Tavistock Primary & Nursery School


Name Tavistock Primary & Nursery School
Website http://www.tavistock-pri.devon.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 12 November 2019
Address Plymouth Road, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 8BX
Phone Number 01822616044
Type Primary
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 384 (54% boys 46% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 20.1
Local Authority Devon
Percentage Free School Meals 15.1%
Percentage English is Not First Language 2.3%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy their time at school. They are proud of their work and talk enthusiastically about their learning in lots of subjects. Pupils know that teachers and teaching assistants expect them to work hard and do their best. Pupils rise to these expectations because relationships between staff and pupils are strong and supportive.

Pupils say that they feel safe and that staff take good care of them. They said that bullying does happen, but that it is rare, and adults sort out issues quickly. Pupils’ behaviour is generally good. A very small number of pupils sometimes struggle to behave well. However, staff understand their needs and help them to improve.

There are many school clubs which help pupils to develop their talents and interests. School trips and visitors to school help them learn about the wider world. Pupils told us that they meet people from many different faiths and countries. Leaders support pupils to be confident learners and positive citizens. Pupils like receiving rewards in assemblies for showing ‘skills for success’.

Leaders have made improvements to teaching since the last inspection. Pupils told us that teachers make learning clear and interesting.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The quality of education is improving. The writing curriculum is carefully planned. Pupils use spelling, grammar and punctuation well. They write at length for a range of purposes and improve their writing by editing. Leaders have constructed a strong mathematics curriculum. Teachers are clear about what they want pupils to learn by the end of each year. They plan the smaller steps towards these end points. Pupils revisit important knowledge frequently so that it sticks in their memory. Pupils are getting better at solving problems and explaining their answers.

Leaders and governors have reviewed the curriculum so that pupils can gain the knowledge and skills they need. Subject leaders have developed plans which identify what pupils need to learn each year. This helps teachers to plan lessons which build on what has been learned before. For example, in science teachers use quizzes to help pupils remember what they have learned over time.

However, some subjects such as history and design and technology are not as well sequenced. Leaders’ plans do not identify precisely enough what pupils need to know and remember. Consequently, in these subjects, teachers sometimes do not plan work which builds on what pupils already know and can do.

The teaching of early reading is effective. Phonics teaching is effective. Pupils in Reception and Year 1 learn sounds quickly. Those who need it receive well-planned extra help. Pupils in all classes enjoy story sessions. However, the teaching in keystage 2 does not build pupils’ understanding of a range of texts well enough. Some pupils in key stage 2 need to catch up with their reading. Although pupils enjoy reading, sometimes the teaching is not precisely tailored to help them catch up and become fluent readers.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive well-planned support. The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) supports teachers and teaching assistants to understand pupils’ needs. This helps these pupils to achieve well.

Leaders have made pupils’ personal development a priority. Pupils learn about the importance of tolerance. For example, they are well informed about the dangers of ‘hate crime’. They enjoy wider opportunities such as public speaking and taking positions of responsibility, such as house captains. The school council makes sure that pupils have a voice. Pupils say that the school rules and rewards they receive for showing good personal qualities help them to behave well. Exclusions have reduced and are used appropriately.

The youngest children make a good start in the early years. In the Nursery class, staff focus on helping pupils to settle into routines and to make friends. Children enjoy reading stories with adults and joining in with familiar stories and rhymes. In the Reception class, the curriculum helps children practise writing and counting to prepare them for Year 1. Children learn sounds in the Nursery class and learn to read as soon as they enter the Reception class. Staff ask questions which help children to think and talk confidently about what they are learning.

Governors are very skilled and committed. They support and challenge leaders well. Staff are proud to work at the school and speak highly of how leaders take account of their workload and well-being.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders make sure that staff know their responsibilities for keeping pupils safe at school. Staff receive up-to-date training and refresh their knowledge at staff meetings throughout the year. They recognise and report concerns swiftly. Leaders work well with external partners to get pupils and families the help they need. Records are carefully maintained, including vetting checks for adults who work in school.

Pupils say that school teaches them about healthy and safe relationships and how to stay safe in a range of situations, such as around roads. They are knowledgeable about how to stay safe on the internet.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders have made a positive start to developing a well-planned and sequenced curriculum which builds pupils’ knowledge and skills successfully over time. In some subjects, the knowledge that leaders expect pupils to gain is not defined precisely enough. Leaders should now improve their curriculum plans by making sure that they all identify what pupils should know each year. Leaders need to make sure that this knowledge is revisited frequently so that pupils know and remember more. . New approaches to teaching reading in key stage 2 ensure that pupils read more challenging texts. However, the reading curriculum in key stage 2 does not build pupils’ knowledge and understanding of a range of text types effectively. Leaders must ensure that pupils in key stage 2 gain the knowledge and skills in reading that they need to prepare them for the next stage in their education. . Teachers need to ensure that they can identify precisely how they will help pupils in key stage 2 who need to catch up, to become fluent readers.