School Logo

Ashcombe

Primary School

#WeAreAshcombe

Get in touch

Social Media

Context of the School

As at October 2016:

Context of the school:
  • We are a large primary school, currently 569 pupils on roll.
  • In Years R to 4 there are three classes per year group with an intake of 90 per year.
  • The school is still expanding and will be at full capacity of 630 pupils by September 2018
  • Children in years 1 to 5 are educated in a relatively new (July 2013) school building which supports the school’s ethos and approach to teaching and learning.
  • Year 6 pupils are educated within one of the school’s original buildings, which has been refurbished and designed to ease transition to secondary school
  • Reception children are taught in the Early Years Foundation Stage, based in the
adjacent children’s centre which is run by the local authority.
  • The school deprivation indicator has been consistently above national average for the past three years.
  • The proportions of pupils who are from minority ethnic groups (…%) and those who use English as an additional language (…%) are broadly in line with national averages, and numbers are increasing year on year.
  • The proportion of pupils receiving high level specialist support (7%) from outside agencies to help them with physical, moderate learning, emotional and behavioural needs is below average. Eleven of these pupils are supported by an EHC plan and/or additional LA funding.
  • The proportion of pupils eligible for pupil premium (..%) are above average.
  • The school meets the government’s current floor standards for pupils’ progress but not attainment in 2016.
  • The school uses its own facilities to teach pupils and does not use any alternative provision.
  • The governing body has consistently invested significant resources towards pastoral support with four full-time learning mentors supporting children and families to remove barriers to learning.
  • In addition to this governors and senior leaders have consistently invested in the professional development of a highly qualified and experienced team of teaching assistants for every class.
  • A popular breakfast club and after-school provision are managed by the school and are greatly valued by families.
   
 
Summary of the school’s journey since last inspection (Jan 2013):

The past three and a half years have seen a massive change programme across many key elements of its work.
The planned growth of the school population and the provision of the new building has allowed the senior leaders and governors to put into practice their educational vision and ethos. The building has been designed to facilitate an open climate of teaching and learning which builds professional practice through the ongoing sharing of successful pedagogy and children’s learning outcomes. The additional available space within the two old buildings and school grounds has been utilised to create specialist areas (art & music rooms, allotment & pond, …etc.). This has widened and improved the quality of the curriculum opportunities for all children.

The governors and senior leaders have overseen the creation of a new leadership/management structure which is fit for purpose for a 630-pupil school. This has included an additional senior leader,  enhancing the role of seven year group leaders and the introduction of co-leaders for English, Maths & Computing. This has involved a significant change of senior personnel (6 of the 12 extended leadership team members). In addition the pastoral support team has been doubled in size and new line management/deployment arrangements are embedded. The admin team has seen a 50% increase with a major revision of roles and responsibilities.

The addition of 120 students has led to significant changes in school routines and organisation e.g. daily act of worship, lunchtimes, annual class formation,  educational visits, whole school events, …etc. We have worked hard to retain the core ethos of school family and community, whilst the pupil population grows by 50%. Our adoption of Wroxham School – style house family assemblies has been very powerful in developing pupil-pupil and adult-pupil relationships across the age groups. It has also been a very powerful vehicle for pupil voice.
‚Äč
From Summer 2014 onwards, the whole school team has been involved in revising our planned school curriculum to meet the new NC orders. Particular emphasis has been given to curriculum breadth and depth of study led by enquiry-based learning and resulting in real-life outcomes for a variety of audiences.
 
 
  
Two Key Issues from our last inspection report (Jan 2013)

Make teaching and achievement outstanding by: 
  • ensuring that subject leaders and class teachers take greater responsibility for checking pupils’ progress data and using it to inform their planning
 
The school has rigorously addressed this issue and all teaching staff are now using the school’s own pupil tracking system (Excel-based) in advance of our four times per year Pupil Achievement Meetings (PAMs). Year group teams attend each meeting to present their current data to members of the senior leadership team. Actions are agreed for moving forward the whole cohort, individual classes, identifiable groups, and for individual pupils. Interventions are planned for the next cycle of teaching, learning and assessment.
 
All planned interventions are analysed for their impact. The school-wide reading interventions (Years 1 to 5) and English/Maths tuition (Years 5 & 6) are evaluated in some detail. Other class-level interventions are reviewed for impact at the next PAM.
 
Senior and subject leaders have regular training sessions related to interpreting and using Raise Online and other nationally produced materials to evaluate the school’s strengths and weaknesses.
 
Since September 2014, the school has developed its own pupil tracking system.  We embrace the original philosophy of “learning and assessing without levels”. The simple nature of our tracking of summative assessments allows teachers the freedom to focus upon the detailed formative assessments and feedback each lesson/week. We aim for every child to achieve at age related expectations or above by the end of key stage 2. We track each child’s progress throughout the school looking to remove any barriers and to provide intensive learning support in targeted areas when needed e.g. phonics, handwriting, knowledge of maths facts, …etc.
  
  • making sure that all teachers set work that extends the more-able and encourages them to think for themselves and make faster progress.
 
Initially, for two years we were working hard to ensure that any “glass ceiling” was removed from more able learners “allowing them to fly”. Open ended challenges and allowing them quality time to follow lines of self-initiated enquiry were a regular feature of lessons. Regular opportunities were sought to give these children access to working with more able children from other schools and to work with expert adults who could raise their aspirations e.g. actors, authors, scientists, …etc
 
Since September 2015 we are part of a county-wide initiative to implement “learning without limits”. The approach is based upon the growth mindsets of Carol Dweck and the practical applications of educators Ron Berger, Dame Alison Peacock and others. This has removed fixed ability groupings from all classrooms whilst offering our learners choice and challenge.
 
Our embedded work on Ashcombe Learning Power supports this approach well and gives us a language for learning to use with all children. We are still developing this professional practice but we are pleased with the “buy in” from the children and all of our teachers and teaching assistants.
 
Our recent collaborative work with our six partner primary schools (possibly a future MAT), has raised staff expectations by sharing best practice and moderating outcomes. Events for children have provided new learning opportunities and “raised the bar” for all children e.g. general knowledge quiz, chess tournament, sports events, spelling bee, ..etc.
 
Top