|Name||Oak Cottage Primary School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Outstanding|
|Inspection Date||18 September 2019|
|Address||Greswolde Road, Solihull, West Midlands, B91 1DY|
|Religious Character||Does not apply|
|Number of Pupils||235 (55% boys 45% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||22.4|
|Percentage Free School Meals||1.9%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||19.1%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||7.2%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
What is it like to attend this school?
This is a great school that pupils describe as a fun and fair place in which to learn. We agree.
Adults treat pupils kindly and teach them very well, so everyone feels valued and is able to succeed. In return, pupils’ behaviour is excellent. They respect others and go out of their way to be helpful. Unkind behaviour is rare but, if it happens, adults are quick to stop it. Whether in lessons or playing in the large well-kept grounds, pupils are safe and enjoy school.
In English, mathematics, science and many other subjects, pupils learn the right things in the right order and reach high standards. Even so, leaders are always looking for ways to help them do even better.
Pupils have interesting lessons that often link subjects together in topics. They also take part in a huge range of clubs. From Bollywood dancing to gardening to being in a rock group, there is something for everyone. Furthermore, if anyone has a good idea about how to improve school life, leaders listen and are ready to make changes if they can.
Parents and carers are supportive and value the school. Calm, ambitious, thoughtful leadership means that there is super teamwork between everyone.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The superb leadership of Oak Cottage Primary School brings out the best in everyone. Leaders, staff and pupils work hard, aim high and enjoy school life. In English, mathematics, science and a raft of other subjects, teachers’ work is top notch and pupils excel. Teachers make sure that pupils work hard and learn a lot but there is also plenty of fun and laughter along the way. Quirky science topics, such as ‘burps, bottoms and bile’ for example, grab pupils’ attention and inspire them to find out new things. Importantly, new work builds perfectly on earlier work and teachers are always thinking ahead to what needs to be taught next. In addition, pupils understand the link between effort and success and the value of a thoughtful word or kind action.
When not in lessons, there are lots of other things to do. There are many well-attended clubs, plenty of outdoor space and play equipment, and trips out to places of interest. Pupils make the most of these extra activities, with disadvantaged pupils being equally involved as others. The school rock band club, which brings together pupil musicians, is just one of the truly exceptional activities on offer. Pupils in the band have visited Abbey Road Studios in London and performed at various venues near and far. Specialist teachers who work with the club or help with sport say they love coming to the school because the pupils are so keen, well behaved and responsive. Again, we agree.
Like other subjects, reading is taught very well. Phonics sessions are fun, brisk and purposeful and pupils regularly read in class and at home. From nursery rhymes to Shakespeare, pupils enjoy poems, stories and plays and recommend books to their classmates and the staff.
In all subjects, pupils have many opportunities to stretch their minds and abilities. Extra support for pupils who need it is spot on and all pupils are proud of what they do at school. Whatever their abilities, everyone gets the chance to shine in many different ways.
Staff are friendly and approachable and give parents lots of information about school life. Excellent communication between home and school helps children settle quickly in the Nursery and Reception classes. From day one, caring and highly effective teaching keeps them safe, busy, happy and keen.
These positive attitudes, nurtured from the start, last all the way through to Year 6 and allow everyone to make the most of school. As pupils grow older, they learn to take responsibility, make decisions about school life and get involved in local events. They learn not to give up easily and can be relied upon to help out with whatever needs doing. Poor behaviour of any sort is unusual and, if it happens, staff and pupils work together to make sure it stops.
Parents value the school and use words like ‘brilliant’ and ‘fantastic’ to describe what it provides for their children. They support learning at home and say that their children are happy to attend school. Pupils attend regularly, look smart and are hardly ever late.
Even though the school is doing very well, leaders and governors are always looking for ways to improve it further. They listen to ideas from everyone in the school community and staff visit other schools to see what is happening and to help other teachers. As one governor put it, ‘We have ambitions for all to succeed and make sure we give them the tools to do so.’ Currently, leaders are changing planning in physical education (PE) to make sure it matches the levels of excellence seen elsewhere.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Everyone knows what to do if something does not seem right. Staff act quickly when necessary, keep careful records and let the right people know.
Leaders carry out all the proper checks on adults who work at the school. They keep the school site secure and in good condition. Medicines in school are stored in the right place and first aid treatment is on hand when needed.
Staff teach pupils how to look after themselves in different situations so that they learn how to manage everyday risks in sensible ways. Pupils of all ages know it isimportant to report bullying, should it happen. They also know that other pupils and adults will help them if they have a problem.