Inspection and Review
At Packington we have a strong drive to continually improve the teaching and learning at the school to offer the very best for our pupils. As a result of this we not only have excellent results, with consistently high attainment overtime (see letter from the Right Hon David Laws MP on the parent’s page), but we also provide a strong, caring environment for pupils to grow in terms of their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
School Self Review
To enable this to happen the school undertakes a systematic self review; regularly tracking pupil progress, analysing data at key points throughout the year, evaluating intervention programmes, monitoring lessons, carrying out work scrutiny and gathering views of stakeholders. We also use a number of audit tools to monitor specific areas, for example the SIAMS toolkit to evaluate our Christian Distinctiveness, Collective Worship and R.E and the Institutional Quality Standard to review provision for more-able pupils.
Staff also receive regular training to ensure they are up to date with current issues and have the necessary skills to evaluate effectively. Teaching staff have had specific training by an OFSTED consultant to analyse data and monitor and evaluate subject areas. The Head Teacher has also undertaken training received by OFSTED inspectors and SIAMS inspection training.
Our Governors also monitor key areas within school. These include safeguarding, behaviour and SEN as well as areas identified within the school development plan.
Review and Validation from Outside Agencies
On top of this the school seeks validation of their review from other qualified sources. Over recent years we have worked with a consultant who is an OFSTED inspector to independently verify standards at the school.
Forest Way Teaching School Alliance Health Check Success
For the last three years the school has participated in an annual, independent and robust health check organised by the Forest Way Teaching School Alliance. The checks are carried out by independent consultants with experience in inspection and school improvement work. They include a thorough analysis of data, both past and present, monitoring of teaching and learning (learning walks, lesson observation and work scrutiny) and a review of leadership and areas for development. During our most recent health check the consultant visited all classes and spent time working with senior leaders exploring data, attainment and progress.
The final report of this evaluation and the FWTSA Health Check (Dec 15) reports that:
“Strengths observed in the classrooms include:
- The school’s aims, which are visibly promoted
- Learning environments which are bright and stimulating
- Pupil profiles for SEN children
- Working walls to support learning
- Evidence of the school’s Christian distinctiveness
- Differentiated activities
- Opportunities to develop SMSC
- Evidence of writing for a range of purposes
Strengths in workbooks include:
- Evidence of national curriculum requirements
- Evidence of high standards of attainment
- Clear learning objectives which were highlighted met/not met
- Marking which is developmental
- Evident progress since September and, in some books, pupils moving on rapidly
- Evidence of practical activities
- EBI (Even Better If) cards to identify next steps in learning
The report concludes that:
“The leaders are ambitious for the school to improve further: improvement plans are thorough and the SEF judgements are sound.
If inspected the school is likely to be judged as ‘Good’
Unity Learning Partnership
We also work closely with other schools in the Unity Learning partnership to monitor, evaluate and review our work. Heads work together in triads to carry out school improvement work using the Hargreaves self- improving school model. This allows heads to verify judgements, identify areas for improvement, share good practice, support and challenge each other and provide coaching. Triads work in a structured approach and feedback to the Unity group. Over the last year Unity Heads have carried out lesson observations and work scrutiny. As part of this work they identified the learning attitudes of pupils at the school as a strength.
The Unity Partnership also provides opportunities for staff to work together to moderate judgements and work on school improvement projects. Over the last year staff at Packington have worked with other Unity schools on a project to improve writing. This project has involved joint lesson study to identify good practice to share.
Ashby Assessment Group
The school have also worked with six other schools to develop an assessment system in line with the new National Curriculum. As part of this work the schools bench mark and compare data and moderate teacher assessments to ensure that teacher judgements are accurate.
Other External Validation
Where possible the school also utilises other opportunities to validate their self review. These include working with the Local Authority and other schools to moderate work, for example sampling work to check and agree levels of attainment and teacher assessment.
We also welcome other independent professionals into school to carry out monitoring and evaluation activities, for example, the school has worked with a trainee OFSTED inspector to monitor teaching and learning and leadership at the school. The lessons he observed were either judged as good (and in his words very good) or outstanding.
Like all schools we are also subject to inspection by OFSTED. Our last OFSTED was at the end of November 2013 and the school was judged good for its overall effectiveness.
The report states:
This is a good school.
The school provides a caring, safe environment for its pupils, in which they are nurtured as individuals.
Pupils achieve well. Most make good progress. Some, who need additional help to learn, make outstanding progress.
Reading standards are high. By Year 6, most pupils can read a range of different fiction and non-fiction books fluently.
Teaching is good. It is particularly strong in making effective use of the local environment to enrich pupils’ learning.
Pupils are well-behaved. They are confident and articulate and develop good social skills.
Pupils say they feel safe in school. Attendance is above average.
The headteacher knows what needs to be done to improve the school further. She has built up a cohesive staff team who work together effectively to make improvements.
Leaders and managers, including governors, evaluate the school’s work closely. They have ensured good teaching and achievement have been maintained.
Please be aware that following on from the inspection the school did make a formal complaint to OFSTED covering a number of issues and concerns raised by staff and Governors and we were supported in making the complaint by the Local Authority and the Forest Way Teaching School Alliance. Our concerns were investigated by an OFSTED Investigating Officer at SERCO and the outcome is that they have been partially upheld in our favour.
The investigator has agreed that it would “...have been helpful to have involved the Teaching School” in the inspection. His report also states “I have upheld the aspect of your complaint about the management of the inspection ....I am asking the inspector to take greater care in future.” The investigators report also agrees with the school that “the school’s historic data is impressive” and that “the picture in the 2013 RAISEonline is also very strong”.
Where the investigator was unable to uphold our complaint he states this was because it was “not possible to reach a conclusion. That is not to say that one party is believed over another, simply that there is insufficient evidence...for that reason, I am unable to make a decision.”
We are pleased that we have moved forward and concerns have been recognised, but we are disappointed that “although the school’s data shows its very strong track record for high attainment and achievement” there will be no amendment to our final report to reflect the outcome of the investigation. However, we are assured that lessons will be learnt so that processes can be reviewed and improved.
“I am sure the inspector would want to share in this apology.”
Our most recent OFSTED report can be found by following the link on this web page
As a Church of England Primary School we are also subject to Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005. These follow a similar pattern to an OFSTED inspection but are lead by a church inspector and focus on evaluating the distinctiveness and effectiveness of the school as a church school.
The inspection seeks to answer four core questions.
- How well does the school, through its distinctive Christian character, meet the needs of all learners?
- What is the impact of collective worship on the school community?
- How effective is the religious education?
- How effective are the leadership and management of the school as a church school?
The school’s last Section 48 inspection was in November 2014 and the school was was judged to be an Outstanding Church of England Primary School in all areas.
The full church inspection report can be found by following the link on the links for parents page.