Attainment in Key Stage 2 is above national .
Achievement in Key Stage 1 is above national
Rigorous and structured phonics approach embedded in EYFS and KS1 and as a result, achievement in phonics screening in Year 1 is consistently good and above national.
Children in the EYFS make good progress from their starting points and achievement is just above national.
In school data and evidence in books show that disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND throughout the school make good progress from their starting points. This is because highly effective teaching and carefully targeted support ensure that their needs are met.
The quality of work in pupils’ books are of a high standard. Since the last inspection, leaders have addressed the ‘secretarial skills’ in writing. A rigorous spelling scheme is taught across the school and there are high expectations about the quality of presentation and handwriting in books.
St Michael’s prepare our children well for the next stage of their education. This includes transition from Reception to Year 1 and moving on to secondary education.
Formative assessment, in the form of marking is consistent across the school: ‘On-the-spot marking’ is an opportunity for children to get fast, accurate, specific and timely (F-A-S-T) feedback and to learn from mistakes. Colour coded marking stickers give pupils clear feedback whether they have met the learning intention or whether further learning is needed to secure their knowledge and avoids unnecessary burden on staff. In addition, ‘teacher feedback jotters’ help teachers to give children clear feedback and inform teaching on the following day/days.
Summative assessment three times a year informs teachers and leaders how well pupils have embedded their learning and is used to help make decisions about targeted interventions. Moderation opportunities across schools support teachers to validate their own judgements.
Pupil progress meetings demonstrate that teaching staff are able to identify and support any pupil who is falling behind and enable them to catch up by targeted support and, if appropriate, implement carefully considered interventions, in liaison with the Inclusion Manager. Pupil progress meetings play an important role in reflecting on impact of interventions and identifying next steps.
A structured approach for teaching reading across the school is in place. In Early Years, the children have 1:1 reading opportunities. In Key Stage 1, reading is taught using a Guided Reading approach. In Key Stage 2, the school has implemented a whole class reading approach, outside of the literacy hour. The staff is committed to instil a love for reading in the children and they are encouraged to read books at home and in school during 'reading for pleasure'.
Writing is taught through the ‘talk for writing’ approach. A range of fiction and non-fiction genres are taught, to ensure children are aware of the features of different text types. Children are also given opportunities to write from personal experience.
We have embedded Big Maths as part of our teaching of Maths. As a result of lessons starting with CLIC (Counting, Learn Its, It’s Nothing New, Calculation, children at St Michael’s have a sound number knowledge. Reasoning opportunities have been added to daily CLIC.
STM has implemented a bespoke knowledge based curriculum, covering all the statutory subjects as well as the non-statutory subjects (RE and PSHCE) in the national curriculum. The curriculum has a strong knowledge focus and it is designed to develop the children’s subject-specific knowledge, skills and understanding.
The bespoke curriculum has been designed based on the following principles:
Spiritual, moral, cultural and social provision is evident in the daily life of the school and weaves through the curriculum, delivered through the ‘Body, Mind and Spirit’ aspect of the curriculum and the collective worship programme. The children at St Michael’s display exemplary behaviour.
The school offers pastoral support where early signs of mental health problems are identified and the inclusion manager ensures that it is referred or addressed as we see fit.
Healthy eating and living a healthy life taught as part of BMS and PE curriculum and good health is promoted with initiatives such as a no sweet and chocolate policy. Walk a mile to Mayow park is to embed a love for walking, which will help children to keep physically and mentally healthy. Body, Mind and Spirit curriculum (delivered in Let’s Talk) includes teaching children about healthy relationships.
Range of extra-curriculum activities provides support for pupils’ learning and personal development.
The stakeholders are committed to developing strength of character, by living out the vision of ‘enabling children to flourish in their potential’ and embedding the school values such as respect and resilience.Children flourish because of rich opportunities that support their personal development. They are proud to take ownership of extra responsibilities. These include roles such as headies, prefects, house captains, buddies, prayer leaders, faith committee members, play-leaders, junior governors, eco-council, online committee, which build pride, confidence and responsibility in their community.
Careful transition planning, including doing home visits prior to children starting, ensures that children settle in to Reception class very well.
Staff establish children’s starting points early on with baseline assessments of each child’s knowledge and skills. This information enables staff to plan activities that build on every child’s learning.
Leaders and other staff have a thorough knowledge of the needs of the children in their care. They are constantly checking what each individual can do so that they provide the right level of support and challenge to help children with their next steps in their learning.
Children take part in adult-led activities each day. These include phonics and maths sessions and also activities to develop fine and gross motor skills. Children also have lots of opportunities to initiate their own learning.
Children's progress is carefully tracked from their starting points, which are typically slightly below what is expected for their age - this is believed to be because the provision of the feeder nurseries .
As a result of highly effective teaching and a personalised curriculum, children make good progress from their starting points.
Children behave very well. They quickly learn the school’s rule of respect and responds well to the good to be green system and the motto of trying your best.
The environment in Early Years is highly engaging and stimulating inside and out, with a range of writing experiences. Children are aware of how to work together safely as staff constantly remind them.
The pupil progress meeting is an opportunity to discuss the children’s needs and ensure that any early signs of SEN are identified and interventions are put in place to support all needs.
All safeguarding and welfare arrangements are fit for purpose.