The inspection was carried out by one Additional Inspector.
Description of the school
Coxhoe Primary is an average sized school whose pupils come from Coxhoe Village. The vast majority of pupils come from White British backgrounds and there are very few pupils whose first language is not English. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is below average. Children arrive in the Reception class from several local nurseries with the skills and knowledge typical for their ages.
Key for inspection grades
Overall effectiveness of the school
Coxhoe Primary is an outstanding school. Its modest self-evaluation that it is good reflects the school’s desire not to appear complacent and to continually strive to improve further. All staff have a very clear vision of where the school is going, the very high expectations of their pupils and of themselves are the reasons why pupils achieve so well. The safety, well-being, enjoyment and achievement of every pupil are at the heart of the school’s work. The school provides outstanding value for money.
Parents are overwhelmingly positive in their support for the school. Their comments included: ‘an excellent school that provides a high standard of education’, ‘approachable staff who set challenging homework and go the extra mile’, ‘give kids a real sense of teamwork and self-worth’ and ‘very caring leadership and management’.
Pupils make good progress in the Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 1 and reach above average standards. This progress accelerates to become outstanding as they move through Key Stage 2 and standards reached are high. Pupils’ attainment at the end of Year 6 has been consistently significantly above average for the last five years. This represents outstanding achievement for all pupils since entry to Reception. Measures of progress place the school in the top 2% nationally.
Teaching is never less than good across the school and some features of teaching and learning are exemplary. For example, teachers plan their work with great care to ensure that it is tailored to the needs of all pupils. Very flexible setting arrangements, excellent support for both the highest and lowest attainers and very high expectations all lead to outstanding achievement for all pupils.
Pupils’ personal development and well-being are outstanding. The school takes excellent care of all pupils and has a very warm and supportive ethos where pupils really feel valued and secure. Pupils enjoy their work immensely and want to succeed. Their behaviour is exemplary. In spite of the school’s exhaustive efforts to improve pupils’ attendance this remains average. Pupils benefit from a good curriculum which is rich and well matched to their needs. The school has a very firm focus on the core subjects which results in pupils having excellent basic skills in literacy and numeracy.
Leadership and management are outstanding. It is a great tribute to all staff at Coxhoe School that despite recent staff changes and absence through illness, pupils’ achievement has remained outstanding. The leadership of the deputy headteacher (in the temporary absence of the headteacher) and senior staff is excellent. They promote an atmosphere which is challenging yet supportive and where all staff are working in complete harmony to maximise the achievement of their pupils.
What the school should do to improve further
- Improve attendance by actively targeting the minority of parents who are failing to send their children to school regularly.
Achievement and standards
The achievement of all learners from their starting point when they enter the Reception class to the time when they leave school is outstanding. In the Foundation Stage, pupils make overall good progress but it is particularly good in literacy and mathematical development to reach above average standards. Results in national tests in 2005 and unvalidated test results for 2006 indicate that standards reached in English, mathematics and science are high. Pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and those with English as an additional language make excellent progress because their needs are identified very accurately and they receive invaluable support from teachers and teaching assistants. This well targeted support is one of the keys to the school’s outstanding success. The school’s extensive analysis of pupils’ results has identified very minor differences in the performance of boys and girls and intervened in their learning to ensure that no groups of pupils achieve less than their best.
Personal development and well-being
Pupils work in an outstanding spirit of cooperation with their teachers and with each other. They clearly enjoy learning. A parent commented that her Year 1 child enjoyed school so much he wanted to go back after only the first week of the summer holidays! Year 6 pupils talked at length when asked about the things they liked about their school but found it difficult to think of anything that could be improved. They talked knowledgeably about how they would keep safe and eat healthily. They have a clear sense of right and wrong and show this in the way they care for each other. Older pupils are enthusiastic about the responsibilities they are given. For example, they enjoy being members of the school council and carry out important tasks such as looking after younger children in a very responsible and independent way. Pupils are very knowledgeable and curious about their community and the wider world and have a good understanding of other cultures. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent. In an uplifting assembly pupils sang enthusiastically as they prepared for the harvest festival in the local church.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Teaching and learning are outstanding. Lessons are challenging and lively and teachers ask probing questions which make pupils think for themselves. Older pupils make good use of their handheld computers to do further research and complete homework. Year 6 pupils are encouraged to become skilled in assessing their own work and that of others. In the Reception classroom, pupils have a good range of opportunities to develop their skills through well structured play. Pupils’ work is assessed very regularly and marking is outstandingly thorough and constructive so pupils are left in no doubt about how to improve their work. Pupils are set very precise and challenging targets, they know how to reach them and talk proudly about achieving them. Because pupils’ progress is tracked so carefully, teachers are able to quickly intervene in their learning and give them excellent extra support when they need it.
Curriculum and other activities
The good curriculum has an appropriate focus on the core subjects but it is also broad and varied. In Reception, although teachers are creative in providing good opportunities for outdoor learning, the further development of this area has been held back by the need for adjacent building work to take place. There is good, imaginative and continually improving provision for the use of information and communication technology by both pupils and staff. Many pupils enjoy varied enrichment opportunities such as learning to play a musical instrument or to take part in pantomimes and plays. Amongst the many activities on offer, pupils talked particularly enthusiastically about a recent trip to Paris, the outstanding success of the girls’ football team and their use of the personal handheld computers which the school provides. The school has outstanding links with other agencies and with the local community and makes maximum use of the expertise of classroom assistants and parents, one of whom teaches the pupils French.
Care, guidance and support
Care, guidance and support are outstanding. Pupils receive excellent academic guidance and because parents are kept fully informed about what their children are doing at school they are closely involved in their children’s learning. Pupils recognise and value the huge amount of extra help and support they are given with their work which helps them to achieve so well. The school takes great care to ensure that pupils are kept safe and healthy. All appropriate safeguarding procedures are fully in place and understood by all staff. Recent changes to school meals have ensured that most pupils eat fresh, homemade food at lunchtimes.
Leadership and management
Outstanding leadership and management are key factors in the school’s success. Senior leaders are sharply evaluative of the school’s work. They are firmly focused on raising standards further and are very clear about their priorities for development. These priorities are shared by all staff who fully understand their roles and responsibilities and are continually analysing and evaluating their own and their pupils’ work in order to bring about further improvement. Governors are experienced, have a detailed knowledge of the school and support it very well. The school has made excellent progress since the last inspection and has an outstanding capacity to improve further.