|Name||St Barnabas CofE First and Middle School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Requires improvement|
|Inspection Date||14 January 2020|
|Address||Stonebow Road, Drakes Broughton, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 2AW|
|Religious Character||Church of England|
|Number of Pupils||293 (51% boys 49% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||16.5|
|Academy Sponsor||The Diocese Of Worcester Multi Academy Trust|
|Percentage Free School Meals||11.6%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||1.7%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||12.3%|
|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?
Pupils at St Barnabas are very polite and welcoming. They promote the school’s values of ‘respect, generosity, love, thankfulness, honesty and courage’ through their positive behaviours in lessons and breaktimes. Pupils support and care for one another. This means that bullying is rare. If it does happen pupils can talk to one of the ‘well-being’ team who support them with any problems.
Over the last year, leaders have replanned the school’s curriculum. The planning sets out what pupils should learn in a logical order. While pupils show an interest in their work and are keen to learn, some teachers are not using the curriculum planning well enough to teach pupils what they need to know. This means that some pupils are not achieving as well as they should.
The school is a specialist centre for the use of technology. Pupils use a wide range of technology well to support their learning. They have a strong understanding of how to use this technology safely. But leaders have not ensured that the personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) curriculum covers wider aspects of teaching pupils how to keep safe, especially when they are outside school.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The school has experienced significant change over the last year. The acting headteacher and deputy headteacher have successfully stemmed any further decline in the school’s performance during this period. Along with the support of the multi-academy trust, they are already implementing suitable plans to drive improvements across the school.
The early years provision is very effective. Staff gain a strong understanding of children’s needs quickly and plan to meet these needs very well. Staff model language carefully to help children develop their communication skills rapidly. Children have a wide range of learning experiences to develop all areas of their learning. For example, forest school sessions develop children’s understanding of the wider world. Staff and children develop warm and supportive relationships. Because of this, children are confident and are not afraid to tackle the challenges of the ambitious and well-sequenced early years curriculum.
The reading leaders have revised the planning for the phonics curriculum. The planning sequences learning logically and provides a clear structure to teach phonics. But this planning is very new. Staff have only received training on how to teach the revised planning this term. In Reception, the teaching of phonics is very effective. Children learn new sounds quickly and have many opportunities to practise them. This helps children to make strong progress in learning to read. But in key stage 1, staff do not yet have the knowledge and skills to teach phonics well enough. This results in some pupils in key stage 1 not making as much progress as they should in reading.Curriculum leaders have revised the planning in their subjects. Planning is now sequenced to enable pupils to build on their prior learning. But leaders have not checked how well teachers are using this curriculum planning. Many leaders are new to their roles and are developing their leadership skills. This means that weaknesses in how well teachers are delivering the curriculum have not been identified. For example, in English some teachers pay little regard to what pupils have previously learned and what they have remembered. This results in some pupils finding the work too challenging. Others, especially the most able, find the work too easy. Older pupils make better progress because teachers use the curriculum planning more effectively. This helps more pupils to achieve the standards they are capable of by the end of Year 7. Even so, some of the most able pupils do not achieve as highly as they should.
The special educational needs leader has worked with staff to develop a range of support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), including their social and emotional needs. However, the leader has not checked if support for pupils’ academic needs is effective. Some teachers do not adapt planning well enough to meet their needs. For example, in English pupils with SEND who have not grasped how to write simple sentences are expected to write expanded noun phrases. Other pupils who struggle to read and write simple words are expected to write extended descriptions without the support they need to achieve this.
Pupils have a range of opportunities to develop their musical and sporting talents. For example, the school choir performs at events such as Young Voices. Staff respond to incidents such as homophobic insults to help pupils understand and respect diversity. But there is no PSHE curriculum planning in place. This means that there is no coherent approach to developing pupils’ understanding of other cultures, faiths or diversity. Pupils are not prepared well enough for life in modern Britain.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
All staff take safeguarding seriously. They make sure they understand policies and procedures for reporting concerns. Leaders follow up concerns quickly and work with external agencies to provide any additional support if needed. Leaders undertake all necessary checks on staff who work in the school. This robust approach to safeguarding minimises any potential risks pupils may be exposed to.
E-safety is taught well. Pupils have a sophisticated understanding of how to use technology safely. But, their understanding of how to keep safe outside school is limited. They are not taught about the dangers of being radicalised by extremist views, or how to protect themselves from becoming involved in county lines or being sexually exploited.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
The quality of phonics teaching in key stage 1 is not effective. Some staff do not have the necessary knowledge or skills to teach phonics well, so pupils do not achieve as well as they should. Leaders need to review the quality of phonics teaching in key stage 1 to identify, and then provide, the additional training and support that is needed to improve the quality of teaching. This will enable pupils to make stronger progress and achieve the standards of which they are capable. . Leaders have developed curriculum planning which sequences pupils’ learning in a logical order. But leaders have not checked that teachers are following the sequences of learning set out in this planning, so have not identified that some teachers are not doing so. This means that pupils are not able to build on prior learning to enable them to know and remember more. Leaders need to monitor teaching more closely and identify weaknesses in the delivery of the curriculum. They should then provide teachers with support and training to improve the implementation of the curriculum, in order to enable pupils, especially the most able, to make stronger progress in all subjects. . Some leaders are very new to their roles and require further support to help them check how well the curriculum planning is being implemented. Senior leaders and the multi-academy trust should provide new leaders with support and training to enable them to develop their leadership skills, to enable them to identify what actions they need to take to further improve the quality of education. . Some teachers do not take the additional needs of pupils with SEND into consideration well enough when planning their work. Some of these pupils are not given appropriate resources to support their learning, which limits the progress they make. Leaders should provide all staff with additional training and support to help them understand how to plan to meet the needs of pupils with SEND to enable them to make better progress. . The PSHE curriculum is not planned coherently across the school. Leaders have paid insufficient attention to this aspect of pupils’ education. Pupils’ understanding of other cultures, faiths and diversity is limited. While pupils have a very secure understanding of how to keep themselves safe when using technology, their understanding of how to keep safe outside school is more limited. To better prepare pupils for the next steps of their education and life in modern Britain leaders need to develop the PSHE curriculum to ensure that pupils have a much wider understanding of other cultures, faiths and diversity and how to protect themselves when not in school.