|Name||Milton Court Primary Academy|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||17 September 2019|
|Address||Brewery Road, Milton Regis, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2EE|
|Religious Character||Does not apply|
|Number of Pupils||216 (49% boys 51% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||18.3|
|Academy Sponsor||Reach2 Academy Trust|
|Percentage Free School Meals||45.2%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||10.2%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||20.4%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||Yes|
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils are happy. They say the school is a ‘fantastic’ place to be, where there are lots of interesting things to do and learn. They are proud of their school. They like wearing their uniform and show great respect for their environment. They work hard in their lessons and enjoy what they are learning about. Leaders want the very best for their pupils.
Pupils behave well. They say that behaviour has improved since the headteacher took over two years ago. They are courteous to one another and value each other as individuals. Pupils say that bullying and incidents of poor behaviour are rare. They play well together at lunch and playtime and say that there are lots of things for them to do. For example, the pupils enjoy looking at books in the reading shed.
Pupils feel safe in school. They know who to go to if they are worried about something. Pupils feel that leaders listen to their views. For example, the school council alerted leaders to pupils’ worries about a thorny bush in the playground, which was removed quickly.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Pupils enjoy a full curriculum and there have been improvements to pupils’ outcomes in English and mathematics. Leaders are now focusing their efforts on improving teaching in other ‘foundation’ subjects, where planning does not always support a helpful sequence of learning or help pupils to remember what they have learned before. Leaders have made important headway in developing these plans.
The curriculum is not limited to academic subjects. Pupils enjoy wide-ranging activities, broadening their learning. Pupils told inspectors about the different clubs they enjoy, such as the newspaper, reading and football clubs. ‘Squad captains’ are proud of their roles and relish helping in assemblies. Pupils are supported to understand their physical and mental well-being. They spoke maturely to inspectors about the need for rest, less ‘screen time’ and the importance of living healthily.
The teaching of mathematics is strong. Teachers’ planning identifies what pupils need to know by the end of each unit. Pupils are very secure in their understanding of mathematics. This curriculum area of the school is led well.
Leaders make sure that reading is a top priority. Pupils understand why reading is important and how it helps their learning. The teaching of phonics (letters and the sounds they make) is well organised and, mostly, effective. However, teachers’ confidence in teaching phonics varies. Teachers do quickly spot pupils who start to fall behind in the programme and give them extra help. Pupils read books that are at the right level for their reading ability.
As pupils move up the school their love of reading continues. They read widely and can name lots of different authors. Teachers ensure that pupils’ vocabulary isdeveloped well. Pupils were keen to share examples of how they use their new words in their writing. The new library is a welcome addition to the school.
Staff have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. Pupils and staff understand the behaviour policy and it is applied consistently so everyone is clear about the rules. Consequently, pupils concentrate on their work and cooperate well together in their learning.
Leaders have successfully created an ethos of respect and tolerance. Pupils reflected with great insight about the importance of treating everyone equally. The atmosphere around the school is very positive.
Teachers understand how to meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Teachers work closely with a team of skilled teaching assistants to plan lessons and resources. They ensure that this group of pupils receive the support they are entitled to.
Children get off to a flying start in the early years because this area of the school is led well. Staff are knowledgeable about how young children learn. They adapt the curriculum to take account of children’s emerging needs and interests. Staff form strong relationships with the children and care for them well.
The leadership of the school is driven by a strong moral purpose. Leaders act with integrity. Their ambitious vision is shared by the whole staff community, including governors. Staff feel very well supported by leaders and are proud to work at this school. They spoke about the ‘transformative’ changes that have taken place. They feel that leaders care about them and are mindful of their well-being. Their opinion and expertise are sought to help make decisions about the school. This makes them feel valued and appreciated.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff know that keeping pupils safe is everyone’s responsibility. Leaders ensure that staff have regular training, so they know what to do when a pupil may be at risk. Staff report concerns promptly. They are clear about the possible local risks. Leaders work closely with the local authority. As result, pupils and their families get the help they need.
Leaders ensure the correct checks when staff join the school. Governors and leaders monitor the site regularly to ensure that it is kept safe and secure. The current building works are being managed appropriately to ensure that pupils are kept safe.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Pupils’ learning in the foundation subjects is not sequenced coherently. Teachersshould ensure that curriculum plans for these subjects contain the knowledge that pupils should know and the order in which they should learn it. . Pupils are not always able to remember their learning. Leaders should promote this by checking how pupils are developing their knowledge and skills in the foundation subjects and the degree to which pupils understand and remember their learning. . Not all staff are well trained in the teaching of phonics. Leaders need to ensure that all staff receive and implement the necessary training to strengthen the teaching of phonics further.