Heron Cross has a unique and creative environment where everyone works in partnership to maximise the life-chances for all pupils. Ofsted 2012 described the school as having a ‘stimulating and inspiring learning environment’ with ‘lively and imaginative teaching’. Our school is an exciting place for children to learn. We believe that children who enter our school family should feel happy, cared for, safe and nurtured.
Heron Cross Primary is a large spacious Edwardian school. Classrooms contain displays of every child’s work which enhance the learning environment. We are fortunate to have a well stocked school library, newly furbished ICT suite with the most up-to-date technology and a community room.
We have a large playing field where the children can develop imaginative play. Situated on the field is our school allotment, hen house and sensory garden. Learning in the outdoor environment is essential to a child’s development. “The best classroom and the widest cupboard is roofed only by the sky” Margaret McMillan. At Heron Cross we foster curiosity and a love for learning.
Visitors to the school are extremely welcome. We have an ‘open door’ policy where parents and carers are encouraged to discuss any issues about their child. We believe children reach their full academic potential when school and parents / carers work closely together.
Local Authority Monitoring Visit
In October 2013 we had a monitoring visit carried out by an OFSTED inspector.
The review took place over two days at the request of the Head Teacher. There was a meeting beforehand to discuss the organisation and focus for the two days. The review was conducted with the help and full support of the Senior Leadership Team. They also provided all the relevant documentation before the review took place. This included an overview of the progress made in all classes from 2012 to 2013.There were 9 classroom observations that took place over the two days, 7 of these observations were joint observations with the Head Teacher. Meetings took place with 2 groups of children including the School Council.. They were also held with the English & Mathematics co-ordinators, the Special Educational Needs co-ordinator, the Assessment co-ordinator and the EYFS team. A scrutiny of the pupils work was undertaken in English, Mathematics and cross-curricular work.
Judgements from the LA Review
Overall Effectiveness: Good
Children’s attainment on enter to the school is well below the national expectations especially in language development. Pupils make good progress in EYFS and good progress as they travel through KS1. Attainment at the end of KS1 is just below the national over a three year period. The progress as they travel through KS2 accelerates particularly in upper KS2. The attainment of English and Mathematics at the end of KS2 is broadly in-line with national expectations. Reading is broadly in-line with national expectations at the end of KS2.
Quality of Teaching: Good
Strengths of the teaching are numerous. The excellent relationships ensure pupils feel safe and well cared for.
. . . the teaching in most subjects, including English and Mathematics is usually good with examples of some outstanding teaching . . .
. . .groups of pupils including pupils with Special Educational Needs and those on free school meals make good progress and achieve well over time. The more able pupils make better than expected progress in reading and writing.
The teacher assessment is robust and continually a focus area. The Assessment co-ordinator and staff use the DCPro tracking system effectively to identify any underachievement and this is logged at the State of the Nation meetings and on the class action plans. These systems ensure all staff and pupils are on track to achieve well. This work is all related to performance management across the school.
The leadership and management of the teaching and learning are good as Senior Leaders have a good overview of curriculum provision and its effectiveness across the school. They complete classroom observations, look carefully at pupils work and the class teachers' planning. The Head Teacher and Senior Leadership Team have an accurate view of the delivery of the provision and outcomes for all pupils in all key stages.
Teachers give pupils very clear explanations so pupils know exactly what they have to do to achieve and the success criteria is often clear. There are a range of exciting extra-curricular activities that pupils clearly enjoy. The magnificent art displays and the learning environment is outstanding.
Behaviour and Safety: Good
Evidence from lesson observations shows that pupil behaviour is good in lessons and around school over time. This makes a strong contribution to pupil engagement and learning over time.
Leadership and Management: Good with some outstanding features
There are some outstanding aspects in the leadership and management of Heron Cross. For example: The Head Teacher's drive to ensure all pupils experience a memorable time in all subject areas. She is committed to ensuring that the learning comes alive with many subjects.
The Senior Leaders are determined that all pupils will achieve academically to give them a good grounding for their transition to secondary school. There is evidence of rigorous self- evaluation of data to inform school improvement planning and to manage performance.
Leadership & Management are good as they have made an excellent start to driving the school forward, raising standards and ensuring high quality provision across the school.