|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||08 November 2011|
|Address||Chapel Hill, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 3BJ|
|Religious Character||Does not apply|
|Number of Pupils||322 (51% boys 49% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||24.4|
|Percentage Free School Meals||13%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||3.1%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||7.1%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
Information about the school
The school is of average size and is sited close to the city centre. Most pupils are of White British ethnicity. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is average, as is the proportion with special educational needs and/or disabilities. These mainly relate to moderate learning or behavioural difficulties, although a few have more complex needs. The school shares its site with a children’s centre. Although this is not managed by the governing body, it is the venue for breakfast and after-school clubs which are managed by the governing body. Since April 2011, during the long-term absence of the headteacher, the school has been led by an acting headteacher. The school received the International Schools Award in 2010.
This is a good school. A notable strength is the outstanding Early Years Foundation Stage which provides children with an excellent start to their education and prepares them well for more formal teaching in Year 1. Pupils also make an outstanding contribution to the community. They are caring, active and full of ideas, as was shown by Year 6 pupils who discussed using their ‘buddy system’ with Reception children as a stimulus for wider work during anti-bullying week. Teaching has a number of strengths, including the teaching of sounds and letters to younger pupils and the use of marking. This is especially effective when in response to pupils’ own assessments of their progress, becoming a dialogue within the pupils’ workbooks. Pupils’ attainment at the end of Year 6 in 2011 was average in both English and mathematics and was lower than in previous years. Effective leadership has quickly identified the reasons why attainment was not higher and strategies put in place to raise attainment are already having an impact, especially in English. Assessment is being used more effectively to match work to pupils’ needs, although this is not yet always the case in mathematics. Almost all pupils make good progress. Work to improve the progress of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is beginning to have an impact, especially in Years 5 and 6, but currently their progress overall is satisfactory. In part, this is because the skills of teaching assistants are not always used to best effect to ensure pupils’ good progress. Teachers have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour and provide challenging, interesting activities which make good use of resources including information and communication technology. Recent changes to the curriculum, such as basing work on the geography and history of countries such as India and Australia, are having a positive impact in motivating pupils. The school provides good care, support and guidance for pupils, especially in preparing them for school and for transfer to secondary school, as well as for those whose circumstances may make them vulnerable. Good steps are taken to keep pupils safe, such as by using a ‘double entry’ system to the premises. In the absence of the headteacher, the acting headteacher has, through effective leadership, ensured that the school continues to improve. For example, attendance has continued to rise year on year and is now above the national average. The acting headteacher rightly enjoys a high level of confidence among parents and carers, pupils and staff. To quote one, ‘He is doing an amazing job in the headteacher’s absence’. The very well-led governing body has recently re-evaluated its effectiveness and strategic objectives. Together with senior leaders, it has a realistic analysis of current strengths and weaknesses. Accurate and useful monitoring by the local authority has contributed to the accuracy of self-evaluation. The acting headteacher has conducted a penetrating analysis of pupils’ progress which has been used effectively to enable staff to improve the progress of individuals and of groups of pupils such as those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Nevertheless, while there is a clear view of what needs to be done, plans have yet to be amended to incorporate these findings or to set more challenging, realistic targets in order to monitor progress more accurately. However, the effective management of the headteacher’s absence, improvements in attendance, the quality of the Early Years Foundation Stage and more recently in progress, particularly in English, demonstrate the school’s good capacity for further improvement.