‘Happy’ Northamptonshire village primary school ‘requires improvement’, says Ofsted

Inspectors said the school has a “happy, family feel” but raised concerns about SEND support and children sometimes not being able to recall knowledge from early years

Thursday, 21st July 2022, 10:15 am

A Northamptonshire village primary school has been told by Ofsted it ‘requires improvement’ for the second time.

Paulerspury Church of England Primary School was visited by inspectors in May and, in a report published this week, Ofsted described the school as “busy,” “inclusive,” and having a “happy, family feel,” where staff “go above and beyond for pupils.”

One parent told inspectors: “Paulerspury goes well beyond being friendly - it is truly caring.”

Paulerspury Church of England Primary School.

The education watchdog, however, found that the quality of education, leadership and early years provision all require improvement.

The report said that it is not always clear what pupils should be learning or when and pupils tend to remember the activities they have completed rather than the knowledge they have required. Some lessons are repeated at different stages of learning and assessment systems have not been developed for foundation subjects to check how well pupils remember knowledge.

Inspectors found that, in the past, leaders have not ensured that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have accessed the curriculum well enough.

However, it has been noted that leaders have recently set up “rigorous” systems to assess and meet the needs of SEND pupils.

The report found that relationships are positive between staff and children in the early years, with teachers asking questions to develop children’s vocabulary. Inspectors stated, however, that children sometimes do not remember what they have been taught across the curriculum in the early years.

Inspectors, furthermore, found that there is some inconsistency in some pupils’ knowledge of different faiths and beliefs; while most pupils understand British values - including democracy - some are unsure.

Paulerspury C of E Primary School was commended in the report for their consistent approach to the teaching of phonics across the school, with well-trained teachers matching books to letters and sounds pupils are learning.

Inspectors also noted that leaders have designed the curriculum in mathematics well and teachers provide regular opportunities for pupils to recap their knowledge with ‘Quick Fives’ at the beginning of lessons.

Inspectors, however, expressed concern that - on occasion - not all teachers resolve pupils’ knowledge gaps and misconceptions, leading them to lose focus in lessons.

The school was additionally praised for providing many extra curricular clubs and opportunities for pupils to take on additional responsibilities - such as school councillor.

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The Ofsted report said that pupils are “proud” of their school with one pupil telling an inspector: “Everyone is nice here. We are like a big family and, when people are sad, we like to help them.”

Paulerspury C of E Primary School, situated in High Street, Paulerspury, currently has 68 pupils on roll.

The school’s last Ofsted inspection took place in July 2018, which also graded it as ‘requires improvement.’

Paulerspury C of E Primary School has been approached for comment.