Why you should choose Courthouse
Parent survey results (April 2019)
Local authority review April 2019
In April 2019, the local authority carried out a review of the quality of education provided at Courthouse. The review team consisted of two current Headteachers and the Special Educational Needs consultant for the local authority. This is what they had to say:
- The school has built a strong reading curriculum. It demonstrates rigour, a sequential approach and the use of high quality texts.
- There is a sharp focus on ensuring that children gain phonics knowledge if this has not been secured by the beginning of Year 3.
- There is a very clear whole school long term overview for teaching writing that demonstrates a successful alignment of fiction and non-fiction and incorporates grammar, punctuation and spelling. The school has consistency of practice and a shared understanding.
- The school has a good understanding of dual coding and this was evidenced in children’s own mapping of texts. Sentence level work has been rightly prioritised. Children do sentence level work at home, supported by an excellent resource on the school’s website. Teachers then build the sentence structures that the children have been working on into their teaching.
- There is a consistent approach to the teaching of maths across the school. A clear structure has been put in place for the teaching of maths so that all lessons start with a review where children have the opportunity to work through examples of work from yesterday / last week / last month. Worked examples are then shared with children for that day's learning, followed by guided practice.
- There is evidence of teachers planning opportunities for greater depth in maths and the pace of different sections of the lesson varying depending on the needs of pupils.
- The regular, informal monitoring that takes place, alongside teacher support during PPA sessions has enabled staff to develop their practice and has had a positive impact on teaching and learning in the classroom.
- The curriculum has been redesigned and reasoning and problem solving build on the fluency of arithmetic.
- Children are given regular opportunities to explain their thinking and discuss mathematical learning and this is evidenced in their books.
- A good deal of work has recently gone into the writing of a new curriculum for the school. Long term plans drive detailed medium term plans which include the knowledge to be gained by the children at the end of each unit.
- A strength of the curriculum is the way in which the school have threaded safeguarding, SMSC and British values through it.
- There is an inclusive approach to learning and the expectation that all pupils will make progress. The newly appointed SENDCo is experienced and has identified what needs to be done to improve the provision for pupils with SEND.
- The targeted support being offered (e.g. phonics) is making a difference coupled with the explicit teaching of reading.
- The school has experienced and well qualified support staff. The TAs are aware of the need to support independent learning rather than an over reliance on their support. The school has ELSAs as well as a speech and language therapist (or assistant) to provide support for pupils with a range of special needs.
- There was evidence for a range of reasonable adjustments in place in lessons: seating arrangements, support for writing, different coloured paper, aids for young people with ADHD etc.
- Throughout the school there was a calm and purposeful atmosphere with no challenging behaviour observed. This has been a priority for the HT and has been supported by the creation of routines and staff having higher expectations.
- As part of the review, the Headteacher and the review team considered the external Pupil Premium Review that took place in July 2017 and discussed progress from that moment in time. All the actions were considered and it is clear through, for example, analysis of the current Pupil Premium plan (April 2019-March 2020), discussion with leaders and looking at some books of pupils entitled to PP funding and attendance data that actions have been completed.
- The review team can, with confidence, assert that the plan for 2019-20 prioritises quality first teaching. Beyond this, there is evidence of planned quality interventions to support access to the curriculum. A high quality science curriculum session with some Year 6 pupils was seen and there was a discussion with a member of staff who could confidently articulate how she was intervening to support Talk for Writing for disadvantaged pupils. This includes text mapping work on vocabulary.
- There are no further recommendations for this area of work.