Branfil Primary School Self Evaluation
Branfil is a very good school with many outstanding features. It is a larger-thanaverage primary school. It was established in September 2008 by the amalgamation of the former infant and junior schools on the same site. The large majority of the pupils are White British. Very few pupils are eligible for free school meals. The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is very low and the proportion of pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities is below average. The school provides an outstanding Early Years Foundation Stage in a purpose built environment. The governing body offers a breakfast club for pupils each school day from 7.45 am.
Branfil aims to provide an all-round and stimulating education for our pupils in accordance with our mission statement
“At Branfil Primary School we are confident and successful learners who will develop into responsible citizens of the future.”
Children benefit from a wide range of After School initiatives, including:- boys’ and girls’ football, netball, gymnastics, cross-country, fit-club, drama, cookery skills, knit and natter, choir and orchestra.
The school has a strong musical culture and supports a large percentage (36%) of pupils in learning a musical instrument. The school also has a strong sporting presence in the local area.
The Governing Body has agreed with school leaders our need to focus on three main priorities over the next three years;
To improve teaching and learning so that all teaching is consistently good or better.
To improve pupil progress so that all children make good progress from
Foundation to the end of KS1 and at least 2 levels progress KS1 to KS2.
To promote responsibility and respect as good citizens.
Since the last inspection in July 2010 there has been a gradual increase in the school roll largely due to a pressure on places across the borough, but also due to the recent impressive building project where the Infant accommodation has been replaced and extended changing the school from a 2 to 3 form of entry from September 2013
Three long-serving teachers took retirement in the summer of 2012 and two more recently appointed teachers have moved to other schools within the Local Authority.
The school appointed five NQTs over the past year.
Since the last inspection the school has successfully addressed the Key Issues through;
embedding the use of Literacy and Maths targets across the school,
raising expectations of all staff to address the needs of the more able through more focused and challenging teaching,
improving the use of questioning in lessons to support formative assessment, establishing a system of self, peer and teacher marking, providing additional training for and raising expectations on middle leaders to have a bigger impact on the evaluation of teaching and learning.
The achievement of pupils is good. Children enter EYFS with skills above the national average. They make good progress across EYFS which is continued in KS1.
As a result, the gap with national expectations is being narrowed. Progress is consolidated across Lower KS2 as pupils are acquiring key skills, and as a result of very good teaching there is accelerated progress across Upper KS2, where pupils are able to apply their new learning in a wider range of contexts. Pupils leave Y6 with standards of attainment which are higher than the national averages. Although pupils attain standards higher than the national averages senior leaders are convinced that the rate of progress can still be further improved, particularly in Reading. The recent changes to teaching staff have already had a galvanising effect on the rate of progress and we are confident that the value added effect of teaching across the school that is evident in our tracking systems will begin to show in national test results.
The school’s strong focus on basic arithmetic skills from Foundation Stage through to
Year 6 impacts positively on the speed of children’s mental calculation and recall of number facts.
The quality of teaching
Overall, the quality of teaching and learning is outstanding because pupils make good progress and show very positive attitudes to their work as a result of the effective teaching and high quality targeted support.
Observations over time show that the quality of daily lessons are typically outstanding and never less than good. Because of the quality of teaching the majority of pupils achieve above the national average.
On the whole teachers demonstrate high expectations that engage and motivate pupils.
Over the last year we have focused on the quality of feedback to pupils during lessons and written feedback in books; as a result of this, pupils have a better understanding of how to improve the quality and content of their recorded work
(see self, peer and teacher assessment grids in books).
Classroom behaviour supported through a system of clear rewards and consequences is very good, allowing children to learn without disruption
Suitably qualified and trained Teaching Assistants, under the guidance of teachers and the SENCo support pupils through 1-1 and group interventions. There is good tracking evidence to demonstrate that identified groups of pupils, including SEN and disabled pupils, are well supported and make accelerated progress from their baseline
(see school tracking grids).
Behaviour and safety
The vast majority of pupils' behaviour is outstanding evidenced through consistently thoughtful behaviour towards one another, towards staff and towards visitors in and out of the classroom context, which is intrinsically linked to the positive school ethos
(see school mission statement, learning walks & lesson observations, ROAs)
Most pupils are highly considerate and very supportive of each other in lessons and around the school
(see lesson observations & positive awards system, Y6 Volunteers).
Teachers’every good management of behaviour results in learners that are selfconfident and keen to do well, ensuring all pupils have an equal and fair chance to thrive and learn in an atmosphere of respect and dignity.
Pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding evidenced through their supportive behaviour towards their peers and their charitable initiatives,
The safeguarding of pupils is outstanding.
The school has excellent safeguarding procedures, risk assessment systems and pupil routines which are regularly monitored and evaluated
There is a comprehensive awareness of safeguarding issues among the governors and staff at all levels. Staff receive regular training on safeguarding and, in particular, child protection. As a result, a realistic and proportionate approach to safety and safeguarding permeates all aspects of the school's life.
(See staff code of conduct, Risk
The safeguarding of children in EYFS is outstanding due to the robust steps taken including vetting of all adults working with the pupils, child protection explained at induction and paediatric first aid procedures for all the adults who work with the children
(See single central record, in/out of school risk assessments, child protection
& first aid training record).
The school's collaborative working with other key agencies is outstanding resulting in issues being dealt with efficiently, documented thoroughly and communicated professionally
(See SEN file & Child Protection file,)
Pupils are well prepared for secondary school due to regular positive events and visits to our link KS3 schools, e.g. sports events & visits from secondary school specialists.
Overall attendance and attendance for all groups of pupils is consistently high (96.4% three year average).
Children are eager to attend and make significant gains in their learning.
The school’s ability to promote equality and tackle discrimination is good; pupils know that they can safely raise issues which will be dealt with effectively and sensitively.
Monitoring and evaluation is good and highly influential in maintaining and improving the school's effectiveness. We ensure our effectiveness through regular pupil questionnaires that provide opportunity for pupils to provide feedback in relation to pupil wellbeing. There is little evidence of discrimination and where there has been any evidence of inequality this has been tackled exceptionally well.
Our inclusion register demonstrates outstanding provision for EAL pupils and ensures ongoing tracking of appropriate levels of support through the school assessment system and the IEP process where appropriate
(see school tracking systems & analysis, provision map and files).
Most pupils resolve conflicts intelligently and seek consensus while accepting the right of others to hold different opinions and beliefs. The majority of pupils are open to new ideas, appreciate cultural diversity and challenge racism.
(See racist incident file, International charity projects)
Leadership and Management
Leadership and Management are outstanding. The leadership of the school
(governance, senior and middle leaders, subject leaders, school council) make clear decisions which influence the quality of provision. The subsequent good provision
impacts directly upon securing good achievement and good levels of personal development and well-being for the pupils.
Governors discharge their duties effectively, challenging school leaders to improve and monitoring progress through their contact with teachers and their regular committee meetings.
The Senior Leadership Team has a clear vision for improvement which is effectively communicated to all staff. Senior Leaders do not hesitate to tackle underperformance in order to secure school improvement. School staff work effectively in teams under the leadership of senior and middle leaders, teams which take the lead on a number of initiatives from team teaching in Foundation and Year 1 to the ICT team who are developing a coherent vision for the new curriculum.
The school is currently in a formal partnership, arranged though the Local Authority, in which we are supporting teaching and learning in two schools that currently require improvement. The current focus is on teaching in upper and lower Key Stage 2.
Last year the school successfully supported a school in Special Measures; the support centred on improving the provision in the Foundation Stage. That school is now out of
We fully recognise the impact that parent/carer involvement can have on pupil learning and parental involvement is actively encouraged at every opportunity. We have worked hard on developing clearer channels of communication with parents and carers, for example: school staff make themselves visible and accessible at the start and end of the school day; parents attend termly ‘book-looks’ where they can go over their child’s learning with them and leave comments for improvement in their books; parent consultation evenings are very well attended; we engage with parents and carers through regular curriculum information sessions; the school uses a text and email service to inform parents collectively or individually about issues which may affect the school or their child; termly year-group newsletters ensure that the parental community are aware of what is happening in their child’s class; the school website enables parents to access a range of information about the day to day life of the school. As a result of our consistent good communication strategies, parents regularly tell us that they are very pleased with the school.
The school is in a strong position to be able to build on its existing strengths and the capacity of Leadership and Management in order to continue to improve. Senior
Leaders have articulated and communicated the vision for improvement to all stakeholders and all staff understand the importance of the school's strategic vision as outlined in the School Improvement and Development Plan.
The personal development of pupils is excellent. This is an area of strength for the school. The school's vision statement is at the heart of everything we do, and we strive to ensure that our provision develops the whole child, academically, socially, morally and spiritually, so that they are able to thrive and be suitably prepared pupils for life in an ethnically and culturally diverse community. This has a positive effect on enabling all our pupils to grow and flourish, become confident individuals, and appreciate their own worth and that of others. All staff understand the impact that the range of opportunities provided both in school and after school for young people are important to develop their resilience and confidence. Very high levels of care, guidance and support ensure that every child is nurtured and supported irrespective of background or circumstance. Support for vulnerable pupils includes targeted access to
the Home School Support Worker, who is jointly employed by the Locality family of schools and also to our Locality Speech and Language Therapist. The school also has strong links with the Havering Bereavement Service and the Brentwood Children’s
Society through which we can offer counselling for vulnerable children. Through the
Locality Special School we are able to access support for children with additional needs. As a direct result of these links with other agencies we are robustly meeting the academic, social and emotional needs of our children.
The school is in a formal partnership with a range of local schools, contributing to the employment costs of, and benefiting from, a Home School Support Worker and a
Speech and Language Therapist. The local cluster of primary schools pool resources to share training and also collaborate in moderation and agreement trials. The school also benefits from collaboration in the local Sports Partnership which organises and runs sporting events for the children.