|Name||Alexandra Junior School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||29 October 2019|
|Address||Cator Road, Sydenham, London, SE26 5DS|
|Religious Character||Does Not Apply|
|Number of Pupils||238 (50% boys 50% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||21.3|
|Academy Sponsor||Nexus Education Schools Trust|
|Percentage Free School Meals||9.2%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||10.1%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||15.5%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
Alexandra Junior School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils enjoy learning and achieve well. They are enthusiastic and motivated to find out more. Pupils can select their own level of challenge in the work and research topics that interest them. They take pride in their work. Pupils work and play well together.
The school has a strong community feel to it. The headteacher is calm and reflective, yet purposeful. All leaders follow her example and set high expectations for pupils. Pupils thrive in the warm and supportive environment. Pupils take on a range of responsibilities. They become ARC ambassadors (‘Achieve, respect, care’), help in the library and run their own clubs.
Pupils behave well. Occasionally, pupils call out in class but this is because they are so keen to answer. A few pupils struggle with their behaviour but are well supported. Staff follow the routines for behaviour management so that pupils know what is expected of them. There is very little bullying. Leaders have robust systems for dealing with this. Pupils have confidence in adults to sort it out. Pupils feel safe.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
All staff contribute to providing high-quality education for pupils. They work well in teams and ensure that there is appropriate challenge in subjects for all pupils. Support staff are astute in the way they work with pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Pupils learn a wide range of subjects and cross-subject themes. Subject leaders plan interesting activities for pupils. They sequence the work so that it builds on what pupils know already. Teachers explain new words and make sure that pupils understand and remember content. Pupils are motivated and enthusiastic so they behave well in class.
In mathematics, teachers’ approach to reasoning is well established. This means that pupils identify, discuss and debate the merits of different methods of calculation withconfidence.
Some subjects, such as history, are taught in half-term blocks, rather than throughout the year. Leaders’ research has found that this gives pupils more opportunities to study in depth. Pupils said they preferred this arrangement.
Pupils are excited by history. They remember historical facts well. Pupils know the names of the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century explorers, their ships and what they discovered. However, they find it much harder to explain the big ideas behind the facts and why the voyages of exploration happened in the first place.
Teachers choose trips and visits which bring topics to life. Leaders ensure that a wide range of clubs are on offer for pupils. There are a wide variety of sports clubs and all pupils run regularly. Pupils can also apply for resources to run their own clubs, such as potato printing and jewellery making.
Leaders make reading a high priority. Staff are well trained in phonics. They assess pupils’ phonics knowledge and reading comprehension when they transfer to the school in Year 3. Pupils who need it get immediate support in small groups or on a one-to-one basis to improve their reading.
Classrooms and the library have a rich range of fiction and non-fiction books for pupils to read. Teachers set up displays of texts, for example to support pupils in learning about the Romans or the Second World War. Year 6 librarians help run the library, including a story time. They rehearse and practise this to make sure that they can capture the attention and interest of younger pupils.
Leaders, including governors, are thoughtful and determined to do the right thing for pupils. There was a high response from parents and carers to Ofsted’s survey. Parents were overwhelmingly supportive of the school.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders know their pupils and the local context very well. They have built effective partnerships with the local authority and external agencies. This means that pupils at risk can get the help they need. Staff are well trained. They know how to report any concerns they have about pupils. Pupils told me that they feel safe.
The local committee oversees safeguarding. It uses the support of the trust effectively and has recently reviewed the access to and security of the very large school site.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Leaders should further develop the big ideas and themes which underpin knowledge in the foundation subjects and cross-curricular themes. Subjects should go beyond teaching a collection of facts so that pupils can explain why things happen.
When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good. This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection. Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.
This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the predecessor school, Alexandra Junior School, to be good in November 2012.