and good quality support from the headteacher has started to improve the way that marking is used to support and guide pupils.
The evaluation undertaken by the head is robust and accurate. Her good quality systems for checking on pupils' progress, and the challenging targets set, have been important factors in improving standards in writing. The temporary changes of staff mean the headteacher has the sole responsibility for subject leadership and management. Nevertheless, although this is causing an additional workload for the headteacher, it has not restricted the identification of where further improvement is needed, for example in mathematics. As a result, despite the temporary arrangements for subject leadership, there is good overall leadership and management. The school has identified that better information on how well the school is doing needs to be provided to governors to help them to develop the way they hold the school to account. This has already started with the headteacher supporting governors by providing them with good quality information on pupils' progress through the new systems for checking on how well pupils are doing.
Governors are working at present to improve their satisfactory strategies to evaluate the effectiveness of the school's work to promote community cohesion. They support the school well and their good budget management, plus strong partnership with parents, have enabled the school to make significant improvements to the accommodation. The recent improvements and the good leadership, especially that of the headteacher, demonstrate that the school has a good capacity for further improvement.
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Overall provision is satisfactory. Children receive a sound start to their education. They start school with skills similar to most children this age, apart from mathematical development, where skills are slightly higher. The vast majority of children reach the expected goals at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage in all areas of learning. The leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation Stage are satisfactory. The leader has only very recently taken on this role and is already developing suitable skills, supported very well by the headteacher.
The good partnership between all adults and the high focus upon praise ensure excellent behaviour. Close and positive relationships with parents mean that children settle quickly and happily. Their personal development is good; they display positive attitudes and learn to relate well with others. This is summed up well by the parent who wrote, 'My daughter has really enjoyed her first two terms at school. She is keen to learn.' The high quality care provided by adults helps children to feel secure and confident. As a result, on entry to Year 1, children are well prepared for learning.
Children make sound progress as a result of the satisfactory teaching. All areas of learning are covered appropriately and there is a suitable balance between direct teaching and opportunities for children to learn through purposeful play. Nevertheless, on occasions it is not always clear what children are expected to learn next to help them improve, especially in their play. The high quality outdoor area provides a wonderful environment for children to learn in. However, because of the distance from the Early Years Foundation Stage classroom, the school recognises that this area has to be very well managed to ensure that the careful attention given to children's welfare is maintained
What the school should do to improve further
* Ensure that feedback to children in the Early Years Foundation Stage and guidance to pupils in Years 1 to 6 makes clear how to improve their work.
* Make better use of the information on how well pupils are doing to set more challenging targets for what they need to learn next, especially in mathematics.
* Improve governors' evaluation of the effectiveness of actions to promote community cohesion and pupils' understanding of the rich diversity of cultures in Britain.
Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: www.ofsted.gov.uk.
Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate. School Overall
How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of education,integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners? 2
Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection Yes
How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being? 2
The capacity to make any necessary improvements 2
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the EYFS? 3
How well do children in the EYFS achieve? 3
How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the children? 2
How effectively are children in the EYFS helped to learn and develop? 3
How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted? 2
How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed? 3
Achievement and standards
How well do learners achieve? 2
The standards¹ reached by learners 2
How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners 2
How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress 2
Personal development and well-being
How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners? 1
The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 1
The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles 1
The extent to which learners adopt safe practices 1
The extent to which learners enjoy their education 1
The attendance of learners 1
The behaviour of learners 1
The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community 1
How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being 2
The quality of provision
How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of learners' needs? 2
How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners? 2
How well are learners cared for, guided and supported? 2
Leadership and management
How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners? 2
How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education 2
How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards 2
The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation 2
How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated 2
How well does the school contribute to community cohesion? 3
How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money 2
The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities 3
Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements? Yes
Does this school require special measures? No
Does this school require a notice to improve? No
1 Grade 1 - Exceptionally and consistently high; Grade 2 - Generally above average with none significantly below average; Grade 3 - Broadly average to below average; Grade 4 - Exceptionally low.
Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection
14 May 2009
Inspection of Ubley C of E Primary School, Ubley, Bristol BS40 6PJ
Thank you for helping us find out about your school when we visited. We were very impressed with your excellent behaviour and the polite and mature way in which you talked to us. You told us that you enjoyed school immensely because it is good. We agree. Yours is a good school. There are many things to praise about your school. Here are just a few of the most important:
* You make good progress in your learning and by the end of Year 6 reach standards in English and science that are better than those found in most schools.
* You learn well because teaching is good. Your teachers and other adults work hard to make lessons interesting for you.
* Your behaviour is excellent and you are really keen to learn.
* The headteacher is doing a good job of running your school.
* You make an excellent contribution to the school and the village community.
* You have an excellent understanding of how to stay fit and healthy.
There are a few things that we have asked the school to do to help improve your learning further, especially in mathematics, where you are not doing quite as well as in English and science.
* We have asked the teachers to make sure that the marking in your books makes it clear to you what you need to do to improve your work. You can help by asking your teachers how you can make your work better.
* We have asked the teachers to use the information they have on how well you are doing to set more challenging targets for you, especially in mathematics.
* We have also asked teachers and governors to improve systems for checking on how well the school is helping you find out about other cultures, faiths and different lifestyles of people in other parts of Britain.