Galley Hill Primary School and Nursery


Name Galley Hill Primary School and Nursery
Website http://www.galleyhill.herts.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 14 May 2019
Address Galley Hill, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 3JY
Phone Number 01442406000
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 399 (50% boys 50% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 17.7
Percentage Free School Meals 14.1%
Percentage English is Not First Language 13.5%

information about the quality of teaching and pupils’ learning and progress. This

information enables leaders to provide the right support for staff when necessary. Working with the local authority, leaders have ensured that staff have access to high-quality specialist training. This has helped to improve teaching, learning and assessment. Middle leaders have attended training that has equipped them with effective strategies to improve standards for pupils in their subjects. For example, the mathematics subject leader has attended training to implement a new approach to the teaching of mathematics. He, in turn, has provided training for all staff. This has ensured that there is a consistent approach to the teaching of mathematics from the Reception class upwards and has led to a rise in standards in mathematics at the end of key stage 2. Subject leaders are enthusiastic and passionate about the subjects they lead. They have been involved in developing the curriculum, which is broad, balanced and well planned. It ensures that pupils develop their knowledge, skills and understanding effectively in English, mathematics and a wide range of other subjects. Pupils also benefit from interesting enrichment activities. Pupils take on additional responsibilities, such as being peer mediators and members of the school council. All pupils belong to houses, which include pupils from Year 1 to Year 6. These are split into family groups and Year 6 pupils lead regular activities with these groups. This enables younger pupils to get to know and work with older pupils. These activities, alongside the taught curriculum, promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development very well and help to prepare them effectively for life in modern Britain. The leadership of the provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is good. There are clear processes to identify these pupils and ensure that they are appropriately supported. Most pupils with SEND make good progress. There are a small number of pupils who have complex needs. These pupils have bespoke timetables and behaviour plans to ensure that their needs are met. Individual staff work effectively with these pupils to ensure that they are included in school life. Leaders’ use of additional funding to support pupils’ learning and experiences is effective. Pupils enjoy a variety of sports, some of which are delivered by specialist coaches, and their participation in sporting events and clubs is monitored. The school has implemented all recommendations from a review of how effectively it uses pupil premium funding. This grant is now effectively targeted to overcome disadvantaged pupils’ barriers. Consequently, most disadvantaged pupils make good progress and some make excellent progress over time by the end of key stage 2. The majority of parents are very supportive of the work of the school. One typical comment was: ‘The staff and pupils at Galley Hill have always made me feel welcome. My children have flourished here, and I am very happy with all aspects of the school.’ However, a few parents expressed concerns regarding interruptions to learning that had happened historically. These were as a result of the challenging behaviour of a very few pupils. Communication with parents has not always been as effective in explaining the school’s approaches and rationale to meeting the needs of all groups of pupils. Governance of the school Governors have a strong commitment to the school. They have responded well to the outcomes of the previous inspection and worked closely with senior leaders and the local authority to bring about improvements. They have ensured that the school has the capacity to improve still further. Members of the governing body bring a range of skills to their roles. They visit the school frequently and receive regular reports from the headteacher. Consequently, they know the school well and have an accurate view of its strengths and areas for further improvement. Governors use their evaluations to challenge leaders and hold them firmly to account. Governors check the school’s use of additional funding and ensure that it is used appropriately to improve pupils’ progress. Safeguarding The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. Leaders ensure that all legal requirements with regard to safe recruitment are met. Leaders ensure that staff receive regular and appropriate training. This enables them to be fully informed and maintain a high level of vigilance for any possible signs that pupils may need additional support. Staff know what to do if they have a concern. The electronic recording system used by the school allows all information to be kept together efficiently in one place. Any concern about pupils’ welfare or safety is dealt with effectively and in a timely manner. Leaders and staff act quickly to ensure that pupils get help and support when they need it. Pupils say they feel safe in school. The majority of parents agree that the school is a safe place. Inspection evidence confirms this view. Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Good The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is good. Warm relationships exist between pupils and their teachers. Pupils’ positive attitudes contribute well to their good learning. Pupils enjoy their learning because the majority of teachers use their good subject knowledge and effective assessment to plan interesting and stimulating learning activities for them. These develop and consolidate pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding in a range of subjects, including English and mathematics. Classroom environments are mainly bright and colourful and provide useful support to help pupils learn. However, there remain a few inconsistencies across the school in the quality of teaching and learning environments, and how well they support pupils’ learning. Pupils enjoy the topics covered within the wider curriculum. Topics begin with ‘wow’ days, which immerse them in the new topic and give them the chance to discuss what they already know and what they would like to find out. Careful planning by subject leaders ensures that learning is developed sequentially. These topics also provide good opportunities for pupils to develop their writing skills. Teachers consistently provide useful feedback to pupils, in line with the school’s assessment policy. Pupils also give each other feedback on the quality of their work and how it could be improved. Work in books shows that pupils act upon advice from both their teachers and peers. Additionally, they edit and improve their own work independently. The new approach to teaching mathematics has improved the quality of teaching, learning and assessment in this subject since the previous inspection. There is an appropriate balance of the teaching of mathematical skills and the development of pupils’ reasoning and problem-solving abilities. Consequently, pupils can discuss mathematical concepts confidently and are making good progress. Phonics teaching is well planned and taught from the Nursery upwards. It gives pupils a solid foundation in the development of their early reading skills. Improving reading has been a whole-school priority. As a result, outcomes in reading have improved at the end of key stage 1 and key stage 2. Pupils read with increasing confidence. They say they enjoy reading and were keen to discuss favourite books and authors with inspectors. The quality of pupils’ writing has improved across the school since the previous inspection. This is because teachers provide pupils with well-structured systems to support their writing and to develop their vocabulary. As pupils move through the school, they develop growing confidence to write at length. Occasionally, teachers do not provide writing tasks that challenge pupils as well as they could and this limits the quantity and quality of their writing. Teaching assistants are well deployed. They provide effective support for individuals and groups of pupils, both within and outside the classroom. This enables these pupils to make stronger progress. Teaching assistants receive good-quality training and, as a result, some have progressed to gaining qualified teacher status. Personal development, behaviour and welfare Good Personal development and welfare The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is good. The school has prioritised developing pupils’ well-being to ensure that they are emotionally, as well as physically, healthy. Pupils participate in daily ‘mindfulness’ activities, which help to ensure that they are ready for learning. Pupils value and benefit from the positions of responsibility available at the school. Older pupils actively support younger pupils by modelling good play on the playground and within the house families. Pupils who spoke with inspectors were confident that they could talk to an adult if they are worried about their relationships. They understand what bullying is and are aware that it does happen occasionally. However, they are confident that any issues will be dealt with quickly by adults. Behaviour The behaviour of pupils is good. Pupils are well-mannered and friendly towards each other and adults. They behave well in lessons and around the school. Pupils told inspectors that most pupils behave well and that adults deal effectively with any rare instances of poor behaviour. Inspection evidence confirms this view. A very small minority of pupils whose behaviour can be challenging at times are well managed by trained staff. This approach reflects the inclusive nature of the school. During breaktime and lunchtime, there is a high level of adult supervision and plenty of activities to enrich pupils’ play. Staff and peer mentors are skilled at helping pupils to manage any disagreements that arise during these times. The number of pupils who are persistent non-attenders is reducing over time. Leaders monitor the attendance of all groups of pupils, particularly those who are vulnerable. They work closely with parents to support them in ensuring that their children attend school regularly. However, leaders recognise that there is further work to be done because a few pupils still do not attend school as regularly as they should. Consequently, the current attendance for all pupils is slightly below the national average. Outcomes for pupils Good Since the previous inspection, pupils’ progress and attainment by the end of key stage 2 have shown marked improvement in reading, writing and mathematics. As a result, in 2018, pupils’ progress at the end of key stage 2 was in the top 10% nationally. Pupils made excellent progress in reading, writing and mathematics from their starting points at the end of key stage 1. The proportions of pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, who met and exceeded age-related expectations in reading, writing and mathematics separately and combined were well above averages. The school’s own assessment information and work seen in current pupils’ books indicate that the majority of pupils, including those who are disadvantaged and pupils with SEND, are making strong progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Leaders make regular checks on the progress that pupils make, discussing both individuals and groups. Prompt and targeted support is put in place for any pupil or group who is identified as falling behind. This ensures that differences in their progress and that of other pupils diminishes. The effective teaching of phonics ensures that the proportion of pupils who achieve the expected standard in the phonics screening check at the end of Year 1 is consistently similar to the national average. Pupils who do not achieve the expected standard are well supported to catch up and most achieve this by the end of Year 2. In 2018, the proportion of pupils who achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of key stage 1 dipped slightly but remained broadly in line with that seen nationally. However, these pupils made good progress from the end of the Reception Year, when a lower than average proportion reached the expected good level of development. Early years provision Good Over the past three years, the outcomes for children at the end of the early years have improved from well below average to being in line with the national average. Strong leadership of the early years ensures that all staff work together effectively to create rich, stimulating learning environments, both inside and outdoors. Both are well organised and are bright and attractive, enabling children to learn well. During the inspection, Nursery children were excited when they found a footprint in the classroom, which suggested that there had been a visit from the troll in the book they had been reading. Reception children were engrossed in activities themed around ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. This included reading and writing about the story and making and tasting porridge. Many, but not all, children attend the Nursery prior to entering the Reception Year. Those who do so get off to an excellent start to their education. Consequently, there is variation in the skills that children exhibit at the start of the Reception Year. Nevertheless, staff have designed a curriculum that enables all children to make good progress from their starting points. Adults know and support children very well. They assess children’s individual needs effectively and plan learning activities that are well matched to their academic, social and emotional needs. This includes extensive opportunities to develop children’s early speech and language. Learning journeys that record children’s progress and their English and mathematics books show that children in the Nursery and Reception classes are making good progress from their starting points. Some Reception children are impressively writing at length. Children with SEND are well supported by adults to ensure that they make good progress. Those who need it receive specialist support to overcome barriers in the development of their speech and language. Leaders work hard to promote strong partnerships with parents to ensure that children get the best start to their education. During the inspection, a group of parents attended a mathematics session with their children to help them understand how to support their children’s learning in this subject. Safeguarding in the early years is effective. Staff are appropriately qualified to meet the legal requirements for ensuring children’s welfare. School details Unique reference number 135224 Local authority Hertfordshire Inspection number 10088670 This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005. Type of school Primary School category Maintained Age range of pupils 3 to 11 Gender of pupils Mixed Number of pupils on the school roll 415 Appropriate authority The governing body Chair Mr B. Robins Headteacher Mrs Emily Birch Telephone number 01442 406000 Website www.galleyhill.herts.sch.uk Email address [email protected] Date of previous inspection 7–8 February 2017

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The headteacher, governors and other leaders, have worked determinedly since the previous inspection to raise standards in the school. As a result, the school’s overall effectiveness is now good. Leaders and governors have an accurate view of the strengths and weaknesses of the school. They are ambitious for all pupils and committed to, and capable of, bringing about further improvement. Improvements in teaching, learning and assessment have led to better outcomes for pupils, particularly at the end of key stage 2. In 2018, the proportion of pupils reaching and exceeding the expected standards in reading, writing and mathematics were well above the national average. Disadvantaged pupils achieve well over time. In 2018, the proportion reaching the required standards by the end of Year 6 was higher than that seen nationally. Relationships with the majority of parents and carers are very good. However, a few expressed concerns. This is because they do not receive clear enough or frequent enough information about some of the actions the school takes. The large majority of pupils behave well in lessons and around the school. They are confident, self-assured, polite and friendly. Relationships between adults and pupils are highly positive and make a strong contribution to pupils’ learning. Pupils’ attendance has improved as a result of leaders’ concerted efforts and their effective support for individual pupils. However, there are still a few pupils who do not attend school as regularly as they should. Provision in the early years is good. Children learn in a rich environment and make good progress from their starting points because of the exciting curriculum and teachers’ high expectations. Leaders make rigorous checks on all aspects of school life, including on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. They are aware that a few inconsistencies remain, for example in the quality of learning environments. Also, occasionally, writing tasks do not extend or deepen learning as well as they could. The curriculum is broad and balanced. It promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well and prepares them effectively for life in modern Britain.