Blackwell First School

Name Blackwell First School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 26 January 2011
Address St Catherine’s Road, Blackwell, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B60 1BN
Phone Number 01214451622
Type Primary
Age Range 5-9
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Worcestershire
Percentage Free School Meals 0.7%
Pupils with SEN Support 13.2%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

This is a very small school situated in a semi-rural village, although half of its pupils come from outside the catchment area. Pupils are taught in four classes, one Reception and three mixed-age classes. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is much lower than average. The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups is below average and no pupils are believed to have English as a second language. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is broadly in line with national averages. The majority of pupils on the special needs register have moderate learning difficulties. Almost no pupil has a statement of special educational needs. The school has gained the Healthy Schools award, the information and communication technology (ICT) mark and a Leading Aspect Award for curriculum innovation.

Main findings

Blackwell First is an outstanding school. It has improved significantly since the last inspection and continues to do so under the strong and dedicated leadership of the headteacher. She provides a very clear sense of purpose and direction, closely linked to school improvement. Her effective leadership has ensured that teaching and learning have improved and clear priorities have been set for further improvement. The excellent teamwork and the driving ambition of the whole staff are central to the school’s improvement since the last inspection and its continuing success. Subject coordinators for the ’core’ subjects of literacy and mathematics have overseen clear improvements in their areas of responsibility although coordinators of the other subjects have not yet had time to gain a good overview of their subject area. The overwhelming majority of parents and carers who responded to the questionnaire were extremely supportive of the school. Typical comments included, ’We are delighted with the progress our child has made at the school and our child is always happy to go to school,’ and, ’It feels like one big family in one big house!’ Pupils achieve well. Most children start in the Reception class with skills that are above average for their age. By the time they leave the school, all groups of pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities have made good progress and overall standards are significantly above the national average. Children get off to a good start in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Teaching is good and is a strong contributory factor in pupils’ good progress. Parents and carers say their children enjoy coming to school and pupils agree enthusiastically. Pupils display very positive attitudes to their learning, as evidenced in their excellent levels of attendance, and their exemplary behaviour in lessons and around the school. Pupils have a wide range of responsibilities in the school and, through the work of the school council and the Blackwell Job Scheme, make an excellent contribution to the school community. They respect each others’ similarities and differences in terms of faith, ethnicity and socio-economic background and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good. The excellent curriculum results in pupils developing a wide range of skills for the next stage of their education. This includes many leadership and teamwork skills through their involvement in school life and in the community. Excellent care, guidance and support ensure that all pupils are able to learn and develop confidence, regardless of their individual circumstances. The performance of pupils is tracked closely, with particular attention to the performance of different groups. Blackwell First is a highly inclusive school and all pupils are able to take full advantage of all the school has to offer. The school has excellent links with its local community but realises there is a need to strengthen opportunities for pupils to learn about children in other situations around the country and globally. The school has a good understanding of how well it is doing and what needs to be done next and, due to the high quality of its self-evaluation, it has a good capacity to maintain and sustain improvement.